The practice of co-sleeping, where parents share a bed with their baby or young child, has provoked much discussion and controversy in recent years. Supporters of co-sleeping claim that it has several vital benefits for parents and kids: it encourages intimacy between mother and child, makes nursing easier, and guarantees everyone gets more sleep. Conversely, individuals opposed to co-sleeping cite concerns about death from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and other factors. They also mention the difficulties of later trying to get their offspring away from its bedside arrangement with them, but this does not depend on such close monitoring or supervision by either parent night after night as sleeping apart does for children still under five years old. In this article, we will take a close look at the research and explore the pros and cons that co-sleeping has for both parents and their offspring.

Benefits of Co-sleeping:


Physical touch like hugs and cuddles encourages the secretion of oxytocin – one’s trust and bond hormone. This way, spending intimate time with the children helps in creating a strong emotional connection. It also assures children that they are loved and taken care of, contributing to their confidence level. More so, constant physical touch assures the children that they are secure and understood by their parents. 


For mothers who breastfeed, waking up multiple times during the night to feed their baby can be challenging. However, having their baby sleeping beside them can make this task easier and more convenient. The proximity allows mothers to quickly respond to their baby’s feeding cues without having to get out of bed, promoting bonding and closeness between mother and child.


When a baby sleeps next to a parent, they both feel safe and secure. The proximity of the parents provides a sense of comfort and reassurance for the baby. The familiar presence, smell, and warmth of the parent help the baby relax and sleep better. Being close to their parent creates a strong bond between the baby and their parent.


Many parents find comfort in co-sleeping with their baby because they can closely monitor the baby’s breathing and body temperature. Being able to hear the baby’s gentle breaths and feel their warmth next to them brings a sense of peace and security. This closeness also allows for quick response to any signs of distress or discomfort the baby may exhibit during the night

Better and more sleep:

When a child sleeps next to a parent, they feel safe and secure, allowing them to relax and fall asleep faster. Being close to a parent also enables the child to quickly receive any care or attention they may need, such as comforting touches or soothing words. This immediate response can further enhance the child’s sense of security and promote deeper, more restful sleep. 

Drawbacks to watch out for:

Suffocation Risk: 

One major worry with co-sleeping is the higher chance of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This risk goes up when parents are deep sleepers or if the bedding is too soft. Babies can accidentally get trapped in pillows or blankets, leading to breathing problems. The closeness of a parent’s body may also raise the temperature around the baby, which could be unsafe. Safety guidelines suggest avoiding co-sleeping in certain situations to protect infants from potential harm during sleep. 

Sleep Disturbances: 

Some parents believe that sharing a bed with their child can make it harder for them to get quality sleep. They may find themselves waking up more frequently throughout the night due to the child’s movements or noises. This disrupted sleep can leave parents feeling tired and irritable during the day.

Impact on Independence: 

When parents choose to co-sleep with their children, it can create a dependence on being near them when it’s time to sleep. This reliance may make it more difficult for children to learn how to fall asleep independently and transition to sleeping in their bed.

Intimacy Issues: 

Some couples may find that co-sleeping with their child can impact their privacy and intimacy in bed. This happens because the focus often shifts towards meeting the child’s nighttime needs, instead of focusing solely on each other. The physical presence of the child in bed can make it challenging to have alone time as a couple. Intimacy may be disrupted by interruptions caused by the child waking up during the night.

Difficult to Stop: 

Transitioning a child from co-sleeping to their bed can be difficult once the habit is formed. It may take time for the child to feel comfortable and secure sleeping independently. Parents may face resistance or protests from their children during this transition period. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and making the child’s bed cosy can help with the transition. Setting clear expectations and boundaries around sleep habits is important.


Co-sleeping with babies has both benefits and drawbacks that parents should carefully consider. While it can promote bonding and facilitate breastfeeding, it also carries risks such as potential suffocation or sleep disturbances. Parents need to weigh these factors and make an informed decision based on their individual circumstances and preferences. Ultimately, the choice of whether to share a bed with a baby is a personal one that should prioritize safety and well-being. Parents need to research, seek advice from healthcare professionals, and trust their instincts when deciding what sleeping arrangement works best for their family.

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