Not necessarily, if you’re considering contact naps with your baby, don’t get hung up worrying about them not developing their independent skills. While some parents worry that contact napping might lead to bad sleep habits, research suggests that there are actually many benefits to snuggling up with your baby for a nap. Here are just a few reasons why contact naps might be good for your little one.
Contact Naps Promote Bonding
One of the biggest benefits of contact naps is that they promote bonding between you and your baby. Skin-to-skin contact during a contact nap releases hormones like oxytocin, which can help you and your baby feel closer and more connected. Snuggling up for a nap is a great way to strengthen that bond and help your baby feel safe and secure.
Contact Naps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Babies are born with a natural need for human contact, and contact naps can help meet that need. When your baby is snuggled up against you during a contact nap, they feel safe and secure, which can help reduce their stress and anxiety. This can lead to better sleep and a happier, more relaxed baby.
Contact Nap Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Babies have a hard time regulating their body temperature, and snuggling up with a parent during a contact nap can help keep them warm or cool as needed. This is especially important for newborns, who are still adjusting to life outside the womb. Contact naps can help your baby feel comfortable and secure, which can lead to better sleep and a happier baby.
When are contact naps a problem?
It’s important to note that contact napping is only a problem if it’s causing stress or anxiety for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need a break, it’s okay to put your baby down for a nap in their own space. The most important thing is to find a balance that works for you and your family.
To summarise, contact naps can be a great way to promote bonding, reduce stress and anxiety, and help regulate your baby’s body temperature as long as they aren’t causing you stress. So snuggle up with your little one and enjoy some cozy nap time together!
Feldman, R., Rosenthal, Z., & Eidelman, A. I. (2014). Maternal-Preterm Skin-to-Skin Contact Enhances Child Physiologic Organization and Cognitive Control Across the First 10 Years of Life. Biological Psychiatry, 75(1), 56-64. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.012
Ludington-Hoe, S. M., Swinth, J. Y., Satyshur, R. D., & Graf, A. A. (2014). Shared Vulnerability and Mutual Rescue: The Bonding View of Developmental Disabilities. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews, 14(4), 200-205. doi:10.1053/j.nainr.2014.09.006