Is Co Sleeping Bad?
Co-sleeping has long been the preferred—and safe, as long as you choose the right method!—way for families around the world to assure that their babies are getting nurturing rest.
The kind of nurturing rest that uniquely supports baby’s healthy emotional and physical development while helping them feel close and comforted by those they love.
For thousands of years, parents have relied on safe co-sleeping as a necessary tool in their grow-baby-healthy-and-strong toolkit.
Let’s Start at the Beginning: What is Co-Sleeping?
Co-sleeping is often the catch-all term that is used to describe the nurturing experience of sleeping with your baby within arm’s reach.
There are many ways to co-sleep, and co-sleeping will look a little different for every family that practices it.
Some of these co-sleeping methods are safer than others.
In recent years, tools like bedside co sleepers have made it safe, easy, and stress-free to soak in all the benefits of co-sleeping.
Though sleeping in separate bedrooms has become the norm in the Western world, that does not mean that co sleeping is bad.
In fact, studies (like one famously conducted by anthropologist John Whiting) have found that almost 70% of children living around the world sleep in the company of others. (Take a moment to really let those numbers sink in— 70%!)
Despite the overwhelming preference for co-sleeping around the world, in America, Canada, and many countries in Western Europe co-sleeping is finally becoming popular once again.
That’s not because co-sleeping is bad.
In fact, there are many well-documented and well-loved benefits of co sleeping.
Benefits of Co-Sleeping: A Quick Overview
By co-sleeping, baby and parent are able to bond and become close-as-can-be during both their waking and sleeping hours. (Hard to believe, but our sleeping hours account for a third of our day—make them count!)
Baby also benefits from a boosted immune system and better-supported development for their body and mind.
Meanwhile, co-sleeping makes nighttime nursing a breeze for mom while making it quick and easy to respond to crises through the night and guarantee longer and more restful sleep for all.
It shouldn’t be surprising that there are numerous benefits of co sleeping.
Human biology naturally encourages child and parent to seek contact during the night.
You might think it’s simply your love for your child that has you craving a quick hug, kiss, or loving touch during all hours of the day and night (and love is definitely part of it!), but that mutual craving for contact is also just built into our physiology.
That need for contact through the night is something that many cultures around the world understand well.
In Japan, for instance, the most common sleeping position is referred to as kawa no ji (represented by the character for river: 川). The two longer lines in that character represent the parents, while the shorter one represents the child sleeping between.
But in America and other Western cultures, history has set a trend of separating parents and babies during the night.
That’s not because separating parents and babies is better—we’ve just gotten so used to sleeping separately that it’s hard to imagine that another way of sleeping could be more beneficial.
Co-Sleeping Throughout History
The Western world’s interest in sleeping separately can partly be traced back to the 19th century, when it became fashionable to show your wealth by building houses with extra bedrooms and filling those extra bedrooms with plush mattresses and beautiful cribs.
Though collecting mattresses is no longer the in-trend fashion statement it used to be, most families in the Western world continue to encourage their children to sleep in separate rooms.
And while there’s nothing wrong with preferring for your child to sleep in a space separate from yours, over time this became seen as the standard way to sleep in the Western world—which quickly made all other sleeping methods seem like harmful alternatives.
Is Co-Sleeping Bad?
When co sleeping is practiced safely, it delivers a bounty of benefits while helping you feel closer to your child (emotionally and physically!) all night long.
But just like you have to make decisions with safety in mind when preparing a nursery or separate room for your child to sleep in, you need to make safety a priority when deciding the co-sleeping method that works for your family.
Bedside infant co-sleepers make safe co-sleeping easy as can be by gifting baby with a safe, secure, and supported space to sleep by your side.
Your baby gets to drift off into sweet dreams with you within arm’s reach, while you get to enjoy the worry-free rest that comes from knowing you can quickly and easily respond to any nighttime feeding call that comes throughout the night.
And while there may be other ways of co-sleeping out there, there’s only one safe co-sleeping method we can recommend.
With the right bedside sleeper by your side, you’ll never have to wonder Is co-sleeping bad? again. You’ll be able to confidently drift toward dreamland, knowing your baby is safe, happy, and soaking in all the benefits that co-sleeping has to offer.