Safely Co-Sleeping With Your Baby

Safely Co-sleeping With Your Baby – Things Parents Need to be Aware of

Feel free to take a look at my other post about the wonderful benefits of Co-Sleeping with your baby. In this post, I’m going to cover and go into detail about how you can safely co-sleep with your baby.

It’s recommended that if child is around 0-6 months old, they are better off sleeping on their back in a cot, or in a Moses basket in your room. The same applies to daytime naps too. Regardless if you intend on co-sleeping or not, it’s beneficial for you to bring them into your room for feedings/soothing in some circumstances. Having a Moses basket is actually pretty convenient when you’re doing something like washing dishes or doing laundry because it allows you to keep a close eye on your baby while they nap. It allows you to easily pick them up and take them wherever you need to be in your house.

Here Are the Top-Rated Moses Baskets from Amazon. I Personally Pick The

Although, in some circumstances, you might actually be increasing your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. Some of these factors is that increase this risk significantly include:

  • Taking drugs/medication that make you drowsy/sleepy/not alert or you’ve had alcohol

  • Using E-cigarettes/cigarettes at home/in the environment that they live in
  • If your baby is younger than three months and was either premature or had a low weight

Drugs and/or alcohol can seriously affect your memory. You might even forget that your baby is near while on the bed with you. Maybe you sleep so soundly that you might become unaware that you rolled onto or over them, or maybe they become trapped between the couch and yourself. I certainly would hope every parent out there would avoid this terrible potential tragedy, but even the best of us are capable of making mistakes.

I’m not saying any of you are going to do any of these things, but these are all possibilities and can happen to anyone who isn’t 100% safe. You always need to practice safe co-sleeping regardless of their age because everyone is capable of making mistakes. Everyone thinks things like this can ever happen to them but in reality, it can happen to anyone of us. None of us are perfect. Below are some tips on maximizing safely co-sleeping with your baby that will 100% benefit both of you.

Safely Co-sleeping With Your Baby – Considering Every Single Possible Risk

If you’re ready to get your hands dirty, it’s important that you’re prepared to deal with the risks associated with co-sleeping. Although, having a baby in general poses various risks already. Consider every factor, every possibility and risk, and try to remember your childhood. Did you sleep in your own bed, or did you sleep in your parent’s bed. Did you prefer one way over the other? You might want to consider this when deciding if you’re going to co-sleep or not. Maybe you feel better having your child in your bed. Maybe you don’t. It’s up to you and/or your spouse/husband to decide.

Partners Need to Be on the Same Page

Both parents have to agree on things if they want co-sleeping to work. There can’t be any disagreements. Co-sleeping is difficult to deal with if one parent is angry at the other or if both parents had an argument or argue/fight regularly. Sleeping while distressed can result in less overall control or movement, worse quality of sleep, and you could inadvertently harm your child. Always be aware of the risks. There are so many things that we don’t realize can happen which can pose numerous risks to our children.

Both Parents Need to Know When the Baby Is in Their Bed

If you and your partner go to bed at different times, make sure that you wake your partner up if you’re going to end up getting in bed. Absolutely make sure that your partner is aware when both you and your baby are in bed.

Pets Are A Big No-No in Most Cases

If you typically have your cat or dog sleep with you in your bed most nights, it’s important to consider this if you are going to choose to co-sleep. Animals and babies do not mix in most circumstances unless the animal is very small. Not only that, but allergies could pose other issues as well. There is also always a possibility that your pets can sleep over the baby which would result in suffocation. Some animals are capable of purposely causing harm to your baby during the night. Try to keep pets out of the bed until your baby is at least around 20 pounds or a year old. There are just too many risks if they are younger.

No Pillows Near the Babies Face

If you have a lot of pillows or constantly move them around, then you should absolutely rearrange your bed to better fit your baby. You need to make sure that pillows are kept away from your baby’s face when you co-sleep. By doing so, you’ll prevent accidental suffocation. You also need to not use any large blankets or comforters too. If you prefer them or must use them, make sure they’re light weight and only wrapped around you and not anywhere near the baby. You want to ensure that you negate any chance possible that you suffocate your baby accidentally.

Bed Rails

Some of us are heavy sleepers, while others are the exact opposite and wake up from a pin drop. Some of us toss and turn, while others sleep soundly throughout the night barely moving. If you are not the best sleeper, you can use a bed rail to prevent you from tossing and turning and potentially harming your baby during the night. Imagine accidentally knocking your baby out of the bed in the middle of the night… Actually, don’t imagine that ever. Using a bed rail will completely eliminate that from being a possibility so it’s something to consider.

Some experts actually believe that it’s best to position the baby between mom and the wall or rail, and that you actually should not have them between you and your SO. Elizabeth Hanley, the author of the No Cry Sleep Solution – believes that everyone other than the mom doesn’t have the exact same situational awareness of the baby’s location. She also thinks that others can’t naturally respond to their needs and positioning on your bed. She also says that moms that who are heavy sleepers probably shouldn’t co-sleep due to not being able to wake up to hear their baby’s occasional movements.

Keep Them on Their Back

Ensuring that you put your baby on their back after you’re done breast-feeding or tending to them can help reduce the risk of SIDS.

Ensure the Sleeping Surface Is Safe

Remember that the mattress needs to be firm. Not soft/quilted, but with a tightly fitted sheet over. Use a single firm pillow away from your baby’s face. You also want to use something preferably like a cotton blanket as well. Try sleeping on the edge of your pillow and ensure that it’s pushed away from your baby. You also have the option of moving them higher up on the bed while ensuring that there aren’t any gaps where they can be wedged or trapped in.

Record Your Own Sleeping Habits

I know this might sound crazy, but bear with me. A great advantage you can discover if you record yourself during sleep is that you can find out if you toss and turn, talk in your sleep, flail your arms, etc. If you never actually recorded yourself sleeping, there is no way to know for sure if you do or don’t do any of these things. Since you’re trying to prioritize safety over everything else, then this might be an option you should look at. You might even find out something that you weren’t aware of at all. It doesn’t hurt to try.

Regardless of your reasoning to co-sleep or not, you really need to explore each and every option and weigh the benefits against the negatives. If co-sleeping is something you are serious about, it doesn’t hurt to take every single precaution possible before you go ahead and co-sleep. I know you don’t want to hear it, but the phrase “I’d rather be safe than sorry” absolutely applies in this situation.

Did your family co-sleep with you? Are you co-sleeping with your family now? Are you having any challenges or issues that are getting to you? Feel free to comment and share your experiences of co-sleeping with your children!

About the Author Elizabeth

Hi everyone, I'm Elizabeth. My beautiful daughter Alice keeps me awake occasionally...but when I'm busy and can't sleep, I post parenting tips and different ways you can get your baby to sleep soundly through the night, and even naps!