It's the age old question whether you should be sleeping close to your baby or not! You've heard different opinions from different people. Read more on why most couples are opting to sleep close, and also find out why it can prove to be very harmful for both!
If sleeping close to your baby means putting the crib in your bedroom, then go for it. If that’s what helps you and your baby feel (and sleep) better, then who’s to say otherwise? Many new parents do this during the first weeks and months of their baby’s life because they want to make sure they hear the baby when he/she wakes to be fed. That’s fine, but you show me a baby that doesn’t succeed in letting everyone in the house know they are hungry and I’ll show you a baby made by Mattel®.
Reasons for sleeping close to your baby
Parents may opt to sleep close to their baby because they want to make sure they can hear them if they need anything, but that isn’t the only reason why. Some other reasons to sleep close or share the same room include:
- Not wanting to wake other children in the house
- A desire to feed the baby while resting in bed
- Out of necessity (no other room)
Sleeping close to your baby by sharing the same room does, however, have its drawbacks. Besides the obvious risk of waking your baby while you and your husband are making love, many parents report that their baby’s grunts and groans keeps them awake. They lay there anticipating their baby to wake up at any moment, losing out on valuable sleep. Others report that their husband’s snoring, the television being on and other nightly routines keeps their baby from resting soundly. The question then, would be…what’s so great about sleeping close if no one is really getting any sleep?
Sleeping close…really close
A bed that parents share with their baby is know as a ‘communal bed’. Parents believe that it brings them closer as a couple, and creates a stronger and better bonding experience between the baby and parents (especially dads, since a mum’s bond with her baby is more instinctive). Parents who promote sleeping close (in the same bed) usually report getting a higher quality of sleep. They say this happens due to the fact that when the baby wakes up to eat, the mother can simply put the baby to her breast and can go back to sleep undisturbed right after baby is full.
The cold, hard facts
Whether it’s a cultural thing or something you feel is right for your family, there are a few things you need to know about sleeping close to your baby.
- Allowing your baby to sleep in your bed with you greatly increases their chances of dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Allowing your baby to sleep with you or even in your room is harmful to your sex life.
- Sleeping close often makes your husband feel unneeded and unwanted; pushed out of the relationship.
- Sleeping close, the first 2 to 3 weeks (having baby in your room — not your bed) can help you rest and sleep better.
- Sleeping close, past the first 2 to 3 weeks results in less rest for everyone.
We’ve provided the facts, but ultimately it is up to you as a parent to make this decision for you and your baby’s wellbeing. Tell us if you are sleeping close to your baby now and how it’s working out for you! We’d love to hear from you!
For more on sleeping close to your baby, watch this video: