Source: Huffington Post
By Margaux Khoury,
Since the dawn of time mothers have been sleeping next to their babies, without ever even thinking about it. In fact, they not only sleep with their babies, but remain in constant, close contact with them, especially during the first year. Separating baby and mom at night is a very new practice.
Did you get the memo?
You’re not going to smother your baby, nor will you hurt your baby if you sleep side by side. In fact, the opposite might be true.
In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world. —Dr. James McKenna
Co-sleeping is a term that can range from sleeping in the same room as your baby to sharing a bed with your baby. It’s been very well-documented that sleeping beside your baby is biologically, anthropologically, physiologically, psychologically better for the mother and the baby.
Mothers have carried their babies for over nine months. The baby knows the mom and being with the mother is the ultimate refuge and source of security for baby.
By putting a baby in another room, or even in a separate crib, we cannot sense the distress signals if/when they happen — we can’t sense when baby needs us and it breaks that precious cycle of bonding and hormones. The closer mothers and babies stay together, the stronger the bond grows, and we get more accustomed to feeling our babies emotions, desires and needs.
Human infants are vulnerable, slow developing, and rely on their parents’ care for survival. Humans are born with about 25 percent of their adult brain size (most mammals are born with much more than that).
Compared with other mammals, human infants take the longest time to grow up, and they remain in a biologically dependent state for the longest period of time. In this immature state, human babies are, for the first few months of life at least, unable to efficiently regulate their body temperature without mother being in proximity, and they are unable to make effective antibodies found in mothers’ milk to protect themselves from bacteria and viruses. —Dr. James McKenna
Anthropologist Ashley Montague has said that “human infants are ‘extero-gestators’”because they complete their gestation after birth. We are born and we are meant to remain in close contact with our mother and father. Human babies are extremely dependent on their parents’ care. Without it, they won’t survive.