What are the Pros & Cons of Co-Sleeping with newborn?


Pros & Cons of Co-Sleeping with newborn

Are you planning to co-sleep with your little one? But hesitating as you are not sure whether to co-sleep or not?

Experts say that the safest place for babies to sleep is in the same room with parents but in a different sleeping surface or arrangement for the first 6 months. 

Some moms consider sharing a room with a baby is safer & convenient to cater to the baby’s needs effectively.

Whereas some consider co-sleeping is not a healthy practice for the baby and parents. 

Co-sleeping is the most talked about and controversial topic.

There are lots of debates and discussions you will find on the internet around this topic in favour of and against co-sleeping. 

I have used mosses basket and slept on a mat on the floor with the baby when needed.  Because, western style of beds that include heavy blankets, loose bedding, duvets, softs mattresses are not safe for babies. 

Co-sleeping is widely followed in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, whereas European countries and North America doesn’t practice co-sleeping that much. 

Experts say not to share the same bed because in the early years due to sleep deprivation and extreme tiredness mothers might end up hurting the baby unintentionally.  

According to NHS, in the UK around 200 babies die unexpectedly even though they are healthy. 

As parents, we need to figure out what works best for your baby and how can you keep your baby safe all the time until at least they turn 6 months.  

What is Co-sleeping?

Co-sleeping is basically a practice of parents and young children sleeping in the same room or same bed. 

You can see your baby, touch, smell, hear, feed, change, cuddle, kiss when you want without leaving your room.  

Sleeping with your tiny human in close proximity is generally considered safe and convenient. 

But it could be risky too at the same time if sharing bed and not taken proper safety measures. 

Types of co-sleeping


Ways you can choose to sleep together with your child in a room are:

1. Bed Sharing: 

This practice of bed-sharing has raised a lot of concerns about the safety of babies. 

Although in a lot of cultures and in different parts of the world it is common to share a bed with a baby. 

Bed-sharing is not recommended if you have a pre-mature baby or younger baby or a baby with low birth weight because:

(a) The soft mattress that we adults sleep in is not designed for babies and loose bedding can obstruct breathing and can cause strangulation.

(b) There is a risk of the baby falling off the bed.

(c) Pillows, sheets, toys, or other items could lead to suffocation.

(d) Older children sleeping in the bed might unintentionally hurt the baby.

(e) They are not able to roll over, move, or developed motor skills to protect themselves.

2. Room Sharing:

The practice of sleeping with parents in the same room but in a different sleeping arrangement. 

The safest place for the initial few months for the baby is to sleep beside your bed in the same room. 

Bassinets, cribs, mosses baskets are the safest sleep choices for the early few months of a baby. 

Safe ways to put baby to sleep in the crib or bassinet in your room are:

(a) Put the baby to sleep on the back always whether at night or day on a flat firm surface.

(b) No sheets, toys, pillows, cushions, nothing should be kept inside the crib or bassinet.

(c) If you are using a baby sleeping bag, nothing better & safer than that. But in case you are using blankets, try tucking them tightly so that it doesn’t slip over their head. 

(d) Tuck the blanket no higher than the shoulders.

(e) Place the baby towards the end of the crib, with feet at the end of the cot. This is done so that baby doesn’t wiggle down under the covers. 

(f) Don’t put hat or socks on baby’s while the baby is indoor. We often do this thinking we are comforting them, but this can overheat the baby. 

(g) Babies don’t need too warm rooms. The ideal room temperature for babies is approx. 16-20 degrees Celsius. 

Pros of co-sleeping:

1. Convenient:


While co-sleeping one doesn’t feel the need to rush when the baby wakes up or cries at night. 

It is much easier to change the baby using a changing mat on the bed or feeding the baby at night, without having to leave the room. 

2. Sleep better when baby sleeping: 

Baby can feel your presence in the room and hence is less stressed. Co-sleeping makes the baby feel assured and comfortable. 

It is believed that the stress hormones are lower in the mothers and babies who co-sleep. 

3. Fully aware: 

A mom who co-sleeps is always aware of all the things about the baby. 

She will know instantly if the baby is feeling uneasy, needs to be changed, has temperature, is feeling cold, woke up, etc. 

One doesn’t need to rely fully on baby monitors or other alerting systems to keep an eye on the baby. 

4. Promotes emotional health:

Co-sleeping gives more bonding time to the working parents with their little ones. 

Studies have shown that co-sleeping has made children more stable, happier, and less anxious. 

Cons of co-sleeping:

1. Co-sleeping could be risky if sharing the same bed:

Sharing a bed with your baby could be dangerous and might cause SIDS. 

There are chances that the baby might get strangled, suffocated, or hurt if sharing the same bed without taking co-sleeping advice into consideration. 

Bed-sharing is not recommended for children below the age of 12 months. As the child grows they can move swiftly, roll over, motor skills develop and they can free themselves from any restrains.  

2. Not much romance between partners: 

If you are sharing a bed or room with your baby, it might affect your love life. 

Not everyone is fine making love when a little one is in the room. 

The bonding time for parents with baby increases and bedroom romance for couples decreases when co-sleeping. 

The practice of co-sleeping leaves very little time for intimacy. 

3. Disturbed Sleep: 

Some mothers might feel restless while sleeping in the same room. 

Apart from feeding and changing nappies, if an older baby kicks then also mother’s sleep gets interrupted.

Often to get proper sleep the other parent ends up sleeping elsewhere. 

4. Difficulty for child to sleep alone if co-slept for longer: 

The child may feel anxiety all of a sudden if you put them to sleep in a different room to sleep alone. 

This is because the child by now might have developed a habit of sleeping with you in the same room. 

A child might find it hard to fall asleep without a parent after sleeping with them for months. 

Pros & Cons of Co-Sleeping with newborn

Guidelines if you are sharing the bed with your child. 

Experts say that baby at least needs to be 12 months old for sleeping together on the same surface. 

For some reason if you need to share a bed, here are some of the guidelines to keep in mind:

(a) Get a firm mattress and never use the same blanket with your child and place the baby on their back for every sleep whether daytime or night. 

(b) Sleep at some distance from your baby so that you don’t hurt the baby when asleep.

(c) Keep pillows, sheets, toys away from baby away from the baby which can obstruct breathing. 

(d) Use sleeping bags instead of tucking blankets/sheets as they are safer and made to keep your baby more comfortable while sleeping. 

(e) Don’t let other children sleep next to the baby on the same bed. Also, place baby next to you and not between you and your partner.

(f) make sure your child doesn’t fall out of bed. Take all precautions to keep the baby safe on the bed to avoid any accidents.   

(g) If you are knackered and don’t have much energy left in you because of your busy schedule. 

(h) Never allow pets on the bed while your baby is asleep.

(i) There should not be any gap or space between your bed and the wall. And there should be no wires or electrical objects close to where your baby sleeps. 

When not to co-sleep with your baby

We as parents co-sleep with our babies to make sure they feel safe, and their needs are met more efficiently. 

But one should know if co-sleeping is really going to be beneficial or dangerous for the baby. 

Here are some of the factors which can cause harm to your baby if you consider co-sleeping:

(a)  If you or your partner smoke or drink or take drugs or on sedatives.

(b)  Don’t consider co-sleeping on the sofa or armchair ever.

(c)  If you think you and your partner often fall out. Arguing does impact babies. Babies can sense stress. 

When should you stop co-sleeping?

Sharing a room with your baby makes the baby feel safe and stress-free. 

You can choose to sleep in the same room with the baby for at least the first 6 months.

The sudden Infant death syndrome peaks between 2 – 4 months of age in babies and decreases after 6 months.

But not recommended that parents and babies share the same bed until your child turns 1 year old.  

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