With a newborn entering your life, the days are long, nights are short, and sleep is a hot commodity most of us are jonesing for. And when sleep is something you’re lusting after, it’s no surprise that many parents choose to co-sleep with their babies.
While we recognize that this a topic which brings quite a bit of debate with it, we aren’t here to take one side or the other. Instead, we’re here to bring you the facts that you should know if you decide to co-sleep with your little one!
In the general sense, co-sleeping is having the baby sleeping near you. While some might think co-sleeping is limited to bed sharing, it can also take form in room sharing.
How do they differ you may be wondering? Well, if you’re bed sharing with your newborn, they’ll be sleeping in your bed. If you choose to room share, however, your baby will be sleeping in their own bed which will be located within your room.
If we’re being honest, it depends. If your baby will be sharing your bed with you, there are important factors to think about.
Are you a roller in bed? Are you a heavy sleeper? Are you taking any prescribed or over the counter medicines? Have you been drinking before going to bed?
These are all imperative questions you should be asking yourself. If you’ve answered yes to any of the questions above, bed sharing should not be an option. Having full control of your senses is extremely important when co-sleeping, so be sure that you are in a state-of-mind that is free from all impairment.
If you are planning to room share instead of bed share, it is still important that you are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of your baby and yourself. To remove baby from their crib, you should ensure you are fully waking up and aware of your surroundings to avoid dropping your little one or misjudging the space between their bed and yours.
If you’re ready to tackle co-sleeping with the bed sharing method, ensure that you’ve taken the following precautions.
Use a firm mattress and tight sheets.
The less give you have on your mattress and the tighter the sheets, the less chance of bunching and suffocation.
Have baby sleep next to mom.
While you may think that having baby sleeping between both parents is the smarter option, it can actually be more dangerous. Because many dads are not immediately in tune with their newborns, they may not realize if they are rolling towards baby or pulling the comforter up too high. If mom is nursing throughout the night, they are likely to be checking on the baby more often and to be assessing if the little one is safe and comfortable.
Ensure baby is sleeping on their back.
Having baby sleeping on their back is the safest way for them to sleep and helps to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
The decision to co-sleep, whether through bed share or room share, is one that can only be made by you and your comfort levels. If you believe that it is beneficial for your family, ensure that you are taking the right precautions to keep baby (and you) safe! Done correctly, co-sleeping can bring everyone some much needed rest and bonding. Can we get an amen for that?
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