It is not the norm in the Netherlands to sleep with your baby or baby in the same bed. Yet almost every parent is sleeping together with his child. What are the pros and cons of this?And are there any dangers when watching your child?
Sleep together with your child
In this article, I want to give you, in addition to general information, a clearer picture of both the benefits and the risks that sleep together. Also, I would like to give you and some advice to make sleeping together as safe as possible.
Discussion about co-sleeping
For a long time in the Netherlands there has been a lot of discussion about sleeping together, or co-sleeping , with your baby. Even the government is involved and has campaigned to discourage sleeping with your child. On the other hand, there are many advocates who totally disagree and see everything from a very different point of view. This article does not serve to convey my personal opinion but only to give you a clearer picture of the information that is known about sleeping together. Both subjective and objective in some cases.
Dr. James mcKenna, co-sleeping expert, has been researching co-sleeping for years. The deaths of babies who die in their own crib for an unexplained reason are often directly attributed to SIDS (cradle death). If a child dies while sleeping with parents, the cause of death is directly attributed to sleeping together. But this does not have to be the case at all. If the safety regulations are met, sleeping together with your child is safer than when your baby is sleeping alone in your own room.
Risks to sleep together
The Wiegendood Foundation sees this very different. They agree that “sleeping together” reduces the chance of SIDS, but only when the child is sleeping in a cradle next to the parents’ bed. The Wiegendood Foundation sees the risk factors of sleeping together; Gaps between the mattresses, (synthetic) duvets, parents’ parents, smoking parents etc. ( to clarify, when parents smoke during the day , this increases the risk of cervical death, the more the parent smokes, the greater this risk! ) The discussion between opponents and opponents does not seem to be finished for the time being.
In the Netherlands and many other Western European countries, it is the norm that children sleep as quickly as possible in their own crib and in their own room. However, it remains a fact that worldwide is the norm to sleep with your baby or children. However, you can not conclude that this is better. Climate and prosperity, for example, also play an important role. In many other countries and cultures, there are no soft mattresses, high beds, or (synthetic) duvets. Direct skin on skin contact during sleep is more difficult in the Netherlands than in many other countries where, for example, you sleep without a duvet. Scientists are in any case reluctant to sleep together, or the need for this is usually human behavior.
Sleeping together is human behavior
Benefits sleep together
Newborn babies are physically still underdeveloped and are dedicated to their parents for care and survival. The brains, lungs and other organs do not yet work optimally and should develop further. By hearing mother’s breathing, the baby can also better regulate their own breathing. If the baby stops breathing, the presence of a parent can help him get back up by touching, for example. Also touches a child for the production of endorphin, which supports the development of the organs. also has a small amount of effort to properly regulate body temperature and the warmth of the parents also helps in this. It seems that together sleeping parents instinctively respond to the needs of their baby. Apart from these “natural / instinctive” benefits, it brings together some practical benefits as well. For example, do not worry about breastfeeding.
Sleep together or not?
It’s hard to say whether sleeping together is either wise or not wise. It seems that sleeping from a natural point of view has a positive effect on the child, but sleeping together, especially in our culture and climate , is not entirely without risks. If you want to sleep together with your baby or baby, it is very important to be well informed about the measures you can take to make sleeping together as safe as possible. Below are several important safety precautions.
- If you have the ability to put your mattress on the floor, this is the best. For example, your baby can not make a painful trap or stumble against an edge or between two mattresses. If this is not possible in your room, you may temporarily put your bed with the long side against the wall so that your child can not fall out of it.
- Make sure the baby lies between the wall and the mother, but it can not fall between the edge! Mother instinct ensures that she is aware of where the child is and is not going to lie down during sleep. This instinct does not apply to fathers or other relatives.
- Best of all, you can get all the pillows and duvets. This is a somewhat easier measure in the summer than in winter. Then try to dress well and ensure a good temperature in your bedroom.
- Do not wear jewelry or pajamas with strings / feathers / laces etc.
- Make sure the dog or cat (or other pets who can jump the bed) do not have access to the bedroom.
- Go down to bed so no alcohol or drugs.
In any case, it is very important that you always prevent a baby from getting stuck or clammed, getting tangled, or falling out of bed.
Do you find this article helpful? Help other parents by sharing this post on Social Media.