Co-sleeping with your baby has many benefits. One of which is to easily hear your baby wake up and cries during nighttime. Allowing you to attend to their needs as quickly as possible. If you’re breastfeeding, you can conveniently feed the baby without getting off the bed. Co-sleeping also makes the infant feel secure, warm, and comfortable. Allowing them to sleep soundly which gives you more time to rest.
However, it is important to take some precautions when sleeping with your baby. For the reason that co-sleeping may cause harm to your child instead of keeping them safe. Here are some guidelines to safely co-sleep with your little one.
- If you decide to share a bed with your infant, make sure you have a mattress that is as firm and flat as you have in a crib. Soft mattresses like a memory foam may suffocate the baby.
- Remove blankets, pillows, and any items that might flip over the baby’s head. Covering their airways and making them unable to breathe.
- Do not sleep with your baby if you’re smoking. Regardless whether you smoke outside the baby’s room or not. Cigarette’s smoke sticks to clothing and hair which can be inhaled by the infant. This increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Cigarette smoke has harmful chemicals that can cause oxygen deprivation for a baby.
- Do not co-sleep if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances may cause you to sleep very soundly that you might not notice rolling over your infant’s tiny body in the middle of the night.
- Do not place the baby next to an older child. Kids tend to move a lot when sleeping. Increasing the risk for the little one of being rolled over by the older sibling.
- If your child is a newborn, consider using a bedside sleeper instead of sharing a bed. This lets you sleep beside the baby but in different defined area. Preventing rolling-over the infant or the risk of suffocation from a soft mattress or pillows. A bedside sleeper is helpful for breastfeeding as it allows you to feed the baby easily.
- If your infant is older and has learned to crawl. It is good to have a bed rail to protect him/her from falling off the bed. Or better yet, place him/her in a crib.
The best and safest way to co-sleep with your baby is to place him/her in a crib, bassinet, or a bedside sleeper next to your bed. This allows you to notice if something is wrong with your infant and attend to his/her needs immediately. Remember to remove any blankets, pillows, toys, or stuffed animals that may suffocate the little one.