It seems no two styles of parenting that are exactly alike — and that's not a bad thing. In fact, I don't think I know any parents who do even one thing the same way with their children. Sleeping, which seems like it wouldn't have too many variables, can be a hotly debated topic among my group of friends. Some swear by room-sharing and others insist snoozing solo is best. Though everyone is different, there are some reasons your kid gets a better night's sleep when they modify co-sleep. I'm not just talking about random opinions either. There are actually quite a few scientific findings to show how this style of co-sleeping can benefit your little one.
To back it up for a second, if I lost you at "room-sharing," don't worry. It's really not as complex or unusual as you might think. So, what is modified co-sleeping? When you get right down to it, any type of adjusted method of co-sleeping means adapting how parent and baby share the room during sleep, as The University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory explained. Whether you keep your baby's bassinet within arm's reach or you're simply sleeping in the same room, check out these solid reasons modified co-sleeping helps your kid sleep more soundly.
1. Their Temperature Is Steady
When you think about it, adults and babies aren't that different. If you're too hot or too cold in bed, that can definitely interfere with the quality of your sleep. According to Dr. Diana Divecha, a developmental psychologist, frequent physical contact, "helps the baby remain at a more stable body temperature." Keeping your little one nice and warm undoubtedly helps them sleep better.
2. You Can Feed Regularly
If your little one is still at the age where you need to breast or bottle feed them, keeping them nearby can cut down on interruptions. In a study led by Dr. Helen Ball, which was published by Durham University, adapting your method of co-sleeping allows you to feed your baby more often. Having them nearby ensures your infant won't be unnecessarily kept awake waiting to eat.
3. You're In Sync
I'd argue there's nothing sweeter than the sound of your baby's steady breathing while they sleep. As it turns out, being in the same room plays a big role. As Dr. Williams Sears noted on his website, modified co-sleeping helps regulate your baby's breathing mostly because they're biologically hardwired to sync-up with you. So the next time you're listening to your baby blissfully sleeping, take a few deep breaths to relax yourself, too.
4. They Have Easy Access
One way to modify how your family does co-sleeping is to use a sleep that can safely attach to your bed. According to KellyMom, modified co-sleeping let's your child reach you easily. My son would calm down as soon as he realized I was right there — which made for a better night's sleep all around.
5. Your Bond Grows
In my experience, co-sleeping provided some much-needed quality time for my son and me. This is especially true for parents who don't get to spend much time with their little ones during the day. That's why, according to the experts at What To Expect, finding the right fit for co-sleeping strengthens the bond between parent and child. You'll both sleep better knowing you share the same space.
6. It Helps Their Central Nervous System
Unlike adults, infants and young children don't have a fully-developed central nervous system quite yet. According to The University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, one of the benefits of modified co-sleeping is it aids, "development of cognition and intellectual development." Basically, when you're able to respond to their signals because you're in close proximity, that helps them learn about concepts like cause and effect. Plus, they'll feel more secure knowing you consistently provide for them, even overnight.