In almost every culture other than Indian, I have seen that babies sleep independently since birth. Independent sleeping allows the mother longer rest during the night. A baby who co-sleeps, asks for frequent feeds during the night and demands cajoling in between sleep cycles. However, there is research which suggests that co-sleeping has several advantages for the baby. Some of which are these:
Children who tend to sleep with their parents or siblings become independent at an earlier stage in life and need less transitional objects as they do not experience separation anxiety.
Some research states that kids who are left to cry alone (for sleep training) and are not coddled, can experience elevated levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. This can make the child more prone to illness and stress and cause damage to the developing brain.
Co-sleeping can also decrease the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Children who co-sleep usually sleep on their back or side which reduces the risk of SIDS. According to a study, sharing a bed does not increase the risk for SIDS until and unless either of the parents are smokers or abuse alcohol.
Also, children who co-sleep end up crying 4 times less than an independent sleeper. Crying releases, the hormone adrenaline which in turn increases the heart rate and blood pressure leading to long term sleep anxiety.
Kids that grow up in a family bed tend to be less anxious, have higher self-esteem, are less prone to peer pressure and are happier and satisfied with their lives.
So, forget the inconvenience and sleep happily with your kid!
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