Baby Sleeping with Parents: The Proven Effects on Newborns, Babies and Children

Based on seven reviewed studies, we can clarify some of the misconceptions about co-sleeping. We suggest that co-sleeping does not have to be avoided as long as the child is over 4 months old, you are sleeping in a bed and not on a sofa, and the parents do not smoke. However, babies below 4 months and parents who smoke should avoid co-sleeping. Below are the actual findings of the empirical studies to clarify the misconceptions:

SIDS: Co-sleeping in a bed is not linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as long as the infant is above 4 months and the parents don't smoke (but co-sleeping on the sofa should be avoided).

Impacts on long-term development: Co-sleeping children are not less independent. On the contrary, co-sleeping in the 1st year of life can enhance children's self-reliance (dressing themselves) and their social independence (making friends by themselves) at preschool. In addition, there are no negative impacts on long-term development.

Breastfeeding: Co-sleeping is life-saving for breastfeeding mothers!

Night awakenings: Co-sleeping babies may wake up more often at night but each waking is shorter than those of solitary sleeping babies. Therefore, the total waking duration is the same for co-sleeping and solitary sleeping babies.

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM

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Details of Scientific Answers: Click on each bullet to Read References



1: "The Sleep Of Cosleeping Infants When They Are Not Cosleeping: Evidence That Cosleeping Is Stressful," Developmental Psychobiology, 2002, by M Hunsley, EB Thoman. (Citations: 55).

Abstract Co-sleeping proponents consider the practice to be natural and a potential protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); others consider the practice of an infant sleeping in the parents' bed for prolonged periods at night to place an infant at risk ...

2: "Solitary Sleeping In Young Infants Is Associated With Heightened Cortisol Reactivity To A Bathing Session But Not To A Vaccination," Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2012, by MS Tollenaar, R Beijers, J Jansen. (Citations: 13).

BACKGROUND: In this prospective longitudinal study, we investigated the relation between sleeping arrangements and infant cortisol reactivity to stressors in the first two post-natal months. Co-sleeping, as compared to solitary sleeping, is hypothesized to provide more ...


1: "Why Babies Should Never Sleep Alone: A Review Of The Co-Sleeping Controversy In Relation To Sids, Bedsharing And Breast Feeding," Paediatric Respiratory Reviews, 2005, by JJ McKenna, T McDade. (Citations: 212).

There has been much controversy over whether infants should co-sleep or bedshare with an adult caregiver and over whether such practises increase the risk of SIDS or fatal accident. However, despite opposition from medical authorities or the police, many western parents ...


1: "A Comparison Of The Sleepwake Patterns Of Cosleeping And Solitary-Sleeping Infants," Child psychiatry and human development , 2004, by A Mao, MM Burnham, BL Goodlin-Jones. (Citations: 83).

Abstract This study examined whether 315, month-old cosleeping infants displayed differences in time spent in active versus quiet sleep, and in the number/duration of nighttime awakenings when compared with solitary-sleeping infants; and also whether ...



1: "Cosleeping: Help Or Hindrance For Young Children'S Independence?," Infant And Child Development, 2004, by MA Keller, WA Goldberg. (Citations: 55).

Abstract This study investigated the relationship between sleep arrangements and claims regarding possible problems and benefits related to co-sleeping. Participants were 83 mothers of preschool-aged children. Data were collected through parent questionnaires. ...


1: "Babies Sleeping With Parents: Case-Control Study Of Factors Influencing The Risk Of The Sudden Infant Death Syndromecommentary: Cot Deaththe Story So Far," BMJ, 1999, by PS Blair, E Mitchell, PJ Fleming, IJ Smith, MW Platt. (Citations: 311).

Objective: To investigate the risks of the sudden infant death syndrome and factors that may contribute to unsafe sleeping environments. Design: Three year, population based case-control study. Parental interviews were conducted for each sudden infant death and for ...


1: "Outcome Correlates Of Parent-Child Bedsharing: An Eighteen-Year Longitudinal Study," Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 2002, by P Okami, T Weisner, R Olmstead. (Citations: 98).

ABSTRACT. We report results of the first longitudinal study of outcome correlates of parent-child bedsharing. Two hundred five families in nonconventional and conventional family lifestyles have been followed since 1975. A target child in each family was followed from ...


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Baby Sleeping with Parents: The Proven Effects on Newborns, Babies and Children

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