Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Choose Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping can be safe and beneficial as long as you take precaution when sleeping with your baby. Some babies have died while co-sleeping with an irresponsible adult; however keep in mind that a higher number of babies have died while sleeping alone mainly from SIDS (Fleiss, 2000). Research shows that co-sleeping assists in regulating an infant’s breathing pattern and body temperature. In addition, older co-sleeping boys between the ages of six and eleven had higher self-esteem than those that do not co-sleep, meaning that co-sleeping can affect independence, self assurance, confidence, self-reliance, intimacy and self-esteem as your child grows. Co-sleeping is an easy way to reach these positive goals that each parent naturally wants for their child.

So, how do you make co-sleeping safe? Here are a few tips:

• Sleep on a firm mattress that fits tightly in the frame, with no cutouts at the head or foot of the bed. You don’t want any places where a baby could slip down into a crevice – NO WATERBEDS!

• Do not wrap your child in blankets or cover their heads;

• No adult in the bed should smoke, take drugs, be obese, or be on any medication;

• No adult in the bed should drink alcohol – not even one drink! This is a potential danger to your baby;

• Clear the area where your baby will sleep from pillows, and never lie them face down on the bed;

• Seek a doctor’s advice if the baby has a fever

Fleiss, P.M., (2000). Sweet Dreams: A pediatrician’s secrets for your child’s good night’s sleep. Lowell House: Illinois, USA.

Canadian Pediatric Society, Recommnedations for safe sleep environments for infants and children:

What do you think and what is your practice with your kids?  I know that I have co-slept (and still do at times) with both my boys while breastfeeding at night as well as early in the morning.  There is nothing like cuddling up with your kids in bed.  I find it to be such a precious time!

1 comment:

  1. Co-sleeping worked for a short while for us, but as nice as it was at first - it meant not much sleep for anybody after about 3 months. I felt guilty about it (it didn't match my idea of how I wanted to parent), but it worked much better for our family to have her in her own crib in her own room. (She went from nursing every 45 minutes and keeping myself or my husband awake most or all night to nursing once - and was much less cranky since she was finally sleeping well). I became a better parent. I wish it had of worked out for longer, but with co-sleeping I think you need to keep an open mind and recognize the idea is to maximize on yours and your baby's sleep.