The Lowdown on Sleep Habits and Bonding
Did you know that how and where your baby sleeps can impact how you two bond? Researchers Nicole Taylor, Wilberta Donovan, and Lewis Leavitt dug into this interesting topic in a recent study. They looked at 70 pairs of moms and babies, all with babies developing in the usual way.
Consistent Sleep, Happy Baby and Mom
What they found is that whether baby is always sleeping in mom’s bed (called habitual co-sleeping), or never does (non-co-sleeping), it’s the sticking to a routine that matters. The pairs that had a regular sleeping routine at 6 months showed better bonding and happier behavior by the 9-month mark. Those who flip-flopped on their sleeping routine didn’t do as well.
The Perks of Co-sleeping
On another note, the study showed that more co-sleeping time each week could lead to several good things. Moms who co-slept more breastfed for longer periods, worked less, and were less likely to be depressed. The babies were less fussy, too.
What This Means for Us Child Sleep Consultants
As child sleep consultants, what can we take from this study? The main message is consistency in baby’s sleep routine is key to a positive bonding experience. Whether it’s co-sleeping or not, sticking to a routine helps. It’s something we should keep in mind when guiding families, making sure we give advice that suits their unique needs and situations.
Taylor, N., Donovan, W., & Leavitt, L. (2008). Consistency in infant sleeping arrangements and mother–infant interaction. Research Article. Infant Mental Health Journal, 29(2), 137-154. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.20170