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10 Reasons To Sleep Next To Your Child At Night

1. Family co-sleeping takes full advantage of the ease of breastfeeding, as there is no need to go to another room to get one’s child. A breastfeeding mother in a “family bed” can easily feed her child without having to wake fully, and can continue to get the important rest she needs. Thus co-sleeping encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding and all of its numerous benefits until the child chooses to wean.

2. According to sleep researcher James McKenna, co-sleeping increases the chances that a parent can successfully intervene to help prevent a death, whether that is due to a physiological condition or to a physical accident. He reminds parents that “co-sleeping gives the parent the best opportunity to hear the baby in crisis and to respond.” He adds that “since protection from SIDS may be related to the frequency and duration of breastfeeding, and because babies breastfeed more when co-sleeping, this practice may help to protect some breastfeeding infants.”

3. Gaps in breathing are normal during the early months of infancy, and it is likely that the mother’s breathing provides important cues to her infant, reminding him to take a breath following exhalation, preventing a SIDS situation from developing. Even if this reminder system fails, the mother is nearby to help by arousing the infant. A breastfeeding mother and baby tend to have coordinated sleeping and dreaming cycles, making her keenly sensitive to her baby. If she is sleeping close by, she will awaken if there her baby is having difficulty. But if the baby is alone, this type of life-saving intervention cannot take place.

4. Any nighttime danger to a child is reduced if there is an adult close by. Babies and children have perished in fires, have been sexually abused by visiting relatives, have been abducted from their bed, have been attacked by pets, have suffocated after vomiting, and have died or been injured in various ways that could have been prevented had a parent been nearby to help.

5. Suffocation is often listed as a danger of family co-sleeping. However, this is a real danger in only two situations: a young infant sleeping on a water-bed, thus unable to push himself up when needed, or a parent who is too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to attend to a child’s needs. Obviously, a child who is suffocating for any reason (such as a ribbon on sleepwear getting around her neck, vomiting during sleep, asthmatic attacks) is far more likely to rouse a parent who is sleeping nearby than one sleeping in a different room. A child cared for during the night receives constant reassurance of love and support.
6. Family co-sleeping is often misunderstood as facilitating sexual abuse of children by a parent. However, the opposite is true. Parents who develop deep emotional bonds with their children by remaining close by and responsive at night, as well as during the day, are far less likely to turn to abusive behavior of any kind toward the children they love and cherish. Conversely, the fact that a child sleeps alone has never been adequate protection against a parent who intends sexual trespass, and may even make it easier for one parent to keep such activity secret from the other.

7. Shared sleep can further prevent child abuse by helping all family members to obtain the rest they need, especially if the child is breastfeeding. The child does not have to suffer needlessly or cry to bring his mother, and the mother can nurse half-asleep. The entire family awakes refreshed, with no lingering resentment toward the baby for having disturbed their sleep the night before. An exhausted parent is far more likely to abuse a child than a well-rested mother or father who has enjoyed the presence of a happily resting child through the night.

8. Crying is a signal provided by nature that is meant to disturb the parents to ensure that the baby receives the care he needs. But prolonged crying is stressful to all the family members. The sooner the baby’s needs are met, the more rest the baby and the entire family can have, and the more energy they will have for the next day. A mother sleeping next to her baby can utilize the instinctive response a new mother has to her baby’s first whimper, thus preventing the need for the hard crying that is so stressful to the baby and to all other members of the family.

9. A deeper sense of love and trust often develops between siblings who sleep near each other, lessening sibling rivalry during waking hours. Siblings who share the night as well as the day have a greater opportunity to build a deep and lasting relationship. Babies and children who are separated from other family members during the day (parents at work, siblings at school) can partially make up for these absences and reestablish important emotional bonds by spending time at night together, and by the delightful early morning family time that is otherwise often missed. Of course, home businesses and unschooling can minimize separations and deepen family bonds during the day, just as co-sleeping does at night.

10. Studies of adults in coma have shown that the presence of another person in the room significantly improves heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure. It seems reasonable to assume that infants and children derive similar health benefits to having others in the same room with them.

A child who is cared for during the night as well as the day receives constant reassurance of love and support, instead of having to cope with feelings of fear, anger, and abandonment night after night. Children who have felt safe through the night as well as the day with a loving parent close by become adults who cope better with the inevitable stresses life brings. As John Holt put it so eloquently, having feelings of love and safety in early life, far from “spoiling” a child, is like “money in the bank”: a fund of trust, self-esteem and inner security which the child can draw on throughout life’s challenges.

Hanz’s Note : This great article was written by Jan Hunt from The Natural Child Project. Thanks for sharing this great article and I love to share all about natural parenting here, from today onwards.

October 7, 2009 - Posted by | Attachment Parenting, Hanz's Notes, Just Baby, Just Toddler, Natural Parenting, Worth-read Articles


  1. i choose to co-sleep coz both mom & child sleep better..both parties feels secured by the warmth on love….

    Comment by Mama-Miya a.k.a Jedi Hopeful a.k.a Proud Zakiah Khairani | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. i choose to co sleeping sb sng nak bfeed n tak pyh bgun dua tiga kali sepnjng mlm..mula2 dulu mmg ltak dlm cot gak, but mkin bsar dia asyik bngun je..kita pun tak ckup tido..trus ltak ats ktil skli..huhu..skrg dia yang suka landa org smpi abahnye mcm nak jtuh katil jerk..huhucamana nak ajar tido separate bed??

    Comment by Lady Qay | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. hmm..xsanggup la tdo separate bed..xbest,sronot bgn pagi tgk anak pun duk golek² sebelah kita..xpun pepagi anak duk tepuk muker kejut kiter bgn tdo..moment tau waktu tu..seronok..dat's y i PRO CO-SLEEPING ni..

    Comment by mamanoa | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. i selalu pelik macam mane mat saleh leh tidur bilik asing-asing dengan baby dia. pastu pakai walkie talkie yang ade gambar tu nak tgk anak dia. tidur same kan senang.

    Comment by azzamoro | October 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. Me pun suka natural parenting..kat Msia nie normal kot tido sekali ngan anak.. including me, apatah lagi sekarang nie bfeed.. Cuma bila dah besar skit ,tak pun dah sekolah kene la separate bed sebab kene ajar tido berasingan untuk anak lelaki dan anak perempuan dan parent..

    Comment by nadnye | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  6. hehe..i patut fwd this article to my husband..die nak sgt asingkan afif tido..sian afif nnt tido soyang2..

    Comment by Farah | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  7. Mama-Miya : Setuju belaka… :>Lady Qay : Tahan jelah, kan..he,he, senasiblah kita…Mamanoa : Baby Hambali siap boleh cak2 lagi tengah2 malam ngan kitaorang, kadang2 dalam gelap2 tu namapk bulat jer mata dia bila dia buka sekejap nak confirm mama + nenen ada dekatAzza : Mat2 saleh dulu mmg camtu tapi skarang diorang pulak sakan kempen natural parenting..Nadnye : Betul, asian ppl co-sleeping ni normal..Farah : Nak forward?Boleh ajer..sila2 :>

    Comment by Hanz | October 8, 2009 | Reply

  8. yeah sleeping with child is important, as you can check on them if they have blanket on. My friend always check if baby is breathing and how baby sleep.

    Comment by Sherry | October 15, 2009 | Reply

  9. I prefer to co-sleep, koz for safety reason. Easy to respond to any unusual activity in the bedroom.Like my sister, during the day, while she's doing her house chores, dia akan letak baby dia kat dlm bilik and she will monitor her baby thru walkie-talkie.I think its up to each parents how they want their babies to been brought-up like. If they want their baby to sleep in different room, in order to teach them to be independent, then its a good reason for not to co-sleep.

    Comment by SueRosly | November 5, 2009 | Reply

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