Q&A

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping Safely

The Benefits of Co-Sleeping Safely

What role does co-sleeping play in an infant’s development and how can safety be ensured? Leading developmental psychologist Elaine Barry shares her insights.

Q
Is there an age where co-sleeping stops being beneficial to a child's cognitive and emotional development?
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Could you make recommendations for what age to cease co-sleeping and transition children to their own rooms?
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Can I get more information on co-sleeping, especially on the area of its benefits to the development of the infant?
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I am a perinatal psychotherapist. Many of the parents I see co-sleep not by plan but out of desperation to get more sleep. Can you speak to the risk/benefit ratio of co-sleeping when a parent’s mental health and function is impacted by poor sleep?
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Is there a weaning process and how might I guide a conversation when there is anxiety (trauma) and other issues compounding the reasons why one might choose to continue co-sleeping?
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How do we balance the couple's intimacy when we co-sleep, and the child who is used to it doesn't want to go to his bed?
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How can we adjust our sleep situation with a two year old we have been co-sleeping with when there's a newborn on the way?
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Parents are warned by the health system - doctors, midwives, child health nurses - not to co-sleep due to dangers to the infant. I have clients who have been shamed by health practitioners for co-sleeping and told the infant needs to learn to sleep on their own. What is your opinion on this?
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I'm a mom who would love to co-sleep but due to health challenges associated with disrupted sleep my partner tends to our baby at night (baby sleeps in a bassinet next to the bed). I feel terribly guilty, any advice?
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