Co Sleeping in Bed: What is Bedsharing and How is It Different Than Using a Cosleeper?

There are plenty of sleep practices out there–which one is right for your family?
May 4, 2023

When parents first set out on their co sleeping journey, they quickly realize that different families have different ideas of what it means to sleep with their baby close by. Co sleeping in bed with your little one is a very different experience than creating a safe co sleeping setup with a tool like the babybay co sleeper. 

So what are the differences? 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 cosleeping without a single concern about safety. 

Co Sleeping and Bed Sharing: How Are They Different? 

When you see a baby sleeping in bed with parents, you’re seeing bed sharing in action. Though many people think that co sleeping and bed sharing are the same thing, they describe two very different sleep practices. 

And while they both put you within arm’s reach of your little one through the night, bed sharing is associated with risks that don’t come when you create a safer co sleeping setup by using a cosleeper

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.”

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

In a note, they explained that “cosleeping” 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.”

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. 

Why Do Parents Choose to Bedshare with Baby Sleeping in Bed? 

There are many benefits that parents who sleep close to their baby enjoy. 

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! 

Many families enjoy the extra shuteye that comes from being able to quickly calm and feed your baby (while handling all baby care), which means more nurturing rest for the whole household. 

They also enjoy the increased bonding that comes from being close to their little one all night long, as well as a host of other mental and physical benefits that come from the close proximity while they rest. 

So How Do You Make Co Sleeping In Bed Safe? 

Here’s the simple answer: you choose the right tool to be by your bedside. A co sleeping bed attachment 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. 

parent installing babybay bedside bassinet | babybay cosleepers

Parents who choose a co sleeping bed attachment over other sleep practices—including bed sharing—takes all the guesswork out of how to safely co sleep in bed. Your baby gets to lie by your side, with a sleep surface free from the too-plush blankets, pillows, and other bedding that you rely on to keep you comfy and cozy all night long. 

Do Experts Recommend Promoting Safe Sleep with a Cosleeper? 

Just like the American Academy of Pediatrics makes a distinction between co sleeping in bed through bedsharing and cosleeping with a safe tool like a bedside co sleeper, so do other experts. 

In a survey of different infant sleeping practices, researchers made a distinction between co sleeping and bed sharing, and noted 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 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. You’re able to enjoy all the nurturing, peaceful hours of catching Zs beside your baby while also promoting safe sleep by avoiding sharing the parent’s bed. 

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

Categories: Co Sleeping
May 4, 2023