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It's Official: Babies Have To Sleep With Their Mother Until The Age Of 3

It's Official: Babies Have To Sleep With Their Mother Until The Age Of 3

When it comes to caring for babies, opinions diverge and each parent prefers a certain method of raising their children. Moreover, among the controversial topics between parents: should you share your bed with your baby or not? According to scientists, it is more beneficial for children to sleep with their mothers until they are three years old.

Share the bed with her baby
Dr. Nils Bergman of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, says that for optimal development of healthy newborns, they need to sleep on their mothers' bosoms for at least the first few weeks. After that, Dr. Bergman thinks that they should sleep with their parents until they are 3 or even 4 years old.

Admittedly, there is a great fear of the risk of sudden death, namely that a parent could turn around and choke on his child, which is why co-sleep is generally not recommended. In fact, a recently published British study found that almost two thirds of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) cases occurred during co-sleep.

But, according to Dr. Bergman, when babies are suffocated or died of sudden death, it is not because of their mother's presence. This is because of other factors: toxic fumes, cigarettes, alcohol, big pillows and dangerous toys.

Dr. Bergman goes on to explain that brain changes caused by stress hormones, when the baby sleeps alone in a cradle, can actually make it more difficult to form relationships and intimate bonds later in life.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, involving 16 babies, monitored these babies while they slept in their mothers' beds. The researchers found that babies' hearts were three times more stressed when they slept alone. By sleeping in a cradle, babies had a more disturbed sleep and their brains were less likely to cycle healthy sleep and transition between the two types of sleep, called active and peaceful.

In the cradle, only 6 of the 16 babies slept quietly but their sleep quality was lower than with their mother.

The importance of skin-to-skin contact
Another study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry followed the results of 73 premature babies receiving the Kangaroo method (a method that involves carrying the baby directly on the skin-like belly like a kangaroo), or skin-to-skin contact with their mother, and 3 other premature babies received standard care. The subjects of the study were followed over a period of 10 years and the results were as follows:

The Kangaroo method has increased autonomic functioning (respiratory arrhythmia of the sinuses) and maternal attachment in the postpartum period. It has also reduced maternal anxiety and improved the cognitive development of the child and its executive functions (problem solving, attention, planning, organization ...) from 6 months to 10 years. At the age of 10, children who benefited from the Kangaroo method had an attenuated stress response, improved sinus respiratory arrhythmia, better sleep, and better cognitive control. Sinus respiratory arrhythmia and maternal behavior were dynamically interrelated over time, leading to improved physiology, executive functions, and mother-to-child reciprocity at age 10.

The National Childbirth Trust recommends sharing the bed between parents and children, provided the parents have not been drinking, smoking or using drugs, or being obese, chronically ill or suffering from chronic exhaustion. could push them to turn on the baby, or otherwise, impact their health.

In general, co-sleep is a very controversial issue. Many parents swear by bed sharing, moreover, it was a common practice before beds became so common and affordable. There are many benefits to this, but it is also important to pay attention and be aware of potential hazards.

It is important for babies to be cuddled, and to have a lot of love, but above all to feel safe. So, how can they feel safe alone in another room? Reflecting on it, it seems rather logical.

Every parent does only what they think is best for their baby, but one thing is for sure, it's important to choose what can put the baby in comfort, so that it is happy and healthy .
Babies Have To Sleep With Their Mother Until The Age Of 3