Is it good to co-sleep with your baby? | Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Is it good to co-sleep with your baby?

co-sleeping with baby

Sleep is very important for humans. For babies, sleep is very important because it is during sleep that the growth hormone begins to appear, especially when the baby is in deep sleep. In addition to babies, sleep is also important for parents because with good sleep, parents get enough rest to be able to return to activities and take care of their babies.

 

There are parents who sleep with their babies or commonly known as co-sleeping , there are also parents who sleep in different places or rooms with their babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that co-sleeping increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , also known as SIDS. In 1963 it was found that in every 1000 babies, 3 babies died from sleeping with adults or sleeping on their stomach. So the AAP recommends that babies always fall asleep with their backs down and this makes the SIDS rate decrease significantly.

 

There is also another opinion which states that when babies are co-sleeping with their parents they tend to be more difficult to train to sleep (sleep training). Parents also find it difficult to rest peacefully because they are awakened by a crying baby. 

 

But,  is sleeping with your baby, or co-sleeping always unsafe and bad for babies and parents?

 

An anthropologist, McKenna, discovered when babies sleep with their parents. The baby's parents act as external regulators of the baby. It was found that parents and babies who sleep together have heart rate, brain waves, oxygen levels, temperature, and breathing that affect each other. McKenna, a biological anthropologist, found that parents and babies who sleep together usually sleep more lightly and rouse. The effect is that even though parents are easier to wake up and this is safer. In addition, parents who sleep with their babies also tend to feel more safe than parents who sleep apart from their babies because it is a natural biological process.

 

Getter, et al. (2012) also found a positive impact of fathers sleeping with their babies. From his research on 362 fathers in the Philippines, it was found that fathers who slept together with their babies had lower levels of testosterone, a hormone that can trigger increased stress levels, than fathers who slept separately with their babies. It was found that men with lower levels of the hormone testosterone are usually more sensitive and responsive to their babies. These two traits, being sensitive and responsive to the baby's needs are positive things for parenting, making dads with low testosterone levels better dads.

 

Then what if the baby becomes so dependent on his parents that he can't sleep independently?

 

Parents don't need to worry because it doesn't mean babies who are co-sleeping will always be dependent and can't sleep independently. Babies who do co-sleeping can begin to be trained to sleep alone at the age of one year. It was also found that babies who did co-sleeping had higher self-confidence and were more independent than babies who slept separately from their parents. 

 

Co-sleeping behavior is proven to have many benefits for both babies and their parents. However, every family has its own preferences and reasons for the behavior of parents sleeping with their children. Parents are advised to choose a sleep behavior style that is more comfortable and appropriate for their individual needs. 



 

Written by: Kunthi Kumalasari Hardi, M.Ed., BCBA from @BehaviorPALS center


 

Bibliography:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_cosleeping_can_help_you_and_your_baby

 

Gettler, LT, McKenna, JJ, McDade, TW, Agustin, SS, & Kuzawa, CW (2012). Does cosleeping contribute to lower testosterone levels in fathers? Evidence from the Philippines. PloS one, 7(9), e41559. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0041559


 

co-sleeping, baby

Newborn 0 - 6 Months / Newborn 0 - 6 Bulan / Cognitive Development / Tumbuh Kembang Kognitif / Education / Pendidikan / Is it good to co-sleep with your baby?

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