Safe Co-Sleeping

Recently a drunk mother fell asleep on the sofa with her baby between her and the back cushions. She was found hours later rolled over on top of the baby who had died. She faces criminal charges and imprisonment now. It is sad but I hear about unsafe sleeping routines with parents who are clean and sober. So, I thought it was important to list some resources regarding safe co-sleeping or bed sharing

. Co-sleepingarmsreach-mini-with-parents Fre your bed with your baby- read Dr. Mckenna’s information and even watch his video on the subject. And to read why it is actually perhaps dangerous to not co sleep- read this study. For a good explanation of what bed sharing is and some benefits as well as safety issues- read this great KellyMom article. A few reasons why many families choose this method are:

  • Everyone gets more sleep
  • Breastfeeding is made easier all around.
  • Everyone is happier

University of Notre Dame has a list.  And although I do not fully agree with all of the recommendations- some of them are standard by most all authorities:

  • A baby that is of a healthy and not premature.
  • Breastfed.
  • Both parents agree to this.
  • Back sleeping on a firm surface with light covers only. No pillows under the baby and no stuffed animals.
  • Never on a sofa or couch where they can become wedged.
  • Parents must not be drinking or drugging.

Dr Sears has a great list too.  Here are some of his thoughts:

  • Something to keep the baby from falling off- a bed rail or even a pool noodle under the edge of the fitted sheet works for small infants.
  • Baby is next to mom- not between the parents.
  • Use a large bed- instead of investing in expensive baby equipment- replace your small bed for a king sized one!
  • If you do not want the baby in the bed with you, consider a sidecar instead.
  • If you are extremely obese- no baby in the bed, sorry.
  • Extreme sleep deprivation where you may sleep too soundly is not good.
  • Moms are best- others do not have the intuitive awareness to be next to the baby.
  • No loose strings on nightwear or even tie up your long hair.
  • Don’t overheat the baby- dress then the way you are dressed.

And if you are getting grief from others regarding the safety and advantages, Attachment Parenting has some great pdfs you can download for free to share with the naysayers! It worked for our family and has worked well for my grandchildren too. Sometimes folks feel it will interfere with their marital bed. Let’s just say if the baby is in the parent’s bed- that means there are tons of other rooms that have furniture that is safe for having wonderful love making times on! And kids do eventually want to sleep in their own beds although some parents tell me their kids were ready before they were! I am often heard to say, “The Lindbergh baby would never have been kidnapped if he had been in his parent’s bed!” Want more? Here us my favorite book specifically on the subject! Good Nights So do what works for your family- but remember it can be very safe to have a baby in your bed with you and actually quite beneficial and fun! And yes sometimes if can look like this too! family bed cartoon