Co-sleeping with our babies and toddlers is a highly debatable issue. Some experts claim it’s healthy, others explain that it does more harm than benefit to the child; starting from the risk of SIDS for newborns to the inability to sleep independently for elder children. Either way, it’s the parents’ choice.
Going through experts’ opinions on baby sleeping patterns and the different options a mom has, I wanted to make sure my child got enough sleep, but sleep training? I didn’t have the heart to do it. I just couldn’t, and after about four months, I just made peace with not only co-sleeping but also bed-sharing.
I realized that both my son and I sleep better and deeper next to one another. But the thoughts of making him sleep independently kept crossing my mind. For every mom out there wondering whether she made the right decision to co-sleep with her newborn or toddler, we talked to certified positive discipline educator from the Positive Discipline Association, USA, Rana Hany, about co-sleeping and introducing independent sleeping.
To be able to sleep well, you need to unwind and have a fair share of comfort and peace. That applies to the mom and the baby. Hany believes that there’s no harm in co-sleeping if the mother prefers it since it’s all about comfort and personal preferences. If you’ve decided to co-sleep, that’s okay. Bear in mind that you’ll need to gradually introduce independent sleeping to your child.
How to encourage independent sleeping?
Hany explains that the key to encouraging independent sleeping is to slowly and gradually make the child sleep alone. This is very important, not only for the sake of the child, but also for your own sake.
- First, you can lie next to your child in bed and read a story.
- After a while, you can sit on a chair close to their bed and read to them. Make sure you give them enough hugs and kisses. After you finish the story and sit for a while, you can leave but still be around. You can tell them that you’ll make some tea, or do the laundry while checking on them every few minutes.
- When you make sure they got used to sleeping without having you around, you can put them to bed, kiss and hug them, read a story, and get up right away.
- When they are able to gradually sleep on their own, you can tuck them in and leave the room, or they can kiss you goodnight and go to their room.
Again, it’s purely a matter of personal choice and comfort. Whether you’re pro or against co-sleeping, tell us about your experience and why you made the decision to co-sleep or not to.