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The Case For Co Sleeping Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

Every new parent wishes they were getting more sleep or better sleep. Co-sleeping can be advantageous for both mother and child. There are many benefits to co-sleeping and some key safety tips as well.
Babies are biologically made to stay close to their mothers. They are predesigned to survive, grow and thrive on human milk. They are also born with very tiny tummies that require frequent feedings. All of these needs are much easier to attend to if baby is sleeping next to his mother. Also, from an evolutionary perspective, across all mammals, humans are born very helpless and mature slowly. Thousands of years ago a baby left to sleep alone was not likely to survive very long. Cosleeping is ...view middle of the document...

I believe for most of us these safety precautions are fairly easily attainable.
In addition to safety guidelines on how to sleep next to your baby in bed there are some things you shouldn’t do. You should not cosleep anywhere other than a bed (Co-Sleeping Safety). Couches and recliners are not a safe option (Co-Sleeping Safety). You should also avoid sleeping where there are cracks the baby could roll into (Co-Sleeping Safety). Do not leave you baby to sleep alone on an adult bed (Co-Sleeping Safety). Also, “Parents of newborns can often be extremely exhausted. If you are overly tired, you may wish to be more cautious than usual as your extreme exhaustion may result in you being less easily woken or more likely to roll over the baby or pull covers up over the baby's head. It may be best to have your baby sleep on a separate surface in those instances, but still close by” (Co-Sleeping Safety).
Dr. William Sears suggests that, “In those infants at risk for SIDS, natural mothering [unrestricted breastfeeding and sharing sleep with baby] will lower the risk of SIDS” (Sears, "Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives"). Sears goes on to discuss the physiological reasons sharing sleep is beneficial. Babies who cosleep will also breastfeed more often, giving them more immunity (Sears). For the mother, night nursing will increase prolactin production which can lead to an increased awareness of baby(Sears). Also, the mother’s body will provide heat regulation for baby (Sears). I have found that with my baby sleeping next to me I am better able to sleep and better able to meet the needs of my infant.
James J. McKenna also says, “irrepressible (ancient) neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation” ("Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives"). So a healthy and warm baby with an attentive mother, as a result of cosleeping, is a very beneficial outcome! These are things that, as mothers, we may not be measuring but can truly be felt. When your baby is lying beside you, you will wake to feed her...

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