As a new parent, you may want to spend every second of the day with your baby. And we do not blame you; after all, you get to meet them after waiting for nine months.
In fact, you are spending so much time with your baby, maybe by default, since they need to be fed or changed or soothed once every few hours. Naturally, you want to cuddle them and hold them.
Let’s explore this often controversial and misunderstood topic together so you can make up your mind after having all the facts down.
This is a hard one to answer since there are too many conflicting views and pieces of information.
Firstly, the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against co-sleeping for risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Underlying causes of SIDS are unknown but are usually linked to insufficient air being delivered to the baby’s tiny nostrils. This is also why adding extra padding or pillows or even loose blankets is highly discouraged.
What pediatricians do recommend is room sharing since it enables you to keep a close watch on your baby without endangering their life.
On the flip side, experts also encourage physical contact with the baby as this assists in the development of a deeper bond between parents and babies. In addition to this, heat from your body can be a source of warmth for your little one.
So, what do you think is the right thing to do? You can co-sleep with your baby, albeit following a few essential rules.
Rules for safe co-sleeping with your baby:
Let’s check some rule that helps you, baby, to sleep safely with a newborn baby.
1.) Always Place The Baby on Their Back:-
Your baby should always be placed straight on their back when sleeping.
This is true for when they are sleeping or just taking a nap. It is also not specific to co-sleeping since babies should be on their backs even if they are sleeping independently.
Experts strongly recommend this because not only does this help support your baby’s frail back, it minimizes the chances of SIDS by ensuring the free flow of air.
2.) Make Sure To Remove Extra Pillows & Paddings:
This again is not specific to co-sleeping as pediatricians recommend a bare-bones bassinet or crib for a baby in any case. But your need to be extra vigilant about this while co-sleeping since most parents have multiple pillows in their bed to feel comfortable.
Remember, what is comfortable for you may not necessarily be comfortable for your baby. The reason for this being that such things increase the possibility of suffocation among newborns.
3.) Sleep On a Separate Surface As The Baby:
This is the main point to remember. You should not be on the same surface as your baby. The least you can do is place your baby on a slightly elevated surface, like placing them in a baby blanket or a bassinet mattress.
This will prevent any risk of your baby being rolled on or disturbed in any way during their sleep. Also, co-sleeping does not necessarily have to involve you being in the same bed as your newborn.
You can technically still co-sleep while being in separate beds using bassinets specifically designed for co-sleeping—more on this below.
4.) Should Not So-sleep With a Baby is?
This makes a lot of sense from a safety perspective. No one who takes sedatives or depressants or happens to be a heavy sleeper should co-sleep with a baby.
You should always be alert when it comes to fulfilling your baby’s needs, especially since they do not have a set schedule and wake up multiple times during the night; you should be able to respond to even the slightest of noise they make.
If both of you happen to heavy sleepers, then room sharing would be a better option than co-sleeping, so be sure to check that out.
5.) Invest In a Co-sleeping Bassinet:
This may be the most significant thing you can do to ensure safe co-sleeping. But are bassinets safe for a newborn? In short, Yes, it’s safe. It would be best to follow the rules listed above, but you need the proper equipment to practice 100% safe co-sleeping.
As already hinted above, it creates a separate surface for your baby to sleep in.
There are multiple bassinets available in the market, designed to assist safe co-sleeping at various price ranges.
Most of this co-sleeping bassinet has the feature where you can adjust the bassinet height and align it in a way that it becomes seemingly attached to the side of your bed.
The bassinet becomes an extension of your bed in a way, but with your baby safely in their corner.
They also enable you to bring one side of the bassinet down so you can easily reach over and touch your little angel without having to get up. These are just very convenient for feeding during the night and for calming down your baby.
It is strongly advised that parents practice room sharing with newborns. However, if you want to co-sleep with your baby and feel comfortable doing so, there are no rules against that.
You need to follow a few basic guidelines and get a suitable bassinet to make your baby’s sleeping environment safe, and you are good to go.
There are just a few rules that you should be conscious about and follow to safely co-sleep with your baby. Many of these rules should be in place even if you are not co-sleeping, so you are not going out of your way too much to share a bed with your baby.
Co-sleep with your baby as it is convenient for you.
But if you are unsure about following the guidelines precisely, then co-sleeping might not be for you. It is better to be safe than sorry, so compromise with room sharing rather than bed-sharing. Always think about the baby first as they are the number one priority.