Baby > The essentials > Sleeping > Where should baby sleep? > Co Sleeping with your baby

Co Sleeping with your baby

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
  • 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.
Disadvantages of your baby sleeping in the same bed as you
  • 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.
Recommended precautions for sharing a bed with your baby

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.

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I had real problems getting my newborn daughter to sleep any where other than my memory foam mattress a decision I came to regret.However i found that if i wait for her to go into a deep sleep and place a snuggle with my scent on it in the cot she will sleep through.
by minxyboo 14th May 2010, 4:24pm
My baby is 13mths old and I don't think she ever had a full nights sleep in her cot - she slept in moses basket until 6 weeks then she was too big for it - she now sleeps with me every night and plan to try and put her in own room at some point, but keep delaying it and we both enjoy sleeping with each other - husband doesn't tho as he is in spare room - oops!
by nickchick78 11th Feb 2010, 9:18am
my first daughter was a great sleeper. the first three weeks from the hospital she slept in my room in a pack and play bed. then went to her room i her crib...( the matteras in the crib is better for her growing body) she was slepping all night by then and still dose now she will be two in 5 days. and i am oreg with baby number 2
by mackenziemommie 28th Jan 2010, 9:19am
I was taught by the MW in hospital how to BF in bed with my new baby. She is now 4 months old and I still feed her in bed. I put her to sleep in her cot at 7pm, she has a dream feed at 10/11pm and goes back in her cot and I go to bed. The next time she awakes I bring her in to bed with me for a feed and she stays there until morning. Ideally I would like her to sleep all night in her cot, which is quite near to my bed, but it is just so much easier when you bf for baby to come into your bed. I do love waking up to her lovely big eyes looking at me and smiling like a little angel.
by evocativenut 26th Oct 2009, 12:47pm
since my bby was born i had her in bed with me even at the hospital the nurses often came and took her off my chest n put her back into the cot but as soon as my eyes opened i wud pik her up and put her back in they never bothered taken her off me nemore my bby was ill so i felt like she had to be near me 24-7 and she was she still sleeps in bed with me in my double bed she has her side and i have mine since she was brought home she has always slept all the way threw and still is now but she will still go in her moses basket if i chose to put her in there coz my gal loves her sleep jus lyk her mummy xx
by taiyatai 4th Aug 2009, 12:35pm
my baby was ill for a few week so she slept in the bed with me and my partner, now i cant get her out. when i put her in her own cot she crys untill she sick.... plz help.
by Harley657 8th Jun 2009, 9:33am
i love to have my baby in bed with me in the morning he has his bottle in the morning as he sleeps all night so he comes in the bed in the morning after 7 to have a cuddle so lovely and smell of bsabys soo nice lol
by mummy2dns 26th Jan 2009, 9:37am
i love co-sleeping with my 5months old son. i work all day and arrive home late, so co-sleeping gives me time to bond with him and he also gets to breastfeed as much as he wants to.
unfortunately he wakes up as soon as i wake up which is too early for a baby, but i think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
i plan to co-sleep with him until he's ready to move to his own bed.
by manani 25th Nov 2008, 8:51am
i'm on my 5th child and have co-slept with all. I've always slept better and they have always slept more at night than what I hear from friends who don't co-sleep. BTW not trying to force an opinion on anyone just my own experiences. Oldest is now 12 and have gotten comments consistently of how "well adjusted" they are (ie adapt to change, confident, get along well with others) I think the co-sleeping has played a roll. It makes sense to me that the sooner you can soothe your child the more confident they will be that you will always be there.
by Mom5girlz 17th Nov 2008, 8:58am
Co-Sleeping is wonderful for your baby and your milk flow, and gets you the most sleep possible, but I could never, for a variety of reasons, bed-share. . .among other things, safety was a concern for me, too. I got put onto a great cot from America, a Co-Sleeper Cot from Arm's Reach, which is now in the UK and which I swear by, but there are a lot of other things out there that you could use. . .regular drop side cots, a Bednest, which attaches to the bed like the Co-Sleeper but doesn't last as long or do as many things, even just a regular cot in your room is better than nothing. So you can still co-sleep and get the benefits for you and your baby without bedsharing. Google co-sleeper or co-sleeping and there are a lot of sites which offer different options. The thing to do it to think about it before you have the baby and learn how to safely co-sleep whether by bed-sharing or in a special co-sleeper cot. If you wait until the baby arrives, you will end up co-sleeping out of exaustion and will probably do it in a dangerous way.
by ChelleDKelley 4th Aug 2008, 9:03am
by lillybet 27th May 2008, 8:36am
I am 25 weeks pregnant with my first baby...I think i will sleep with her in the same bed. Firstly, cuz am a single parent so no man will be sharing the bed with me, secondly cuz i just do not have space to fit in a cot...So my little one is lucky the decision is made.
by Mikillah 29th Apr 2008, 3:07pm
my son is 3 months old.For the first 3 weeks i was breastfeeding him until i wasnt able to do it no more.he sleep't with me during them 3 weeks so it was easier for me to feed him at night.
Now i have the problem of getting him to sleep through the night in his own cot.ive tried a number of things like staying with him till he drops off,holding his dummy in so it soothes him to sleep but nothing seems to work longer the 4 hours.he still sleeps with me and constantly wants to be close to me when sleeping.i dont know what to do.
any one got any suggestions???
by Nathighuszmum 14th Apr 2008, 8:42am
my baby is 2 months old and she love to sleep with me and my husband .i try to put her in her crib but she don't want .and its good for me too coz i breastfeed her and its easier for me to feed her .
by motto 15th Jan 2008, 2:36pm
My baby is 4 months old, i'd rather not have him sleeping in my bed as i know it wil be a hard habit to break but we both get a better nights sleep. I am breastfeeding so its easier to just lie on my side and feed through the night. I have him lie on the edge of the bed rather than in the middle though.
by moodles 13th Nov 2007, 10:24am
ahhh it makes me cringe the thought of a baby in the same bed because id be so worried about squashing and suffocating the poor thing i just couldnt let myself take that chance even though you know in the back of your mind that the babys there but it is just to risky in my opinion
by mcflurry 26th Oct 2007, 8:51am
My 11 month old baby will not sleep in her cot. I have tried everything, I tried putting her to sleep and then putting her in her cot but then she wakes up and starts crying as soon has i've just put her in her cot.
by AskBaby9521 20th Dec 2006, 1:39pm
My child is now 13 months old, i breast feed for 6 months until he decided to stop, i found that bed sharing was the best option for myself my husband and my baby. I could feed on my side and i had complete knowledge that he was there. It is not full sleep however i felt better rested then i did sitting up in the middle of the nursing every 2 -3 hours. My husband then slept in the other room, he felt he was not aware of the baby in the bed.
by AskBaby3922 15th Nov 2006, 10:01am