Co-sleeping is still a confusing topic for many new parents out there. You want your baby to get the best sleep they can and safely too. In this article, we will be talking about the different co-sleeping positions that will be safe for you and your baby. We will also be talking about what experts consider to be the best way to sleep for your baby to reduce the risk of Sleep-Related Infant Deaths. But first, let’s learn a little bit about co-sleeping.
What Is Co-Sleeping?
Co-sleeping is often confused with bed-sharing. Though both the terms sound similar, there’s a major difference between the two.
Co-sleeping means letting the baby sleep in the same room as the mother. In co-sleeping, the mother and the baby share the same room, but not the same bed. In a co-sleeping arrangement, your baby will be closer to you so that you can easily be there for them.
Whereas bedsharing refers to sharing the same bed surface with another person. In this arrangement, both the mother and the baby will be sleeping in the same bed (1).
Here Are Some Co-Sleeping Tips For You And Your Baby
- If your mattress is against the wall, make sure you don’t leave any gaps between the mattress and the wall. Your baby can get trapped between them or fall out of bed (2).
- Make sure that the bedding is neat and firm. Avoid keeping blankets and pillows in your baby’s bedding as it can lead to overheating or obstruct their breathing by covering their face.
- If you have pets or other kids at home, make sure they don’t get into bed with your baby when he/she is sleeping.
- Avoid falling asleep in a chair or sofa with your baby. If you are feeling drowsy while breastfeeding, it’s best to move to a safer space like your bed to feed your little one.
Safe Co-Sleeping Positions For You And Your Baby
1. Lay Them On Their Back
You should put your baby to sleep on their back. Don’t let them sleep on their side or tummy (3). If you are breastfeeding and your baby falls asleep on their side, slowly turn them on their back.
2. Create A Safe Space For Your Baby
Let your baby sleep in a separate bassinet or cot in the same room as you. You can also place your baby’s crib at arm’s length from your bed so that you can easily attend to the baby during nighttime.
Here’s What The Experts Have To Say
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your baby should sleep in the same room as you for at least the first 6 months of life. It is recommended to let your baby sleep in your room until their first birthday.
Babies should be laid in a crib or a bassinet in a firm mattress with a tight-fitting bedsheet. It is also recommended to leave the crib bare. Avoid placing pillows, blankets, soft toys, crib bumpers, and even soft bedding to reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Make sure that you are not exposing your baby to smoke, alcohol or illicit drugs in any way (4).
Though co-sleeping is considered as the safest option for babies, many parents switch to bedsharing after a while. Though bedsharing is strongly recommended against by the experts, there are studies which show the benefits of bedsharing such as better sleep for babies and promoting bonding between mom and child (5).
Letting your baby sleep in the same room as you or in the same bed finally comes down to each individual parent. At the end of the day, we want what’s best for our babies. So if you are bed-sharing with your baby, it’s best to talk to your doctor and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths. Where do you and your baby sleep? Let us know in the comment section below.