Useful information highlighting the pros and cons of co sleeping and sharing your bed with your baby.
There are various views on letting your baby sleep in the same bed as you. Advantages and disadvantages can only be assessed personally.
Advantages of your baby sleeping in the same bed as you
Disadvantages of your baby sleeping in the same bed as you
- Your baby will know you are there and can respond emotionally and physiologically in potentially beneficial ways.
- If you work during the day co-sleeping will give you extra time to spend with your baby.
- The closeness felt during the night can help create a stronger relationship between you and your child.
- Babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents tend to breastfeed more, but disrupt their mother?s sleep less.
- Some studies have claimed that babies who sleep in the same bed are believed to sleep for longer periods of time during the night.
- Some believe that babies who co-sleep with their parents are more confident as children and adults, but where a baby sleeps cannot make your baby into a particular type of person.
Recommended precautions for sharing a bed with your baby
- You may not sleep as well with your baby in bed with you.
- If your baby is used to falling asleep next to you, he or she may not settle if looked after buy someone else and this may be a habit which is hard to break.
- The transition between your bed and his or her own bed may be difficult.
- Intimacy in bed between you and your partner may become practically impossible.
Adults who have taken alcohol or other drugs and those taking over-the-counter or prescription medications that may cause them to sleep too soundly should not bedshare. Also parents suffering from extreme exhaustion should not share a bed with their baby. Such adults may not be aware of the baby in the bed, creating a risk of overlying and suffocation.
Your head/foot board railings should have spaces no wider than those allowed in safety-approved cots. As with cots, these spaces can become places for baby to become entrapped and suffocate.
Refrain from sleeping in a bed with rails with infants under one year. Babies can become wedged between the mattress and the side rail, resulting in suffocation.
Avoid placing an adult bed directly alongside furniture or a wall. Babies and young children can become trapped between the bed and other furniture or a wall and suffocate.
A parent with long hair should pull back their hair and fasten it as the hair could become wound about the baby's neck, posing a strangulation risk.
Refrain from allowing siblings in bed with an infant less than one year old. Very young babies are at a greater risk of overlying and suffocation by older siblings.
Do not have your baby in bed with you if you sleep in a waterbed. The surface of a waterbed can prevent ventilation if a baby moves to a face down position.