To co-sleep or not to co-sleep? There is much debate on the subject of co-sleeping for new parents.
It is important to realize that co-sleeping does not necessarily mean sharing the same bed as your baby. While bed-sharing is a part of co-sleeping, sleeping in the same room and using a baby co-sleeper are also considered co-sleeping. If you are contemplating co-sleeping with a baby but do not want to share the bed, co-sleeper cribs and co-sleeper bassinets are available all over the market and are quite affordable. While it may have numerous benefits for the new baby, some may argue that it fosters an unhealthy dependency on the mother in later years. This article will prove that co-sleeping with your little one is beneficial to the new mother as well as to the baby.
The first and most important benefit of co-sleeping is that it helps the new baby to bond with the mother on a subconscious level. For parents who are unable to spend enough time with baby during the day (especially toddlers who go to school or daycare), co-sleeping strengthens feelings of intimacy and also allows you to spend a solid chunk of time with your little one.
2. Easier Night Time Feeds
For mothers who plan to breastfeed their new babies, co-sleeping makes life a lot easier. It allows mom to reach the waking baby in time and nurse him/her back to sleep before he/she fully wakes up. This way, the baby gets a good night’s rest, and the mom doesn’t have to get out of bed every time the baby needs a feed or a cuddle at night.
3. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
If you aren’t familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, here is a quick brief. It basically follows the principle that (from a purely psychological perspective of self-esteem) an individual will only seek to fulfill his need for self-esteem when his emotional needs for safety, security, love, and belongingness are fulfilled.
Often people with low self-esteem have been deprived of one or more of the needs that precede the need for self-esteem. Co-sleeping makes the baby feel safe, secure, and loved at the same time. The very fact that he/she is sharing a bed with the primary care-giver lays a solid foundation for the baby’s emotional stability and promotes independence in the later years. Since the lower needs are met, the baby’s need for self-esteem is met a lot sooner, and you have a confident, well-adjusted child with healthy self-esteem.
4. Better Access in Case of an Emergency
In case of an emergency like a fire, earthquake, or other calamities, it is easier for you to get your baby to safety if he/she is right next to you when disaster strikes. Even in cases of choking or suffocation, it is a lot more likely that you can reach your baby in time to save his/her life if you are co-sleeping with your baby.
5. Helps with Separation Anxiety
Because a baby who co-sleeps with the parents is a lot more secure emotionally, the chances are that when it comes time to be away from the parents for a few hours, the baby will not get too anxious. The first day of school, spending time with a babysitter, spending the day at the grandparents’, or even moving to a new room will be a smoother transition for a baby who has co-slept with his/her parents in the initial months. The long and short of co-sleeping is that if your baby is near you, you will sleep better. Knowing that you are right there, feeling your body warmth, and feeling the rhythm of your breathing keeps the baby calm and allows him to sleep a lot more peacefully. With time, as your baby grows, he/she will develop healthier sleeping habits and is less likely to develop sleep anxieties in the future.
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