The most recent issue of Mothering Magazine has a few articles about co-sleeping that I’ve recently been reading. And up until now I never really understood what Co-Sleeping was all about.
Apparently, there is a difference between Co-sleeping and Bedsharing.
Co-sleeping: sleeping in the same room, in close proximity to one’s child, but not necessarily in the same bed.
Bedsharing: sleeping in an adult bed with one’s child.
According to these definitions we are a 100% Co-sleeping family and I’d say about an 80% Bedsharing family. Jude sleeps in the play yard bassinet next to our bed most of the night but inevitably at some point ends up in our bed.
I’d never considered us to be a co-sleeping family but after some research I’ve learn that the benefits greatly outweigh the prospect of Jude sleeping through the night by himself in the other room.
Some of the benefits of co-sleeping are:
A lower risk of SIDS
Babies sleep better when they feel secure
More sleep for parents
May positively effect child’s self esteem long-term
Co-sleeping is actually alot more common than I suspected. 70 percent of new parents beshared at least occasionally. And the idea that infants should sleep alone in their own room is actually a recent and culturally unique phenomenon. In almost all cultures around the world babies and parents co-sleep. Additionally, I learned that most babies don’t sleep through the night and the fact that we expect an infant to have the same sleep patterns as an adult is a source of much misinformation. “Babies do not follow adult patterns of behavior in other areas, such as feeding, motor abilities, and daytime sleep, so it’s logical that babies’ nighttime sleep patterns will also be unique and evolving.”
I’m glad we are a co-sleeping family and I feel that Jude is a secure and happy baby because of it. Sometimes I wish I could have a whole night of uninterupted sleep but I know the time will come when Jude doesn’t want to cuddle up next to me in bed so I better enjoy it while I have it.