Why Co-Sleeping May Be Harmful to Moms

Source: Why Co-Sleeping May Be Harmful to Moms

A good night’s sleep is rare for all new parents — but worse for moms who co-sleep.

Based on a new study from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, it seems co-sleeping does have a negative impact on health, but not in the way you might think. The study found that co-sleeping resulted in a poorer quality night’s sleep for moms. That includes moms who slept with baby in the same bed and those who slept in the same room.

Researchers measured the sleep patterns of moms and babies using a wristband that tracked their movements during the night. Moms were asked to record whether they slept in the same room, bed or neither as their babies. Data was collected prior to giving birth, at three months postpartum and again at six months postpartum.

The results? Moms who co-slept woke up more often during the night than moms who didn’t, while babies’ sleep patterns remained unchanged regardless of where they slept. Moms who slept in the same room as their babies were also awake 20 minutes longer than those who chose not to co-sleep.

Co-sleeping has always been a hot topic for parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against it since it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but there are some experts who believe that co-sleeping can benefit babies by acting as a stress reliever.

There’s still a lot of research to be done before we can officially say the practice is good or bad, but here are some tips for moms looking to break their co-sleeping habits.

—Christine Warne

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