In many cultures, small children slept and slept with their parents in bed. In countries such as Japan or China, where there is little living space, young children often sleep in their parents’ bed or on a common futon, and larger ones often share a bed. Most of the time, many people are sleeping in a room anyway.
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With the parents or alone?
Also with us, the so-called co-sleeping was common until the beginning of the 20th century. An investigation showed that in Sweden, co-sleeping even to school is widespread.
The positive influence of physical proximity
According to studies, the physical closeness influences the attachment behavior, even the cognitive intelligence is thereby to be improved. It has also been observed that children sleeping with their parents are lower cortisol levels – cortisol is elevated during stress – have. These children also seem to be able to make deeper ties.
Influenced by primitive cultures
In many primitive cultures, it is common to have a lot of body contact with the child. The Yequana in Venezuela almost always have the children with them. They are peaceful, friendly and self-confident. This has greatly influenced us in Europe and America in dealing with newborns.
Rooming-in after the birth is common, we use baby slings and keep the kids much more in their arms than a generation ago.
Even the silence is then easier for the mother because they do not have to get up at night.
On the other hand, the child in the parental bed has an affect on the couple relationship and the sleep rhythm. Most parents sleep more restless. That, in turn, can also mean stress. Stressed parents are also not optimal for the child. There is also the possibility of injuring the child at night by an imprudent movement.
What is the right decision?
One should weigh some factors to decide. It depends on conditions such as depth of sleep, stress due to the job and everyday life and biorhythms of the child.
Indeed, it is good to have the cot next to the parental bed, so that, for example, before falling asleep body contact is possible, the child then comes into his cot, but is with the parents. This way the mother can simply breastfeed the child. If the baby cannot sleep or is ill, she can easily bring it to her bed.
At some point, the children should learn to fall asleep in their bed, but at first, a close contact is an advantage.
However, each family should decide for themselves how it is suitable for them. There is no general solution.