The process of sleeping together with parents may be part of the child’s developmental process during the early years of life. According to Steinberg et al., it “allows mothers to reach for and pull their infants close for feeding or comforting” (107). Nevertheless, controversial issues arise regarding the strengths and weaknesses of this activity. On the one hand, infants feel protection that they need after leaving mothers’ wombs.
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Being close to parents allows children to feel secure and calm. On the other hand, if a child is not accustomed to sleeping separately from parents, it may have negative consequences in the future. The denial of individual bed space can cause problems in daycare and generally have a negative effect on the child’s psyche and nervous system. In my opinion, co-sleeping is acceptable in some cases when children feel discomfort, for example, a toothache. However, on the whole, the advantages of separate sleep are more obvious.
It is important not to allow the child in conscious age to feel the need to fall asleep close to parents; therefore, this practice should be stopped no later than one year after birth. At the same time, it is crucial to pay attention to the phases of sleep and the cycles of awakening. As Steinberg et al. note, “the organization of the sleep-wake cycle reflects neurological maturation and the developing ability of babies to regulate their own states” (107).
Although the child tends to sleep close to parents, it is necessary to teach babies that they have their beds. It will help to facilitate the process of sleep in the future and eliminate any manifestations of psychological disorders.
Steinberg, Laurence, et al. Development: Infancy Through Adolescence. Cengage Learning, 2010.