Posted on 07/07/2014

The Pros and Cons of Bed Sharing

Baby/ Birthing/ Family/ Social Time/ Toddler
Credit:  Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr Creative Commons

Credit: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr Creative Commons

I’m not going to tell you to co-sleep, I know a lot of people who are against it due to SIDS, and I tend to agree and disagree with that. I bought the expensive crib and organic mattress for my daughter, S, before she was born. It was all set up and ready, along with a bassinet to use for the first month or so depending on her weight and size (which ended up being huge but healthy due to her on-demand breastfeeding). But when I held S the first time I didn’t want to let her go. I must have stayed up three days straight (like most new parents) because I couldn’t bare to put her in the baby bed next to my hospital bed, or in her bassinet after that. Instead of sleeping when she was sleeping I gazed at her in amazement.

When we first went home I tried putting S in the bassinet but ended up falling asleep next to her while she breastfed, or picking her up because I was worried she would choke due to her reflux if she was flat on her back in the crib. Honestly, you have to be smart about co-sleeping. I knew for certain that I don’t roll in my sleep, and I’m a very light sleeper when it comes to her making a sound. After she would fall asleep I would keep my arm under her for elevation and comfort, but scoot to give her space. But co-sleeping has worked for us, and is definitely a great option for some families, if you understand the pros and cons.

If you’re struggling with making the decision to co-sleep or not co-sleep, think about if you feel the same as I did when my daughter was born, and consider the below pros and cons. If you have more to add please share them in the comments section below!

Baby Co-Sleeping Pros

  • Easy breastfeeding in the middle of the night
  • Baby is in arm’s reach
  • Bonds mom and baby more
  • More sleep for parents (less waking up and walking around the house)
  • Saves space for families who share one room or a small home/apartment
  • Saves money by skipping the crib
  • Less items to bring when traveling with baby (no need for a portable crib!)
  • Beneficial skin-to-skin contact
  • Promotes breastfeeding

Baby Co-Sleeping Cons

  • Overnight vacations without the little one are non-existent
  • Less room in the bed for parents
  • There’s a higher risk for SIDS or accidents if you’re not careful
  • You have to sell the crib you bought before baby was born
  • Not all relatives will be understanding

Toddler Co-Sleeping Pros

  • Builds child’s sense of security in a fast changing world
  • Safely sleeping in the same room with parent(s) in case of emergency or home invasion
  • More sleep for everyone
  • Saves space for families who share one room or a small home/apartment
  • Saves money by skipping the crib or toddler bed (and eventually just going to a full size bed)
  • Even if you don’t co-sleep, little ones end up going to their parents’ room in the middle of the night at times, so this isn’t too different

Toddler Co-Sleeping Cons

  • By this age parents may want the bed to themselves
  • Some children take longer to sleep alone after co-sleeping this length of time
  • Overnight vacations without the little one are non-existent
  • You need to sell any furniture already purchased for your toddler as a baby

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