Co-sleeping Myths – Busted!

Are you curious about co-sleeping, i.e. letting Baby sleep in bed with you? You’ve probably seen some good things about it on the Sister Lilian Centre Facebook page and blog and maybe even heard some good things from fellow parents. But, you’ve probably also heard lots of bad things about it. Rest assured (pun intended!), co-sleeping isn’t a fad, it’s a proven sleeping arrangement with quite some supportive evidence – and, some might argue, the most natural way of sleeping. These are some co-sleeping myths you’ve probably heard:

Baby keeps Mom and Dad awake

Actually, co-sleeping helps everyone to sleep well! Research has proven that families are comforted by each other’s presence, so when you’re together everyone sleeps better! Besides, how much sleep do you get when you’re constantly getting up to tend to Baby?

Co-sleeping produces spoiled, dependent children

Many parents try to get their tot sleeping in her own room as soon as possible, to prove their parenting worth. However, co-sleeping provides Baby with emotional security and healthy independence.

You won’t all fit

True, not everyone has a family-sized bed, but if things are a bit squashed you can try the puzzle position. Simply get Dad to sleep with his head at the foot of the bed and you’ll all fit in better! If you have a toddler and a newborn, let your toddler sleep at the bottom of the bed too. If necessary, you can also place a ‘bedroll’ on the floor next to your bed for Baby to sleep on, and if she needs you at night, you can easily reach down to her or move her into bed with you.

Your love life will be affected

Being parents means that you’re going to have to get creative anyway. There are many innovative ways to keep your love life on track while nurturing secure children and happy families! Lounge? Kitchen? Bathroom? Children’s room?

There’s more risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

SIDS usually occurs linked to formula feeding, the wrong type of bedding, or the main caregiver being obese, a smoker, or a drug user. Statistically, breastfed babies who sleep close to Mom and aren’t exposed to these factors have the lowest chance of SIDS. For more on cot safety, see 10 Tips for cot safety.

Top five co-sleeping benefits

  1. You and Baby will settle into a healthy sleep pattern quicker and bond better, making parenting easier.
  2. Baby will be less anxious.
  3. Nightly breastfeeding will be easier.
  4. It can help Baby cope with stressful situations like moving house or going on holiday.
  5. It can speed up healing – both physical and emotional – after an illness or injury.