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While western culture discourages cosleeping, studies have shown that co-sleeping with a breastfeeding infant promotes bonding.
Cosleeping can also regulate the mother’s and baby’s sleep patterns.
It can play a role in helping you become more responsive to your baby’s cues and gives both you and baby much needed rest.
The co-sleeping environment also assists you in the continuation of breastfeeding on demand.
Which is a very vital step in keeping your milk supply up to par.
There are different options when it comes to co-sleeping:
You may want to keep your baby in bed with you at all times, or you may want to set up a crib or playpen in your room and keep baby close.
you can also opt-in for sleeping in your baby’s room on a mattress on the floor.
This is a personal decision for you mama. If you decide to co-sleep with your infant, there are some guidelines for doing it effectively and safely!
Guidelines for cosleeping:
You should not be sleeping with your baby if you are a smoker, or you have ingested any kind of drugs or alcohol that night.
Do not co-sleep after you drink alcohol, smoke, do drugs, or take medications that make you sleepy. This could lead to an unsafe situation for your precious baby!
Try not to cosleep so much on recliners and chairs because that is definitely not safe.
Bedding should be tight fitting to the mattress and the mattress should be tight fitting to the headboard of the bed.
There should not be any loose pillows or soft blankets near the baby’s face.
There also shouldn’t be any space between the bed and adjoining wall where your baby could roll and become trapped.
And of course, your baby should not be placed on his or her stomach.
After breastfeeding, always position the baby on their back again to lower the risk of SIDS.
keep it cool mama… “Keeping the room cool (around 65-68 degrees) is recommended for lowering the risk of SIDS.
Sleeping next to your baby will raise her body temperature, so keep that in mind when you’re gauging the room temperature.
In fact, cooler environments make for better adult sleep as well, so a lower temperature is better for everyone . . .
Wear a long-sleeve shirt and dress your baby in a night outfit in which she doesn’t need a blanket.
That way you can keep the covers safely down, and your arms won’t get cold.” (source)
Make sure you dress appropriately. I would suggest putting the baby in warm pajamas so you don’t have to use the covers.
Dr. Sears recommends that you: Make sure that your baby is in the right spot while coast sleeping.
Preferably that would be next to you mama…
Dr. Sears recommends that you “Place baby adjacent to mother, rather than between mother and father.
Mothers we have interviewed on the subject of sharing sleep feel they are so physically and mentally aware of their baby’s presence even while sleeping, that it’s extremely unlikely they would roll over onto their baby.
Some fathers, on the other hand, may not enjoy the same sensitivity of baby’s presence while asleep; so it is possible they might roll over on or throw out an arm onto the baby.
After a few months of sleep-sharing, most dads seem to develop a keen awareness of their baby’s presence.” (source)
DO NOT SLEEP WITH YOUR BABY IF:
- You are under the influence of any drug (such as alcohol or tranquilizing medications) that diminishes your sensitivity to
- your baby’s presence. If you are drunk or drugged, these chemicals lessen your arousability from sleep.
- You are extremely obese. Obesity itself may cause sleep apnea in the mother, in addition to the smothering danger.
- You are exhausted from sleep deprivation. This lessens your awareness of your baby and your arousability from sleep.
- You are breastfeeding a baby on a cushiony surface, such as a waterbed or couch. An exhausted mother could fall asleep breastfeeding and rollover on the baby.
- You are the child’s babysitter. A baby-sitter’s awareness and arousability is unlikely to be as acute as a mother’s.
Also, don’t . . .
- Allow older siblings to sleep with a baby under nine months. “Sleeping children do not have the same awareness of tiny babies as do parents, and too small or too crowded a bed space is an unsafe sleeping arrangement for a tiny baby. (source) I’m including this one even though I think there are safe ways to bedshare with a baby and toddler.”
- Fall asleep with baby on a couch. “Baby may get wedged between the back of the couch and the larger person’s body, or baby’s head may become buried in cushion crevices or soft cushions.” (source)
- Sleep with the baby on a free-floating, wavy waterbed or similar “stinky” surface in which baby could suffocate. (source)
- Overheat or over bundle baby. ‘Be particularly aware of overbuilding if the baby is sleeping with a parent. Other warm bodies are an added heat source.” (source)
- Wear lingerie with string ties longer than eight inches. “Ditto for dangling jewelry. Baby may get caught in these entrapments.” (source)
Just remember it’s very important to know what works for you and your baby. The most important thing here is that you know what the guidelines are for safety Cosleeping with your baby.
and remember that they are just that, they are guidelines.
A lot of these safety tips are absolutely something that you should take into consideration and follow as you cosleep with your baby, but remember to do what makes you comfortable and what you think is right.
Just use your common sense here guys. BE CAREFUL.
NCT’s helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700.
You might find attending one of NCT’s Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.
Find all the latest research-based evidence about infant sleep, including co-sleeping, on the Infant Sleep Information Source (ISIS) website.
The Lullaby Trust has a really informative website, with useful videos, and support for parents about safe sleep, including their Safer Sleep for Babies guide for parents. (source)
As babies grow and change their sleep patterns, families often respond by changing sleeping spaces.
The only right choice is what works to give the whole family as much rest as possible.
I hope you found this post very helpful for you.