When Is It Safe to Co-Sleep with My Baby?

For parents who are just beginning to explore co-sleeping, one of the most commonly asked questions is: When is it safe to co-sleep?

We get why that question is the first one that comes to mind. Because once you start to hear about all the co-sleeping benefits you can expect to enjoy, co-sleeping becomes one of those “so….when can I start?!” kind of things.

(Among the best co-sleeping benefits to expect? Better rest for the whole family. As well as reduced stress and more support as your baby works on growing big and strong.)

But asking about the “when” of co-sleeping isn’t always the best place to start.

Because figuring out the timeline of your co-sleeping journey is a natural step in the process. But asking about the “how” of safe co-sleeping is an important part of keeping your baby safe and happy. While having full peace of mind from Day 1.

How to Co-Sleep Safely: Why The “How” Matters

Mother co-sleeping with bedside sleeper attached to bed | babybay bedside bassinets

“Co-sleeping” is commonly used as a catch-all phrase to describe the practice of sleeping in the same room as your child. However, it’s important to understand that there are many different ways that parents choose to co-sleep: with some offering far more peace of mind than others. 

Though “bed-sharing” is often considered a type of co-sleeping, there are actually significant differences between the two practices. 

When bed-sharing, you invite your child to share space on your own mattress. This means making room for them to get comfy surrounded by the sheets, comforters, and pillows that you prefer. 

When co-sleeping, you sleep easily in arm’s reach of your child. While offering them a made-just-for-them sleeping space that offers the firm support that their growing body needs. 

Actual bed-sharing can lead to sleepless nights full of wondering and worry about whether your child will roll over and get trapped in too-soft bedding. Or worry about whether they’ll feel unsupported by your too-soft mattress during the night. But co-sleeping offers big benefits while whisking those worries away

What’s the Deal with Bedside Co-Sleepers?

A co-sleeping solution like the babybay bedside co-sleeper gives your child a safe co-sleeping bed that attaches securely to your own. While allowing both you and your baby to rest easy in a sleeping space that fully supports your unique needs. Co-sleeping baby smiling into camera | babybay bedside bassinets

And though there are other ways to co-sleep safely that go beyond using a safe co-sleeping bed, one thing remains true…

When it comes to the question When is it safe to co-sleep?, parents who have a co-sleeper bed for their child feel confident that their little one is getting safe and sound nights of co-sleeping rest. Because they know their baby is sleeping the night away in a space that has been perfectly engineered to support their growing body with love. With nothing that’s too-soft or too-warm getting in the way. 

The best part? They’ll feel that confidence not just some nights: but from the first moment their beautiful baby is brought home. 

When Is It Safe to Co-Sleep with a Bedside Co-Sleeper? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the benefits of sharing a room with your baby during at least the first six months of their life. But ideally, they say, you’ll room-share through the first year. Baby and sister showing how to safely co-sleep with bedside sleeper | babybay bedside bassinets

You can start sleeping beside your baby in a safe co-sleeper bed from the first moment they get home.

In fact, not only can you sleep with your baby in a co-sleeper bed from the first moment — that’s how many parents love doing it!

Why do so many parents love starting their baby’s life by sleeping snug in a bedside co-sleeper bed?

Partly because it’s one of the easiest ways to get better sleep — while your baby gets better sleep too.

But also because it gives you a sense of peace of mind that your baby is sleeping safe and secure from the first day of their life. Which can feel like the ultimate comfort to parents like you.

Bedside sleepers like the babybay are specially engineered and built with care to offer your baby a co-sleeping bed that is a safe space for them to catch some Zs. While still letting them remain close by your side all night long. 

And while other sleeping practices—like bed-sharing—can leave you tossing and turning with worries and “what if” thoughts all night long, bedside co-sleepers take all the guesswork and concerns away. 

With the babybay bedside co-sleeper, you’ll be be close enough to support baby’s healthy development and care for their every need, while giving your baby the firm, supportive mattress and just-for-them space they need to sleep secure and sound.

Which is the perfect recipe for sound sleep every night of the week. 

Why Do Experts Recommend Sleeping Beside Your Baby?

Not only does sharing a space make you more responsive to your baby’s needs (as well as a host of other benefits!), but it lets you function as a kind of “jump start” to support your baby’s healthy development.

As anthropologist James J. McKenna found, when parents and baby sleep close by, they naturally start to regulate their sleep state, oxygen levels, temperature, breathing patterns, heart rate, and brain waves to match. Mother and child safely co-sleeping with a bedside bassinet | babybay co-sleepers

So by sleeping close to your baby during their first months of life, you positively  support their still-developing biological and physiological systems in big ways. (Which is key to helping them grow healthy and strong!) 

By co-sleeping with baby from the first moment they come home, you’re able to put these “jump start” effects from the get-go. Which is important considering how much of your baby’s energy during the first months of their life is focused on learning and exploring the new world they’ve just come into.

Deciding When to Co-Sleep: The Big Takeaway

If there’s one big takeaway to leave with, it’s this: the answer to the question When is it safe to co-sleep? depends on how you co-sleep.

Every family’s needs and priorities are different, and ultimately only you know where your child is in their development and what that means for your co-sleeping journey

However, there’s one co-sleeping truth that’s not up for debate: once you’re ready to start co-sleeping, a bedside co-sleeper crib specially engineered to support your baby’s needs takes all the guesswork and worry out of how to co-sleep

So when you’re ready to start co-sleeping, babybay will be here to help you and baby spend every night sleeping sweet-dream sound.

How to Easily Transition Your Baby from Co-Sleeping to Crib

Here’s a scenario that all co-sleeping families are familiar with: You’ve loved waking up with your little one every morning. Giving them a snuggle as the sun shines through your bedroom window. Watching their little eyes open to the world and greet you with a gentle smile as a way to hello.

But one day it just hits you: it’s time to stop co-sleeping and give your child the independence to be in their own baby crib. Which means you have to figure out how to transition your baby from co-sleeping to crib without stressing them (or you) out.

If you’ve been sleeping within arm’s reach of your baby for a while, you know all about the many co-sleeping benefits. You might also know that co-sleeping has a magical way of fostering independence in your little one, which will go far in making this transition from co-sleeping to crib as easy as can be.

But what’s the secret to stopping co-sleeping without stress?

Well, here it is:

Consistency is keyBaby smiling while parents prepare to transition from co-sleeper to crib | babybay cosleeper cribs

On the list of best practices for how to transition baby from co-sleeping to crib, being consistent takes the top spot. 

It can be difficult (okay, not just difficult—sometimes it can feel gosh darn impossible!) to think logically when you’re woken up at 2 am from a deep dream state. 

But once you’ve put a plan for transition in place, it’s important to follow through on it. Not just sometimes. But every single night of the week. 

Keeping consistent will help your baby feel more comfortable with the sleeping changes you’re making. Which will shorten the transition process and help you get back to the long nights of restful sleep you crave. Fast. 

Of course, there might be nights when your half-asleep brain doesn’t quite stop your parenting instincts in time and your transition plan goes out the window. 

Don’t worry about one or two-speed bumps along the way. Just get back on track with your transition plan the next night. 

Keep your baby close 

Just because you’ve decided to move baby into a crib of their own doesn’t mean you have to move your baby far away.

Choosing to gradually transition from co-sleeping to crib (rather than going all-in one night) can ease some of the stress for both you and baby. 

Baby in bassinet as parents think about stopping co-sleeping | babybay co-sleeper cribOn the first night you transition from co-sleeping to crib, keep your baby close by pushing the crib firmly against your bed. Your baby has been sleeping within arm’s reach for a long time now…which means being anything more than a few feet away from you might initially feel like a shock to the system. 

By putting your baby’s new crib in the same spot next to you that they’ve gotten used to sleeping in, they’ll be able to keep a sense of familiarity. Even as they get used to their totally new sleep set-up.

As the nights go on, slowly start moving your baby’s crib farther away from your own sleeping space. Do that until your baby is fully comfortable and confident sleeping away from your side. 

If you’re a co-sleeping family who has been using a co-sleeper crib:

For families who have been enjoying the many benefits of a bedside co sleeper throughout their co sleeping journey, this gradual transition can be made even easier. 

Use a conversion kit to transform your bedside co sleeper into a baby bassinet. Then make a plan to start moving your baby’s bassinet away from your bedside slowly during the nights ahead. 

Because baby is already familiar with the sensations of sleeping in their made-just-for-them baby bedside co sleeper, they’ll feel more confident and comfortable as they adjust to the changes in their sleep routine. 

Instead of feeling the impact of many surprise changes at once (New mattress! New crib! More distance away from you!), they’ll be happy to catch some Z’s in the familiar sleeping space they already love. 

Sleep with their stuff (so that they feel like they’re sleeping beside you!)

Your baby has slept right beside you for many nights, which means they’ve gotten used to being calmed by the familiar feeling of sensing you nearby. 

(Fun fact! Because newborns are still learning how to find meaning in all the things they see and hear on the daily, they develop a strong awareness of smell. Which means just having you close enough to offer the comfort of scent will set them in a peaceful mood!)

Mother snuggling baby in process of transitioning to crib | babybay cosleeper crib

Putting a little extra care into making sure that baby still feels the sensation of having you close (even when you’re across the room) can go a long way in making sure nights remain stress-free and rest-filled for all. 

Sleep with your baby’s bed sheets for a few nights before you start the transition from co-sleeping to crib.  By doing this, you’ll guarantee that your little one is surrounded by comfortable items that smell like you. So that when the time comes to set them up for a new sleep set-up, they’ll have all the extra comfort they need to make the transition from co-sleeping seem easier. 

Of course: you’ll want to choose the item you give to baby wisely. Sleeping with bulky blankets or plush toys can be a safety concern for newborns. Which means leaving those kinds of items in their bed will leave you with more worry than peace of mind. 

But by sleeping with baby’s sheets and fitting them snugly on your baby’s mattress before they tuck in for the night, you’ll be able to help soothe your baby and keep any separation anxiety away. Without a single safety concern. 

Pick the right time

Only you know what’s best for you and your family. Which means only you know when will be the right time to transition baby from co sleeping to crib.

Baby sleeping while parent work on transitioning from co-sleeping | babybay cosleeper crib

For many families, the decision to stop co sleeping will come when baby becomes too active during the night. Or when you more generally decide that it would be better for you to get back to having some space of your own. 

But even if your decision to transition away from co sleeping is accompanied by some need to make the switch now! feelings, set the stage for an easy transition by making sure that it’s a good time to start a new routine.

Avoid making big changes when family is in town, a big project is forcing you to work long hours, or other big life events are taking over your time and emotional energy.

Making sure that both you and baby are feeling settled, calm, and ready to rock and roll toward a new routine will help keep things feeling stress-free. 

Give yourself a break! 

Though many parents wondering how to transition from co-sleeping to crib feel pressure to get the process “perfect,” remember that only you know what works best for your family. 

Give yourself a break if there’s a day when your perfectly-made plans go out the window. And know that your baby will get comfortable and content with the transition from co sleeping to crib soon.

As long as you keep consistent in your plans, the day you’ll have successfully transitioned to a crib (instead of just Googling “how to transition your baby from co-sleeping to crib”) will come. Maybe even sooner than you think!

Sleep with Pregnancy Pillow: Best Positions to Get Good Rest

For pregnant women trying to finally get a good night’s sleep, sleeping with a pregnancy pillow can be a way of relieving pressure on your growing belly, making yourself more comfortable, and finally catching those hours of much-needed shuteye. 

Whether back pain, restless leg syndrome, cramps, heartburn, or other common pregnancy concerns are keeping you from dreamland, properly positioning a pregnancy pillow can help keep the pregnancy insomnia away. 

But not every sleep pillow position will offer the same level of comfort–or the same number of hours spent in restful slumber.

There are a few common shapes of pregnancy pillows, all of which will provide relief in different ways. Mother who suffered from pregnancy insomnia holding newborn's hand | babybay cosleeper cribs

The most popular pregnancy pillow shapes are: 

  • U shaped pregnancy pillows
  • C shaped pregnancy pillows
  • J shaped pillows for pregnancy 
  • Wedge shaped pillows for pregnancy 
  • Body pillow shapes

Let’s break down the “pros” of each of these pillow options (and the pregnancy sleep positions they’ll help you achieve) so that you can choose which of them will best support your comfort. 

U Shaped Pillows: How They Can Help You Get Pregnancy Sleep 

U shaped pillows are often one of the more expensive options you can find, but for good reason. 

These pillows will support your back and belly at the same time, nurturing you in the kind of super-comfortable position that provides back relief. They also take some much-needed pressure off your belly, head, ankles, and neck. 

This is a good pregnancy sleeping position for anyone who was a fan of sleeping on their back before they were pregnant, since these pillows provide a similar experience while still keeping you securely on your side. 

To sleep with a U shaped pillow: Flip that “U” upside down and rest with your head on the bottom. Let your legs stay in the opening while the side of the “U” supports your belly. 

C Shaped Pillows: Making It Easier to Get Sleep While Pregnant 

If you’re someone who loved to roll back and forth during sleep before becoming pregnant, this pillow might not be a good one for you. Pregnant woman feeling rested after sleeping with a pregnancy pillow | babybay cosleeper cribs

Since it’s one-sided, you’ll need to reposition it if you roll around while trying to get sleep while pregnant. 

But for women with a particularly heavy belly, it can offer a place for your head to rest while also giving necessary support to your legs. 

To sleep with a C shaped pillow: Lay your head on one end of the “C” with your back against the curve. Your belly will rest in the middle, with both sides of the pillow taking pressure off this part of your body. 

J Shaped Pillows: A Super-Supportive Pillow for Pregnancy 

Sometimes called a candy cane shaped pillow, this option allows you to sleep in the same supportive position that you’ll get from the “U” shaped pillow without worrying about all the extra cushioning that comes from that “U” option. 

A candy cane shaped pillow is perfect for pregnant women who want to get all the relief of the “U” shaped pillow while still being able to cuddle with loved ones or have a little extra room in the bed. 

Though it’s not ideal for sitting up, it does offer increased versatility when you’re lying down.

Woman sitting up after using a pillow for pregnancy to get sleep | babybay cosleeper cribs

To sleep with a J shaped pillow: You have lots of pregnancy sleeping position choices when it comes to this “J” shape! You can lay with the curved side against your back (and your belly in the middle of the open space) or put the curve between your belly for a different angle of support. 

Wedge Shaped Pillows: A Small and Portable Option for Pregnancy Sleeping Position 

Wedge shaped pillows are one of the most common ways to offer yourself a little extra support through the night. Probably because they’re so easy to use! 

Unlike some other options on this list, you can use this pillow in whatever way works best for you. That means you can try out different orientations and see what’s most comfortable with your own body and preferred ways of sleeping in mind. 

To sleep with a wedge shaped pillow: You can lie on your side and prop it under your belly as you sleep, or use it as a helpful way to relieve heartburn by sitting up to rest. 

Body Pillow Shapes: A Common Way of Sleeping While Pregnant Baby enjoying sleep after their mom slept with a baby pillow | babybay coslepeer cribs

Body pillows aren’t just for pregnant women. These extra-long pillows allow you to find support in whatever way is most comfortable for you, which makes them a favorite for many people looking for a little comfort during the night.

(Pro tip! Save the pillow for after your baby comes. They’re also perfect for postpartum recovery.)

To sleep with a body pillow: Try out different positions and see what works best for you. You can hug your body around it during the night or use it for an extra boost of support wherever you need it. 

Tools like bedside co sleepers can make it easier for you to get good nights of sleep once your baby comes. 

But until then, these options for getting sleep with pregnancy pillow will give better support for you and your belly—so that you can wake up every day well-rested and ready to welcome your little one soon.

Why Is My Baby Crying in Sleep Suddenly (Reasons and Remedies!)

Sure, new parents are used to their babies crying during the day. But when you start hearing your baby crying in sleep suddenly, it can set your nerves on high alert and leave you wondering whether there’s something really wrong. 

The good news is that nighttime crying isn’t uncommon for babies. 

Neither is nighttime screaming, grunting, or other surprising sounds that you don’t expect to hear when your baby is deep in the dream state. 

But knowing why your baby is crying in sleep—and what to do about it—can save you needless worrying during the night, and help you give your baby exactly what they need to quickly go back to rest. 

So what leaves your baby crying in sleep suddenly?

Your baby might be crying or making sounds because they’re:

Mother holding baby after nighttime crying | babybay cosleeper cribs

  • Having tummy troubles 
  • Experiencing an overactive imagination (with nightmares as well!)
  • Flipping between sleep cycles 
  • Having some tooth pain 

So how do you recognize the why behind the nighttime crying your baby is doing? And how do you try to keep these sleep tears from happening again? 

Let’s break it down. 

Nighttime Crying from an Upset Tummy

Mother putting a hand on baby crying during sleep | babybay cosleeper cribs

During the first months of their life, your baby is growing and learning a lot about the world. 

That takes time and energy—which means the transition from being in the womb to relying on formula or mom’s milk for sustenance might not be smooth. 

Your little one could be feeling their tummy rolling around and use crying to express their frustration, even while they remain partly asleep. 

As long as this stops fairly quickly, you shouldn’t be too concerned. Some nighttime crying is normal as your baby adjusts to the world. 

Do Babies Dream? And How Does That Lead to Nighttime Crying?

Do babies dream?  Well, kind of! Many researchers now believe that babies only begin dreaming once they’ve developed the ability to process the world, which could take a few years. 

But that doesn’t mean your baby’s imagination isn’t working overtime, or they aren’t working on processing some parts of their day. 

If this is the case, just keep a close eye on your baby and let things play out. Their imaginative wonderings will soon calm down, and their crying will too.  

Baby Crying During Sleep: Part of Flipping Sleep Cycles 

It’s common to see a baby crying during sleep as their body transitions from one sleep cycle to the next. That’s because they move between sleep cycles very quickly (unlike adults!), and spend far more time in REM sleep than their older siblings or parents. 

As babies come to the end of each sleep cycle, they find themselves coming partly awake. During this transition phase, your little one can experience brief moments of distress and express frustration at being dragged toward wakefulness. 

If this is the case, don’t fret! Your baby should go back to their normal, quiet sleep routine as soon as they adjust to that new state of sleep. 

Your Baby Is Crying At Night Because of Teething

Teething pain isn’t easy on your little one. Baby crying at night is awake and looking into camera | babybay cosleeper cribs

Teething pain can keep your baby awake at night and also make them cry out in frustration and fussiness when they feel that discomfort come on. 

Though parents tend to know the signs to look for when this happens throughout the day, it can be disconcerting to hear your baby crying out in pain when it’s time to rest. 

If this sounds familiar, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. 

This is a temporary phase—one that starts at about 3 months of age for many babies—and can be soothed with remedies for teething pain

So Should I Worry If My Baby Is Crying During Sleep? 

Mother comforting baby who is crying during sleep | babybay cosleeper cribs

Though it can set your nerves alight to hear your baby crying in the middle of the night while still being asleep, you shouldn’t immediately be concerned. 

There are many reasons why your baby may be crying in the middle of the night, and many of them don’t require intervention on your part. 

However, you should watch your baby to make sure that their crying stops soon. 

Whether it’s from teething pain or baby nightmares, the cries you hear should stop fairly quickly. If they don’t, it could be a sign that you should consult a professional in the morning to learn more. 

Luckily, bedside co sleepers can help you become more attuned to your baby’s needs and know when a crisis or a random nighttime cry is afoot. So that you don’t have to spend another night worrying about your baby crying in sleep suddenly—and get better nights of quality rest instead!

How to Recognize Baby Sleep Cues

If you have a newborn baby at home, then you’ve seen it all before: the yawns, the arched back, the signs of crankiness and crabiness that make it clear that your baby is in need of rest. Learning all about baby sleep cues can help you catch your baby’s signs of exhaustion in the early stages, before it turns into the kind of overstimulation that leaves them frustrated and leaves you struggling to calm them down. 

So what are your baby’s clear sleep cues? And how can you catch tiredness before it becomes impossible to put them to sleep?

A baby yawning: one of the sleep cues in newborn | babybay cosleepers

Sleep Cues in Newborn: How to Know Your Baby Is Ready for Rest 

Once your baby’s body decides it’s time to rest, a rush of melatonin (the hormone in our bodies that makes us sleepy) is sent through their system. As soon as that melatonin rushes in, you’ll start seeing signs that your baby is in need of some shut-eye, including plenty of yawns and eye rubbing.

Some common baby sleep cues include: 

  • Yawns
  • Eye rubbing 
  • Fluttering eyelids 
  • An arching back 
  • Jerking arm or leg movements 
  • Calls for attention 
  • Clinginess 
  • Frowns or looks of concern 

When your baby is just-born, you’re likely to frequently see these signs of exhaustion. 

Your little one will be tired after only 1.5-3 hours awake, and will probably need a nap every 2-3 hours up through their first birthday. 

This might sound like a lot of sleep, but it’s nothing for a baby that has spent the first 9 months of their life comfortably sleeping away all day in the womb. 

Your baby is using a lot of energy as they focus on growing strong and adjusting to the world around them (like developing the kind of healthy circadian rhythm that will help them know when to sleep and when to be awake). And that leaves them extra tired. 

You can help them out—and help them grow big and strong!—by learning the sleep cues in newborn and catching them right as they come on. 

Baby’s Sleep Cues: What They Mean

Baby sleeping in co-sleeper after parents learning about crib safety standards | babybay Bedside Co-Sleeper

You might think that your baby’s sleep cues come on the instant they first start feeling tired, but that isn’t the case. 

By the time these sleep cues start coming on, your baby is already tired. 

And though you can quickly rush to get them changed and put them to bed, it’s best to try to catch your baby’s tiredness cues before they reach their peak. 

Once your baby has hit an overtired state, it can be near-impossible to put them to sleep or keep them happily in a dream state. 

That’s because their stress response is likely to kick in once their exhaustion levels hit a critical peak, causing an adrenaline and cortisol spike that makes falling back asleep a challenging task. 

This means that avoiding an overtired baby should be a priority throughout the day, and tuning into your little one’s tiredness cues should be at the top of your to-do list. 

How to avoid an overtired baby and help your newborn get the sleep they need: 

  • Know how many hours of sleep your baby needs every day (this helpful chart from the Sleep Foundation can help)
  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine at night
  • Don’t overstimulate your baby during times of day when you know they’ll need rest. Instead, allow them to be in a quiet and restful place surrounded by sounds and lighting that will nurture their body’s needs
  • Don’t try to re-stimulate your baby when they’re showing signs of tiredness. Instead, allow them to get the rest they need
  • Recognize your baby’s sleep cues and know when they’ve reached their energy limit so you can help them settle into sleep 

How Do I Help My Newborn Get the Best Possible Sleep?

As a parent, it can be hard to know how to help your newborn sleep while also getting the nights of rest you need to feel ready for anything in the morning. 

Baby and mother sleeping together after getting through pregnancy insomnia | babybay co-sleepers

And while there are many sleep practices that parents have long-relied on to help their baby feel nurtured throughout the night while supporting mom and dad’s sleep needs too, many parents turn to safe co sleeping solutions as a way to help their baby get more rest—while also getting more (and better!) rest themselves. 

Safely sleeping side-by-side not only helps reduce your baby’s stress levels and leave them ready for the day (along with a host of other benefits!), it also tunes you in to your baby’s unique patterns and habits. 

That close bonding and familiarity with your little one doesn’t end when they wake, making it easier for you to make note of unique baby sleep cues and help your little one get rest—exactly when they need it!

Safely Co-Sleeping in Bed: Everything You Need to Know Before Starting

When you first set out on your co-sleeping journey, one thing will become obvious very quickly: every family has a different idea of what co-sleeping is and how to have their best nights of sleep by incorporating the practice into their own routine. While some families may choose a way of co-sleeping in bed that involves inviting their children to share their own mattress, others choose the safer and more secure option of encouraging their babies to sleep while snuggled in a made-just-for-them bedside co-sleeper

Given the fact that co-sleeping has been the preferred family sleep practice throughout history, it’s not surprising that there’s so much diversity when it comes to how families choose to practice it. Parents snuggling with baby while considering co-sleeping and bed-sharing | babybay bedside co-sleepers

But what does that diversity look like? And how do parents like you learn how to put a co-sleeping baby to bed so that they can get a sound night’s sleep while also being perfectly safe? 

We’re about to break down everything you need to know about the differences between bed sharing and putting baby to sleep with a co-sleeper, so that you can enjoy the many benefits of co-sleeping while being 100% confident that your little one is feeling rested, relaxed and snuggled in comfort all night long. 

Co-Sleeping and Bed Sharing: How Are They Different? 

Though many people think that co-sleeping and bed sharing are the same thing, these two terms actually describe two very different sleep practices.

When you see a baby sleeping in bed with parents (as in: sharing a mattress as well as a sleep space), you’re seeing bed sharing in action. Mother leaning over baby enjoying bedside co-sleeper | babybay bedside co-sleepers

In bed sharing, babies often stay cuddled up to parents while being surrounded by the same pillows and blankets that adults use to keep themselves comfy and ready for rest. Though this might seem positive at first (it’s always good to keep baby comfy as can be, right??), the American Academy of Pediatrics (or AAP) makes it clear that firmer is better when it comes to your baby’s sleep environment.

That’s because comfy blankets and pillows can quickly become dangerous for babies, especially those little ones who are not yet old enough to know how to safely roll themselves out of harm’s way.

Bedside co-sleepers offer an alternative to traditional bed sharing by keeping your baby within arm’s reach while still giving them a perfectly safe sleep space that’s all their own.

With bedside co-sleepers, your baby is able to sleep the night away with a firm mattress that’s perfectly suited to their needs. While still keeping you within easy reach of your little one so that nighttime comforting and quick nighttime nursing is easy-as-can-be.

Why Are Bedside Co-Sleepers the Recommended Way to Co-Sleep?

While both bedside co-sleepers and bed sharing put you within arm’s reach of your little one through the night, bed sharing is often  associated with risks that don’t come when you create a safer co sleeping setup with a bedside co-sleeper

In fact, when the American Academy of Pediatrics first released their infant sleep recommendations, they drew a clear distinction between the definition of “bed sharing” and “co-sleeping.”

They explained that “co-sleeping” might be a term that “is commonly used, but the task force finds it confusing, and it is not used in this document. When used, authors need to make clear whether they are referring to sleeping in close proximity (which does not necessarily entail bed-sharing) or bed-sharing.” Baby and mother sleeping together after getting through pregnancy insomnia | babybay co-sleepers

If you cut through all that formality, you’ll see a clear difference between bed sharing and co-sleeping as sleep practices: while parent and baby rest on the same sleep surface while bed sharing, co-sleeping can refer to any situation where you put your baby to sleep close by.

And, more importantly, can refer to sleep set-ups where your baby is given a comfortable space that has been carefully crafted with love to care for their comfort and safety. One that isn’t all about adult comfort (though it still provides that too!), but puts your baby at the center of attention.

Why Do Parents Choose to Bed Share When They Have Baby Sleeping in Bed? 

There are many benefits that parents who sleep close to their baby enjoy. Though waking up without bleary eyes in the morning is a big-time plus (as any new parent who has struggled to get quality sleep would agree!), better rest isn’t the only thing that calls parents to want to c0-sleep child after child, and time after time. 

Babies naturally wake up every few hours during the first months of life. By sleeping close to your little one, you make baby care easier while also giving your baby the subconscious hint that they’re safe and free to sleep in peace

When babies sleep better, so do parents! Which turns co-sleeping into a win-win for both parents and babies who are looking to get more nurturing hours of rest every night.  

Many families also enjoy the extra shuteye that comes from being able to quickly calm and feed your baby while handling all other baby care with ease.  Baby and child touching noses | babybay bedside co-sleepers

Because though reaching over crib bars a few times a night might not sound like a big deal to non-parents or first-time expecting moms, it can become a detriment to healing for mothers who are recovering from birth or trying to crack the code to get sleep after c-section.

Which gives co-sleeping parents who are in easy reach of their child a big help when it comes to keeping themselves comfortable and rested all night long. 

So How Do You Make Co-Sleeping In Bed Safe? 

When you start asking how do you make co-sleeping in bed safe? there’s one go-to simple answer: you choose the right tool to be by your bedside. A co-sleeping bed attachment (like a bedside co-sleeper) fits snugly against your bed and lets you sleep closely to your little one through the night, while giving them a safe sleep space that offers the firm bedding they need. Baby with huge smile | babybay bedside co-sleepers

Parents who choose a co-sleeping bed attachment over other sleep practices — including bed sharing — take all the guesswork out of how to safely co-sleep in bed. Which gives them less stress and more energy to make beautiful memories throughout the day and night.

With a bedside attachment like a bedside co-sleeper, your baby gets to lie by your side all night long. And better yet: they get to do in a sleep surface free from the too-plush blankets, pillows, and other bedding that you rely on to keep you comfy and cozy (ones that are an A+ for adult comfort but a solid F when it comes to baby safety). 

Do Experts Recommend Promoting Safe Sleep with a Co-Sleeper? 

Just like the American Academy of Pediatrics makes a distinction between co sleeping in bed through bed sharing and co-sleeping with a safe tool like a bedside co-sleeper, so do other experts. parent installing babybay bedside bassinet | babybay cosleepers

In a survey of different infant sleeping practices, researchers made a distinction between co-sleeping and bed sharing, noting the key risks that come from babies being surrounded by plush bedding and covers while bed sharing.

These risks are ones that can be avoided by using a safe bedside co-sleeper. One that prioritizes your baby’s comfort while also giving them a firm and non-plush surface to rest their head and sleep peacefully

Bedside co-sleepers offer many families an opportunity to balance lifestyle considerations and safety ones. With one set up safely bedside your bed, you’re able to enjoy all the nurturing, peaceful hours of catching Zs within arm’s reach of your little one…while also promoting safe sleep while co-sleeping in bed. 

Which sounds like a win-win for many families, and could be the perfect one for yours.

Why Co Sleeping and Breastfeeding Go Together So Well

There are many reasons why parents may choose to breastfeed. And even more reasons why parents might choose to get more sleep while making their nights easier by taking advantage of the connection between co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

Maybe they’ve heard about the many benefits of breastfeeding (like giving baby better protection against short and long-term illness) or read one of the academic studies that explores how breastfeeding supports both maternal and infant health. Mother holding baby next to co-sleeper looking happy | babybay cosleepers

Perhaps they’ve even read the stats about how breastfeeding can save parents between $1,200-1,500 in their baby’s first year. (Definitely not something to sneeze at!)

Regardless of why they make the decision, around three out of four mothers in the U.S. choose breastfeeding over buying formula. And many of those families take advantage of the co-sleeping and breastfeeding connection to make nighttime nursing even easier.

While breastfeeding may not be an option for every mother or family, co sleeping can positively support baby health while making it easier for parents to get a night of good rest. Here’s how…

First Thing’s First: What Is Breastfeeding While Co-Sleeping Like?

Newborn babies have a schedule all their own. (As any new parent will tell you after getting up with their baby multiple times in one night!). 

It will take your baby a while (on average around 6 months of life) before they’ll be able to get a full 6-8 hours of shut-eye without waking up every hour or so.

The “why” behind that crazy baby sleep schedule often boils down to their undeveloped circadian rhythm.Mother breastfeeding a newborn | babybay bedside bassinets

As it turns out, it takes time for your baby to develop a healthy circadian rhythm (the internal clock that helps us stay awake when the sun is up and get rest when the sun goes down). After spending so long in the womb, your baby is not exactly accustomed to the changes of day and night, which makes it challenging for them to stay asleep for long stretches of time.

Not only that, their tiny tummies can’t hold much food. Your baby will double their weight in the first 5 months of life, and that kind of quick growth requires plenty of nutrients.

This is why your baby may call for food every few hours when they’re first born. (And why you as a breastfeeding parent are likely to wake up several times throughout the night to give them a much-needed helping hand for their hunger.)

Together, the combo of a tiny tummy and an undeveloped circadian rhythm can lead breastfed babies to stay up all night – while their parents happen to stay up with them. 

But luckily, “staying up all night” doesn’t have to be the name of the game when it comes to caring for your baby through the night while responding to every hunger cue with breastfeeding. That’s where co-sleeping comes in to make nights with your newborn easier and more comfortable.

The Convenience and Ease of Co-Sleeping Cribs

Many breastfeeding mothers choose to get more and more restful sleep with a co-sleeper or bedside crib, which offer a safer alternative to inviting your baby into bed with you to sleep away the night.

With the help of a co sleeper or bedside crib, you don’t even need to get out of the comfort of your bed to care for their baby’s needs (which many families with a newborn baby count as a big, big plus!).

While breastfeeding mothers who are not relying on a co-sleeper may need to groggily get out of bed every two to four hours, co-sleepers allow you to stay relaxed and comfortable while offering your baby the nurturing and nutrients they need.

Dad holding newborn baby who sleeps in a co-sleeper | babybay bedside bassinets

And while getting out of bed and reaching over crib bars might not sound like too much of an inconvenience at first, having to make the trip multiple times throughout the night can easily leave nighttime feeding feeling like a chore.

Co-sleepers make it easier to care for your breastfed babies during the night, while waking up more comfortable and rested in the morning. That’s why they remain one of the most popular sleeping options for breastfeeding families around the world. 

Breastfeeding and C-Sections: How Co-Sleeping Makes Everything More Comfortable

Getting sleep after c-section can be a challenge. Scratch that: getting sleep after c-section can feel near-impossible to some mothers. Add breastfeeding into the mix and it can easily lead to some sleepless nights for mama. Woman experiencing the many co-sleeping benefits with her little one | babybay bedside bassinet

Though c-sections are one of the most common ways to welcome your baby into the world (about 1 in 3 babies are born this way in the United States every year), it’s important to remember the c-sections are still major abdominal surgery.

And while caring for your baby all night long definitely is Priority #1 for new parents, caring for your healing body by giving it the rest and lying-down time it needs is just as important. 

Sleeping after c-section with the help of a co-sleeper or bedside bassinet can help your wounds heal by totally eliminating the dozens of trips across the rooms that mothers using a crib have to take each night. It also cuts down on the time you’ll spend bending over and reaching across crib bars, which cuts down on the kind of pulling motion that irritates your healing c-section abdomen.

That’s why many mothers who have delivered their baby via c-section choose co-sleeping after birth, or quickly swap out their crib for a “no bending over needed” co-sleeper for the time it takes their body to rest and heal.

One of the Comfiest Ways to Care for Your Little One: Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding Lying Down

Breastfeeding lying down can be a tricky position for new moms to learn, but it can also be one of the most comfortable ways to feed your baby at night. 

Lying down can make the breastfeeding experience more relaxing for you, and it can be a way to minimize sleep disruption when you need to feed your baby at night. 

Some experts even believe that this position helps babies nurse better, because there’s less pressure on the baby’s neck and head.

During the first months of life, this position can also help a fussy baby get a good latch by calming them down and putting them in a better position. 

Mother and baby co-sleeping together | babybay cosleepers

For some parents, breastfeeding a newborn at night means waking up, walking around, and finding ways to wake up their body enough that they’ll be able to support baby health without succumbing to exhaustion and lying back down. 

And while this can help the breastfeeding mother feel awake enough to breastfeed their baby comfortably, it can be hard to lie back down and get back to sweet sleep after spending so much energy becoming alert. 

When using a co-sleeping baby bed to remain comfortable while breastfeeding lying down, you’re able to remain in a restful state while feeding your little one. Which makes it easier to get back to sleep once the time comes.

This helps parents get more sleep during the night by making it easier to transition between being awake and falling back to sleep (which for parents of a newborn, is a major win!).

A Big Co-Sleeping Benefit: Better Nights of Rest 

Though there are many co-sleeping benefits to enjoy (including a boosted immune system and better bonding between you and baby), the more restful nights of sleep that both you and your baby enjoy are a big plus.

When you sleep no more than an arm’s reach from your baby, you’re able to respond to every one of their nighttime needs — including their hunger calls — easily, and without needing to fully get out of bed to do it. Mother holding baby after breastfeeding and co-sleeping | babybay bedside bassinets

That means you and your baby get to take advantage of all the benefits of breastfeeding, without struggling to get sweet sleep while nighttime feeding. 

That’s one of the main reasons why co-sleeping and breastfeeding go together so well: You’re able to give your baby everything they need during the night, while also giving your body the rest and relaxation you need as a parent. 

Interested in discovering more about co-sleeping or starting out on your own safe co-sleeping journey?

Learn more about what co sleeping is and how to know if it’s right for you, or take a peek at our guide to safe and restful co sleeping for you and your newborn baby.

How To Safely Use a Co-Sleep Crib with a Tall Bed

There’s the kind of co-sleeping that involves bringing your baby into your own bed…and then there’s a co-sleep crib. 

Co-sleep cribs (or bedside co-sleepers, as some people prefer to call them) sit flush against your bed and allow you to sleep side-by-side with your little one. 

This delivers all the co-sleeping benefits that leaves parents singing the sleeping practice’s praises (easier nighttime nursing and healthier development for baby among them). While also giving your baby a made-just-for-them place to rest throughout the night that will leave you sleeping soundly with full peace of mind. 

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? parent with co sleeper | babybay bassinets

But some parents come across one big, stop in their tracks roadblock when they start preparing to co-sleep: their bed is just too tall to co-sleep safely with a bedside co-sleeper.

Before you head out to buy a traditional crib or throw out your long-loved mattress for something a little shorter, here’s what you should know about using a co-sleeper bed crib. Even if you have the tallest bed on your block. 

First Thing’s First: Not Every Co-sleeping Crib Bed Is the Same

For parents just starting off on their safe co-sleeping journey, the first questions on their mind are often: What is co-sleeping? and How do I practice it safely?

(Hint: it’s easier than you think to safely co-sleep!).

However, the third question (aka: the one that comes up as soon as you start hunting around on Google for a co-sleeper to bring into your home) is: Will this co-sleeper crib baby bed I’ve fallen in love with even fit against my mattress? 

This is a fair question to ask, since the safety of your co-sleeper bed crib depends on its ability to sit tightly against your mattress and leave no gaps that could pose a risk for your baby.

Most co-sleepers come in different sizes, or offer adjustable height options that give you the chance to fit your baby’s sleep surface close to your bed no matter the height of your mattress. 

For instance, the babybay bedside sleeper blends its all-natural, solid beechwood design with three models to choose from: the babybay Original, the babybay Maxi, and the babybay Maxi Tall. A parent holding their newborn's hand in a co-sleeping crib bassinet | babybay bedside bassinets

Each adjusts to a different height (the Original suits between 10” – 25”, while the Maxi Tall goes up to 31”). Which allows parents to choose the option that works best for them, while still getting the look and all-important safety certifications that make the babybay one of the most-loved co-sleepers on the market. 

How do I make sure I’m choosing the right Co-sleeping Crib to fit my tall bed?

When your furniture veers towards higher heights, the key is to find a manufacturer that is upfront about the sizes of beds their co-sleeping cribs suit.

When it comes to buying a co-sleeping crib attached to bed, height and fit are too essential pieces that ensure that co-sleeping remains a safe and peace of mind-filled way for your family to get rest at night. 

You shouldn’t have to buy a co-sleeper crib baby bed, get it delivered in the mail, and immediately wonder Have I made a mistake?

(Just like you shouldn’t have to “just go with” whatever crib or co-sleeper you’ve bought, while wondering if it’s really the one that meets all your needs.)

Seek out a company that not only emphasizes how important bed heights can be when determining what co-sleeper bed crib to buy, but is also transparent about whether or not their products will fit your specific furniture. 

With a tape measure handy, you should be able to measure your mattress and know whether the height you’re seeing lines up with their tallest model.

My Co-sleeper or Co-Sleeping Crib Bassinet Just Won’t Fit My Tall Bed! Now What? 

It’s rare that parents or parents-to-be have a bed that extends well over the height requirements set by bedside crib manufacturers. But it happens.

If you need to use a mini staircase to step up into your mattress, you might find yourself in a tough spot when it comes to finding a co-sleeping crib attached to bed that suits you and your decor. While also helping your baby sleep safely. parent installing babybay bedside bassinet | babybay cosleepers

It might be hard to hear, but rather than trying to adapt your bedside crib to fit your bed, it’s a better idea to adjust your own sleeping setup in small ways to ensure that your co-sleeping crib remains safe (and your baby remains safe in it!).

Some parents choose to move their bed off its bed frame for the months when their baby is using a co-sleeping crib. Or switch out their current bed frame with a platform that suits their co-sleeping crib bed a bit better.

But switching out your furniture should be a last resort. 

When in doubt, we recommend getting in touch with the manufacturer of the co-sleeping crib that’s interesting you. 

If they take safety as seriously as you do, they’ll be more than happy to answer any questions about your specific setup. And give you some alternative options (like converting a co-sleeper into a bedside bassinet) that will help you take advantage of all the co-sleeping benefits you can’t wait to enjoy. 

While also being confident that your baby is sleeping safely through the night in their co-sleep crib. 

Your Complete Guide to Choosing a Side Bed Bassinet or Crib

Side bed bassinet, traditional crib, or convertible: there are plenty of crib types out there. And if you’re confused about what all the different types mean (or confused about how to find the best crib or best crib alternative for you and your family!), we don’t blame you at all. You’re definitely not alone on that front.

In fact, new parents or parents to a new little one often have a hard time choosing which type of crib to get. A mother touching hands with her baby in a co-sleeper bed | babybay bedside bassinets

Not because they don’t know what’s best for their baby. But because they want to support their baby’s nurturing and safe sleep…and aren’t sure which option is the best crib or best crib alternative to make that happen. 

And though there’s no “right answer” to which type of baby gear will work best for your baby and family (only you can decide which type of crib best supports your unique needs), there are big benefit differences to each crib type that can make it easy to cut through the options and make a choice that you’ll be happy with for a long time coming. 

Here’s our guide to the different types of cribs on the market, as well as a break down of what separates a traditional crib from other alternatives.

Stick around…because we’re about to tell you about the advantages you can expect from different models. So that choosing the right crib type is the easiest thing you do all day. 

What is a Traditional Baby Crib All about?

When you think of a baby crib, you probably imagine a small sleeping space with guardrails or safety bars on all sides that keep your baby safe and in place throughout the night. 

This might surprise you: but the modern version of a baby crib is actually a pretty recent invention.

Cradles and cribs were largely used to hold babies during the day. At night, parents would invite their baby to co-sleep, which was the dominant sleep practice for thousands of years (and still remains the standard for a majority of the world’s children, according to a survey done by anthropologist John Whiting).

By the 1950s, cribs were starting to take on their modern form. But with one big “but”: crib safety standards weren’t proposed until 1973, when the Food and Drug Administration finally set requirements for how the railings and sides of cribs should be designed. Room with baby crib, one of the many crib types | babybay bedside bassinets

These safety standards allowed cribs to move forward with a more unified design (the one you probably think of now when you hear the word “crib”).

Nowadays, these sleep spaces have a barred or latticed design, one that gives your baby security and the kind of made-just-for-them sleep space they need to grow comfortably. But it also puts distance between parent and baby, by departing heavily from the long history of parent and child sleeping in rhythm with one another. 

How the Bedside Sleeper Came Onto the Scene

According to Smithsonian Magazine, the bedside sleeper (also sometimes called a co-sleeper) was invented around the 17th century as “probably the world’s first device designed for nighttime sleep.”

Originally called “arcuccio” or “arcutio” (which is Italian for “little arch”), the early version of the bedside sleeper was a half-barrel shape that awarded the mother all the benefits of co-sleeping (by easing nighttime nursing routines and making sleep easier for her and baby) while also providing a safe way for baby to sleep on a surface and mattress all their own.

Modern day co-sleepers or bedside sleepers have taken this long-ago design to new safety heights, with long-trusted organizations like ASTM International, TÜV Rheinland, and Confidence in Textiles giving models like the babybay a gold star for safety.

As an alternative to traditional crib models, bedside sleeper is a baby bed designed to offer the best of both worlds by giving your baby a safe and nurturing place to sleep. One that also just so happens to be close and comfortable to you. (That parent-baby rhythm we were talking about before? That’s exactly the experience that a side bed bassinet was designed to give.) A mother and her baby in a baby co-sleeper | babybay bedside bassinets

Not only does this kind of close sleeping support baby (by boosting their immune system and contributing to their healthy development), it also helps parents take advantage of the many benefits of sleeping close to their little one.

Ones that parents enjoyed for millennia. And continue to enjoy around the world today. 

Wait, How Is a Bedside Sleeper Crib Different From What You’ve Talked About Already?

Just like there are plenty of crib types out there, there are plenty of names that all describe the same type of crib.

Here are just a few of the names you might hear people use to describe a bedside sleeper:

  • Side bed bassinet
  • Bedside bassinet
  • Co-sleeping bassinet
  • Bedside crib
  • Bedside sleeper crib
  • Co-sleeper
  • Bedside co-sleeper

All these names work to describe the same thing: a crib that is placed close to your bedside and lets your baby sleep just an arm’s reach away.

When it comes to choosing a crib type that works best for your family, the name is less important than the function and design. 

No matter what you choose to call it, the best side bed bassinet will keep your baby feeling safe and secure in a mattress made just for them, while letting you quickly respond to every nighttime nursing call and crisis cry. 

If you prefer the freedom of having a mobile option (which puts a new spin on this long-loved sleeping option for your baby’s nighttime sleeping space), you can get a bedside bassinet that can easily be turned into a portable bed. So that you can take advantage of all the benefits of co-sleeping while still easily moving your baby from the bedroom to the nursery during the day. safe-cosleeping-babybay

You’ve Mentioned Benefits. Is a Co-Sleeping Bassinet Really that different from a Bedside Crib for Baby?

There are two main things that set a bedside sleeper/co-sleeping bassinet and a more traditional crib apart from one another:

  • Bars
  • Distance

Many parents prefer the comfort of being able to sleep beside their baby without anything (not even bassinet bars!) separating them from their little one.

Though reaching over some crib bars might not sound like a big deal to some parents or parents-to-be, it can have a big impact on breastfeeding parents who find themselves having to get up every few hours during the night (with each trip making it harder and harder to get back to sleep themselves).

It can also greatly impact parents who are struggling to get sleep after c-section, and are finding it hard to reach over high bars multiple times during the night while still allowing their abdomen to heal.

It can even greatly impact parents who simply find themselves not wanting to to reach over awkward crib bars to cuddle or soothe your little one all night long. Or who would prefer to check that all is well with their little one (with a loving touch or moment of embrace) without having to walk across the room to do it.

So Then Which Baby Bed Should I Get? A Side Bed Bassinet? A Crib? Or…? 

At the end of the day, only you know what works best for your family. Parents holding baby next to a bedside co-sleeper | babybay bedside bassinets

However, no matter whether you let your baby sleep in a crib all their own or opt for a bedside co-sleeper option, it’s important to find a baby bed that commits to your baby’s safety by prioritizing nontoxic, sustainable, and all-natural materials.

Because though the question “which type of baby bed should I get?” might be front of your mind right now, it’s important to think about the quality of the baby bed you choose once you get to the “shopping” phase.

Though it can be hard to hear, your most-loved baby product and baby gear is likely made with harmful glues, toxic sealers, and other chemicals that can harm your baby and lead to health risks. Seeking out a company that prioritizes your baby’s full safety and health (while also focusing on expertly-engineered ways to keep your baby safe and comfy through the night!) can help you avoid concerns that arise when your baby is exposed to toxic and harmful materials. 

So that your baby can rest easy every night while sleeping in their side bed bassinet or baby crib (no matter which you end up choosing!)…and you can rest easy too.

A Guide for Sleep Deprived Parents: How to Get Sleep with a Newborn

You don’t need statistics to back up the fact that getting a full night’s sleep with a new baby can be hard (heck, you just need to look in the mirror to see the black rings under your eyes and that spell “I need some coffee or wake-me-up tea…stat!”) But if you’re feeling like one of the many sleep deprived parents out there who need some relief, just know that you’re not alone.

Adults tend to need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. But with frequent feedings and cries for comforting as the new normal, getting that much shut-eye can feel near-impossible to do. In fact, scientists have discovered that new dads tend to lose an average of 13 minutes of sleep a night, while new moms lose over an hour of sleep on average.

And while chugging caffeine might seem like a solid short-term solution at first, the truth is that it might take years (or, at least, up until your child is around 6 years old) before your sleep schedule returns to its pre-kid patterns.

But that shouldn’t be cause for concern. Because while studies are pretty clear on the fact that long-term sleep deprivation comes with some pretty not-fun negatives (like increased anxiety, irritability, reduced cognitive functioning, and postpartum depression onset), there are ways to take back control of your sleep — while still making sure your little one is getting high-quality shut-eye of their own. A parent and smiling child after finding solutions to deal with sleep deprivation with a baby | babybay bedside co sleepers

In this complete guide for sleep deprived parents (who are finally ready to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day), you’ll discover:

  • Why following your baby’s lead is the key to getting dream-filled nights that leave you refreshed in the morning
  • The key ways you can rely on your support network to ease the pressures of nighttime stress and sleeplessness
  • Why sleep hygiene might be the most-important (and rest-giving) part of your nighttime prep routine
  • How postpartum doulas and after-care specialists make nighttime sleep magic happen (just by supporting you in the right, should have thought of that! ways)
  • The sleep setup that has been scientifically proven to help you sleep longer and spend more time in REM — while your baby gets peaceful and bonding-filled rest right beside you

How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation with a Baby: Follow Their Lead

When your baby sleeps, that’s your cue to sleep too. Simple enough, right? But hold up — it doesn’t always feel that easy.

It’s tempting to spend the first year fighting against their baby’s natural rhythm and needs, or ignoring clear baby sleep cues when they start showing. Because when there is a schedule to keep or visiting grandparents to pay attention to, it can be easy to ignore the yawning and eye-rubbing or assure your baby “just a few more minutes!” while keeping them wide-awake and surrounded by love and attention.

And while being surrounded with loving people sounds like a good thing (and it is most of the time!), ignoring those baby sleep cues when they come on sets you and your baby on the fast-track to tumultuous sleep.

You can try to get your baby on your clock, but this will only add to your exhaustion. The time will come when your baby can wait a bit before being put to sleep (without any over-exhaustion symptoms coming on), but don’t expect it right away.

Instead, follow the #1 trick for how to deal with sleep deprivation with a baby: let your baby take the lead, and commit to getting rest-time in when you can. 

When Possible, Share Responsibilities with Your Partner or Loved Ones

Listen to your body when it says you need to rest. And no matter how independent you are, talk to your partner or other nearby friends/family/neighbors/people close to you about how they can help you during those rest-needing moments.A baby sleeping peacefully after their parents have figured out how to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent | babybay co-sleepers

Working with your support network to rotate responsibilities will make it possible for you to sleep, heal, and be at your best. (Remember, child birth takes a lot out of your body, and if you had a cesarean section you might be having an even harder time finding ways to get comfortable and get quality sleep after c-section.) 

The American Academy of Family Physicians echoes the importance of letting others help during your postpartum recovery:

“During the first six weeks, pay attention to your body…resist the temptation to do more. Overdoing things at this point can set you back in your recovery. Concentrate on nourishing your body with good foods, drinking plenty of water (especially if you are breastfeeding), and getting enough rest.”

Your baby, body, and relationship will all benefit from practicing good communication. So think of asking for help as the natural thing to do after child birth — and get the support you need to finally sleep.

Practice Proper Sleep Hygiene as a Sleep Deprived Parent (Yep, That’s Really a Thing)

The concept of proper sleep hygiene is all about setting up your sleep environment and making choices during the day to not interfere with your body’s ability to sleep. And unsurprisingly, the same tips that help you get more shut-eye during other times of your life offer much-needed advice that take some of the difficulty out of how to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent. 

For example: not drinking caffeine after 2pm, fighting late-night cravings, and removing technology from the bedroom can all set your mind at ease and leave you geared up (or geared down) to cozy into bed and fall into dreamland as soon as your head hits the pillow.

With a newborn added to the nighttime equation, it’s hard for your body to make sense of the nightly schedule you’re keeping up. With feedings waking you up every few hours, sending mixed messages to your body in the form of late-night caffeine or social media scrolls can make it hard to go back to sleep on command. 

But if it’s nighttime and “struggling to sleep” feels firmly where you are (while popping things like “How to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent” into Google’s search bar), here are some quick tips that will help you calm your racing mind and make drifting into nighttime slumber easier:

      • Doing 5-10 minutes of yoga or peaceful meditation
      • Sipping a cup of herbal tea (herbal teams like chamomile and peppermint are naturally decaffeinated)
      • Closing the blinds, or using blackout window treatments to help cut through your body’s circadian rhythm and let your system know it’s time for rest

A mother watching her sleeping baby after figuring out how to get sleep with a newborn | babybay bedside co-sleepers

Services to Help with Slumber: Postpartum Doulas and After-Birth Care Specialists

Postpartum Doulas and After-Birth Care Specialists are specially trained to help moms in the first weeks or months after giving birth. They work with you — often in your home — to help you feel comfortable adapting to all things parenthood. (They’re also covered by state health care and independent insurance coverages in many cases.)

If your lack of recent sleep is partly a result of all the recent changes in your life or concern about whether you’re “doing things right,” postpartum doulas or after-birth care specialists can help set your mind at ease by giving well-researched answers to all of your most keep me up at night questions about parenthood.

Struggling with getting baby to latch on? Worried you’ve swaddled your baby too tightly? Experiencing anxiety about how your body is healing? Don’t know why your baby won’t stop crying?

With compassion, understanding, and a helpful attitude, professionals like these will help with all of it. And bonus: they’ll also listen to the specifics of your situations and give some relevant-to-you tips and tricks for easing the exhaustion pressures of the nighttime hours.

Although this uncharted territory of parenthood can be frightening, don’t forget about the resources available to help you. If you’ve got a question, ask it. If you’re unsure of something or something feels off, trust your gut and find help. There’s nothing like peace of mind when it comes to a good night’s sleep.

Try Out a Bedside Co-Sleeper (Your Sleep Cycles Will Thank You)

This might just be the quickest and easiest to new parent sleep deprivation on this list: switching to using a bedside co-sleeper can make all the difference in terms of a good night’s sleep by taking all the “getting up to breastfeed or care for your little one” sleep disrupting out of your nightly regimen. Parent and baby with co-sleeper baby bed | babybay bedside bassinet

Co-sleeping has long been the generations-loved and around-the-world-respected sleep solution for helping both parents and baby sleep better — and longer — at night. When done safely (like with the help of a safety-certified bedside co-sleeper), co-sleeping promotes physiological syncing between parent and baby (which sets breathing, heartbeat, etc. into a balanced and calming pattern that affects the peacefulness of both), and leads to increased time in REM sleep and rest in longer intervals.

If you think about it, the proven benefits of staying extra-close to your little one at night make sense.

Your baby has spent upwards of 9 months in the womb, getting used to the feeling of having their mother’s heartbeat nearby and the natural body rhythm of a loved one surrounding them. Safe co-sleeping replicates this closeness, making the transition from womb to the real world less jarring (which leads to easier ease during the moments when drifting into dreamland is on the agenda).

Want to try the bedside co-sleeper thing out?

Consider the leading attachable bedside co-sleeper by babybay. Not only is babybay the only eco-friendly sleeper on the market, but they’re also committed to sustainable manufacturing and are created by parents, for parents — showing a true understanding of your everyday struggles and needs. That puts them on the front line of your mission to end end your status as sleep deprived parents, while making every night of sleep one that is filled with plenty of peaceful dreams and beautiful bonding.