Some couples find it convenient to have their children sleep with them on a family bed. This way, they don’t have to rush to the other room to put them off to sleep or to feed them. But many medical experts feel that this practice, wherein the family sleeps together, is detrimental to the health of the child, as well as to the couple’s relationship. So, does a family bed offer more opportunities for baby care, or is it bad for a relationship? Let’s find out.
Time to Bond
In many societies, people prefer that their baby sleep with them on a family bed. According to them, it gives the family time to spend together and bond. The parents can cuddle the children and in turn make them feel loved and secure. Having a family bed gives time to working parents who are busy during the day, to connect with their children during the night.
Care for the Baby
For mothers, it is easier to breastfeed the baby or to hold him whenever he cries, if they are sleeping together on a family bed. Thus, opting for such a bed makes baby feeding convenient for mothers. Although it is not scientifically proved, some mothers believe that if they sleep close to their babies, the babies sleep much more soundly.
Intimacy: Loss or Gain?
A lot of times it is seen that couples who opt for a family bed and have their infant or child sleep with them, lose intimacy over time. They are not able to have sex as often as they used to. On the other hand, there are couples who feel that inability to have sex in their bed during the night has made them look for other options such as having sex on the couch, in the kitchen, or under the shower. This has added spontaneity to their sex life and they feel much more sexually satisfied.
Sleeping together on a family bed may disturb everybody due to lack of space. Besides this, many medical experts feel that sleeping with the parents can prove to be emotionally unhealthy for the child. The kids, from a very young age should be taught how to be independent and when they sleep with their parents, their emotional dependence on parents increases. When such children grow up, it can create separation problems in them.
Moreover, sleeping on a family bed cannot last forever. So when the children are in their teens and are told that they can no longer sleep with the parents, they might feel rejected and develop emotional problems.
It’s not just emotionally wrong for children to share a family bed with parents; physically, it can be very dangerous, specially when the baby is small. Unknowingly, parents may roll over the baby in their sleep. To avoid this, many parents opt for comforters and big pillows, but small children may feel smothered by them too.
If you’re still worried about your child sleeping alone, give it sometime. You’ll get used to it in a couple of weeks. However, if the baby is sleeping alone, make sure you take all safety measures.