Like any first time parent, I heard my fair share of opinions about what to do and what not to do if I wanted to ace the parenting game. Most of this wisdom was passed down from friends and family who had forged the road of parenthood before me. Although the unsolicited advice varied from person to person, there was on tid-bit that kept popping up: never bring your child into your bed. Without knowing better, many people started telling me myths about co-sleeping you should not believe. But still, I started to think it was super important for my baby to have his own crib in his own room.
With blind trust, I took the bait and prepared to put my baby into his own room after coming home from the hospital. Not having one shred of research to back up my decision, I was convinced this was the direction to take. However, when it came down to it, I just couldn't bear the thought. If I had taken the time to dig into what professionals have to say about co-sleeping, I would have found comfort in my decision, instead of feeling shameful, as if I had done something wrong.
I wish someone would have told me myths about co-sleeping are false beliefs, then I could have really rested well. Lucky for you, I'm here to dispel the myths once and for all.
Myth #1: Co-Sleeping Is Dangerous
As long as you stick with some safety rules, the dangers associated with co-sleeping can be eliminated. According to the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, you can create a safe co-sleeping environment by adhering to guidelines such as putting the baby along side the adult bed on a separate surface and not taking any medication that makes you unresponsive while sleeping.
Myth #2: Co-Sleeping Spoils Babies
Babies need and depend on their parents to care for them, and meeting a baby's needs doesn't make her spoiled. As co-sleeping researcher and expert, James McKenna told The Bump, "babies settle when they are next to their mother, whether the mother is co-sleeping or just holding baby."
Myth #3: The Kids Will Never Leave Your Bed
If mom's bed is super cozy, will your little ever want to leave? Although this is a valid concern, just because you choose to co-sleep when your child is young, doesn't mean they will want to sleep near you forever, as the website for Dr. Sears pointed out.
Myth #4: Your Child Will Have Too Much Control
Some people claim that allowing your baby to sleep in your bed creates a power play. But as Natural Child magazine pointed out, there is no researched-based evidence to support that claim that co-sleeping creates emotional or psychological problems.
Myth #5: No One Does It
I remember how many people told me to never let my child into my bed, and it made me feel like doing so was quite taboo. However, Baby Center reported that co-sleeping is a growing trend, with more and more families choosing this option each year.
Myth #6: Everyone Will Sleep Poorly
It seems natural to assume the number of people in the room can affect the quality of everyone's sleep, but this is not true for all co-sleeping families. In fact, co-sleeping parents rated their overall happiness equal to parents with crib sleepers, according to What To Expect's website.
Myth #7: Anyone Can Do It
As much as some people want co-sleeping to work for their family, it's simply not a universal fit. According to Parenting magazine, co-sleeping is not for everyone, and different set ups work well for each family. Make sure both you and your partner agree before you start co-sleeping with your baby.