The controversial topic of children sleeping with parents invites differing opinions among parents and pediatricians. The proponents of sleeping together consider this a good way to save time and energy at the early stage of a child’s development. In addition, children who sleep with their parents strengthen an inseparable connection between parents and the baby . The opponents of this sleeping together consider that sleeping together is an atavism that we need to get rid of. They also think that a child needs to be taught to have his or her personal space, beginning from the birth. Below we are going to shine light upon the advantages and disadvantages of children and parents sleeping together.
Children sleeping with parents: Advantages
There are many advantages of sleeping together which contribute to the quiet and healthy sleep of parents and children.
A baby feels calmer with his or her mother
Physiologically, a baby is used to hearing the sounds of the mother’s heartbeat, since he or she was in the mother’s womb. Once he or she is born, it’s important to feel the mother’s presence constantly. This is a self-preservation instinct. Human babies are born helpless, and require the constant protection and care from parents. A result is that near his or her mother, a baby falls asleep faster than anywhere else. He or she feels safety and comfort.
Comfort during nighttime breastfeeding
With breastfeeding , especially in the first months of the child’s life, his or her mother needs to feed the baby at night. This is a big load on the body and psychological schedule of the parents. When a baby wakes up at midnight, then at 2 o’clock in the morning, and then at 6 o’clock in the morning, parents also have to wake up in order to run to his or her bed to calm or feed him or her. In time, a constant lack of sleep leads towards the irritability and depression of the parents. In addition, in some families, fathers keep themselves distant from the care of the baby and home. Chronic fatigue is the main symptom of the parents who have babies that are in the first 6 months of life. This is why the sleeping together of parents and children makes life in the family much easier.
During the first few months after the delivery, many mothers of firstborns worry about the condition of the baby. If the baby sleeps longer than usual,, this alerts and bothers them. They constantly check if everything is ok with the baby, and whether he or she breathes. This is a natural anxiety and manifestation of the feelings of motherhood. When a child sleeps near his or her mother, she can always check if everything is proper with the baby.
Parents and children develop a closer connection
When a baby sleeps in the bed with parents, it is much easier for his or her mother and father to hear and see the signs that the child gives to them. Such signs may indicate: “I’m hungry!” or “I have a stomachache!” or “My teeth bother me!” Parents, who spend all time with the baby, understand him or her much better than those who don’t do that. The parents and the child develop a closer connection. Often, the mother, who is always with her baby, knows of the baby’s needs much earlier than he or she shows signals pertaining to those needs.
Children sleeping with parents: Disadvantages
There are certain disadvantages of parents and children sleeping together.
Limitation of the parents’ sex life
The parents’ good sex life is just as an important life aspect as their health and financial wellbeing. If a baby is sleeping in the parents’ bed, it isn’t possible for them to lead an active sex life. This makes it better to put the baby to sleep in a different place during the time of sexual activity, or for the parents to find a place to be alone, away from the bedroom, where a baby is sleeping. This really creates certain limitations.
Constraint and fear to traumatize the baby during the sleep
Many parents are afraid to put their weight on top of the baby during the sleep. This presents a clear danger if a mother and father are deep in their sleep, and toss and turn actively in the sleep. Usually mothers are very light sleepers. This is caused by the increase in hormones after the delivery. However, the bodies of fathers aren’t built the same. If you know your spouse is moving actively in their sleep, is it better not to put the baby near them.
If one of the parents snores, sleeping together isn’t possible
The healthy sleeping together of a child and parents will be impossible if one of the parents snores. This may scare the child and he or she will sleep restlessly.
It’s hard to train a baby to sleep in his or her bed as the child grows up
, The fact is that children, who are used to sleeping with parents, become afraid to sleep by themselves. Fortunately, this passes with age.
Children and parents have a different attitude towards sleep. Some children feel comfortable in their own beds in the room of the parents, or in their own room altogether. Others need direct closeness with their parents and can only sleep near the mother. To practice having the parents and baby sleep together or keeping them separate is your choice. We hope that our article will help you to decide which option is better for you.
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