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If you are a new or expecting parent, you may have heard the phrase “co-sleeping”. If you don’t know what co-sleeping is, co-sleeping is when young children or babies sleep near their parents.
Co-sleeping has become a popular practice in recent years. However, before you decide to practice co-sleeping with your children, it is first important to learn more about co-sleeping, risks associated with certain forms, and ways to do it safely in order to prevent harm to your child in the process.
Benefits of Co-Sleeping
There are many benefits of co-sleeping that have made it a popular practice. Different studies have shown that co-sleeping can be beneficial to mothers and their children in several ways. For example, for mothers who decide to breastfeed, co-sleeping can be helpful because it has been shown to improve breastfeeding. In addition, co-sleeping can reduce exhaustion by allowing parents to get more sleep.
Co-sleeping has the potential to reduce stress hormones in participating babies and mothers. Similarly, studies have shown that co-sleeping children have demonstrated certain beneficial physiological effects. Some of these physiological effects include more regular heartbeats, fewer extended pauses while breathing, and more stable body temperatures.
Co-Sleeping and SIDS
One of the risks associated with co-sleeping is SIDS, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Sudden Infant Death syndrome, also sometimes referred to as crib death and cot death, is when a child under the age of one dies suddenly in his or her sleep. Although there is no exact cause of SIDS known, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely to occur.
Dangers of Bed-Sharing
One trigger for SIDS can be accidental suffocation, which has some important connections to co-sleeping. One form of co-sleeping is bed-sharing, which is when babies and young children actually sleep in the same bed as their parents.
However, bed-sharing is potentially dangerous for young infants because it can contribute to SIDS. Excessive bedding and heat from a parent’s bed and the body itself of the parent can accidentally suffocate or kill an infant.
How to Practice Safe Co-Sleeping with Co-Sleeper Cots
There are ways to successfully co-sleep with your young one while being safe and without the dangers of bed-sharing. One of the best methods for co-sleeping safely with your baby is to use a co-sleeper cot.
Co-sleeper cots, also known as co-sleeper cribs, are specially designed bassinettes/cribs that give the child his or her own safe sleep space but still allows the child to be close to their parents and within arm’s reach, so both parent and baby can feel each other’s presence.
How Co-Sleeper Cots Work
There are several different types of co-sleeper cots. Some of the more basic sleeper cots available can be placed on the bed next to you. There are also co-sleeper cots that can be placed on their own next to your own bed and then lowered and attached to your bed. Many co-sleeper cots also double as a stand-alone crib if needed. More information about co-sleeper cots can be found at https://www.cosleepercots.co.uk/.
Other Ways to Practice Safe Co-Sleeping
One of the biggest ways to practice safe co-sleeping with young infants and lower the risk of SIDS is to avoid bed-sharing, that is, by using co-sleeper cots. There are other smart precautions to take in addition to that.
For example, when you lay your child down to sleep in their crib or co-sleeper cot, make sure to place them on their back instead of their side or stomach to reducethe risk of SIDS. The back is the safest sleeping position for young babies.
You should also remove any unnecessary items in the sleep space for children under the age of one. This includes things like excessive clothing, excessive bedding, stuffed animals, etc. You should also maintain a good constant temperature in the room and avoid big drops or increases in temperature.