Wednesday, November 18, 2009

C is for Co-sleeping !

is for Co-sleeping !
Co-sleeping is a great way to connect with your baby. You can tune in to his biological rhythms and him to yours. A baby who sleeps in close quarters with a parent is reassured by the presence of the one he loves. Babies are kept warmer when they sleep next to their Moms, and don't need lots of blankets. During sleep time together, mother's presence helps regulate the body temperature of the baby to the optimal level. 

Babies who sleep with their mothers also are at less risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) because they spend less time in the deepest stage of sleep, from which is it harder to recover from apnea (when the baby stops breathing).  Co-sleeping also insures better breastfeeding success and encourages the mother to breastfeed for longer intervals.  This leads to a better milk supply for the baby.  Babies who cosleep are less likely to have crying spells due to lower stress and anxiety.

There are also benefits for mother ! Skin to skin contact with baby is associated with greater oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone." The effects of oxytocin on Mom are that she is likely to experience less anxiety about mothering and be more tuned in to her baby. It is also easier for her to tend to nighttime feedings when she doesn't have to get out of bed and stumble down the hall to find the baby in the middle of the night when she is awakened by cries of hunger.  She gets back to sleep more easily after feedings and when Momma is happy, everybody's happy !

Here are some safe co-sleeping tips :

Make sure the baby is sleeping on a firm, non quilted surface.

Make sure that where baby sleeps is a smoke free environment.

Avoid bedsharing with anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs or under the influence of anything at all that would make them less aware of the baby.

Avoid bedsharing with pets !

Avoid co-sleeping on any other furniture besides a bed. Babies can be easily caught between cushions and pillows and suffocate.

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