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What is co-sleeping? Co-sleeping or bed sharing is a common practice in many non-Western cultures. However, some parents find it impractical to sleep with their children because of certain factors like night shift work and insufficient room space. Some even describe this practice unsafe. On the other hand, medical research shows that co-sleeping is actually much safer for the little ones than sleeping alone. Following are some of the advantages of co-sleeping:
Some parents are afraid to co-sleep with their children because they think that this practice will make their little ones more clingy and reliant. On the other hand, research reveals that the opposite is true. Those who sleep with their parents develop independence earlier because they are not experiencing separation anxiety. Dr. Jay Gordon also explained that when a child routinely goes to sleep with an adult present, it is very rare to see thumb sucking or attachment to transitional or security objects.
Certainly, it is easier for a mother to nurse the baby when the two are sharing bed. According to one study, mothers who share their bed with their infants are able to breastfeed twice as much as mothers who do not co-sleep with their little ones. Breast milk is very beneficial to children because it is complete nourishment. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed more frequently especially if the infants have low weight. Surely, it is easier to simply roll-over and pop out a breast to feed the baby than to get out of bed and nurse the baby in another room.
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Encourages Close Family Ties
Children who co-sleep with their parents develop close bonds with the family. Bed sharing provides more hours for the family members to connect and share nurturing moments together. Aside from promoting rapport, co-sleeping babies grow up with higher self-esteem. They also have less emotional problems and they are more comfortable with affection. Other studies suggest that children who share bed with their parents are less prone to developing psychiatric problems.
Co-sleeping has many advantages. Some of the benefits of sharing bed with children are described above. However, it is important to know that co-sleeping is not for everyone. Families who have other children like toddlers should not share bed with infants and newborns because toddlers are too young to be aware of the baby's presence. Furthermore, parents who smoke should avoid this sleeping practice because of the possibility of SIDS is higher. Lastly, those who are under the influence of drugs should never co-sleep with their little ones because they may unintentionally harm their little children.
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