Every new parent loves to keep their child close at all times, just to marvel or see what the baby does. But it is really wise to allow your child to share your bed ALL the time?

Opinions are divided fairly evenly on this point. Some parents say that it is the only way to bond with the child, know when he/she needs something or a lot of other perfectly valid reasons to them. Others will use perfectly good reasons as to why the child should not sleep with them. Both sets of parents are correct in part. The trick is to work it so both baby and parent win. Which is maybe combining both sets of thoughts in some way. Baby has time with the parent or parents when both are awake and alert, but both sleep at the same time in their own space.

When the baby first comes home, there is usually a desire to keep the child as close as possible so as to anticipate anything and everything he/she might need and also to give the parent reassurance that the child is actually there for real. A baby’s only real way of getting attention for the first three-quarter year of their lives is to cry. But babies can be little manipulators too. And they learn this skill very early in life, usually the first week of their lives.

Bub is accustomed to being up close and personal with the mother from their time in the womb. Some scientists say that a baby can tell the scent of the mother from this closeness after they are born and get upset if it is not close now they are outside in the world. Whether this is true or not is debatable, but studies have not proved it wrong or not.

Because the baby is no longer in bodily contact with the mother, apart from feeding and cuddling after birth, this can be a reason for the child to cry for more attention and persuade the parents to put them in bed with them. The action soothes both child and parent or parents and allows one or the other to get some rest. But the baby very quickly learns that he or she can manipulate parent into this action all the time, thus spoiling any me-time or husband-wife time. This is not a good idea to allow to develop. It sows the seeds for a toddler who will not stay in their own room or bed when they can walk. It is also not good for the relationship as the partner feels pushed away to make room for the child.

Starting the child off in a bassinette in the bedroom with you is perhaps the best way to have her/him close to you, but not actually in your space. You can see every move from your bed and can answer each cry on its own merits. The baby does not run the risk of being smothered if you are so tired you roll over on top of them or they get tangled in adult bedclothes.

Also, they are a little on the way to learning to sleep by themselves in their own space. Sure, when they are wake and you are awake, they can join you in bed then for a bit of bonding and play, but they are also allowed to be their own little selves and not manipulating Mum or Dad. Babies sharing the bed as tiny creatures is fine, but having a teenager who has never grown out of the habit of sleeping with Mum is not good for them nor you.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published