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


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puasa... puasaurusrex

I actually have to disagree. How in the world can you get a decent night sleep when you're up in the nursery every hour, sitting in a rocking chair (where you absolutely cannot sleep) nursing, compared to at least being able to lay down in your own comfortable bed while nursing and make the transition from wakefulness to REM much easier? When my nursing children are sleeping next to me, I get much more pleasant sleep compared to when they decide they want to start sleeping on their own, and because of that, I'm less stressed and much more apt to not being a monster mommy in the morning.

lifeh... lifehappy

I co-slept, wasn't stressed. Depends on the person, just like with everything else.

nonmember avatar kaerae

hmm, no. Some of the sweetest and most relaxing sleep of my life. Maybe the stress comes in women who are only co-sleeping because they feel they "have to" as part of some parenting doctrine like AP, not those who just want to or whose babies sleep better that way.

littl... littlebeanmom

I kept LO in crib/bassinet every night until four month sleep regression hit.  She would wake up every hour unless I put her in bed with me.  I was probably more stressed when she was in crib because i couldn't check on her as easily.

randh... randhferedinos

I feel like we had a happy medium in our house. Baby slept in crib until we were in bed sleeping, then when they woke I would bring them to bed to night nurse. So I still had the freedom to use my bed for other things and baby got the benefits of nursing at will. Some people don't like co sleeping, but it works for our family.

Stephanie Caldwell

I co-sleep. This "research" does not effect my choice to do so. There are many factors that could account for elevated stress levels-it doesn't make sense that the lack of sleep from having baby in bed with you could bw greater than that of those who have to get up and down to feed their baby. 

xanth... xanthian41691

I disagree greatly. I night nursed with baby in bed and my stress levels were very low, I was extremely happy. She got to eat and it was easier for me than getting up each time and waiting until she was done, putting her back down and getting back in my bed. She was jaundice so I had to wake her up to eat anyway and cosleeping made it so much easier. When it was time, she went right back to her bed no problem, she slept in her bed during the day and she to this day sleeps in her own room in her crib. 

ThatT... ThatTattooedMom

Let people make their own choices.

amazz... amazzonia

Makes sense, at first I was getting all angry for the title, but then I read the article and I totally get it, that was one of the main reasons I didn't cosleep, we did some times, but it turned out I didn't get any sleep and I ended up just more nervose, su I just put my daughter in a bassinet next to me so we both slept, we both could hear our breaths and be there if needed without the stress and with good sleep

amazz... amazzonia

The problem I think is that too many moms want to be super cool and do all what the last trend tells them to do, the thing is that every mother should do what ever she feel like its better for her child, not having to listen to anyone, and moms should stop criticizing each other, so already stressful enough being s mom, we don't need to make wars to each other, so If you feel good about coosleeping than coosleep, if not, don't no one should feel pressured on making such a decision

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