If you have a baby, you’ve probably been advised to have them sleep in their own bed. On the other hand a lot of literature and professionals also recommend that you don’t have them sleep in your bed.
As is the case in the world of new parents, there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there.
If you are a regular reader, you would know at the Best Baby Care Tips Team, we always recommend going with your gut. If your baby just wants to sleep with you, do it. Just do it with the right information and knowledge of how to approach the situation.
This article is going to step you through the DO's and DO NOT's of co-sleeping with your bubs.
It’s common for your baby to want to co-sleep, especially if you are breastfeeding. The closeness, smell and warmth of the bed can make the baby feel safe.
But there are a lot of different opinions on co-sleeping. Here are some helpful tips from moms who swear by it.
It is important to be aware of the signals your baby is trying to communicate to you. If your baby is not settling in a co-sleeping arrangement, acknowledge it and try alternatives. Just because it is easier for you, doesn't necessarily mean it is the best option for your little one.
Being flexible and versatile is one of the cornerstone traits you will need to master as a new parent. Embrace change and don't be scared to choose the more inconvenient option.
Finding the right set up may be a case of trial and error. There are so many options available to new parents now, it is hard to find the best path for you.
Obviously your options will be dictated by the amount of space you have in your room and the specifications of your adult bed.
We recommend looking at co-sleeping attachments that connect to your bed. This way you can have the best of both worlds - co-sleeping AND your own space with peace of mind that you can sleep without incident.
Just because it worked for your neighbor or best friend's baby, doesn't mean it is going to be the best solution for you. As you can appreciate, all babies are different. They each have unique temperaments and personalities.
Circling back to our first co sleeping tips 'be alert to your baby's signals' - always listen to your babies feedback. If they are struggling to get comfortable in your bed, try moving them to a cot next to your bed. Or even try on the opposite side of the room with some white noise. They may be sensing your presence or smell that is stimulating their sense, thereby not allowing them to settle.
One of the best co sleeping tips we can give you is to make sure you are looking after yourself. Co sleeping may be the best option for your baby. However, if it is impacting your ability to rest then it may be a recipe for a disaster. Lack of sleep can lead to cognitive malfunction and making both you and your baby prone to accidents.
We always recommend setting up a strategy from the beginning. It's easy to become complacent and let the first few months of co-sleeping stretch into a few years. We understand it is easy to have everyone sleeping in the same room, however it is important to not allow your baby to become accustomed to co-sleeping. Your baby needs to find independence. We like to think of co-sleeping as a tool that helps you transition in the world of new parenting.
As a new parent, it is only natural to feel inadequate and unsure of the 'right' way to sleep with your newborn.
At the Best Baby Care Tips Team, we are here to say - STOP! Don't do it to yourself! Stop doubting your ability to make decisions. If you are struggling to find a solution to sleeping arrangements with your baby, get some help from your partner. Recruit the grandparents into the mix. Spread the load with as many people as you can.
Remember you are in a completely foreign world too (not just your baby). We like to remind our readers of an old African saying
"It takes a village to raise a child".
We know it probably goes without saying, however we believe it is prudent to cover all bases. It was noted by the Infant Sleep Information Source that most co-sleeping accidents happen when an adult has been smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs (illegal and legal) and they smother their baby to death.
To avoid these situations we recommend avoiding these substances completely. And if you do decide to ingest any of the above, then to avoid co-sleeping arrangements.
When it comes to co sleeping you have a choice. Try to not allow the varying opinions of friends, family and other external parties influence your decision.
Do what you gut tells you to. Go with the option that works best for you, your baby and your family.
Yes - there are some risks associated with co sleeping. However, with the right knowledge and stepped approach you can reduce and eliminate those risks from your co sleeping arrangement.
Let us know what has worked for you and your baby in the comments below.