Have these stages personalized and emailed to you: Sign up now Co-sleeping safety This article looks at ways to ensure that you co-sleep as safely as possible if you bed share with your baby. Read more about safety tips and guidelines here.
The Department of Health's recommendation is that the safest place for your baby to sleep in the first six months is in a cot in your room.
Sleeping in the same bed as your baby is called co-sleeping or bed sharing.
Some parents co-sleep with their baby for part of the night or during the day so that they can get more rest. They might breastfeed their baby while they doze or sleep, for instance, or co-sleep because they find it easier to settle their baby this way. Sometimes parents fall asleep accidently or without meaning to.
This can be risky, particularly if this happens on a sofa or armchair see section below. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is the term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby that remains unexplained after thorough investigation.
Sleep helps to boost their immune system, too. The AAP says babies up to 1 year of age should sleep in the same room as their parents. Here are the steps to follow:
The NICE guidance doesn't distinguish between co-sleeping on sofas or chairs and bed-sharing although there is evidence that it is more dangerous to fall asleep with a baby on a sofa or chair.
The guidance also confirmed that the link between SIDS and co-sleeping is greater if either parent smokes, and may be greater if parents or carers have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that affect their awareness. Premature babies and babies with a low birthweight less than 2.
Modern western civilization is the ONLY place in the world and in history where bed-sharing is not the norm. The plan was to have Jack sleep in our room in his bassinette until he was 6 months old.
Co-sleeping safety If you co-sleep with your baby, here is some guidance about sleep safety: Keep your baby cool by using sheets and blankets rather than a duvet. You shouldn't co-sleep with your baby if you either you or your partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs including medications that may make you drowsy. Always put your baby to sleep on their back rather than their front or side.
They should also be kept away from parents' pillows. Never risk falling asleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
What works for you When it comes to sleep — different options will work for each family. What is most important is that you are familiar with the guidelines around safety and take appropriate steps to make sure you and your baby sleep in the safest way possible.
Further information NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 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.
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