Everyone snuck into their parents’ bed after a bad dream or hearing a scary noise when they were a little kid. This cycle repeats itself with every generation. Some studies suggest that parents who let their kids sleep in their bed, can actually do more harm than good, causing a negative impact for both the parent and the child.
We at ViralSection love helping people get a good night’s sleep, especially new parents and their children, so we’re sharing these findings with you.
Co-sleeping with parents can be bad for children.
One study from the Universidade Federal de Pelotas wanted to look at what effect co-sleeping could have on a child’s mental health. Looking at 3,583 children in Brazil, the researchers ultimately divided the kids into 4 groups:
- Non-bed-sharers (44.4%),
- Early-only (36.2%),
- Late-onset (12.0%),
- Persistent bed-sharers (7.4%).
Taking into account that some children share a room with their parents for socio-economic reasons or for cultural beliefs, the study found co-sleeping to be a common practice among the kids involved.
However, researchers came to the conclusion that co-sleeping could actually hurt a child’s mental health. Studying the children since birth, the “persistent bed-sharers” were found to have greater odds of developing a psychiatric disorder and internalizing their problems when compared to the 3 other groups of kids.
Looking at the 4 groups, the chances of developing a psychiatric disorder actually went down the less kids shared a bed with their parents.
Co-sleeping can also harm a baby’s physical health. Not only do sleeping parents risk “overlaying” on top of a baby, but a parents’ mattress can even be unsafe for them, as babies need firm bedding, which soft mattresses do not provide.
Co-sleeping can also be bad for parents.
In another study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and School of Nursing, researchers took a look at 277 low-income mothers and their children in Baltimore.
Ultimately, mothers who shared a bed with their toddlers lost an hour of sleep and reported stress, depression, and anxiety. The mothers who slept separately from their children did not lose sleep and did not encounter symptoms of depression. In the end, losing sleep was something parents needed to focus on.
Added to that, the study also claimed that letting children sleep independently helped them learn to self-soothe and develop healthy sleep patterns.
What are some consequences you think children and parents can face from co-sleeping? Please share with us in the comments!