I must add this in here before I start the post. I do not either advise or discourage co-sleeping with your baby, this post is here to explain the pros and cons of co-sleeping, and share my experiences so that you can make your own decisions on where and how your baby sleeps.
There are many decisions to make when having a baby, including the controversial co-sleeping debate. Co-sleeping has been the subject of many studies in recent years, research shows that it can have many benefits including:
- maximising breastfeeding
- enhance babies development
- reduce SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- can secure attachment and bonding
- reduce sleep disruption for both mother and child especially at night
Other research suggests that in some circumstances the risk of SIDS is increased during co-sleeping due to things such as:
- absence of a firm mattress
- parental smokers
- alcohol/drug intake
- potential for baby to get caught between the wall and bed
- sleeping on a sofa
There is a way that parents can have the best of both worlds, this is by using a cot that can attach to your bed, this enables all of the benefits of co-sleeping whilst baby sleeps in a safe place.
My co-sleeping story
I co-slept with both of my children, both when they hit that 6 week mark when they started suffering from colic. I did this as it clamed them and we all slept better at night. We did not have a ‘next to me’ cot, so what we did instead was ensure that baby had their own space in the middle of the bed, we reduced our bedding to just cellular blankets and moved our pillows as far away as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS.
My son who is now 1 sleeps in his own bed in his own room and sleeps so well from 7pm until 7am, my daughter who is 16 weeks old still occasionally has to sleep in our bed either due to colic or because she is a very clingy baby and refuses to sleep anywhere but next to me.
The risk of SIDS was always a worry, but for me the worry was there even when my babies were asleep in their own cots. We just had to ensure that every precaution was made to reduce all of the risks.