Formerly in many homes co-sleeping was practiced out of necessity, given the limitation of space and economic resources. Today, parents sharing their bed with the baby has become a common practice, despite the fact that the infant has its own space.
Sharing a bed with the family is a very controversial topic and, therefore, many parents find themselves in the dilemma of co-sleeping, yes or no? The reason for such a dilemma may be due to the fact that some scientific research indicates that this practice of sleeping next to the baby increases the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But, those who support it affirm that co-sleeping facilitates breastfeeding and above all favors the baby’s attachment to her parents.
What benefits does it provide?
There are more and more families that rest at night in the same bed. This could be due to the fact that various studies and the experiences of those parents who have practiced attachment parenting agree that safe co-sleeping promotes various benefits both in the development of the baby and in its relationship with the mother and father.
Above all, this technique favors breastfeeding and therefore has a positive effect on the baby’s nutrition. This, thanks to the fact that the mother is close to her and she manages to breastfeed comfortably, quickly and without a time limit. Fact that will also stimulate milk production.
On the other hand, co-sleeping favors the so-called thermal synchrony (a natural mechanism between mother and child) which is simply the regulation of the infant’s temperature before body contact with the mother.
By implementing this skin-to-skin contact technique , as parents you will not have to worry about how much sleep a baby should sleep, since this warmth and the sensation of having his parents close will not only help him fall asleep easily, but will be able to synchronize your sleep cycle and therefore your crying spells at night will decrease. Also, given that closeness, both the baby’s heart rate and breathing and hormone levels normalize.
Co-sleeping with the baby also benefits parents. Logically, if the little one rests pleasantly, his parents will too. In addition, family ties will be strengthened, despite the fact that during the day adults have to leave the house for their work duties.
What should you know before practicing co-sleeping?
If as parents they decide to practice co-sleeping, both must be responsible for the safety of the child and agree with the presence of the baby in the same bed. This premise arises because after her birth it is possible that the sleeping father does not have the instinct of her presence. Therefore, if both parents have wondered how to sleep a baby of 1 month or less, to practice co-sleeping, they could rule out the option of placing him in the center of the bed during his first weeks of life.
On the other hand, from the Spanish Association of Pediatrics parents have been invited to follow certain recommendations to make sleeping with infants a safe act. These indicate that the baby should sleep on his back, to avoid SIDS. Limit co-sleeping with children under three months or premature babies and rest on unsuitable or soft surfaces. And, above all, prevent parents from resting with the baby if they have used drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
In relation to the bed, the presence, within it, of a large number of relatives and elements such as pillows, cushions and quilts should be avoided. Also, make sure that there are no free ends or spaces where the baby’s head can get trapped, as well as avoiding sleeping with the little one on the chest and placing it near blinds and curtains.
How to practice co-sleeping?
There are various ways. The most common is to rest all in the same bed. If the family is large and, therefore, there is more than one child, the most logical thing is to find a large bed and place the baby on a co-sleeping cushion.
Another alternative is to install the cot near the parents’ bed, or better still use the co-sleeping cot mode, which is nothing more than a cot capable of being attached to the family bed. This alternative ensures the aforementioned benefits of co-sleeping , and at the same time, allows the little one to rest on a more independent surface.
Likewise, a mattress could be used to place the child near his parents’ bed, so that the mother could quickly get down to breastfeed him. But, if everyone wishes they could rest on the floor together by placing several mattresses.
Until what age sleep with him baby?
Stopping sleeping in each other’s arms will not depend on age, weaning or the sum of certain facts. The important thing is that parents keep in mind that, just as the choice was made to co-sleeping as a family, they will also decide when it is time to let the little one start sleeping in her own room.
The most appropriate thing is to wait until the little one feels safe in wanting to sleep without their parents. Hence, this change should be considered when the child already expresses himself verbally, has the ability to understand that there is no danger and that her parents will be attentive to respond to his call.
It should not be forgotten that each child has their own rhythm and, therefore, the age to stop this practice is very relative. Although, in general, the end of co-sleeping is considered until they reach 3 or 5 years of age, since for some time the parents tend to accompany them until they fall asleep.