Bed Sharing as Safely as Possible with Your Baby

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Parents often want to have their newborns sleeping in the same bed as them and do not like their babies sleeping in the nursery which is separate from their rooms. And as they hear the baby cry from the crib in the nursery when the parents are in their own bedroom, the one thing that is going through their heads is the statement baby you should be up in my bed! And this is why bed-sharing with infants is becoming quite popular, and yet it is a discussion that becomes a heated debate.

Many Parents Are Bed-Sharing With Their Newborns

Many nervous moms and dads out there is sleep sharing with the newborn for many reasons. One reason is that they can keep a better eye on the infant when they are sharing the bed with the baby. They can see if they are unhappy and the cause of what could be making them upset. They can see them if they are sick, and they can most importantly monitor their breathing. However, there have been safety issues when it comes to bedsharing. This is why parents need to know about co-sleeping safety with their infants. 

The Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines That Parents Need To Know About

The bad news is not correct to just assume that bedsharing with the infant is safe in general. There are safe bed-sharing positions that parents must be aware of, which means that there are safe ways to co-sleep. Parents just need to know about the safe bed-sharing guidelines before they consider to bedshare with their infants. 

The parents that are thinking of bed-sharing with infants must realize that putting the infant literally in the same bed as they can actually be dangerous. Therefore it can cause situations that they fear when the newborns are sleeping in a crib in their own nursery, away from the parents’ bedroom. 

In fact, according to some reputable sources, the American Academy of Pediatrics really do strongly advise parents to make careful considerations that want to do sleep sharing with their newborns. Additionally, Western studies have linked sharing the bed with the baby to an increase in the incidence of SIDS in babies under 20 weeks of age. 

However, at the same time, if the parents are well-educated about the safe ways to co-sleep, then the odds are in their favor that the baby will be just fine. And there are also many advantages that the parents can reap when they co-sleep safely with the baby. However, in order for them to achieve the benefits they are wanting to reap, they must fully follow the safe bed-sharing guidelines that professionals put out which will be discussed right now. 

Learn About The Safe Bed Sharing Positions

As it was already mentioned, it is not recommended to share the same bed as the infant. However, if the bed is large and there is no risk of the baby being smothered with your pillows and blankets – and there is no risk of the infant falling, it can be done. Designate an area of the bed to put your baby in and always put him or her on the back. It is also critical to make sure that the mattress that the baby will be sleeping on is firm and has no grooves on the surface or is wobbly in any way. That also means if you have a waterbed, do not consider it at all. That is because bed-sharing with infants on a waterbed is dangerous and can cause smothering. 

Additionally, make sure that the bedding fits tight on the mattress, and the mattress fits tight on the head or footboard – the same way a crib is designed. That also means to never sleep with your baby on a sofa or futon. 

However, if there is a lot of loose material such as pillows and blankets, and not enough space on the bed, and the mattress isn’t firm enough, do not consider sharing the bed with your baby. However, there are still other ways to cosleep safely with your infant even in that case which will be discussed below.

Consider A Bassinet For Bed Sharing

An easy thing to consider when you think about how to cosleep with a newborn is by putting the infant’s bassinet right by your bedside. This way you do not have to worry about accidentally injuring your baby while he or she is in the same bed. And you can literally keep the bassinet within arms reach as well. You will still be able to monitor your infant as much as you would have wanted to if you were sharing the bed with your little one. 

You can do the same thing if you decided to use a crib, as infants at some point will outgrow the bassinet. Keeping the baby’s sleeping area in the bedroom is a very easy way to keep monitoring the infant.

Using A Sidecar Is One Way Of How To Cosleep Safely

Newly manufactured sidecars that meet or exceed the safety standards is a highly recommended method for cosleeping. It also is included in the safe cosleeping guidelines. The way it works is that you attach the crib or bassinet to the one side of the bed which would most definitely be the mother’s side if she is breastfeeding. And the rest of the crib or bassinet remains intact.

However, the side of the bed next to the mother is either removed or lowered so that access to the baby is easier. In other words, using a cosleeper or sidecar which is the same thing is one way for how to cosleep safely. 

As long as the parents are following the safe bed-sharing guidelines or the safe cosleeping guidelines, there are plenty of advantages. 

The Advantages Of Bedsharing Or Cosleeping

The main motivation for the desire to cosleep in the first place is that there are plenty of advantages to doing so rather than the baby sleeping in a separate nursery. The advantages of cosleeping are:

  • Both the parents and the babies do get more sleep which means that the parents and the infants will be a lot less irritable during the day. Fatigue is what makes anyone irritable. 
  • For moms that are breastfeeding, bedsharing or cosleeping makes it easier because the infant is right by the mother’s side. And as long as the infant is frequently breastfed, then the milk supply will always be great. Frequent nursing does help to increase it. 
  • As long as the parents are utilizing safe ways to cosleep with the infant, the risk of SIDS actually is reduced by 50%. That in itself is very reassuring and is a big motivator for parents to have the infant sleep in the same room. 
  • There is a lot of reduction in nighttime anxiety which means the baby will be more willing to go to sleep as well as to sleep through the night even quicker once he or she begins to get the days and nights together. 
  • The hassles that are associated with bedtime are slashed quite a bit which also reduces a lot of frustration.

Those advantages when it comes to cosleeping with the infant are a great reason for parents to have the baby sleep in the same room. However, once again it is imperative that they follow the safe cosleeping guidelines to reap all of the benefits. And another rule that was not added as that the space for the baby whether it is in the bed, a bassinet, or by using a sidecar must be clear. That means there must be no cords laying around. That means to not put the baby by the window, or if you must, then either tie up the cord blinds or get cordless blinds. It is really critical that you do. 

The purpose of cosleeping is to make bedtime easier for you and your baby as well as to keep your baby safe. By knowing how to cosleep safely, it is really nothing but a win-win situation. 

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