Position Your Bed Safely
In addition to whats on the bed, equally important is whats near the bed. Namely, make sure the bed isnt up against a surface your baby could suffocate on. Ideally, the bed would be away from all walls and surfaces and the mattress would be positioned on the bed so it wouldnt slip. And the bigger the bed, the better. A king-size bed means more room for everyone .
Better Bond With The Father
While we may associate co-sleeping as primarily something a mom does for easier breastfeeding or bonding, Greater Good Magazine reports that bedsharing can also benefit fathers.
A 2012 study examined how different forms of co-sleeping affected testosterone levels in male parents, adding that higher testosterone levels could impact a fathers investment in parenting.
The researchers found that dads who slept on the same surface as their child showed lower testosterone levels. The findings suggest that less testosterone equates to more responsive parenting.
Why Do Some Parents Bed
Bed-sharing supporters believe and some studies support their beliefs that bed-sharing:
- encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime breastfeeding more convenient
- increases how many months a mother breastfeeds her baby
- helps babies fall asleep more easily
- helps babies and mothers get more nighttime sleep
- gives moms more time to be close to their infantsy
But the risks of bed-sharing can outweigh the benefits.
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Parent Shouldnt Be A Smoker
If you or your partner is a current smoker, the infant should not sleep in the same bed. Even though you may not actively smoke in bed, you should avoid sleeping next to the baby.
Furthermore, it is good to avoid any other irritants that could bother the childs airways. For example, avoid strong-smelling hairsprays, deodorants, and perfumes as these could make it difficult for them to breathe or cause coughing and choking.
Sleeping In An Adults Bed
SIDS and Kids are quick to point out that adult beds and bedding are not designed for the needs of a baby.
According to multiple case studies, a baby sleeping in bed with their parent puts them at an increased risk of being rolled on to, being wedged between the mattress and another object , being entrapped in bed railings, or being suffocated by pillows or blankets.
Research has found that there are some benefits to co-sleeping.
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Sharing A Bed With Your Baby
If you choose to share your bed with your baby, keep them safe by putting them beside you in their own baby bed . Until theyre 12 months old, babies are vulnerable to SUDI during sleep, and using a baby bed like this will help reduce the risk of your baby suffocating while theyre asleep.
The four key steps to making sure your baby has a safe sleep spell PEPE:
Read more and watch videos about SUDI prevention
Northland DHB is the funder, planner and a key provider of health and disability services for the population of Te Tai Tokerau .
What Is The Difference Between Co
There is a lot of understandable confusion regarding all of these different terms surrounding infant sleep, especially since some of them are incorrectly used interchangeably. However, they do not mean the same thing. There is a distinct difference between a parent who chooses to co-sleep with their child and a parent who bed-shares.
Co-sleeping and bed-sharing are not synonymous terms, says Dr. Denise Scott, a pediatrician and pediatric endocrinologist who works with JustAnswer. Bed-sharing implies just that a parent shares the same bed or sleeping surface with a child. This practice is not advisable, and can create risk of suffocation, smothering, or other injuries for a baby. There is no question that the safest arrangement is not to sleep in the same bed or sleeping surface, Scott says. The AAP warns that bed-sharing increases the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death , in which SIDS is included.
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Will I Ever Sleep Again After Having Kids
Most parents fear that they will never, ever, get a full, solid and full nights sleep ever again! Especially when they are in the throes of those first few weeks and months home with their newborn. It will take some time to establish a healthy sleep routine but yes, you will sleep again, and sleep well.
Keep in mind that a nighttime routine is an important part of establishing sleep cues for baby. A sleep cue is something that is soothing and comforting for helping baby get to sleep, and also when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night. For newborns, many parents find that a white noise machine or soft music aids in the nighttime routine. The Dream weighted swaddle and sleep sack also provide a great cue that its time to venture off to dreamland.
I Am Worried I Might Fall Asleep While I Breastfeed My Baby At Night Is This Ok
Breastfeeding reduces the chance of SIDS, so we would always try and help you work out a way to continue breastfeeding in the safest way possible. If you feel you might fall asleep we would recommend you prepare the bed as described above so it is safer for baby if this happens. Make sure you know the advice on when never to bed share so you know when to take particular care. It is really important that you do not accidentally fall asleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair. If you think you might fall asleep on a sofa or armchair, put the baby down in a safe place to sleep.
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Our Tips For Dealing With Newborn Sleep Deprivation
No matter what age a person is, sleep is essential for a healthy life. But most new parents will tell you that they get no sleep with newborn baby in the house. Sleep deprivation is a real issue for parents and experts say that most parents wont sleep like they did pre-baby for around six years! Dont let this scare you, though
Good, quality sleep is needed for cognitive reasoning, social skills, and overall wellbeing, including brain and body development in infancy. Sleep is also the time when your babys brain processes all of the new and exciting things they experience throughout the day which is pretty much everything from the sky, the floor, even their own hands! But if youre curious how to deal with sleep deprivation after baby arrives, keep reading for some tips on how to get through those rough, early weeks of having inconsistent sleep.
Keep Yourself In Check
There are a good number of preventable deaths from co-sleeping caused by parents who were drinking and/or smoking. Do not sleep with your baby after drinking even one glass of wine can impair your senses and increase the likelihood you could hurt baby. The same holds true for smoking or if you take medication that could make you drowsy.
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What Are The Benefits Of Co
While parents co-sleeping with baby may not be viewed as an acceptable norm in the United States, it’s common in most other parts of the world and encouraged. To many people, co-sleeping is practical and provides an opportunity to enjoy physical togetherness with your baby. After all, sleeping next to a loved one feels completely natural and innate. Your baby longs for comfort throughout the long hours of the night. Additionally:
- Co-sleeping creates more time for bonding with your infant
- It encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime feeding more manageable and more convenient
- It helps your baby fall asleep more easily
- It gives you a more extended time to breastfeed your baby
Baby Should Sleep By Mom
Where baby sleeps in your bed is important. Moms, especially breastfeeding moms, generally spend more time in lighter sleep stages, which means that she is more aware of baby. If you are worried about having enough space, consider utilizing an approved bed extender or side rail to keep baby safe.
Moms also tend to sleep in a protective position, with knees curled under baby. This helps prevent any scooting down under the blankets.
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Our Nighttime Parenting Outlook
Another piece of mommy advice is to always remember what my husband, Dr. Bill, would remind me: What your babies need is a happy, rested mother. If a sleeping arrangement feels right and is working for you, then you are on the right path. If it is not, work on a sleeping arrangement that gives all family members the best nights sleep.
I still remember the many co-sleeping talks Bill and I had in our earlier years of nighttime parenting. We wondered, are we doing the right thing? Now we look back with happy memories that the increased touch time we gave our babies is relatively short in your total parenting life, but those high-touch attachment effects last a lifetime toward imprinting deep feelings of empathy and social attachment in your children.
For more advice on co-sleeping, see many of my personal nighttime parenting stories in The Baby Sleep Book.
Are Bed Rails Recommended
Bed rails might seem like a great way to keep a baby secured, but the experts say otherwise. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should not use portable bed rails for infants as they could lead to entrapment or strangulation.
However, bed rails are deemed okay for slightly older children< sup.. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says bed rails are intended for small kids old enough to get in and out of bed independently, specifically ages two through five.
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Is There A Risk Of Sids With Co
The answer to this question largely depends on whether parents use the term co-sleeping to mean room-sharing or bed-sharing. The risk of SIDS significantly decreases when parents follow safe sleep recommendations with their baby, says Emily Osborne, a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor, and a parenting expert at Owlet. If parents choose to bed-share, the risk of SIDS does increase.
However, Osborne wants to make it clear that there are many other factors that contribute to an increased risk of SIDS. She notes that a recent study on bed-sharing states that approximately 1 in 46,000 low-risk babies will die while sleeping in a crib in a parents room, whereas 1 in 16,400 low-risk babies will die while sleeping in a parents bed. But, despite this statistic, babies who sleep in bed with an adult who smokes, uses alcohol or drugs, or has obesity are at an increased risk of SIDS compared to those who bed-share with parents who dont do any of these things. Additionally, infants born preterm or with low birth weight are at a higher risk of SIDS. Those infants should stay out of a parents bed, says Scott.
While doing your research, its important to keep in mind the difference between SIDS an undefined death and a sleep-related infant death. A sleep-related infant death can include suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment when bed-sharing. The CDC estimates that sleep-related deaths in infants account for over 28% of SUID.
Reduced Stress For The Baby
Both mom and child may have separation anxiety. For an infant, this can be particularly terrifying. They have been attached to their mother for nine months, and the idea of being alone could be stressful.
A 2011 study looked at the effects of separating 25 infants from their mothers for sleep training. Even though the babies were no longer crying out by the third night, their cortisol or stress levels remained high.
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Are There Any Benefits Of Co
While SIDS and Kids eagerly remind parents of the high risks of sharing their sleep environment with their babies, they also acknowledge that many studies have found that co-sleeping has some benefits.
These benefits include:
- Increased baby sleep arousal, which reduces the risks of SIDS
- Enhanced bond between mums and babies
- Less crying, unsettled periods and stress for babies
- Babies grow into children and young adults with higher self-esteem, better social skills, and less psychiatric problems
- Mums develop protective sleep behaviours .
SIDS and Kids recommends that you ask yourself what you think is best for you and your baby.
Reducing The Risk Of Sudi Including Sids And Fatal Sleeping Accidents
There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of SUDI including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents if you choose to co-sleep with your baby:
- Put your baby on their back to sleep .
- If you have long hair, tie it back. Also remove anything else that could be a strangling risk, including all jewellery and teething necklaces.
- Put your baby to your side. Never put your baby between 2 adults or next to other children or pets. Your baby might get rolled on or overheat.
- Move the bed away from the wall, so baby cant get trapped between the bed and wall.
- Make sure your babys face and head remain uncovered. Keep pillows and adult bedding like sheets, blankets and doonas away from your babys sleep space. Consider using a safe infant sleeping bag so your baby doesnt share adult bedding.
- Make sure the mattress is firm and flat. Dont use a waterbed or anything soft underneath for example, a lambs wool underlay, folded blankets or pillows.
- Never wrap or swaddle your baby if youre co-sleeping.
- Make sure your baby cant fall out of bed. The safest spot is on the side of a big bed, away from the edge. Consider sleeping on your mattress on the floor if its possible your baby might roll off the bed.
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Dr Sears Sids Hypothesis:
Mother Acts as Pacemaker
A major part of my sleep-sharing hypothesis is that mother can act as a breathing pacemaker for her baby. Picture what happens when mother and baby sleep side by side. Mother acts like a breathing pacemaker for her baby during sleep. Together they develop what we call sleep harmony. Both members of the sleeping pair have simultaneous sleep stages, perhaps not perfectly attuned and not all night long, but close enough that they are mutually aware of each others presence without disturbing each others sleep. Because of this mutual sensitivity, as baby normally cycles from deep sleep into light sleep, the presence of the mother raises babys arousability and awareness.
As previously discussed the lack of arousability or ascending out of deep sleep may characterize infants at risk for SIDS. Countless times a mother has said to me, I automatically awaken just before my baby starts to stir and I nurse her back to sleep. Usually neither of us fully awakens, and we both quickly drift back to sleep.
While watching Martha sleep next to our babies, I noticed how frequently she would attend to our infants nighttime needs, often without even waking up. Several times throughout the night she would adjust babys covers, nurse, or do whatever seemed right for babys well-being.
Do What Feels Right For You
Mother Fills in a Missing Ingredient
for more of Dr. Sears research on co-sleeping.