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Co-Sleeping Increases Touching
Touching has been shown to be important and beneficial in how the baby develops physically, emotionally and intellectually.
Children Sleep Better
Co-sleeping gives the child a feeling of security and of being loved and protected. There is no need to be afraid and the body heat of another person is very comforting. In Dr. Sears reviews he found that co-sleeping children awakened less often and have fewer nightmares and nighttime disturbances. These children view sleep as a pleasant time of closeness. Children who sleep alone (especially if they don't want to) often consider it a fearful time of separation.
Co-sleeping may create a closer bond between the parents and child. Once they get used to it many fathers report that they feel closer to their babies. This also enables fathers to spend more time with their children, after all human beings spend a third of their life asleep.
Long Term Effects
Dr. Sears believes that co-sleeping teaches a child to be comfortable being in touch with a person and does not substitute things for people (bottle, teddy bear, blankie, etc.). Tine Thevenin says it has been observed that children that have been breastfed and slept with their parents are more demonstrative in showing affection and seem better equipped to deal competently with social processes. "Parents have verified that such a child also seems to have a higher degree of empathy for other members in the family."