To Co-Sleep or NOT, that is the question

Co-sleeping- some make the choice willingly, others en up doing it out of desperation!
One of the most common questions my clients ask is when they need to move their babies out of their room and out of their cots. In a more hushed tone it sometimes follows, as if they’re sharing a dirty little secret: “In fact, when should they get out of my bed?”
 

You are the expert when it comes to knowing your needs

 
While I am a sleep expert, YOU know your family and your child the best. Thus a decision about where your child needs to sleep is up to you. Or rather up to you and your partner…Unless you are a single parent. Discuss the pros and cons of why you want to do it or why it might not be best for your family.
 

Sleep is possible, regardless of where you let your little one sleep

It is common misconception that if you want your child to sleep well, they need to sleep in their own room. I am here to tell you sleep can happen either way- BUT if you choose to co-sleep you need to do it safely.
 
The reality is that new research shows that co-sleeping with younger babies is associated with higher risk of Sudden Infant Death.
 

Here are some safety considerations if you want to co-sleep:

1.For new-borns, the safest option is to use a co-sleeper. But once your baby can sit up, at around 5 months, this is no longer a safe option as the open sides of the co-sleeper are quite low and babies are top heavy. It’s also the reason why you should move your cot to a lower level at around the same time.

2.Once your baby can roll and move around more (between 5 and 8 months), your bed can be dangerous. Around this time, it’s best for baby to sleep on a child specific mattress or on a very low bed, because there’s still a chance that he/she can fall out of bed. Adult mattresses are not designed to ensure baby’s safety.

3.Make sure your mattress is firm and that there are no cracks or gaps between the headboard, footboard or sides where your baby can be wedged in.

4.Co-sleeping is NOT considered safe with baby and/or pets and other children.

5.Never sneak a baby into your bed without your partner being aware of it. If you co-sleep you both need to be aware and take responsibility.

6.If you have taken sedatives, medication, drugs, or alcohol you should not co-sleep with your baby.

These are just a few safety considerations. Of course there are other considerations as well, such as you and your partner’s space and time and the influence on each other’s sleep (either you waking up your baby, or your baby waking you or your partner unnecessarily).

Choose what works best for your family and is the safest for you all. Whichever way you choose, both you and your child can sleep when you establish healthy sleep habits.

References:

1.https://www.thebump.com/a/myths-and-truths-about-co-sleeping

2.https://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/co-sleeping-and-sids/

3.https://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/

4.https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a558334/co-sleeping-and-safety

5.http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/134/2/e406

 
 
Baby lying in co sleeper next to bed safely
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Managing Director of Good Night and mother of two. Jolandi has helped hundreds of families, and believes sleep is the fundamental building block of healthy living. She considers the education around better sleep as a passion rather than a job.