Benefits of Co-Sleeping

We looked, last time, at the potential down side of the practice of having your baby sleep with you in your bed. This practice, known as “co-sleeping,” is very common in some cultures. It’s growing in popularity (or at least in discussion) in the United States, too.

Today, we’ll take a look at some of the positives that can come from co-sleeping. Keep in mind that whether or not to have your baby sleep in your bed is a decision that only you and your family can make, and no one should look down on you for choosing one way or another.

Here are some benefits that advocates of co-sleeping suggest that the practice brings:

  • Co-sleeping may help to build a stronger attachment between the baby and her parents. Of course, it’s true that having your baby sleep in your bed doesn’t guarantee this attachment, and it’s also true that you can develop that bond without co-sleeping.
  • Co-sleeping can allow a parent to have more ready access to their baby if an emergency occurs. If a baby stops breathing, for example, a parent who is co-sleeping may be more aware of it.
  • Breastfeeding at night will be less disruptive to both the mother and the baby sleeping in her bed.
  • The close, warm contact between the baby and mom and dad may help the baby sleep more soundly, and to be able to fall asleep more quickly. Some even advocate co-sleeping as one part of treating a colicky baby.

In the end, whether or not you have your baby sleep in your own bed is up to you. Carefully weigh the potential benefits against the potential dangers. Talk with your doctor, who may have some thoughts on why you or your baby may or may not benefit from co-sleeping. Finally, in remembering that this is a personal decision, try not to point fingers or judge other parents who happen to believe something different from you in this area.