Popular media has tried to discourage parents from sharing sleep with their babies, calling this worldwide practice unsafe. Research shows a benefit of co-sleeping is infants virtually never startle during sleep and rarely cry during the night, compared to solo sleepers who startle repeatedly throughout the night and spend 4 times the number of minutes crying 1. Those who bed-shared earlier were more likely to be breastfeeding later. One US study showed that infant mortality is 25 per cent higher for bottle-fed babies than breast-fed. Parents should be educated about risks and benefits of co-sleeping and unsafe co-sleeping practices and should be allowed to make their own informed decision. Do not swaddle your baby when bed-sharing.
Indeed, the benefits of cosleeping helps explain why simply telling parents never to sleep with baby is like suggesting that nobody should eat fats and sugars since excessive fats and sugars lead to obesity and/or death from heart disease, diabetes or cancer. A study mother-infant pairs in New Zealand found that bed sharing infants were far more likely than were solitary sleepers to spend time with blankets covering their noses, faces, or entire heads (Baddock et al 2006). So shared sleep may benefit babies by increasing the duration of breastfeeding. But many infants who bed-share are also at risk for death due to other factors.
Safe infant sleep ultimately begins with a healthy gestation. It is important to realize that the physical and social conditions under which infant-parent cosleeping occur, in all it’s diverse forms, can and will determine the risks or benefits of this behavior. The practice of bed-sharing parents sharing a bed with their infant is a hot topic. Most of the time when cosleeping and bedsharing with babies are discussed, the focus is on the dangers.
Cosleeping And Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not And Should Not Sleep Alone
Perhaps it’s the extra touch that stimulates development, or perhaps the extra feedings (yes, sleep-sharing infants breastfeed more often than solo sleepers). However, studies linking bed-sharing with an increased risk of cot death and fears that a mother will roll over and smother her child means that women are generally advised against this. Sixteen infants were studied while they slept on their mother’s chest and in a cot by her bed. Shared sleep can further prevent child abuse by helping all family members to obtain the rest they need, especially if the child is breastfeeding. It seems reasonable to assume that infants and children derive similar health benefits to having others in the same room with them. Yet even with the scientific support and the changing cultural perception of cosleeping, the subject is typically constrained to parents of infants. Co-sleeping is a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room. In many parts of the world, bed-sharing simply has the practical benefit of keeping the child warm at night. Bed-sharing has been relatively recently re-introduced into Western culture by practitioners of attachment parenting. Three in a Bed: The Benefits of Sharing Your Bed with Your Baby, New York: Bloomsbury, 1999. McKenna, James J. Experts recommend placing your infant alone in a crib at bedtimebut one study has found a surprising benefit that can come with the territory of co-s.
Safe Cosleeping Guidelines // Mother-baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory // University Of Notre Dame
It recognises that bed sharing can help with breastfeeding and therefore gives advice to parents on how to take advantage of this benefit. Do the benefits of bedsharing require us to consider a more nuanced. A new study shows bed-sharing can increase the length of time a mother breastfeeds.