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. 

co-sleeping babybay happy baby

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 in70%!)

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 sleeper babybay dad

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. 

babybay safe cosleeper

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. safe co sleeper babybay

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. 

co sleep with babybayBedside 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. 

What Is Co Sleeping and How Do I Know if It’s Right for My Baby?

What is Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping is often used as a catch-all term to describe the experience of sleeping with your baby close by.

Co-sleeping may look a little different for every family. Parents may lay their child in a safe bedside sleeper that attaches to the side of their own bed, or they might share a bedroom with their child but encourage baby to sleep in a separate crib. They might even sleep with their baby nestled up against them all through the night. 

cosleeper baby bed babybay

Though there are many ways to cosleep, some are far safer than others. (Bedside sleepers, we’re looking at you and giving you a gold star!) 

But all forms of co-sleeping have one thing in common: they’ve been the safe sleeping practice preferred by families throughout history. 

Though parents in many modern Western countries have popularized separate bedrooms and detached cribs, for thousands of years going to sleep curled up near your newborn has been the norm. 

In fact, parents from many different cultures have long understood that cosleeping promotes healthy emotional and physical development while bonding you and your baby, easing the stress of nighttime nursing, and gifting everyone in the house a more restful night of rest. 

(A full night of rest—now that’s something at the top of every new parent’s wish list!)

But as soon as mattresses and cribs became the new in-trend home fashion statement of the 19th century, parents in the Western world increasingly kicked children out of their own beds and moved them into mattresses and rooms of their own. 

In America, Canada, and Europe, some parents continue to boot children out of their own bedroom and encourage them to sleep through the night alone. 

However, anthropologist John Whiting surveyed 186 cultures and found that solitary sleeping might be a Western trend, but it’s far from a universal norm. He discovered that almost 70% of children living and growing around the world sleep in the company of others. 

That proves that co-sleeping isn’t just a trend—it’s the most popular and longest-loved sleeping practice in history.

What are common cosleeping benefits?

To grow healthily in body and mind, your baby needs to be able to receive—and respond to—a ton of sensory feedback. When babies are shut alone in their room at night, they lose the opportunity to grow their sensory awareness during their sleeping hours. 

But when babies are able to sleep close to others, they learn to bond and build meaningful connections while learning, growing, and developing an ability to separate and identify different sensory input. 

This helps them breathe more regularly, while experiencing less stress overall by learning what it feels like to be safe, secure, and protected. co sleeping bed babybay 

(And that’s good news—because when babies are less stressed, they put more energy into healthy growth and reap the rewards of a healthier immune system!)

But your baby isn’t the only one who benefits from co-sleeping. Parents are able to care for their own bodies and minds by making nighttime nursing easier and getting a few much-needed extra hours of shut-eye. 

What is the difference between co-sleeping and bedsharing?

Many parents who start to explore co-sleeping will find another term pop up in their suggested searches: bed sharing. 

Bed-sharing is just as it sounds—it’s the practice of inviting your newborn not just into your bedroom, but onto your mattress as well. 

Though bed sharing may boast some of the same benefits as other forms of co-sleeping—including increased bonding between parents and child and a less stressful night’s sleep for all—it can also be far less safe.

The feather-topped, super-soft, oh-so-pillowy mattresses that most of the Western world prefers can’t properly support your baby throughout the night. Your baby needs firmness and stability under their body while they sleep to ensure their body’s healthy growth. 

Though baby will love having you nearby as they rest, they won’t love your sleeping surface. 

Nor will they love all the extra blankets, pillows, and other comfort materials that adults love to cocoon in. 

As comfy as it might be for adults to tuck into a long night surrounded by a cloud of goose down, those comfort items can easily get wrapped around your baby throughout the night and lead to unsafe situations. 

That’s why parents should choose safe sleep for babies when setting up their environment. 

By choosing a bedside sleeper that fits flush against their bed, parents can control the specifics of their baby’s environment. 

(The first step? Pick a bedside co sleeper that’s right for baby and right for your room!) 

Baby can sleep securely nestled within an arm’s reach of their parents, but feel comforted and protected on a mattress that is firm enough to support them and ensure safe sleeping. They can receive, learn, and grow from all the sensory input they receive throughout the night—while their parents sleep soundly knowing that they are safe in a bedside sleeper built just for them.