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How Co-Sleeping Affects Your Mental Health

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I must have had no fewer than 50 people "warn" me that I should never let my baby sleep in my room if I wanted to be a decent parent. Thankfully, I followed my instincts and pulled that bassinet right up to the edge of my bed every night, with my son snuggled peacefully inside. Having my newborn close by helped to build my confidence and release a crap ton of worries. I know that those well-meaning folks just wanted to help me, but they never considered how co-sleeping affects your mental health in a positive way; they only looked at it from a negative perspective.

In all fairness, I can see where they're coming from, due to the threat of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But as Parenting magazine reported, co-sleeping could be a prevention method in lowering the risk of SIDS, which is backed up by research as well as evidence in cultures that traditionally co-sleep. Parents who are mindful to create a safe sleeping environment for their family can feel confident about safely co-sleeping with their little one.

If co-sleeping feels right for your family, you can look forward to soaking up these five mental health benefits while you snooze.

1. It Eliminates Some Worries

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When you have a new baby, it feels like every time you turn around there is something to fret over. Thankfully, The Natural Child Project's website pointed out that co-sleeping provides you with the comfort of knowing your baby is close, should you need to help them or monitor their sleep. One less thing to worry about it always a plus for hardworking mamas.

2. It Boosts Confidence

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It's the worst when you find yourself questioning your choices. Well, let that sh*t go and pat yourself on the back, because you should feel confident in your decision to co-sleep. As James J. McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame told the website for Fox News, babies are happier and more psychologically stable when co-sleeping. See that, you're already killing it at this mom gig.

3. It Gives You All The Good Feels

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Flashing those pearly whites and humming a tune while shampooing your hair? There may be more to that extra jolt of happy than you realize. Co-sleeping parents rated their overall happiness equal to parents with crib sleepers, according to What To Expect's website.

4. It Keeps You Super Tuned-In

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All it takes to captivate your attention is a grin from your cute little dumpling, but even as you snooze, you stay intensely tuned-in to your baby. A study published in the journal Sleep found that mothers and babies who slept near one another were more in tune to each other throughout the night.

5. It Puts You At Peace

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Just because you don't have fuzzy footy pajamas covered in llamas doesn't mean you can sleep like a baby too. According to Mother magazine, many mamas who co-sleep with their baby reported sleeping sounder. Knowing your little one is just an arm's length away can give mamas peace of mind.