How Modern Moms Have Made Co-Sleeping Safe
Co-sleeping has become an increasingly popular practice among modern parents, especially with mothers. There are many different forms of co-sleeping depending on your individual situation such as the age of your children, how many children you have, and what your end goals are for co-sleeping arrangements.
Some of the different kinds of co-sleeping are bed sharing, different beds in the same room, a child sleeping in a parents’ bed as needed, and sidecar type arrangements. You may incorporate some or all forms of co-sleeping into your own parenting, but it’s important to learn how to make sure you are practicing co-sleeping safely.
Thanks to modern moms and researchers, parents have a vast amount of information out there now about how to co-sleep safely.
Some Co-Sleeping Health Benefits
When practiced safely and correctly, there can be many health benefits of co-sleeping. For mothers, studies have shown that it can improve breastfeeding, improve sleep patterns, and even lower stress levels. Many co-sleeping mothers say they are comforted by knowing their child is easily accessible if something goes wrong.
The proximity factor in general can be beneficial for mother and child both psychologically and physiologically. For example, physiologically, babies who co-sleep show certain signs such as steadier body temperatures and more even heartbeats. These are just some of the benefits of co-sleeping.
Unsafe Co-Sleeping and SIDS
If you practice unsafe co-sleeping with a very young child, your child might be at a greater risk for SIDS. SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, occurs when a child dies suddenly in his or her sleep, usually happening to a child under the age of one; new-borns to age 6 months are especially high risk. There is no known specific cause of SIDS; however, bed-sharing, also known as family bed, is one particular co-sleeping form that puts very young babies at a higher risk of SIDS usually through accidental suffocation.
Although bed-sharing is a potentially dangerous form of co-sleeping, the decision is ultimately up to the parent. If you do decide you want to bed share, there are certain precautions that you can take to make it safer.
One of the biggest things to be cautious of is drug and alcohol use. If you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of any drugs or other substances, pharmaceutical or otherwise, avoid having your baby sleep in the same bed as you. Even if a medication is over the counter or prescribed, if it makes you less aware, you could be putting your child at risk in your bed.
Another thing to avoid is swaddling your baby when doing bed-sharing. It can lead to overheating body temperatures for the baby. You should also avoid having older siblings or other children sleep in the same bed as a young baby. If you are a smoker or smoked while you were pregnant, do not sleep with your baby because it can be a risk factor for SIDS.
Co-sleeper cots are one of the best innovations for the practice of safe co-sleeping. They are unique devices that are specially designed to facilitate the sidecar type arrangement of co-sleeping.
Co-sleeper cots are small cribs or bassinettes that have the capacity to lower a wall and attach to a parent’s bed. Then, while three sides of the baby’s cot are intact, you can choose to lower the side attached to the main bed. The baby maintains their own separate sleep surface, which is a big priority for safe co-sleeping, while still being in arm’s reach and even ready for side-nursing.
This arrangement works well because it provides a safe and secure sleep space for the baby but a mom or other caregiver can still easily reach over and check on her baby or breastfeed him or her. Many co-sleeper cots can be used as a stand-alone crib as well. They make many co-sleeper cots that are also travel friendly, so you can take them on a trip out of town or a vacation. More materials about co-sleeper cots can be found at the website from cosleepercots.co.uk.