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Fundamentally co-sleeping means sleeping close to your baby. This may be through sleeping in the same bed, sidecar arrangement, or in the same room sleeping in different beds.

Co-Sleeping – Sleep Safe With Your Baby

 

Fundamentally co-sleeping means sleeping close to your baby. This may be through sleeping in the same bed, sidecar arrangement, or in the same room sleeping in different beds.

co-sleeping
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Co-sleeping especially works best for moms who exclusively breastfeed their babies. As it is convenient to pick up the baby for middle-of-the-night nursing sessions from the sidecar, or from the same bed rather than going to a separate room to pick the baby to nurse and then putting the baby back to bed in a separate room. Moreover, co-sleeping also helps in better sleep for both the mom and the baby. As both are nearby, mama can soothe and calm her baby back to sleep before the baby gets fully awake. It is also proven that sleeping in the same room as your baby reduces the risk of SIDs by 50 percent. Get our safe sleeping safe checklist at the end of this article. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (The AAP) recommends sharing the room with the baby by keeping the crib in proximity within your bed to keep your baby nearby during the night till the baby is at least 6 months old. Whereas the AAP does not support the idea of sharing the same bed with the baby as it is deemed unsafe for the baby to sleep in adult beds.

Anyhow, if you can create a safer co-sleeping space for your baby then you can even share a bed with your baby. Always be vigilant with your baby in the same bed as you. Babies are the safest in the adult bed when they are sleeping beside mom rather than dad or elder siblings.

How to create a safe sleeping space for your baby

co-sleeping
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Sleeping places for your baby has to be made 100 percent safe. Where ever your baby is sleeping, whether in a crib, adult beds, sidecars, or napping surfaces it is best to pay extra attention to make the sleeping place as safe as it can be. Consider the following points to create a safer sleeping place:

1. Always put your baby to sleep on its back on a firm and flat surface.

Tummy sleeping may suffocate or overheat your baby. Once your baby can roll over from back to tummy and the other way round, then it’s okay to let them sleep on their tummies. For better sleep positions, it’s okay for a baby to sleep on its sides. Especially if the baby has milk reflux after feeding.

2. Burp the baby after every feed.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to burp your baby before putting him in bed. Burping the baby ensures no or minimum milk refluxes. Milk Reflux can cause your baby to choke. So always be careful and burp the baby.

3. A Firm and clean mattress is a must.

Not just for the baby but a firm mattress is beneficial for parents too. A super bouncy wiggly type of bed will give you severe backaches. So invest in a firm mattress for yourself and you can also share with your baby. For a baby sleeping in a crib, it is ideal that you use good quality mattresses made for baby cribs. Plus there should be no space between the mattress and the crib frame.

4. Use fitted sheets on the bed.

Loose beddings may cause suffocation or the baby might get trapped in it. Your bedding should be childproof when the baby is sleeping with you. If the baby sleeps in the crib, the beddings of the crib should also be fitted properly without any loose bits laying around.

5. Babies don’t need pillows, cushions, or any other soft items on the bed.

Such items can become very dangerous for your baby. As it is very likely for your baby to put itself at risk of being suffocated, trapped, or strangled. It’s best to keep such items away from the baby or be extremely watchful if you have anything like such around the baby.

6. Never swaddle your baby if your baby can rollover.

Swaddling a baby who can roll over puts the baby at a very high risk of SIDs. Babies who can roll over are very likely to move their hands and feet with enough force to loosen the swaddling fabric and may get tangled or suffocated.

7. Use light sleep clothes for your baby.

Babies like to play with everything that’s around them. Their life motto is to explore the new world. To avoid any hazard while sleeping use sleep clothes that do not contain any strings or entanglers. It is very easy for a baby to get into trouble. Therefore, even the tiniest things matter.

8. Use blanket sleepers.

Avoid using blankets for your baby as they can very easily cover your baby’s face which may cause suffocation or your baby may get strangled. You can easily find several blanket sleepers that will keep your baby warm without covering the head or face.

9. A sofa or a couch is never a safe place for your baby.

Sometimes we feel it’s easy to put the baby to sleep wherever we are at home. Whether we are in the lounge or somewhere else. Or sometimes, the baby falls asleep in certain places and we don’t want to wake the baby up. However, be sure to put your baby to bed and never leave your baby unattended on a sofa, couch, or armchair.

10. Baby carriers, strollers, car seats, or a sling are not made for your baby to sleep in.

Always put the baby in the bed to sleep. Baby carriers, strollers, car seats, or a sling are never safe for a baby to sleep in neither a baby should be in a habit of sleeping in one of these.

11. Use mesh guardrails.

If your baby is sleeping by your side then always and always use mesh guardrails to prevent the baby from falling over. Mesh is breathable and hence will not suffocate the baby. Here’s a link where you can find mesh guardrails to safeguard your baby from falling off the bed.

12. Keep your pets away from the bed you share with the baby.

Babies are extra sensitive so be sure that your bed is safe from all sorts of bacteria that your pets might employ on your bed. Even if your pets are super clean and sanitized, it is still better to keep the pets off the bed for the first few months especially.

13. Pay attention to your nightclothes.

You should wear simple and easy nightwear. As any sort of strings or ribbons on your clothes might lead to your baby being strangled or trapped. Also, you should avoid using strong scents. Perfumes with strong scents are not only bad for your baby but may also cause allergic reactions.

14. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol.

If you are a breastfeeding mommy, please avoid alcohol and smoking at all costs. Never sleep with your baby if you have had a drink or smoke. It can be very dangerous for your baby so it’s best to avoid it completely.

15. Consult a child specialist if you have any concerns

It’s best to concern a child specialist if you have any concerns regarding co-sleeping or independent sleeping. Doctors can also help you with setting up a safe sleeping place for your baby.

 

Download our Safe-Sleeping checklist to keep a close check on sleeping space safety for your baby.