What is the best place for baby to sleep during those first days? There are all sorts of answers on this ranging from co-sleeping to sleeping in their own room. According to a recent report published in South Africa, ‘right on mom’s chest‘ is the most ideal place.
“Dr Nils Bergman, of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, says that for optimal development, healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for the first few weeks.”
Dr. Nils says the research shows the child is under much higher levels of stress when forced to sleep alone resulting in their hearts being under three times the stress of infants of the same age who slept with mom. Furthermore, he feels the child should sleep with mom until at least 3 years of age.
Corroborating, “Dr Bergman said that changes to the brain brought on by stress hormones may make it more difficult to form relationships later on, leading to problems such as promiscuity.”
Regardless of your parental preference, the reason this study is getting traction is based on this main finding’ “Sixteen infants were studied while they slept on their mother’s chest and in a cot by her bed. Monitoring revealed the baby’s heart to be under three times as much stress when he or she slept alone.”
To be clear, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths still advise the safest place for baby is in her or his own bed in the parent’s room. Still, this new study does lead to some really serious questions about what truly is best sleep practices when it comes to our babies.
Enjoy this article? Check out a related, humorous, co-sleeping post, Joys of Co-Sleeping?
PHOTO: Kelly Sue DeConnick – Shhh
EDITED BY: Bob Walton