The Benefits of Co-sleeping


Sharing sleeping space with one's baby has always been a sacred tradition among Filipino families. In recent years, however, co-sleeping has been scrutinized for a number of reasons. Some believe that the co-sleeping arrangement may be potentially hazardous to the infant. While asleep, the adult may unconsciously roll over the infant. The danger of the infant being smothered by adult-sized pillows and blankets is also present. Apart from such physical dangers, there is also the psychological peril of the infant driving a wedge between the couple. With a babe in their bed, it would be challenging for a couple to spend intimate moments together, something that most couples need in order to maintain emotional stability in their relationship.

Recent research shows, however, that co-sleeping has a lot of benefits both for the baby and the parents.

* Ensconced in the warmth of his parents, at times sucking on his mother's breast, baby sleeps better. When he awakes in the middle of the night, he falls asleep again easier; the presence of his parents reassures him that it's OK to go to sleep. Sometimes, it only takes a slight tap on the back for baby to return to dream land.

* Babies who sleep with their parents are more likely to sleep on their backs or sides than their tummies. This is a significant development as sleeping either on the back or side lowers an infant's risk to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

* Co-sleeping is also good for moms. Breastfeeding is easier. Mom need only to let out her breast for baby to latch. And because putting baby back to sleep is easier, mommy gets to sleep better and longer as well.

* Lastly, sharing sleeping space gives parents a special way to bond with their babies. Most parents are away during the day, and sometimes, it is only at night when they get to share special moments with their baby. Co-sleeping provides parents with precious opportunities to bond with their baby.


Want to share sleeping space with your baby? Here are a few reminders: * Go for big! It won't be comfortable and safe to bunch three individuals in one teeny, tiny bed. Invest in a roomy, king-sized bed. * Make sure your bed is not all lumpy. It's best to have a firm mattress. * Take away any extra pillows, sheets, blankets, and stuffed toys. Apart from crowding your bed, these items are potentially dangerous to babies and young children. By accident, these items may cover your children's breathing passageways at night, increasing their risk of suffocation.

Photographs courtesy of Phaendin at