At PreciousLittleOne, we know how important sleep is to you and your new baby, and that some nights it’s easier to get some shut eye than others! As well as sleeping in their own cot or Moses basket, some parents choose to let their baby sleep in the same bed as them, but what is the safest way to do this?
To celebrate Child Safety Week from Monday 3rd June to Sunday 9th June, in our latest blog we offer tips and advice on safe co-sleeping to give you some peace of mind if you fall asleep accidentally after feeding or choose to share a bed. If you’ve ever wondered what co-sleeping is, then make sure you read on!
What Is Co-Sleeping?
For the first six months of their life, babies should always be in the same room as you for day, night and sleep. Co-sleeping refers to parents choosing to share their bed with their baby, and rather than just sharing the bed for a short amount of time for comforting or feeding, the baby will spend most of the night in bed with their parent. While some parents may choose to let their baby sleep in a cot or Moses basket, co-sleeping is a completely personal choice, and it is always important that it is done safely.
What Are the Benefits of Co-Sleeping?
There are several benefits of co-sleeping. For some parents, co-sleeping is a more comfortable and convenient way to spend the night, especially if they are breastfeeding as it means they don’t have to worry about disturbing their baby if they have subsequently fallen asleep. A key benefit of co-sleeping is that it makes breastfeeding much easier, and babies who co-sleep are more likely to be breastfed and breastfed more often than those who don’t.
In addition, there is a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) for babies who are breastfed and sleep with their parents for the first six months. Furthermore, co-sleeping allows a longer period of closeness with your baby, which can be extremely comforting, and may even help to create a stronger bond, and you may also be able to check on your baby more easily during the night and hopefully get a better quality of sleep too.
How to co-sleep safely with baby?
If you would like to explore co-sleeping with baby, there are some important steps you need to take to ensure that your sleeping environment is as safe as possible. Here are some safe co-sleeping guidelines to follow:
Make sure pillows, sheets, blankets, quilts and any other loose bedding items that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat are kept away from them while sharing your bed.
Don’t let pets or other children in your bed at the same time.
Ensure your baby always sleeps on its back, something that is extremely important for co-sleeping safely.
Make sure that your baby doesn’t get trapped between the mattress and the wall, or can easily fall out of bed during the night.
When co-sleeping, your baby should always sleep on a clear space such as a firm flat mattress, and it’s important to note that pods, nests or sleep positioners should never be used.
When Not to Co-Sleep?
It is important to understand that in some circumstances, it can be very dangerous to co-sleep with your baby. For example, if you or your partner smokes (even if you don’t smoke in the bedroom), if you have drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including any medications you take that may make you drowsy) or if you are extremely tired.
In addition, co-sleeping is not safe for babies who were born premature (37 weeks or less), or at a low weight of 2.5kg/5½ lbs or less. Finally, it’s important that you never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair, as the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) can be increased by 50 times if you choose to do so.
If you are concerned that you might fall asleep while breastfeeding during the night, you should ensure that your bed is safely prepared by following the steps above.
A sleeping bag like the My Little World Blue Stars 1 Tog Sleeping Bag is advisable if you choose to co-sleep with your baby, and depending on the season different togs can be used to ensure your baby is kept at the right temperature. You also need to ensure that the sleeping bag is the correct size for your baby and that its head does not slip down inside it.
There are also some other co-sleeping products to make your co-sleeping experience much safer and easier. A gro-suit like the Grobag Be A Dazzler Gro-Suit will help to keep your baby’s arms warm, and a bedside crib like the Chicco Next2Me Dream Side-Sleeping Crib or Moses basket like the Clair de Lune Grey Wicker Moses Basket will provide additional safe sleeping space for baby outside of the bed too.
We hope that our latest blog has helped to answer your questions and put your mind at rest about safe co-sleeping. Remember, you can find anything you need for your little one in the PreciousLittleOne shop – why not have a browse?