Co-sleeping has been gaining in popularity in the United States over the last few years, despite criticisms. Some researches have said that co-sleeping in the parents’ bed is dangerous to the child. However, the statistics aren’t complete. Until the 1800s, co-sleeping was the norm in the States, and still is in many countries around the world.
In the 1800s, science was just starting to learn about germs, and it was felt that less contact with others would keep people healthier. This idea was also adopted when raising children. The development of formula milk also reduced the amount of mothers who breastfed their babies. However, as people begin to rediscover the benefits of co-sleeping, it is becoming more commonplace than many people realize.
As long as the parents take precautions to baby-proof their bed, just as they do the rest of the house, the benefits can outweigh the possible problems. Make sure you have a firm mattress, as soft mattresses or waterbeds are still not safe for babies. Co-sleeping is not recommended for obese parents or mothers who use sleep aids. It is best for the child to sleep on the outside edge of the bed, with a safety rail or a co-sleeper that attaches to the bed. Many parents prefer the co-sleeper bed, as it allows the child to be near, yet have their own space. It is also important to not have fluffy comforters, as they also pose a risk to the baby.
One of the most obvious benefits of co-sleeping is the ease of late night feedings. Both mother and baby lose less sleep, as the baby can start nursing without totally waking. The father usually doesn’t lose any sleep, either. Studies also show that breastfed babies are less susceptible to SIDS. The baby and mother’s breathing will often be in sync, encouraging the baby to breathe better.
Babies who co-sleep usually grow up to be well-adjusted and independent children. They know that they can count on their parents to be there and develop a close relationship with them. Many parents who work away from home enjoy having that additional time to bond with their children. Studies have also shown that these children tend to do better in school.
Co-sleeping isn’t for every family. However, the benefits may well outweigh the perceived problems. Some parents have tried it out of desperation after they couldn’t take the crying or loss of sleep anymore. They have quickly discovered that it works well and the whole family benefits from the arrangement.
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