mom on bedsharing bed with baby

The Pros and Cons of Bed Sharing

Co-sleeping is a hot, hot topic in the motherhood space and moms are either all for it, or totally against it. I am here today to share with you the pros and cons of bed-sharing along with my personal options on bed-sharing with your babies and toddlers.

Updated in Oct. 2022

mom on bedsharing bed with baby + pros and cons of bed sharing

The Truth About Bed Sharing

I’m not going to tell you to co-sleep, I know many people who are against it due to SIDS, and I tend to agree and disagree with that. I bought the expensive crib and organic mattress for my daughter, S, before she was born. It was all set up and ready, along with a bassinet for the first month or so depending on her weight and size (which ended up being huge but healthy due to her on-demand breastfeeding). But when I held S the first time I didn’t want to let her go. I must have stayed up three days straight (like most new parents) because I couldn’t bare to put her in the baby bed next to my hospital bed, or in her bassinet after that. Instead of sleeping when she was sleeping I gazed at her in amazement.

When we first went home I tried putting S in the bassinet but ended up falling asleep next to her while she breastfed, or picking her up because I was worried she would choke due to her reflux if she were flat on her back in the crib. Honestly, you have to be smart about co-sleeping. I knew for certain that I don’t roll in my sleep, and I’m a very light sleeper when it comes to her making a sound. After she would fall asleep I would keep my arm under her for elevation and comfort, but scoot to give her space. But co-sleeping has worked for us and is definitely a great option for some families if you understand the pros and cons.

If you’re struggling with making the decision to co-sleep or not co-sleep, think about if you feel the same as I did when my daughter was born, and consider the below pros and cons. If you have more to add please share them in the comments section below!

Pros and Cons of Bed Sharing

Below we are going to go into the pros and cons of bed-sharing for both babies and toddlers! I have included a list of my personal opinions inside of this collection of pros and cons for co-sleeping and I hope they help you decide whether or not bed-sharing with your babies and toddlers is for you or not!

Baby Co-Sleeping Pros

  • Easy breastfeeding in the middle of the night
  • Baby is within arm’s reach
  • Bonds mom and baby more
  • More sleep for parents (less waking up and walking around the house)
  • Saves space for families who share one room or a small home/apartment
  • Saves money by skipping the crib
  • Fewer items to bring when traveling with a baby (no need for a portable crib!)
  • Beneficial skin-to-skin contact
  • Promotes breastfeeding

Baby Bed-Sharing Cons

  • Overnight vacations without the little one are non-existent
  • Less room in the bed for parents
  • There’s a higher risk of SIDS or accidents if you’re not careful
  • You have to sell the crib you bought before the baby was born
  • Not all relatives will be understanding

Toddler Co-Sleeping Pros

  • Builds a child’s sense of security in a fast-changing world
  • Safely sleeping in the same room with parent(s) in case of emergency or home invasion
  • More sleep for everyone
  • Saves space for families who share one room or a small home/apartment
  • Saves money by skipping the crib or toddler bed (and eventually just going to a full-size bed)
  • Even if you don’t co-sleep, little ones end up going to their parent’s room in the middle of the night at times, so this isn’t too different

Toddler Bed-Sharing Cons

  • By this age, parents may want the bed to themselves
  • Some children take longer to sleep alone after co-sleeping this length of time
  • Overnight vacations without the little one are non-existent
  • You need to sell any furniture already purchased for your toddler as a baby

Did this post teach you anything about bed-sharing with babies and toddlers? Did it open your eyes to the pros and cons? I hope so!

Ready to move your baby to their own bed and wondering how to transfer your baby to their crib? Check out this post.

pros and cons of bed sharing and co sleeping

Shari Stamps

Founder at Navigating Parenthood
Shari created Navigating Parenthood so that expecting, new and new parents can find helpful gentle parenting & eco-focused resources as well as virtual & in-person support, services, events, and classes. As a mom of 5, postpartum educator & doula, lactation educator counselor, breastfeeding specialist, infant massage instructor, ICST, and baby-led sleep & well-being specialist she’s always learning something new. Join the journey via social at @NavigatingParenthood

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