Co-Sleeping Hurts Moms & Their Babies

This Just In 29

sleeping babyPlenty of moms can't resist the urge to co-sleep with their babies instead of putting them in their own crib, either because they believe in attachment parenting or they're just way too exhausted to walk back and forth between rooms in the middle of the night.

And while choosing to let your baby sleep in your bed is definitely controversial because of the safety concerns it presents, now there is one more good reason to have a separate sleeping space for your baby. As it turns out, co-sleeping can actually be bad for moms' stress levels.

A new study examined the effects of breastfeeding and co-sleeping on a mother's stress hormone patterns. And while it shouldn't come as a shock that the breastfeeding moms had lower levels of stress hormone, those who reported co-sleeping with their babies did not have an optimal daily rhythm in their stress patterns.

So basically, moms who breastfeed but opt to place their baby in a crib are much more relaxed than those who choose to co-sleep.

And you have to admit, this research really does make sense, because it can't be easy to get a good night's sleep with a baby in your bed, and if you don't get a good night's sleep, you're probably going to be a lot more stressed out. And if you're more stressed out, well -- motherhood is a whole lot more challenging and exhausting.

I was strongly against co-sleeping with my son when he was an infant simply because the possibility of rolling on top of him or having him smothered by a blanket or pillow in the middle of the night seemed way too risky. And if I'd known that sleeping with him could also be bad for my health as well -- that only would've convinced me further that I made the right decision.

Do you co-sleep with your baby? If so, is hearing doing so may alter your stress level enough to convince you to move your baby to a crib?

 

Image via Mary Fischer

baby sleep, safety