Co-sleeping – yes or no?
Co-sleeping – when you sleep together in the same room, in the same bed or when the child sneaks in to cuddle during the night. This can be the best in the world for some, and a nightmare for others. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to claim co-sleeping better or worse than sleeping alone so it’s important to figure out what fits you the best.
One of the advantages of co-sleeping with younger children is that you do not need to get too far away from bed to feed or comfort the child. This makes it easier for you to return to your sleep. There are, however, many things to consider when co-sleeping in the same bed as a small child. The child should not be placed between you and everyone in bed needs plenty of space.
The children can experience comfort and an increased confidence in the surrounding world when co-sleeping with parents or siblings. Listening to a loved one’s breath or feel their heart beat, as well as the sensation of lying close makes the child feel protected and stimulates the hormone oxytocin, which increase the child’s confidence in the world. Co-sleeping also creates a lovely bond between the parents and the children.
It is important to point out that the bond between you and your child as well as the confidence in the world can be established, even though the child is sleeping in their own room. Just make sure to support the feeling of safety by showing the child that you are nearby, even though they are alone in the room. Some parents choose to lie in the bed as the child is falling asleep. These things, paired with the opportunity to sneak in for a cuddle during the night or in the mornings gives you many of the benefits of co-sleeping.
One of the biggest disadvantages of co-sleeping is that multiple people in one bed can disturb your sleep as you can be disturbed several times during the night. If you choose co-sleeping you should make sure your bed can fit many people at once and that everyone has their own pillow and duvet.
This creates the best possibility for each person to regulate their own comfort and ability to regulate e.g. temperature during the night. As a parent you should also consider grown up time as part of considering co-sleeping. Make sure you still have the opportunity to spend time together and consider your needs. Your relationship is still important, even though the children’s needs are first priority.