Benefits of co-sleeping with newborn
Co-sleeping can have many benefits for both newborn and mom so experts encourage it.
Co-sleeping can involve putting the baby to sleep in the same room but in a separate bed. In fact, if the baby is six months or younger, experts recommend that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep, as this is the safest position for them. It decreases chances of sudden infant death syndrome (Sids). This applies to day- and night-time naps.
We caught up with Huggies® expert and midwife Lynne Bluff who shed some light on some of the benefits of co-sleeping with a newborn.
For the first three to four months of life, it is recommended that both parents have skin to skin contact with the baby as much as possible. The baby, with just a nappy on, is placed on the mom’s or dad’s bare chest. Many parents choose to co-sleep with the baby because it allows for such contact.
There are many benefits to co-sleeping!
Here are some of them:
Babies naturally fall into a day- and night-time pattern
It’s not uncommon for newborns to mix up their days and nights. Many babies sleep extra soundly throughout the day but can be restless or wakeful much of the night. Keeping the baby close during the day with lights and noise around can eventually help baby stay a bit more alert in the daytime. Keeping the baby close at night, meeting their needs with a quiet and dim environment, can help them learn to rest more at night. Babies also rest more soundly when they feel secure.
Co-sleeping helps babies practice rousing themselves
While having your newborn falling into and staying in a deep sleep might sound appealing, it is not the type of sleep they were designed for. Co-sleeping babies are frequently roused when close to their moms.This practice can help babies learn to use their self-preservation instinct to wake up when there’s any danger such as being overheated, being too cold or something blocking their airway. Being able to easily wake may reduce the risk of Sids.
Meet baby’s needs without getting up
Most babies need to be fed, soothed and changed at night. If the baby is close by, mom can do all of these things while in bed and remain in a restful state. Getting out of bed, walking down the hall, changing nappies, feeding and soothing baby back to sleep requires being fully awake and alert.
Experience less night-time crying
Babies sleep well when they feel secure. Knowing mom is close will likely help the baby sleep better and fuss-less. Moms that co-sleep are able to notice early signs of hunger and need for nappy change. Often mom can wake during these early signs and meet baby’s needs before they begin to cry. When you co-sleep there is less trying to get baby to settle down to sleep before laying them down. This often means less crying. You aren’t likely to have an overtired baby fussing and protesting being laid down in their cot to sleep.
Co-sleeping helps with bonding and secure attachment
A secure attachment between baby and caregiver is an emotional bond that leaves baby feeling secure and cared for. This attachment translates to a child feeling secure and knowing their caregiver will always return to meet their needs. Children with a secure attachment often respond appropriately to situations, show minimal distress when their mother leaves, and are happy when their mother returns.
Co-sleeping helps with maintaining an adequate milk supply
Feeding on demand helps moms maintain an adequate milk supply. Breast milk production is a supply and demand process. Babies are designed to eat frequently at night and co-sleeping helps to make it easier for mom and baby to meet this need.
Co-sleeping can mean better rest for mom
Mothers are wired for closeness. Studies show that new moms do not experience a better quality of sleep if their babies go to the nursery at night. Co-sleeping may not guarantee more sound sleep for every mom but many sleep better knowing the baby is safe and close by. Moms also release oxytocin when close to their babies. Oxytocin improves sleep quality and it’s also great for breastfeeding.
As your baby grows, he/she may not want to sleep all night, every night, with you. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll eventually find a method that works for you, your partner, and your baby.