Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Co-sleeping with your Baby – How Safe is it?

Co-sleeping with one’s baby is a norm in India and is the most natural thing in Indian households, wherein baby sleeps next to the mother on the bed and not in a crib or another room. It is easier and simpler to soothe, comfort and feed the baby when it gets restless or hungry several times during the night in addition to the fact that babies need to feel the touch and warmth of its mother, which helps the baby to sleep contently. Over 95% of babies in India co-sleep with their parents and I can safely say that SIDS is not as prevalent here as in the western world.

Co-sleeping with our children when they were babies made it very easy for me to nurse them as well as comfort them with a reassuring touch whenever I felt they were stirring awake. At the time, I did not have a special crib made for them to sleep in. All I did was to place a pillow each on either side, closely tucked so that my baby felt swaddled and cozy. A baby at 8 or 9 months is prone to restlessness at bedtime, which made co-sleeping very convenient to nurse my baby.

Co-sleeping with your baby is perfectly safe and you can enjoy the benefits as long as you take necessary measures and precautions to ensure that there is no risk of any accidental choking or smothering. Besides, parents have an inbuilt protective instinct that makes them conscious of where the baby is in the bed, even when asleep.

It is very easy to create a safe environment for your baby and enjoy a restful night of sleep if you tuck a pillow on either side of your baby to prevent the baby from rolling over or make a bedside crib (as shown below) that can be fitted to your side of the bed, giving you easy access to nurse your baby as well as feel free to enjoy being close to your husband.


Make it safe for your baby by following these tips:

The mattress should be firm and not sagging in the middle, so that your baby does not fall into it while you and your husband sleep on either side

You need to keep pillows on either side of your baby only during the first five months of your baby’s life. After that don’t keep too many baby blankets or coverings on the bed to avoid your baby getting too hot or smothered.

Never co-sleep with your baby on a couch or a sofa as they are not wide enough to accommodate you both.

Never lay your baby on a pillow or you could risk him rolling off and getting smothered in its folds.

Never make your older child sleep next to your baby during the night as your toddler may roll over or fling his hand or leg aside and hurt your baby.

You should not co-sleep with your baby if you like to smoke in bed, drink alcohol, under medication for depression, obese or if your baby is premature.

Co-sleeping allows easy access to your baby to breastfeed without either of you even fully awakening. It is certainly a better option than getting out of bed and walking across to the crib to comfort and nurse your crying baby.

Co-sleeping synchronizes your sleep cycle with your baby’s sleep cycle, enabling both of you to sleep longer and better. You are able to sleep well knowing that your baby is close by, safe and sound and your baby will sleep well, calmed by your presence and loving touch.

Co-sleeping strengthens the mother-baby bond even more and if you are a working mother, you can make use of this time to reconnect with your baby and make the most of your lost time during the day with your baby.

Co-sleeping reduces your baby’s restlessness and discomfort, thereby making your baby cry less on account of which they grow better.

Co-sleeping reduces stress hormones known as cortisol in mother and baby and regulating the hormone is vital for healthy growth of your baby.

Co-sleeping promotes better sleeping patterns in babies which made them happier with fewer behavioral issues and developed them into confident, independent adults.

Anyway, no matter what doctors, books or well wishers say about co-sleeping, as a Mom you should do what is best for you and your family. There are different kinds of bedtime parenting styles but a healthy and wonderful style as co-sleeping with your baby should be widely practiced by all.

click on the video below to see a wonderful baby co-sleeping product. 

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