Co-sleeping is a practice that is, in reality, centuries old. Essentially, this is the practice of mother, father and baby sleeping together in the same bed. While it’s more common in some cultures than others, many people today in the United States have begun exploring co-sleeping.
There are arguments on both sides as to whether co-sleeping is a good idea or not. The fact of the matter is that this is a highly personal decision, and one in which no one else should criticize you for choosing one way or another.
Having said that, it can be worth taking a look at both sides of the issue in order to become informed, and make a decision that’s right for you and your baby.
Here are some of the common objections to co-sleeping:
- There is some fear that a parent could roll over the top of the sleeping baby and smother the baby or otherwise injure the baby. Exactly how substantiated these fears are isn’t certain, but it’s a concern that many parents have.
- Parents also worry that the baby will roll off the bed. This is one concern that can be addressed adequately through certain means, such as making sure that the bed has a barrier over which the baby cannot roll. Still, especially when you’re talking about just one parent, this is a worry.
- Having a baby sleeping in the parents’ bed can raise some concerns about parents having time and opportunity for sexual intimacy. Certainly, spontaneous sexual intimacy is not particularly appropriate while an infant is in the bed, but a nearby crib reserved for such occasions can be useful.
- Co-sleeping may increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). There are some studies that suggest co-sleeping is a risk factor for SIDS.
The decision on whether or not to have your baby sleeping in the bed with you is your own, and you should give serious thought to both sides of the issue before you make a final decision. It wouldn’t hurt to talk to your health care provider about it, too.