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How Co-Sleeping Affects Your Mental Health Later In Life

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Sometimes things that feel tough in the moment are the very things that bring about the most good in the long run. Just think of all the sore muscles, early alarms, and blistery toes that go into training for a marathon — but nothing beats the feeling of crossing that finish line on the day of the race. It's not until you gain perspective that you realize the sacrifice is worth the pay off. When you're in the trenches as parents, you may not realize how co-sleeping affects your mental health later in life, but you might be surprised to learn that the results are pleasantly positive.

Making the decision to co-sleep is not an easy one for every mama, since fears and horror stories could cause them to question this choice. But as Parenting magazine explained, 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. But once you've settled into your routine, sharing slumber with you little can bring you warm fuzzies in the moment as well as these mental health benefits in the years to come.

1. More Overall Happiness

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Feeling good about the decisions you make brings a sense of peace in the present and offers a chance for greater happiness in the future. Since co-sleeping parents rated their overall happiness equal to parents with crib sleepers, according to What To Expect's website, you won't look back and wonder if doing things differently would have made you any happier.

2. Peace Of Mind

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Many mamas chose to co-sleep so they can feel more in control of their baby's nighttime needs. 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. This means later in life, you will have the peace of mind that you made the best choice for protecting your child and have no regrets.

3. Less Mommy Guilt

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It's hard to free yourself from all forms of mommy guilt, so take the wins when you can. 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. Having this foundation will help your kid as she grows and lets you feel confident that you help facilitate this healthy mental state.

4. You Feel Bonded

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As kids grow and come into their own, there's no better feeling than security in the bond you have with your child. As the website for the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University explained, the proximity of parents to infants when sleeping enhances the ability to socially and psychologically "attach" to one another. This is valuable later in life, because you will have a sense of stability in your parent-child relationship from the foundation you set when co-sleeping.

5. Boosts Your Confidence

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Co-sleeping doesn't come easily or natural for everyone and can take some serious sacrificing on your end. But powering through those tough nights and sleepy days pays off in the long run. Looking back, you will feel confident that if you can handle that, you can handle anything parenthood throws your way.