Safe Cosleeping: Creating A Safe Environment For Your Baby
How you choose to sleep is personal, and if you choose to co-sleep, there are a few things you need to know in order to be safe and secure. Parents need to ask themselves a few questions before they make the decision to co-sleep, even if its just for a couple days so that they can get some sleep. You need to be clear about your intention. Why are you co-sleeping? And how long? Do you just want to co-sleep for a few months or years? Or are you utilizing co-sleeping as a backup for those desperate moments before you and your baby are ready for sleep coaching. If youre going to, its important that you learn about safe cosleeping:
- Making an informed choice with everyone involved
- Safe sleep area
- Where the baby should sleep
- Appropriate clothing
How Can I Bedshare Safely So That Suffocation Is Not A Risk To My Baby
First off, it is important to understand that a breastfeeding mother specifically will naturally make a C shape with her body around her baby as they nurse in a sidelying position. This is actually a protective position that inhibits the chance of “overlaying” or rolling onto baby. It also prevents the likelihood of the partner being able to roll onto baby. Furthermore, there are other key tips for making sure you are bedsharing safely.
Parents are not smokers
Parents are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Infant is breastfed
There are no fluffy pillows or blankets around baby
Parents can use pillows, but infant should be positioned at breast height away from pillows, only light blankets should be used, and they should not be covering baby
Baby is NOT swaddled or in a “dock a tot” or other similar device. These are NOT meant for bedsharing and are unsafe for this purpose.
No gaps in bed frame/wall and mattress that the baby could become trapped in
No pets or other children in the bed
Do not “bed share” on a couch or recliner or cushy memory foam style mattress, a firm flat surface without gaps is extremely important to reduce suffocation risks.
Is Cosleeping With Baby Safe
Although this research has been criticized, a 2014 study published in Pediatrics determined that nearly 74% of deaths in babies younger than 4 months occurred in a bed-sharing situation. The study looked at data from 8,207 infant deaths that occurred between 2004 and 2012. Among older infants , the rate was slightly lower at nearly 59 percent.
Critics of this study point out that smoking, alcohol, and drug use were not taken into consideration, which can often be the culprit with baby fatalities. The lead researcher is hoping to conduct another large study that takes into account these issues. Although possibly flawed, the studies have raised awareness of the need to co-sleep safety.
- Some parents chose to use a co-sleeper bassinet, which keeps baby within arms reach, but also gives baby his own space.
- Other parents use co-sleeping separators to ensure that baby stays safe.
- Finally, you could buy an organic co-sleeping baby lounger from a company like Snuggle Me.
These contraptions can add additional assurance to parents.
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What Are The Benefits Of Co
According to James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, co-sleeping is biologically appropriate. And the following are all benefits of co-sleeping
- Can help with feeding
- Creates a strong bond between parent and baby
- Helps babys body temperature to stabilise
- Close contact helps babys to breathe more regularly
Author of The Science of Parenting, Margot Sunderland says, When human babies are separated from their mums body, they cry. If they dont get a response from her, theyll be quiet. But this reaction is a survival technique, which is accompanied by fluctuations in breathing, temperature and heart rate.
Im trying to tell parents that they can make up their own minds about co-sleeping. They have a right to know what theyre doing to a childs brain, that theyre either activating feel-good or stress chemicals.
In the first five years of life, the separation distress system is very sensitive. But as children develop, some may feel secure aged 3, while others can still be in a state of alarm and screaming in distress at that age. This isnt attention seeking we know this is activating the pain system and separation distress alarm.
If we keep alarming the baby, the brain becomes over-sensitive and hard-wired and this is linked to stress, anxiety and depression.
The Logistics Of Safe Baby Sleep
Some experts caution against putting too much emphasis on where you sleep rather than how. “Location is not as important as relationshipshow parents build attachment and love,” says James McKenna, Ph.D., an anthropologist specializing in infancy and development and director of the mother/baby behavioral sleep laboratory at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He also makes the point that gaining independence, which is part of the rationale for advocating crib sleeping, is something that a child will learn over time from her parents in many different ways.
The worst place for a newborn to doze is on a couch, armchair, and other soft, lumpy surface, which can create air pockets that make it difficult for her to breathe. This is especially dangerous during late-night feedings when both mom and baby are drowsy.
“If you think that there’s even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep , feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair,” said Lori Feldman-Winter, M.D., FAAP, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the AAP’s 2016 report on safe sleep guidelines for infants, in a statement. “If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed,” she added.
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What Are The Risks Of Co
Baby overheating, accidental smothering and studies an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Lucy warns, Many studies show that driving with sleep deprivation from caring for a newborn baby has worse response rates compared to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. With that in mind, is bed sharing really safe at all?
She goes on to add You might feel like youre okay like youre surviving. But in reality, where youre so tired, you dont really know whats going on. Sort of beneath the surface within the brain and body, its hard to tell. I think its really important that parents consider those factors too, the underlying ones, beyond the obvious factors of safety before making the decision to bed share.
Co-sleeping is very much a personal choice, says our medical expert Sonal Shah. For some parents, its a natural way to connect with their baby and get to know them better. It allows parents to easily reassure a baby, and for some make feeding easier. But Sonal warns that it can causes issues. As she says, Having a baby sleeping in the same bed can impact on their ability to get a good nights sleep. It can also impact on relationships as well.
So, its totally down to the parents choice and whether they feel comfortable. Your health visitor or GP is the best person to talk to when it comes to weighing up the factors involved.
When Not To Co
You should never co-sleep or lie down holding baby if:
- You are overly tired or unwell
- You or your partner have recently consumed alcohol
- You or your partner smoke, even if you dont smoke in the bedroom
- You or your partner have taken any drugs that make you feel sleepy or less aware
- Baby is premature or small for their gestational age
Falling asleep holding baby on a couch or chair is always unsafe move yourself and baby to a safe sleep environment if you think you might fall asleep.
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Check Your Sleep Depth
Some people are light sleepers, others can sleep through anything. Parents should pay attention to their own sensitivity to their baby. Your little one should be able to awaken you with minimum movement or noise . If you find that you sleep so deeply that you only wake when your baby lets out a loud cry, consider moving baby out of your bed, perhaps into a sidecar arrangement with baby’s crib or cradle directly beside your bed.
What Does The Research Say
The September/October 2002 issue of Mothering Magazine presents research done throughout the whole world on the issue of safe sleep. Numerous studies are presented by experts of excellent reputation. And what is the magazines conclusion based on all this research? That not only is sleeping with your baby safe, but it is actually much safer than having your baby sleep in a crib. Research shows that infants who sleep in a crib are twice as likely to suffer a sleep related fatality than infants who sleep in bed with their parents.
Explore Your Options Before Cosleeping
I would encourage you to explore alternative options to bedsharing first. Perhaps putting a small bassinet or a crib next to the bed is a better choice for your situation. Both of these are safe middle-of-the-road options. Cribs with nothing but a tightly-fitted sheet dont pose a suffocation hazard, and you still have the benefit of keeping your baby close to you.
Roomsharing IS recommended. Want to know more?Read: Room Sharing For The First Year: Is It Right For You?
How To Safely Co Sleep With Newborn
1.what is co-sleeping
Co-sleeping could be practice during which babies and young children sleep near one or both parents. How to Safely Co Sleep With Newborn As opposed to in a very separate room. Co-sleeping individuals sleep in sensory proximity to at least one another, where the individual senses the presence of others. This sensory proximity can either be triggered by touch, smell, taste, or noise. Therefore, the individuals are often some centimeters away or on the opposite side of the space and still have control over the opposite. Its standard practice in many parts of the planet and is practiced by a major minority in countries where cribs are used.Bed-sharing, a practice during which babies and young children sleep within the same bed with one or both parents, could be a subset of co-sleeping. Co-bedding refers to infants sharing an identical bed.
2. Benefits of co-sleeping
Well especially for breastfeeding mothers, co-sleeping next to your baby is incomparable. apart from the actual fact that studies have shown, including ours in our own laboratory, that both mothers and babies get more sleep. In so far as breastfeeding is worried, it doubles the quantity of breastfeeding that the baby would otherwise experience -How to Safely Co Sleep With Newborn
3. The Truth About Co-Sleeping
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C Position When Sleeping:
Lie on one side facing your little one, and curl around her. Keep your lower arm over the babys head and bring your knees to her feet. Do not keep any pillows near the babys head. This is also the best position for nursing, as your babys lying level along your breasts can help her take the feed correctly.
Some parents use co-sleeper bassinets or separators to give babies their space. Though these contraptions are not required, they give parents assurance about their babys safety.
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.
Cosleeping With Baby Is The Biological Norm
Cosleeping with baby is culturally accepted in many non western societies today. And, of course, for most of human history, co-sleeping was the norm in all cultures.
And it makes sense: In hunter-gatherer societies, a newborn or baby sleeping away from mom is more prone to danger and has to cry to get moms attention, which could put the group at risk of predatory attack. On the other hand, a baby nestled close to mom can nurse without fully waking .
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How Can I Bedshare With My Baby
How to Bed-Share as Safely as Possible
How Did Sleep Become So Controversial
For most of human history, McKenna writes, parents slept close to their babies for their safety and protection, as well as for parents own ease of breastfeeding and sleeping. The particular arrangements variedsome parents slept nestled with their babies on the same bed, mat, or rug others placed their babies in a hammock or basket within arms reach still others placed them in a sidecar arrangement next to the adult bed. But all of them slept within sensory range of their babies.
About 500 years ago, Western societies diverged from the rest of the world regarding family sleep, McKenna explains. Historical records from northern Europe show that Catholic priests heard confessions from destitute women who had overlain onto their newborns, suffocating them in a desperate attempt to limit their family sizethey just couldnt support another child. So the church ordered that babies should sleep in a separate cradle until the age of three.
Over time, other Western trends converged with that decree: Rising affluence and the value on independence and individualism made separate bedrooms fashionable. In addition, Freudian psychology privileged the marriage bed and claimed that babies would be harmed if they were exposed to parents sexuality. Religious and psychological opinion said that children should not be coddled or indulged but required severe discipline to grow up .
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