Tips To Begin Co-Sleeping With Your Child

I love my little snuggles in the blanket with my little man. I love how we lay beside each other and talk about everything that happened in the day. It gives us time to ponder over our behaviour on that particular day. We even do are prayers and make sure we thank the Lord for the day we have had.  We even say sorry for the times we have wronged. Yes, adults are allowed to say sorry to kids. They in fact should… that’s how kids learn to accept their mistakes and correct them. These night times however haven’t always sounded this rosy. We have had sleepless nights for more than 2 years and we struggled our way to get a sleep routine for him. This is what I eventually followed to get him to sleep. 

I had never however planned about co-sleeping. It was something that came naturally to me like it does in most homes in India, which I guess has changed over time. I remember all us siblings took turns to co-sleep with out parents until we were older and were allowed the luxury to have our own rooms. I hear and read a lot about co-sleeping. There seem to be so many pros and cons attached to it. I mean did you ever think as a parent if co-sleeping would be dangerous for your child to the extent of infant death or did you ever think about how it would affect your sleep.

Yes, a new mother needs the equal amount of rest and care as her new born baby and I guess that’s why you should take in all the help you need from family. It’s great to see how the world is changing towards the care that needs to be extended to mums. Co-sleeping however still remains debatable.

Considering the fact, that I have always co-slept with my son and I am still toying with the idea of my son now not co-sleeping anymore, I am someone who is partially in favour of co-sleeping You can use any medium of co-sleeping. The most common known ones are, bed-sharing, sidecar or side crib arrangement, different beds in the same room or the child welcomed into parent’s bed as needed. I would however love to suggest ways where co-sleeping can be a fun affair and not be dangerous for your child.

Safety – This is the most important factor of all.

The number one rule is to safe-guard your sleeping space. The sleep surface needs to be firm and the bedding should be tight fitted to the mattress. Avoid any loose blankets, stuffed animals or loose pillows around your baby until they are old enough to handle them. There should be no space allowed between the bed and the wall near the bed, for your baby to be able to roll over. Avoid putting your baby to sleep on a sofa or a chair or any surface where it could form a wedge like situation. 

I would also suggest that if you have had an extremely tiresome day, have someone else also co-sleep with you and your baby. Someone who can attend to the baby in case you doze off and are not able to wake up at all.

In case you plan to swaddle your child, keep the swaddle loose or avoid swaddling when co-sleeping. Take care of your hair and clothes when co-sleeping with an infant 

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Older siblings should wait for younger siblings to be a year or older to co-sleep with them.

The benefits can easily be listed down as these.

  • Parents and babies both sleep better and sometimes longer.
  • Co-sleeping definitely has great benefits for breast-feeding moms in terms of being able to reach your child easily and cajole him/her back to sleep.
  • Helps reduce the night time separation anxiety.
  • It also helps to improve your breastmilk and controls your stress hormones too.
  • There have always been mixed arguments over the benefits and dangers of co-sleeping. I definitely can’t talk about the over dependence of a child on their parents due to co-sleeping because mine does just fine when away from me. 

I think it’s all about individuality and a parent knowing what’s best for their child. In case you never have never tried co-sleeping, you should try it even if your child is older. Include some  fun games in your bed time routine on days when you have a little less hectic schedule next day, after all their isn’t anything better than family fun.

First published here.


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