I've never met a parent who's like, "Oh yeah, I get plenty of sleep. Too much, even. I should probably sleep less." Because when you decide to have a child, you're basically agreeing to spend several years extremely tired. Parents are always looking for ways to score a little extra shut-eye, and some are turning to bed-sharing to make it happen. You may or may not sleep well with a tiny foot in the small of your back, but there's some evidence to suggest there are reasons your kid gets a better night's sleep when they bed-share.
Bed-sharing is one of those topics that can get pretty heated in parenting circles. According to The Huffington Post, some doctors say bed-sharing is dangerous and should be avoided. Psychology Today, however, noted that moms and babies have bed-shared since the dawn of time, meaning it's totally OK. Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you. And if you decide to try it out, then you need to make sure you are practicing safe bed-sharing techniques. It's especially important to follow guidelines when you have an infant, including minimizing pillows and blankets, never bed-sharing if you've been drinking heavily, and positioning your bed so that your baby can't fall out of it.
My husband and I occasionally let our daughter sleep in our bed, but it inevitably ends with three of us in a letter H formation (one of us gets kicked in the side, and the other gets head-butted). Needless to say, bed-sharing isn't for everyone, but here are seven reasons it might be the right call for you.
1. They Bond With You
Having kids your kids physically close to you all night can help bring them closer to you emotionally, according to Baby Center. It's a great time for cuddles, especially if one or both parents needs to be away for work during the day.
2. They Have Less Night-Time Separation Anxiety
Your little one won't have to cry out for you if you're just inches away. Kelly Mom noted that no separation anxiety at night is a great benefit of bed-sharing.
3. They Have Easier Access To Your Boobs
If you're breastfeeding your baby, having them sleep next to you can make things a lot easier according to La Leche League International. They won't have to fully wake up to feed, and you probably won't either— win win. Bed-sharing also makes you more likely to breastfeed for a longer period of time.
4. They Fall Asleep Faster
A child who falls asleep next to a parent will likely fall asleep faster, according to Parenting. Less time fighting against bed-time means more sleep for everyone.
5. They Learn Day From Night
Babies really have no sense of time, until you teach it to them. New parents often find themselves with a baby who's drowsy all day long, but ready to party all night. Bed-sharing can help them learn that night-time is for sleeping, according to Belly Belly.
6. They Cry Less
If your baby cries out in the night and you're right there to fix the problem, they'll probably drift back to sleep before they've even fully woken themselves up according to Healthy Child. That lets both of you get better sleep.
7. They Breath Easier
Babies who sleep next to their parents have been shown to take fewer pauses between their breaths, according to Ask Dr. Sears. Parents may breath easier too, knowing that their child is just an arm's length away (or less).