Why is it important that parents and child sleep in separate bed? Experts answer
In a dilemma to make your child sleep next to you in a separate bed or bring them to the bed and let them share it with you and your partner? Experts and studies discourage bed-sharing while a study published by Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) researchers in the October 1999 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, revealed that any child under the age of two should not sleep in an adult bed as the result could be deadly.
However, parents remain unconvinced that they should keep their children out of their bed for safety reasons despite being well aware of the warnings. Apart from letting the parents enjoy their privacy or giving them a breather to have their intimate cosy time at night, experts list various benefits and pros of allowing children to sleep alone in a separate bed for better sleep quality and childhood development.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sudarshan Vig, CEO of Merlinwand (online publishing platform offering personalised books for kids), shared, “While a child depends on parents for a majority of their needs like food, education, life skills etc, sleeping in their own bed can have them start the feeling of “release from dependence” at an early age. One of the biggest needs to inculcate that habit is to teach them to face their fears, which is what prompts them to sleep with their parents in the first place.”
He added, “Right from the initial stages, it's important to imbibe a sense of independence and freedom among children. In the long run, it helps lay the foundation for the concept of “free will” and thinking, deciding and forming independent opinions.” Shruti Malani, Co-founder of Beddy by Centuary Mattress, revealed, “70% of a new-born's development is happening whilethey are asleep hence, the sleep surface and environment is of paramount importance.”
She listed the top reasons why your baby needs a separate bed/mattress:
1) Doctor recommended- For proper spine and lumbar development, paediatricians world over (such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society) recommend a firm surface for a newborn. This is often different from parents who might prefer very soft, soft or hard surfaces.
2) Hygienic- A used mattress (or parents bed) has already been exposed to various germs or infections that a new born should be kept away from.
3) Convenient and safe- Having a separate crib right beside her bed provides comfort and convenience to the mother. It is also extremely safe and prevents sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
3) Specialised mattresses- Making the right "firm" surface for a newborn is important preferably with use of chemical free, certified, natural substances.
4) A good long term habit- Infants and toddlers form very strong associations with their beds early on. In the long term, having a separate cot is a blessing as it helps the child associate sleep with its cot and help it sleep better without parental help.