Co-sleeping is one topic that gets a lot of attention and is hotly debated at the same time. On the one hand, you’ll hear that it isn’t safe for your baby — and on the other, you’ll be told that it’s an important way to bond with your little one. What’s a parent to do?
Read below to sort out fact from fiction regarding this confusing topic so you can determine what’s right for your family while prioritizing the safety of your child.
Co-Sleeping: Fact or Fiction?
Here, we’ll tackle the most common myths about co-sleeping with baby and shed light on whether or not they’re all they’re cracked up to be.
- Co-Sleeping is Always Dangerous
This is by far the biggest concern surrounding co-sleeping and, unfortunately, there isn’t a simple black and white answer.
When co-sleeping involves sharing the same bed as your baby, most doctors advise against it since it’s statistically more dangerous than independent crib sleeping and can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This is because there are more variables that can put your baby at risk, such as pillows and blankets that pose suffocation hazards. Another major risk is an adult can inadvertently roll over and crush the baby during sleep.On the other hand, there’s also an indication that co-sleeping can be safe – if you follow certain precautions. Keep in mind that these practices for safe co-sleeping with a newborn can be burdensome for some families. If you decide it will be too much, you may want to consider another form of co-sleeping: having your baby share a room with you, but sleep in a separate bassinet next to your bed rather than in your bed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics actually encourages parents to room-share with baby for at least the first six months because having your baby in such close proximity has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.
2. Co-Sleeping Can Help Boost Baby’s Development
Sharing your room with your baby is believed to help the development of your baby’s senses and is one of the benefits of co-sleeping. Babies need to learn to respond to the sensory signals of others – this includes sounds, smells, touches, movements and temperature changes. Putting a baby alone in his own room doesn’t help him learn, grow and develop these important sensory distinctions — but sharing a room with his parents does.
3. Co-Sleeping Will Fix Sleep Problems
Parents often think that bringing their baby in bed with them will resolve sleep issues, but this isn’t the case. Yes, sharing a bed can provide your baby with some temporary relief from sleep problems, but it isn’t a long-term solution. Instead, when the time is right, you may need to work on sleep training to alleviate any sleep-related issues.
4. Sharing a Bed Will Make Your Baby Want to Sleep with You Forever
While it may take your baby longer to transition to his or her own crib or bed, rest assured that your child will not be sleeping with you when he’s a teenager!
That said, co-sleeping can create long-term sleeping habits that are tough to break and can go into the toddler years. While this isn’t a reason not to co-sleep, if you know you definitely don’t want to deal with co-sleeping long-term, you may not want to start it in the first place. You can also check out the tips below for transitioning baby from co-sleeping to a crib to help you determine if you’re up for it.
How to Transition Baby from Co-Sleeping to Crib
When it’s time to transition your baby (or toddler) to sleeping in his or her own crib or bed, follow the steps below.
1. Sleep together in the “new” room. Temporarily sleep in your child’s room to get him or her more comfortable with this new sleeping environment. Gradually add more and more distance between you as she falls asleep.
2. Sit by the crib or bed while your child falls asleep. When you feel ready, stop sleeping in your child’s room and sit on a chair by the crib or bed instead. Stay in the room until your child falls asleep. Provide any necessary comfort, such as playing music or a white noise machine, but avoid getting into bed with your child. Leave once your little one has fallen asleep.
3. Leave the room before your baby or toddler falls asleep. Finally, once you feel your child is ready, prepare to leave their room before he is asleep. Go through your usual bedtime routine and get your child settled in for the night, then leave.
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to co-sleeping. You’ll need to decide what will work best for your family and know that it’s always ok to change something that no longer works for you!
Regardless of whether or not co-sleeping is right for you, babies get better quality sleep when they’re less gassy and fussy. Our LATCH™ bottles were designed with an anti-colic valve at the bottom of the bottle to prevent air from passing through the milk or formula. This can significantly reduce colic symptoms in your baby, providing you both with a much better sleep experience and increasing the chances that your baby will sleep through the night.