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  • Malalaki Na, Sumisiksik Pa Rin? 6 Positive Benefits Of Sharing A Bed With The Kids

    No need to feel guilty even if you're still co-sleeping with older kids.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Malalaki Na, Sumisiksik Pa Rin? 6 Positive Benefits Of Sharing A Bed With The Kids
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/JenJ Ivary
  • In the Philippines, it’s not uncommon for children to be co-sleeping with their parents even if they are already old enough to sleep on their own. Culturally, that’s acceptable, according to Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician and lactation consultant, during her talk at SmartParenting.com.ph’s All About Babies workshop.

    There are a number of reasons why parents choose to co-sleep — for some, they prefer to have their children nearby, because they feel that the kids are safer and more secure that way. It’s also convenient especially if you have a small space.

    Why co-sleeping can be good for the family

     If you’re still co-sleeping with older kids, there’s no need to feel guilty! There are actually a number of positive benefits that you and your little ones get from sharing one bed or room.

    1. It makes them more confident.

    A recent survey of a group of college psychology students revealed that adults who had a history of co-sleeping with their parents “had higher self-esteem, [and] less guilt and anxiety.” This was especially true among males.

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    According to the respondents, staying with their parents also made them more comfortable when it came to relating to others physically.

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    On our parenting community, Smart Parenting Village, one mom agreed that her kids are more assured with mommy and daddy in the room. “Anytime she wakes up, nakikita niya andiyan ka,” she says, adding that young children are also prone to separation anxiety.

    "They need the comfort din [and] knowledge na andiyan ka and hindi mo sila iiwan or ipapamigay,” she shares.

    2. There are more opportunities to bond.

    Sharing a bed and a room means more time to laugh, sing, play, snuggle, and create family memories. For older kids, it allows them to open up to their parents and share stories about their day, their thoughts, and feelings.

    For Charlene, a mom with four kids ages 14, 12, 11, and 4, sharing one room helped nurture her children’s love for reading. Her husband would read to their firstborn and when he grew older, he read books to his younger sisters.

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    “Sobrang close namin as a family, kasi within that space, there’s a lot of opportunity for [us] to reach out to the kids, for us to really bond,” she shares in a previous Smart Parenting article.

    3. Siblings grow fond of each other.

    Because her children grew up staying in one space, Charlene says they now have a close relationship and the siblings really care for one another. “They have no choice but to adjust to one another’s quirks,” she says.

    “Nakikita ko na masaya kami. Masaya kami sa iisang kuwarto,” she adds.

    4. You get more sleep.

    It sounds impossible when you think about it, but if you have young kids, you can actually get better sleep when they are around. That’s because in the event that one of them suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night, you don’t have to get up and go to the other room to put them back to bed. You can just hug or pat them softly back to sleep.

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    “Maybe having everyone in the same bed gives off that feeling of safety and security, but as other moms are complaining about their kids waking up in the middle of the night, mine rarely do,” writes Janis MVK in her article for Working Mother.

    5. It’s easier to breastfeed.

    This is among the top reasons moms from our SP Village choose to co-sleep with their kids. Breastfeeding is made more convenient, not to mention, uninterrupted, when you and your baby sleep in the same room.

    But take note: the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends having a separate sleeping space for baby for the first six months to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. It is also to prevent suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment. (Read more sleep safety guidelines here.)

    6. Your kids learn to manage their emotions.

    Co-sleeping is one aspect of attachment parenting, which experts say is a “sensible approach that fosters physical and psychological health in children.” As they grow to turn to parents for comfort, children learn how to manage their emotions, which is essential for forming relationships and accomplishing tasks.

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    When parents and children co-sleep, the little ones are less exposed to stress. This fuels proper brain development and has also been shown to reduce a person’s likelihood of developing mental health problems later in life.

    As they say, children are only young once, so don’t feel guilty about letting them stay with you. When they’re older, they’ll let you know when they’re ready for their own room or bed, so just take advantage of your time and enjoy it!

    Which parenting style best suits your personality? Click here to find out.

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