Co-sleeping with an infant: Is it beneficial to babies?

Answers if co-sleeping with the infant is beneficiary for them

By Aey
Co-sleeping with an infant: Is it beneficial to babies?

In this day and age new concepts about establishing a stronger bond with your infant emerge every other day. One such trend which is often talked about these days is co-sleeping i.e. sleeping with your baby near you or in the same room. This trend is particularly popular because of its many benefits in creating a solid emotional bond and attachment between the caregivers and the baby.

This connection not only helps mothers understand their babies better but also helps them fulfill their baby’s needs effectively. Assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of co-sleeping in this article will help you decide whether to co-sleep with your baby or not.

What infant co-sleeping and sleep-sharing means

Co-sleeping with your baby is basically ensuring that when you sleep your baby is near you, either in a baby basket or a cot placed by your bed. It is sharing a room with your baby and ensuring that your baby is aware of your presence nearby.

Benefits of co-sleeping

Co-sleeping with your baby is basically ensuring that when you sleep your baby is near you, either in a baby basket or a cot placed by your bed. It is sharing a room with your baby and ensuring that your baby is aware of your presence nearby.

1. Breastfeeding is easy

One of the biggest advantages of co-sleeping with your baby is that it makes breastfeeding for mothers really easy. This is because you are able to respond to your baby better when he is hungry and needs to be fed. This also sometimes means that babies who co-sleep are more likely to be breastfed more than babies who sleep separately from their mothers.

The best part about co-sleeping is that you don’t have to be fully awake to breastfeed your baby. This makes going back to sleep easier for mothers and babies. Also, mothers who breastfeed in bed are likely to feed their babies longer than the mothers that don’t. This is good for your baby because a longer feed would mean less frequent feeds throughout the sleep cycle. Typically, mothers prefer and encourage co-sleeping in the initial six months after the baby is born as this is when the baby needs to be fed more often.

2. Better rest for mothers

Many mothers after giving birth fall into the pattern of sleep deprivation which can be harmful to their health as well as the health of their baby. Therefore it is important that a mother gets sufficient sleep after delivering her baby in order to take the best care of her child. Co-sleeping can significantly help new mothers rest better.

Co-sleeping with your baby helps mothers sleep better primarily because they are more relaxed and less worried. Having the baby around soothes new mothers as their babies safety is reaffirmed through having them close while sleeping.

Mothers release oxytocin hormone also known as the cuddle hormone which helps mothers sleep better when they are near their baby. The oxytocin hormone is known to not only improve the quality of sleep for both mother and child but it is also great for breastfeeding mothers.

3. Co-sleeping can regularize your babies sleep schedule

When a baby is born, in the first six months they spend the majority of their time sleeping. They sleep So much that babies often do not have a night or daytime schedule. Co-sleeping helps regularize a baby’s sleep schedule and helps the mother and the baby sleep well.

For this to work, a mother must ensure that when her baby sleeps in the day it is near her and in a place where he can hear her and the surroundings. This will set the stage for a better sleep at night when the mother and child are co-sleeping. This way a baby can sleep more soundly with dim lights and close comfort of his mother and is less likely to wake up at night.

4. Meeting all your baby’s needs

Mother and a newborn co-sleeping enable the mother to take better care of the baby by meeting all of the baby’s needs. A mother becomes accustomed to the baby sleeping next to her and will be able to spot cues when her baby is uncomfortable in sleep. Whether it is a diaper change, feed time, or gastric issues, a mother is better able to meet her baby’s requirements when they are co-sleeping. Co-sleeping also means no extra trips from the bed to the other room to change diapers or feed. A mother can easily fulfill all her baby’s needs while staying in the room.

5. Stronger bond and attachment

Having a strong bond and attachment with your baby is what every caregiver wants as it helps build an emotional bond between the baby and the mother which makes the baby feel secure and safe. This attachment between the mother and the baby helps in later years as well when the child is growing up. The attachment and bond fostered by love and affection help a child grow up to be more confident and bold. It also gives the child a sense of security which is important for his cognitive development and social skills development, making co-sleeping very beneficial for your baby.

This sense of security developed through co-sleeping translates into lesser night-time crying episodes. As your baby is sleeping close to you he can sense your presence and is less likely to wake up from night frights. It also gives mothers a chance to be more prepared for their baby. For instance, before a baby starts crying fully he may make small muffled sounds which can be quickly soothed if the mother is sleeping nearby and thereby can control a tantrum.

Night feeds when you share a bed with baby

When you are sharing a bed with your baby, you become more familiar with your baby and it becomes easier for you to tell what your baby needs. Night time feeding is one thing that also becomes easier to manage when your baby is sleeping near you. Night feeds which may start as breastfeeding in the initial months can later turn to night weaning. In the initial months, the baby is dependent on the mother for milk and night feeds are common. However, as the baby grows older the mother has to try and ensure that the baby becomes less dependent on breast milk or in other words accustomed to night weaning. A mother must, therefore, ensure that she feeds the baby maximum in the daytime so the baby can wake less frequently at night for milk. By co-sleeping, a mother can manage this aspect much more efficiently.

Risks when you co-sleep

1. Sudden Infant death syndrome (SIDS)

One of the biggest reasons why people do not encourage co-sleeping is the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) where a baby suddenly dies. While many people argue that co-sleeping can reduce the risk of SIDS amongst babies this is still debatable. The only situation where there is a lower risk of SIDS is if you and your partner are careful and follow the safety guidelines of co-sleeping with your baby. Make sure you do not drink, smoke or take medication that might cause drowsiness before bedtime. If your baby is born immature and weighs less than 2.5 kilograms then co-sleeping is definitely not recommended.

2. Falling off the bed

Another risk to consider when thinking about sharing a bed with your baby is the possibility of your baby falling off the bed. Babies are tiny and move and wriggle in their sleep. It is very likely that if they are sleeping in the same bed as you or bed sharing they can fall from the bed and potentially injure themselves. Therefore, when co-sleeping with your baby, make sure there are enough pillows on the side to keep him from falling off the bed. Make sure the mattress is firm and not bouncy as it may make falling off the bed easier.

3. Being frightened or suffocated

Sleeping with a baby in the bed or near the bed can be very daunting for the adults and they might worry about accidentally hurting their child. At the same time, for babies sleeping with adults can also be problematic because of sudden movements at night by adults or snoring that may disturb the baby. This can often lead to baby getting frightened at night and can lead to a tantrum. Another thing that can be dangerous is the fear of suffocation. A baby might end up rolling face down and suffocate during sleep. Therefore, parents must take extra care, ensure minimal bedding and follow safety precautions of co-sleeping.


In conclusion, co-sleeping has a lot of advantages associated with it for the mother and the infant. Whether it is breastfeeding made easy, or less crying at night, a stronger emotional bond or more regularized sleep schedule for your infant; co-sleeping is definitely beneficial. However, there are some risks too. It is imperative that parents consult a doctor or an expert before they practice co-sleeping. After all, to be well informed is to be safe!