Parents or those about to be sure have heard of co-sleeping. The Dictionary of the Royal Academy of Language does not include the word, but it is defined as ‘ sharing a bed ‘, in this case with a child, be it a baby or a child, if we extend it over time.
Babies need constant and direct contact with their mother , especially in the first months of birth, and sharing a bed is a way of maintaining an attachment that will facilitate the child’s development.
There are no known negative effects of co-sleeping, beyond being able to resent the intimacy of the couple somewhat. If it reassures the mother, that she has the baby at hand and, especially if she is a first-timer, it allows direct monitoring of the newborn’s breathing and movements.
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics does not recommend it, but does not advise against it either . It leaves it to the discretion of the parents, although it does give some keys to practice co-sleeping safely : that the baby is more than three months old, that it is not premature, that the parents do not smoke, drink alcohol or take medications with effect sedative, as well as that it is not practiced on soft surfaces such as water beds.
Complying with these premises, co-sleeping has multiple advantages, such as the promotion of breastfeeding -and the reduction of the risk of sudden death- and the rest of parents and babies, in addition to being a recommendation of all respectful parenting manuals since encourages attachment .
There are many accessories on the market for co-sleeping since it is an increasingly widespread practice, although the star product is the mini-cot and the co-sleeping cot .
The debate of all the experts and of the parents themselves, fueled by the opinions of relatives who can describe the mother as a ‘teddy bear’ of the baby, usually older, is about when to take the child out of the bed of the fathers. There is no specific age, although it will be more complicated as long as the baby keeps waking up at night to feed, which usually lasts until the first birthday.

Advantages of co-sleeping for the baby and parents

Co-sleeping, the practice of parents sharing a bed with their babies , is becoming more widespread, perhaps encouraged by a new way of parenting that is more respectful of the growth rate of the newborn and also adapted to the pace of life of their parents, who need to sleep to continue with their work obligations.
It has multiple advantages, beyond promoting attachment with the little one, who needs to feel close to the warmth of his mother.
The main attribute of co-sleeping is that it encourages breastfeeding, the pre-eminent form of feeding, recommended exclusively by midwives and pediatricians from birth to the sixth month of life, up to one year of life as the main food and up to two years as recommended milk.
During the night, a greater amount of prolactin is produced , the hormone that increases milk production, so nursing at night makes the baby ensure daily intakes. If the child has the breast at hand during the night, he will not have to cry to ask for it , which will make him and his mother rest better, in addition to the fact that breast milk changes its composition at night, being richer in tryptophan, which favors the dream.
This night feeding also prevents low blood sugar or hypoglycemiain infants and there are fewer cases of suffocation, which is why it is also a factor in combating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
By avoiding the child’s disconsolate crying, it has been proven that co-sleeping reduces stressful situations for the baby , which in turn contributes to fostering the emotional bond with their caregivers and the child’s neurological development.
There are studies that relate co-sleeping with better academic performance and healthier and more balanced adults, although in Spain this issue has not been treated scientifically because it is far from the figures for this practice compared to other European countries (24% of Italian families do so). practice).
In short, co-sleeping is a family decision, of upbringing, in which no one else should intervene other than the parents and the child himself, who at a certain age may show his need to leave the nest and go alone to his room.

Safe co-sleeping: accessories and supplies

Practicing co-sleeping is a trend among new parents, especially first-timers, who need to feel close to their baby and who see how sharing a bed gives them better rest -at least in the first months- and reduces nighttime awakenings .
Although it is considered a safe practice as long as the baby is more than three months old, has not been premature and the parents do not drink alcohol or take sleeping pills or tranquilizers, there are certain elements that can make it more reliable.
The star accessory isco-sleeping crib or mini-crib . The baby’s bed is fixed to the double bed and serves as an annex where the baby can lie down, maintaining closeness and contact.
In the market there are different types and prices, which serve from birth until almost when the child is two or three years old, depending on the size.
The rails for double beds can also be useful for co-sleeping. They prevent the child from falling when he is able to move freely around the bed.
Before that happens, the nest crib is an option to keep the little one protected in the same bed as the parents.
Regarding bed clothing, it is recommended, as with normal cribs, to avoid the use of sheets, blankets and quilts and opt for bags for the baby, which reduce the risk of suffocation, using Nordic to cover the parents.

When to abandon co-sleeping

It is a purely family decision, which may depend on the extent of breastfeeding.Co-sleeping can save the family dream in the first months of a baby’s life and favor breastfeeding during the first year, but it can also become a couple problem when the two members do not share the decision to proceed to ‘undo’ the child .
Complaints of the type “you are the child’s teddy bear and his pacifier” do not promote marital peaceand it can cause mixed feelings in the mother, who wants to combine the well-being of her puppy with her own rest to perform in an increasingly demanding world of work, in addition to wanting to maintain a satisfying intimate relationship with her counterpart.
On the other hand, keeping the baby in bed against the father’s judgment can make the father feel left out of parenting decisions.
There is no recommended age to leave co-sleeping. If it is left to the discretion of the child, it can be from the age of three, when they begin to show signs of wanting independence and it can be encouraged through play and dialogue .
If you want to maintain breastfeeding, the ideal is to continue co-sleeping until the first year. Until then, sleeping with the baby ensures milk production thanks to the increase in prolactin at night. If it is ‘undocked’ before that age, nighttime awakenings will be maintained to feed, either with the breast or with a bottle.
If parents let themselves be carried away by natural parenting, the baby’s own growth will set the tone : better sleep, varied nutrition, progressive weaning… may be the keys that direct the way of the little offspring towards his bedroom.

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