Expecting parents will likely spend many hours planning for the day they bring their new addition home from the hospital. More and more parents are considering co-sleeping with their little ones, however, the thought of sharing a bed with a young child often conjures images of screaming babies and crying, exhausted and frustrated parents. But just how accurate is that picture?
If you think about it, putting your baby or young child all alone in a dark room does not do much for their development and happiness. For this reason, many expecting parents look for alternatives. Co-sleeping refers to parents sleeping with or close to their infant son or daughter, or young toddler. It might be a large family bed, or it could mean in the same bedroom. There are several approaches to co-sleeping that some parents use, such as:
Sidecar or Different Beds in the Same Room
This type of co-sleeping has the crib or childâ€™s bed either securely attached to the bed of the parents, very close to the parentâ€™s bed, or the childâ€™s bed in the same room. There are cribs designed specifically for this arrangement, that allow one side of the crib to remain down and safely attached to the adult bed.
As Needed Arrangement
Some parents opt for their children to sleep in their own bedroom but with the option to sleep with their parents should they wake in the night or if the child is having a difficult time going to sleep.
One Bed for All
Frequently, when people hear someone mention co-sleeping, this next arrangement is what they envision. This is where there is one bed that the parents and the child sleep in together known as a family bed. Often both the parents and the baby/child will get more rest and better sleep. Any potential separation anxiety or difficulties getting to bed are preventable.
Regardless of how co-sleeping looks for your family, among the initial areas to consider when you are looking to remodel your sleeping quarters, is to create a simple yet effective, smartly designed floor plan. Keeping your bedroom free of any clutter and disorganization will create a much more positive co-sleeping environment. For families who live in smaller homes, having a family bed gives them more room.
The truth is there are also economic and ecological advantages to co-sleeping with your children. Expanding our homes can be costly, whether you are renovating or building new. Our larger, multi-room homes also cost more to run, to heat and cool, and to keep the light on. Although there are many building and renovation options that are eco-friendly, properly planning your sleeping area can allow for co-sleeping that works for everyone.
There are many benefits to co-sleeping. Often working parents find co-sleeping arrangements help improve intimacy and attachment, giving them increased time with their little ones. There are those who argue against sleeping in a family bed. However, most concerns are quickly addressed and preventable with proper planning. Establishing a healthy and loving bedtime routine the whole family follows is paramount, whether it be in one bed or many.