How To Safely Co Sleep Newborn

Infant Should Be Older Than Three Months

How to safely co-sleep with your baby

Rather than allowing a newborn to sleep beside you immediately, experts advise you to never share a bed with an infant under three months of age. Instead, you can set up their crib in your bedroom and have the child sleep there. This way, the baby is still in the room with you during the night but isnt at an increased risk of danger.

Is It Safe To Sleep With A Newborn In Your Arms

Sleeping on the couch with a newborn in your arms is really dangerous. We get it, falling asleep on the sofa with an infant curled up on your chest is one of the best feelings in the world. Many an exhausted new mom has nodded off for a bit while her sleeping baby is sprawled across her lap or nestled up all warm and cozy on a breastfeeding pillow.

Watch The Cords And Gaps

Cords can pose a choking hazard if you have an active sleeper. A bed thats too close to a wall or furniture can pose a danger if your baby rolls or shifts during the night and gets wedged into a tight space.

While most medical organizations caution against having your baby sleep in bed with you, they do note that you should be mindful of your babys crib or sleeping area. In particular, if a crib has slats, they recommend that the slats are no more than 2 inches apart to prevent a baby from getting stuck between them.

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Constipation In Newborns

How Can We Room

To keep your little one close, but not in your bed:

  • Put a bassinet, play yard, or crib next to your bed. This lets you keep that desired closeness, which can be especially important if you’re breastfeeding. Having an infant sleep in a separate space in the same room as the mother reduces the risk of SIDS.
  • Consider using a bedside sleeper, which attaches to your bed, letting you and your baby be next to each other but on separate surfaces. The CPSC has recommended safety standards for bedside sleepers, but no studies have looked at whether these devices prevent SIDS and other sleep-related deaths or injuries.

Experts recommend that infants sleep in their parents’ room without bed-sharing until their first birthday. If parents prefer to move the baby to another bedroom, it’s best to wait until the child is at least 6 months old.

Risk Factors For Sudi When Co

8 tips for co

Under certain circumstances, some studies have reported an increased risk of SUDI in co-sleeping babies. The following risk factors have been identified:

  • Smoking

A baby exposed to cigarette smoke increases the risk of SIDS, regardless of where the baby sleeps. Smoking parents should never co-sleep with their baby.2426Parents who smoke are encouraged to room-share as long as the room the baby sleeps in is kept smoke-free, as their babies have an increased risk of sudden infant death and therefore require closer observation.

  • Alcohol, drugs or extreme fatigue

Babies are at increased risk of a fatal sleeping accident if they co-sleep with someone who is has consumed alcohol or illegal or sleep-inducing drugs or who is experiencing extreme fatigue.27,28 A parent should not co-sleep with their baby if they have consumed alcohol or illegal or sleep-inducing drugs, or when extremely fatigued.

  • Sharing a sleeping surface with a sibling or a pet

Babies are at increased risk of death if they co-sleep with more persons than their parents 29 or with a pet.30 Co-sleeping with a sibling raises the risk.31 Babies should not co-sleep if anyone other than the parents is in the bed.

  • Obesity

Parents who are obese may not be able to feel exactly where or how close their baby is and so may wish to room-share with their baby.32 Obese parents should not co-sleep with their baby.

  • Formula-fed babies
  • Sofa-sharing
  • Young baby and overheating or head covering
  • Baby alone on an adult bed

Recommended Reading: Do Newborns Sleep All Day

What You Need To Know About Other Baby Sleepers

There are a number of sleep devices that are not endorsed by the AAP because the organization doesnt have the data necessary to make a recommendation for or against them. These include bedside sleepers and in-bed sleepers .

Its important to note that bedside sleepers that have one side that folds down pose risks for entrapment and suffocation. If a babys head goes over the half-side of the sleeper, it may suffocate if it cannot lift its head off the side. Bedding from the adult bed can also spill over into bedside sleepers, which could cause overheating, suffocation, strangulation or SIDS.

On June 2, 2021, the CPSC banned a range of sleep products that have accounted for at least 90 infant deaths. One of these types of products, inclined sleepers, puts the baby on a substantial incline of up to 30 degrees, which could cause an infants head to slump down, the chin to rest on the chest and compress the airway, and potentially lead to suffocation.

Other banned products include baby tents, small travel beds and portable bassinets. Manufacturers of these products have one year to conform to the same federal standards as cribs, bassinets, bedside sleepers and play yards. In the meantime, these items are still on the market, so beware. Your safest bet is to choose only those devices that are recommended by the AAP and certified safe by the CPSC.

Research And Discussion Of Research

Mother-and-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory Professor James J. McKennas area at the University of Notre Dame website. Dr. McKenna is best known for his pioneering studies of the differences between the physiology and behavior of solitary and co-sleeping mothers an infants-and the connection these data might have in addressing SIDS risks. He is a Professor at the University of Notre Dame and runs the University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory.

Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, UK. The Parent-Infant Sleep Lab is the home for a team of researchers led by Dr Helen L. Ball who are examining various aspects of infant sleep and night-time parenting. Their website includes research papers, project descriptions, presentations and other resources.

Also Check: What To Put On Newborn Dry Skin

Making The Decision To Co

If you do choose to follow the co-sleeping route, make sure the togetherness you desire addresses your child’s needs and not just your own. If you’re a single parent or your spouse is often away from home, for instance, you should not allow your child to sleep with you just to stave off your own loneliness.

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.

Recommended Reading: How To Check Newborn Hearing

Sleeping With Baby On Your Chest

As tempting as it is to catch a quick nap with your baby asleep on your chest, its a big risk. Sleeping on a couch, armchair or recliner with an infant increases the risk of SIDS death by up to 70%, said Goodstein. An adult could crush and smother the baby or the baby could become wedged between the adult and a cushion and be forced to rebreathe air , until it asphyxiates.

Sam Hanke, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital and the founder of Charlies Kids, an organization that promotes safe sleep practices, learned this the hard way. As a new dad, Dr. Hanke fell asleep on a couch with his three-week-old son Charlie on his chest. Although Hanke woke up, his son Charlie didnt, according to the organizations website. Its safe for your baby to nap on your chest as long as you remain awake and aware of the baby. But if you fall asleep too, it raises the risk of injury to your baby.

Layer Your Clothes For Cosleeping Safely

Speaking of blankets, did you know that babies sleep best between 60 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit? That may seem a bit chilly to your or me, but it wont to your infant. Infants sleep best and much safer with a lightweight cover, or none at all.

If youre too cold, consider investing in some silk long underwear, flannel pajamas, fuzzy socks, or even a nice warm sweat suit. You can always add and remove layers to adjust to the temperature. You may even want to consider putting your baby into a sleep sack to avoid blankets altogether if youre worried that your baby wont be warm enough.

Did you start cosleeping, but want to stop?Read: How To Stop Co-Sleeping: Transitioning Your Child To A Bed

You May Like: How Much Formula Per Feeding Newborn

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.

What Happens If A Baby Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep

Guidelines to Safe Co Sleeping

What Happens if Your Child Doesnt Get Enough Sleep? Lower Cognitive Scores. Sleep is the primary nutrition for the childs brain which is responsible for his cognitive growth and development. Impaired Memory. Lack of sleep also disturbs the brains ability to consolidate memories and makes learning really difficult. Delayed Growth. Weak Immune System. Higher Risks of Obesity. Medical Conditions. More items

Also Check: What Do You Really Need For A Newborn

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.

Does Your Baby Only Sleep When Hes Held

Maybe your baby only sleeps when hes held or resting in your arms. He isnt napping for longer than 45 minutes, and thats if he naps. Hes too young to sleep train, and your bedtime relies on whenever he goes to sleep, since that seems to be the only thing that does the trick. And youre beginning to wonder how long this will last.

Recommended Reading: What To Use For Newborn Acne

When Is It Best Not To Co

Co-sleeping is not the right choice for every family or every night. With your childs safety in mind, always avoid sleeping with your baby under the following circumstances.

  • If you or your partner smoke, or you smoked during pregnancy, you should not share a room or a bed. Exposure to secondhand smoke can double the risk of SIDS, while smoking during pregnancy can triple the risk.

  • If you or your partner have taken drugs, alcohol, or medications that may cause drowsiness.

  • If you or your partner are overly tired and feel that you may sleep too deeply to be aware of the baby.

  • If your baby was born before 37 weeks or at a low birth weight because these babies do have a higher risk of SIDS.

What About Marital Intimacy And Bed

How to Safely Co-Sleep Tips & Products for Bed-Sharing all Parents Should Know

How to have sex when bed-sharing is a very valid and legitimate concern that many new parents have. Many are on board with bedsharing but don’t want it to interfere with sex and intimacy. One option for maintaining non-sexual intimacy can be having the baby on the outside of the bed and both adults beside each other so that they can still snuggle and be close, without feeling like the baby is literally coming between them. Another option is tapping into your adventurous side. There are plenty of creative places you can have sex while your baby sleeps somewhere safe. The floor… the bathroom… the shower… if you don’t have other kids or housemates… another bedroom… the kitchen… the laundry room… the couch… the garage… the back deck… your options are endless, just like before you had kids. Who knows?! Being forced to get creative might even re-ignite a spark you didn’t expect it to. I must say… as a mom who has co-slept with all of her kiddos for about 2 years each, I’ve clearly had no issue figuring this one out… considering all my kids are also 2 years apart! If we could figure it out, and if teenagers can figure out how to sneak around parents, you can figure out how to sneak around your baby. I promise!

Jaimie Zaki is a Mother, Air Force Wife, IBCLC , birth doula, and motherhood photographer.


Also Check: How To Have Newborn Sleep At Night

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.

Safe Cosleeping Means Sleeping Sober

Be sure that when you go to bed with your baby you havent been drinking and arent medicated. Reaction times become slowed when a person is impaired, and anything that impairs your natural abilities could cause you to roll onto the baby or not be aware of them.

Co-sleeping can be a wonderful bonding experience for the family. If you, your partner and child sleep soundly at night, enjoy safe co-sleeping. If you are re-actively co-sleeping, you may want to explore some other gentle sleep options, or even move the baby into a crib next to your bed.

Remember, your sleeping arrangements are ultimately about everyone getting a good, restful nights sleep.

Recommended Reading: How Often Do I Feed My Newborn Formula

Should You Let Your Baby Sleep Unattended

Babies under 8 months of age should never sleep unattended. It is either unsafe when a baby is on the younger side , or puts the baby into an existential crisis (have you ever heard those hopeless, painful existential cries? They are quite distinguishable from the Im hungry or I want my Mommy* to come get me

Related Posts

Popular Articles