Popular media has tried to discourage parents from sharing sleep with their babies, calling this worldwide practice unsafe.
Medical science, however, doesn’t back this conclusion and prove the benefits of co-sleeping. In fact, research shows that co-sleeping is actually safer than sleeping alone.
Here are the top 7 Myths about Co-Sleeping
Myth #1: Co-sleeping is dangerousIt's common to be fearful of co-sleeping, especially because reputable organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, say letting baby sleep in your bed is a SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) risk.
Co-sleeping actually reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome as babies actually spend more time sleeping on their back or side, research shows that the carbon dioxide exhaled by a parent actually works to stimulate baby’s breathing.
Myth #2: None of your friends are co-SleepingMore than 80 percent of breastfeeding mothers co-sleep with their children and that the majority of parents do it at some point or another.
Research shows that co-sleeping infants virtually never startle during sleep and rarely cry during the night, compared to solo sleepers who startle repeatedly throughout the night and spend times the number of minutes crying.
Myth #3: Babies who co-sleep are spoiled
Babies settle when they are next to their mother, whether the mother is co-sleeping or just holding baby. Babies are designed to do this, and it is important to their development. They depend on the mother
Studies show that infants who sleep near to parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms, and fewer long pauses in breathing compared to babies who sleep alone. This means babies who co-sleep are physiologically safer.
Myth #4: Baby will never learn independence if he/she co-sleeps.
Studies have revealed that co-sleeping babies often grow to be less fearful and more independent than their non-co-sleeping counterparts. Co-sleeping with the mother supports the baby. Babies respond to the noises, motions and reactions of the mother.
Co-sleeping babies grow up with a higher self-esteem, less anxiety, become independent sooner, are better behaved in school, and are more comfortable with affection. They also have less psychiatric problems.
Myth #5: Co-sleeping will kill the romance between you and your partner.There is no data to support the idea that baby co-sleeping will do this. Co-sleeping is an agreement you make before baby comes
We know some parents who say having their child sleep with them just forces them to get creative about where and when ... and that makes it kind of fun.
Myth #6: A child needs to sleep alone at night.Babies need sensory distinctions. They need to hear, listen and react based on their mother or father. It is normal and primitive. To put baby alone in a room and close the door does not help baby learn, grow and develop those sensory distinctions
Research shows that co-sleeping infants virtually never startle. Startling and crying releases adrenaline, which increases heart rate and blood pressure, interferes with restful sleep and leads to long term sleep anxiety.
Myth #7: Co-sleeping parents are irresponsible.Society and people assume that it's okay to judge co-sleeping, separate-surface co-sleeping and bed sharing. Parents have the right to decide what is right for them, what's safe for them, what works best for them and baby, and what is the best practice they will follow
In most of the rest of the world...parents think it’s downright cruel to put a baby in a separate room or even a separate bed. Who would be so heartless?
If Americans looked to parents in other cultures, they would perhaps realize that the “best” way to raise a child is not necessarily the most difficult, and ease up a bit.
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