How Safe Co-Sleeping can Make Your Life Easier
When you welcome a newborn into your family, sleep very soon become a distant memory. You may become so desperate for sleep that you are willing to do anything, willing to trade anything just to get a few more hours of shut eye.
Co-sleeping is the solution that many families need to help them get more sleep. However, it is important to practice safe co-sleeping. To make co-sleeping safe, you must:
- Place your baby on a hard surface (not a soft or pillow-top mattress)
- Ensure that all pillows and bedding are kept away from your baby
- Keep stuffed animals, pets and other small children out of the bed
Safe co-sleeping also requires that any adults who are in the bed are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Adults who are obese or who smoke also should not share a bed with an infant.
If you are able to co-sleep safely with your infant, it can make your life a whole lot easier. Here’s how:
It Makes Breastfeeding Easier
In the early days, your baby needs to eat every 2 to 3 hours — and sometimes even more. Getting out of bed, taking your baby out of a crib, setting up your nursing pillow, and breastfeeding
your baby until sated can take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on whether your baby has a full feed or not. If you have to repeat that several times a night, you aren’t going to be getting very much sleep at all.
When you co-sleep, you don’t have to get out of the bed at all to feed your bed, cutting down the time you need to be awake significantly. If you are able to nurse lying down, you can cut your time to zero.
It Helps Your Baby to Sleep Longer
Babies are reassured by your constant presence. After spending nine months in the womb, they have become accustomed to your nurturing presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now that they are outside the womb, they still expect that same comfort and nurturing.
When babies sleep next to their parents, they sleep for longer periods of time. On the other hand, when babies are put in cribs in separate rooms, they wake more frequently. Practicing safe co-sleeping can help your baby to sleep for longer stretches through the night.
It Helps You to Get More Sleep
When your baby sleeps longer, you sleep longer. By co-sleeping, you can also practice breastfeeding while lying in bed. Once you and your baby have become practiced at breastfeeding, you may even be able to nurse while lying in bed without waking up. At the very least, you will only wake long enough to help your baby to get settled and then can quickly drift back to sleep.
Under the best circumstances, co-sleeping can help you to get nearly uninterrupted sleep throughout the night, right from day one. Even under the worst circumstances, you’ll get more sleep
when you co-sleep with your baby then you would if you were practicing sleep training.
Safe co-sleeping is the solution that many sleep-deprived parents need. If you choose to co-sleep with your baby, you will find that it makes those early days as a new parent so much easier by helping you and your baby to sleep longer and making breastfeeding easier.
Did you co-sleep with your baby? Tell us how the experience benefited you in the comments!
Chloe Trogden is seasoned financial aid writer who authors a comprehensive online financial aid resource. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.