When you have a newborn, you want to be near her at all times. It’s just too early for both of you to separate abruptly. Some people believe that even as their baby grows, she belongs in her parents’ bed. Proponents of co-sleeping say that breastfeeding is more convenient, that babies fall asleep easier and that the family bed gives working parents more time to regain closeness with their baby. But, co-sleeping is controversial for many reasons.
You place your baby at risk of suffocation when you put him in your bed. You can roll over and on top of your baby while you sleep. Proponents of co-sleeping say that this doesn’t happen because parents, even in sleep, are aware of the baby. But that doesn’t explain the 121 deaths from 1990 to 1997 caused by that very reason — a parent, caregiver or sibling rolling on top of the baby during sleep. More than 100 infants died between 1999 and 2001 in a parent’s bed from suffocating after being trapped between the mattress and the headboard or wall or from being face down on a soft mattress or soft bedding.
Bad Night’s Sleep
Parents and their children typically don’t sleep as well in the same bed as they do in separate beds. Additionally, babies can come to associate you with sleep, which could become a problem when you want to put your baby down for a nap or if you want your baby to go to bed earlier than you do.
With a baby in your bed, it is difficult to be sexual with your partner. If you intend to co-sleep with your baby, your partner has to be on the same page; otherwise, you are going to have problems. And, being on the same page does not mean that you want it to happen, so it will. Your partner must be as enthusiastic as you are.
Your Child’s Independence
One way a child gains independence is learning to separate from you without anxiety. Sleeping in her own bed is one way your child starts to view herself as an individual. If you sleep with your baby for six months, it will probably be difficult to get her into her own bed until she is 2 to 4 years old.
Avoid sleeping in the same bed with your child to assuage your own lonely feelings. If you are a single parent or if your partner is out of town and you encourage your child to sleep with you for company, you are using your child to solve your problems. Also, taking your child to bed with you so that you can avoid being intimate with your partner is dysfunctional, making your child play a role in your troubles.