Most mothers like sharing a bed with their child as it makes them feel closer and it gives them a sense of security since their child is within arm’s reach. However, a new study has shown that bed sharing might make your child prone to anxiety and depression.
They found that persistent bed sharers had more mental health issues
The study, conducted on 3,583 children in Brazil, studied the long term effects of bed sharing. They looked at 4 sets of kids: those who didn’t share a bed with their mother (44% of the respondents), those who shared a bed when they were very young (36.2%), those who shared a bed when they were a bit older (12%), and “persistent bed sharers”, or those who shared a bed with their mother since birth (7.4%).
Based on the results of tests conducted by the researchers, the children who were persistent bed sharers had an increased rate of mental health issues when compared with those who didn’t share a bed with their mother. The researchers concluded that “early and persistent bed sharing is associated with an increased occurrence of internalizing problems at the age of 6 years.”
The study still isn’t conclusive
Despite the study’s conclusion, it has its faults, most especially since the sample size is relatively small, and the researchers do admit that they didn’t take into account the reason why mothers chose to share a bed with their children, as in some cases (such as poverty) mothers share a bed with their children out of necessity.
In those cases, bed sharing might not necessarily be the exact cause as to why the children have mental health issues since there are many factors that can affect if a person will have anxiety or depression.
Regardless, most doctors still recommend parents to avoid bed sharing and to share a room with their child instead, preferably until they are one year old, since studies have conclusively shown that room sharing can lower the chances that a child will die from SIDS.
Go to the next page to learn more about keeping your baby safe from SIDS!
Safe sleeping tips to help prevent SIDS
SIDS is a parent’s worst nightmare. While there’s really no 100% way to prevent SIDS, there are steps that parents can take in order to reduce the chances that their child will die from SIDS.
Here are some of those tips:
- Make sure that your baby sleeps on their back. Studies have shown that the risk of SIDS can be significantly decreased if you let your baby sleep on their back. The risk of SIDS is also higher if your child lies on their stomach or on their side.
- Use a firm mattress, and take out any toys or pillows that might be a choking hazard. There’s no need to get any fancy toys or special pillows to put in your baby’s crib. All your baby needs is a firm mattress with a fitted sheet.
- If you or your partner are smokers, it’s best to quit as soon as possible. Studies show that children born to mothers who smoke are three times more likely to die from SIDS.
- Share a room, but don’t share a bed with your baby. Sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed with your baby can lower the chances of SIDS. You can cuddle with your baby while feeding or putting them to sleep, but make sure to place them in their crib when you’re ready to sleep.
- Breastmilk is amazing! Breastmilk does wonders for your child. It can also lower the chance of your child dying from SIDS. So make sure to breastfeed your baby for as long as you can.
- Make sure your child is up to date on their vaccines. It’s very important to keep your child updated on their vaccines as it keeps their immune system strong and protects them from a lot of diseases that are deadly to babies.
- Pacifiers are a must. Studies have shown that pacifiers can reduce the chance of a child dying from SIDS by up to 90 percent! While researchers are still not sure why, they’re definitely sure that pacifiers reduce the chance of SIDS.
- Avoid giving honey to children below one year old. Giving honey to children below one year old can lead to botulism. The bacteria that causes botulism has also been linked to SIDS.
READ: Experts say that sleeping beside your baby can be dangerous
Sources: goodhousekeeping.com, dailytimes.com.pk, webmd.com
Be sure to check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!