August 2, 2021

Co-sleeping: for or against sleeping with baby?

Very decried in France, the cododo is practiced in several countries of the world. When our child comes into the world, the nights are short, we have to feed him, wait for him to digest and make him sleep again before starting again a few hours later.

Tired, parents often end up getting their sleep baby with them to avoid spending the night to go back and forth between their room and that of the child. Proof that the cododo is back in fashion, some manufacturers now offer beds babies to stick to that of parents. So, it's everyone's bed but all in the same room! So, good or bad idea?

Some will say that they do not see harm and will improvise ardent defender of this cause by putting forward a more intense emotional relationship with the child, a reduction of his anxieties and especially a continuous monitoring during his sleep. In front of them, there are those who point out the risks of this practice:
-risk of choking baby if he sleeps between his parents
-fall of the bed
-difficult to wean him off
Beyond these risks that may be incurred by the child, the issue of the couple's intimacy arises, because if the child is present in their marriage bed, the couple will have only a few moments to two.

Testimony of Pauline, 33-year-old mother of a 7-year-old girl

Why did you decide to sleep with your child?
In fact, I had a pretty painful breakup, so I lived alone with my daughter. In the evening, I was insomnia and as soon as she woke up to sleep with me, I did not say no. I was in want of tenderness and I filled this lack by being excessive with my child.

It lasted a long time?

No, except that from the moment I did not accept her with me anymore, she did not understand. She loved to sleep with me, hold my hand while falling asleep ... and overnight, I restored the rules of "everyone in their room" and she experienced it very badly.

How did you manage to get out?
I went to see a child psychiatrist. In acknowledging my mistakes, he explained to me that this happened regularly. He explained to my child the concept of intimacy. That the night came, everyone was sleeping in his room and it was not normal to sleep all the time with his mother. Finally, he touched a chord by telling him that if she continued, she would never go sleep with girlfriends because it would be difficult for me to go sleep with her there.

Your child accepted it?
She understood but from there to accept, there was a whole way. Nevertheless, today, she comes to join me in my bed only when she is sick or has had a nightmare. I console and reassure and a quarter of an hour later, I go back to bed without her objecting.

Medical Mondays: Cosleeping & Your Baby-Creating A Safe Sleep Environment (August 2021)