Co-sleeping, bed-sharing? Sleep consultant Diana Rațiu: "This is the reality that needs to be spoken about, not swept under the rug!"

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Co-sleeping, bed-sharing? Sleep consultant Diana Rațiu: "This is the reality that needs to be spoken about, not swept under the rug!" / FOTO: freepik.com @EyeEm
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Co-sleeping, bed-sharing? Sleep consultant Diana Rațiu: "This is the reality that needs to be spoken about, not swept under the rug!" / FOTO: freepik.com @EyeEm

Diana Rațiu, a certified consultant in infant and young child sleep, up to 6 years old, brought up the discussion about the practice of co-sleeping and bed-sharing to Present Parents.



Diana Rațiu clarified that bed-sharing, meaning sharing the same bed with the child, can be a sensitive area for many parents. On the other hand, co-sleeping, where the child sleeps in their own crib close to the parents' bed, can be a safer and more comfortable option for all involved.

"Bed-sharing would be the version where we share the same bed with the child. That's the battleground! And co-sleeping is that version where we stay close to the child, they are in their crib, next to our bed. For this option, I opt and recommend it.

The recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to lay the child on a separate surface, ideally in their own crib, up to the age of 1 year. This is because there are many risks, among which is the risk of sudden infant death. We don't want to take such a risk, so the first step would be to offer them sleep in their crib, especially at night. Here I strictly refer to nighttime, because at night as a parent, you want to sleep.

You can fall into deep sleep, and if you have laid down with the baby in your arms or have them next to you, the risks are high compared to placing the child in their crib, still close to me, but not between me and dad, they are in their crib! Then it is much safer for us as parents, and for the child to know that they have a peaceful sleep and won't be disturbed by anyone", said the certified sleep consultant for infants and young children at Present Parents, a program by ParintisiPitici.ro.

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Diana Rațiu: "My recommendation is to lay the child alone on their back, in their crib"

PHOTO: freepik.com @maksymfesenko

The expert emphasized that the decision to practice bed-sharing is a subjective one made by parents. Some families choose to sleep together with the baby in bed but must adhere to strict safety rules. Diana Rațiu highlighted that each family has to make a personal choice regarding how they organize their sleep with the child.

"It's a subjective and assumed choice. There are parents who choose to consciously sleep with the child in bed and then they can follow safety rules which, from my point of view, are strict. It means sleeping without a comforter, without a duvet, without a pillow, it means not placing the child between mom and dad, just next to mom or just next to dad. This means you already need to install side rails on the marital bed. Unfortunately, such rules are not really respected because you need a pillow, you need a duvet to sleep somewhat normally.

So, you have a choice! Whether you do that and accept the risks or you try to put them in the crib and see how you manage to keep them there. It's a choice. Everything is a choice! But, my recommendation as a sleep consultant and the recommendation of the Academy is to lay the child alone on their back, in their crib. A crib that is not cluttered with toys, that doesn't have blankets, doesn't have toys, doesn't have absolutely anything. Because there is a risk of suffocation! Children are tempted to put anything against their face and nose", Diana Rațiu further explained.


Diana Rațiu: "That's the reality that needs to be spoken about, not swept under the rug"

SURSA FOTO: freepik.com @YuriArcursPeopleimages

Although it may be tempting to bring the child into our bed, it is essential not to fall into this trap. Diana Rațiu observed that many mothers choose to bring their babies into their beds to breastfeed horizontally and then stay there out of exhaustion to put them back in their cribs.

However, Diana Rațiu warned that in the long run, this practice is NOT sustainable. As the child grows and becomes more mobile, the risk of accidents increases, and sleeping in the parent's bed can become restless and disturbed.

"In the first six months, it seems extremely important not to fall into this trap of bringing them next to us just because we're exhausted at night. There are many mothers who say they prefer to bring them into bed with me and breastfeed them horizontally, and I don't have the energy to put them back, so I leave them there. So, somehow, because of comfort, we choose this option.

But, in the long run, it's not a sustainable option! The child grows and becomes mobile, there's a risk of falling out of bed, they roll around, sleep in bed with parents is more restless. At some point, as the child grows, after 5-6 months, they become more aware and feel you, if you move, they move too, if you wake up to go to the bathroom, they sit up to see where you've gone.

We end up disturbing each other's sleep. That's the reality that needs to be spoken about, not swept under the rug", concluded Diana Rațiu.

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English





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