Safe Co-sleeping

Co-sleeping can be defined as sleeping with mother and baby in close proximity; bedsharing is one kind of co-sleeping where the mother and baby sleep together in the same bed. Here are some guidelines for sleeping safely with your baby


 

Co-sleeping can be defined as sleeping with mother and baby in close proximity; bedsharing is one kind of co-sleeping where the mother and baby sleep together in the same bed. Currently, many public health agencies are recommending against bedsharing, based on research that found higher rates of infant deaths when adults and babies slept together. Other research, though, suggests that bedsharing can be safe, provided certain guidelines are followed:

 

Breastfeeding

The baby is sleeping next to his mother and the mother is breastfeeding. (Research by Helen Ball and others found that breastfeeding mothers position themselves differently in their sleep when bedsharing with their babies. They sleep facing the baby with an arm over baby’s head. In that position, it is impossible to roll over onto the baby. Mothers and adults who are not breastfeeding are much more likely to roll over with their backs to the baby while sleeping, and to have the baby positioned near the pillows, rather than at breast height.) Children can be very deep sleepers, so it is not recommended that they sleep next to the baby. Breastfed babies are also more easily roused when sleeping than those who are not breastfed, another safety factor.

 

Free of meds

The mother is not affected by medications or recreational drugs (including alcohol) that might make her less aware of her baby while she is sleeping. (You know how you don’t fall out of bed at night? Even while you are asleep, you know where the edge of the bed is. In the same way, you are aware of your baby’s presence when you sleep with him. But medication or drugs can dull that awareness.)

 

Firm Surface

The bed has a firm mattress, topped with a snugly-fitted sheet. And it should be a bed – couches, recliners, etc., are not safe places to sleep with a baby. Use one or two firm pillows, kept away from the baby, and remove heavy blankets, quilts or duvets that could cause a problem if they covered the baby’s face. A light mesh or lacy-knit blanket is a better choice. If the bed has a headboard or footboard, these are tight against the mattress so that the baby can’t get wedged in between the board and the mattress. Another option is to put the mattress on the floor.

 

Non-smoking Home

Neither parent smokes. Smoking, even if parents never smoke in the bedroom, significantly increases the risks of bedsharing.

 

Back to Sleep

The baby sleeps on his back. This is usually easy to arrange for breastfeeding mothers – typically, the baby lies on his side to nurse to sleep then rolls naturally onto his back (or can be gently turned onto his back once he’s asleep).

 

Cool Room Temp

The room is kept at a comfortable but cool temperature, and the baby is not dressed too warmly.

If you decide not to bedshare, co-sleeping is still important to reduce the risk of SIDS. Keep the baby in your room, near your bed, unless one or both parents smokes, in which case the baby should sleep in a separate room.

 

 

 

New On the Baby Post

 

You May Also Like...

 
 
Register For Our Newsletter Contests Video

Latest Comments

Start Here: Introductions

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm

gabriellir 9 months 1 week ago.

Start Here: Introductions

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm boo

gabriellir 9 months 1 week ago.

Start Here: Introductions

Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I'm getting sick and

lavinal62 9 months 1 week ago.

Product Recalls Attention

HarperCollins Publishers recalls Two "That’s Not My…" Children’s Books

HarperCollins has recalled That’s Not My Reindeer and That’s Not My Santa kids’ books due to possible mould contamination

Joe Fresh Recalls Striped Quilted Baby Jackets

Due to a choking hazard, Loblaw Companies has recalled Joe Fresh Baby Jackets

Costco Recalls Kirkland Signature Brand Quinoa Salad

Costco Wholesale Canada has issued a recall of the Kirkland Signature brand Quinoa Salad because of reported illnesses.