Co-sleeping is one of those topics that can get quite heated when discussed. There are those who are for co-sleeping, and those who are against it. Resources can be found showing all the benefits that co-sleeping has, and also resources showing the dangers and downsides of co-sleeping. Weighing the pros and cons of co-sleeping can be hard!
It can be overwhelming reading one conflicting article after another and being given advice from others who are more biased to one side. What works for others might not work for you, and vice versa.
Understanding the pros and cons of co-sleeping will give you the information you need to make a decision you think is best for you and your baby.
The Pros Of Co-Sleeping
Your baby will be able to sleep easier with you next to them. They might also wake up during the night, but then drift off back to sleep again when they are aware of your presence. Co-sleeping can help even the fussiest babies get to sleep.
Easier to breastfeed
Having to wake up a couple of times throughout the night is exhausting. Breastfeeding mums can benefit so much from co-sleeping. Your baby will be within arm’s reach and you won’t have to get out of bed to feed them, and your baby can fall asleep where they are once they have finished feeding. Breastfeeding while co-sleeping is really amazing!
Less time spent awake
You will have to wake up with your baby throughout the night, even when co-sleeping. However, with your baby right there, you will not have to walk to another room to tend to them. This means less time awake, more time asleep!
You will have more skin to skin contact with your child if you co-sleep. Skin to skin contact helps your baby develop faster, but also encourages bonding between you. Many mums will say that the biggest benefit of co-sleeping was the bond it forms between mum and baby.
The Cons Of Co-Sleeping
Increased risk of SIDS
SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is terrifying for all parents. Some studies show that co-sleeping might increase the chance of SIDS.
Co-sleeping with an older child
Some parents still have their oldest child in their bed when they begin co-sleeping with their newborns. This is a huge no-no. Older kids might roll over onto your baby, and not wake up as easily. Your baby might also keep your older child awake, which will then cause them to be tired throughout the day.
Disrupts parents relationship
One of the main reasons parents choose not to co-sleep is to save their relationship. It is tough enough to connect with your partner after the birth of your baby, but even more so when there is a baby between you at night.
Increased risk of injury
If your baby is not in a proper co-sleeping cot or side-crib, there is a higher chance of injury. They might fall out of the bed or become wedged in gaps. Not only can this cause injury, but is a suffocation hazard as well.
The Co-Sleeping Decision
There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to co-sleeping, and you will need to decide for yourself if the cons outweigh the pros or the other way around!