For those who are or have been parents or dealt with children, they understand there is a special bond between mother and child, one made out of nurturing. All one has to do is simply observe to understand that it is always the mother a child usually runs to during times of a strong emotional nature. However, there is a study stating that a mother and child bond can be damaged during the infancy of a child’s life. The solution: babies should share their mothers bed until the age of three. Looks like daddies are going to have to wait before it’s just him and his wife in bed.
According to Daily Mail, it reports that the controversial advice came from a claim by a pediatrician who found that babies who were just two-days-old slept less in a cot compared to those of the same age who slept on their mother’s chest. As a result, Dr. Nils Bergman, of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, says that healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for the first few weeks, followed by staying in the mother’s bed until they are three or even four years old.
The Telegraph also wrote on this study in which they reported details of the research Dr. Nils Bergman performed in association to his claims. In the study, Bergman observed the sleeping patterns of sixteen infants and found things that would be of concern to parents. Babies’ hearts were under three times more stress when they slept in a cot rather than their mothers’ chest. It was also discovered there were disruptions in the babies’ sleep cycle — pertaining to the transition from the two types of sleep called active and quiet — which is vital for organ development. Finally, it was Bergman’s professional claim that the sleep cycle disruptions resulted in overall lack of sleep, a factor for behavior problems in the child later in life.
However, such finds seem to be in contrast to an earlier study that links mother and child bed-sharing to unexplained infant death. The Inquisitr reported on this, in which one possible reason why infants may pass on in a shared bed is due to a parent’s moving during sleep, as shown in a viral time-lapse video. Not to mention, bed-sharing may be debilitating for the mother as well as the child, as children can actually keep a mother up, thus disrupting her sleep cycle. Despite the video evidence shown above, Dr. Nils Bergman states that infant deaths are not because of the presence of the mother, but other factors like toxic fumes, cigarettes, alcohol, big pillows, and dangerous toys.
To all you parents, now that you’ve read Dr. Nils Bergman’s research on the benefits of mothers and their infant children bed-sharing, what are your views? Do you personally find it better for infants to co-sleep with you or better to sleep alone in a crib or cot?
[Image via Katie M. Berggren‘s painting You & Us]