Sweet snuggles and teeny tiny toe hugs are just a few of the reasons I loved co-sleeping with my littles so much. And even though they're in their own rooms now, I still sometimes hear the breath in the room. Although people tried to tell me it was a terrible idea, I am so happy I let my kiddos into my bed in those early years. In fact, research shows I did my kids a huge service, because the ways toddlers benefit from co-sleeping show how positive this experience can be in the present as well as the long run.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding certain types of co-sleeping with infants due to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Parenting magazine explained that after a child turns one year co-sleeping is a matter of family preference. And how you choose to co-sleep depends on your preferences too. As Kids Health from Nemours pointed out, room sharing and bed-sharing are the two most common types of co-sleeping. With the safety risks reduced, cuddling up each night with your toddler can not only be a fulfilling ritual, but one that has lasting affects for years to come. If you thought having a family bed would do more harm than good, check out these ways your toddler benefits from co-sleeping with you each night.
1. They Become More Independent
All those snuggly nights do more than just up the warm fuzzies, long term benefits are at play when toddlers co-sleep with their parents. According to the Natural Parent Network, research included in the book, Good Nights: The Happy Parent’s Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night’s Sleep!) revealed that children who co-sleep are more independent than their peers that sleep alone.
2. They Do Well In School
Sifting through the rumors about co-sleeping can be daunting, but rest assured that there is no truth behind stunting your child's learning abilities by co-sleeping. As Parenting magazine explained, research published in the journal Pediatrics found that co-sleeping did not have a negative impact on the children’s school readiness or social skills.
3. They Feel Close To You
According to Ask Dr. Sears, co-sleeping promotes bonding between parents and children. Being physically close and the power of touch creates a special closeness between the two of you.
4. Their Immunity Is Boosted
The comfort toddlers receive from co-sleeping actually helps them to stayed less stressed, and less stress equals healthy kiddo. According to the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a study that measured the stress hormone cortisol in children found that co-sleeping children had lower levels of cortisol. Having the security of a nearby parent goes along way.
5. It Helps Them Grow Emotionally
There are many ways to raise a well-rounded kids, and co-sleeping with your toddler may be one of the simplest ways to accomplish this. Co-sleeping is a way parents can promote their child's emotional growth, according to Psychology Today.
6. They Have A Happy Mama
Co-sleeping is a personal choice, and as long as no one is at risk for danger and everyone is sleeping well, it's a win-win for the whole family. If having your toddler co-sleep with you makes you happy then keep on rockin' it. A happy mama makes for a happy household and your child will benefit from you feeling your best.
7. They Get More Sleep
According to Kelly Mom, kids often get more sleep when they co-sleep with parents. This is likely due to the fact that if they wake in the night, they are comforted that mom is nearby and don't need to call out for mom to come soothe them back to sleep in a separate room.
8. They Wake Up Happy
Waking up next to the person you love most (and who you love back) is a wonderful way to start the day. Your toddler gets to see your face first thing each day when you co-sleep, meaning they are sure to wake up happy.