Is Co-Sleeping Safe? 4 Safety Guidelines Every Parent with a Newborn Should Know
During the first year of life, you can expect your baby to sleep 16-18 hours a day, waking in 2-3 hour intervals to feed, change, and be coddled back into a peaceful slumber.¹ As you adapt to their schedule, concerns over their sleeping safety should be the last thing on your mind. With so many products on the market, and endless blogs with varying opinions, we urge you to read the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for, “How to Keep your Sleeping Baby Safe.” This comprehensive list is all you need to understand the safety risks of bed-sharing, the benefits of co-sleeping, and provides everything you need to create a safe co-sleeping environment for your baby.
1) Room Sharing With Newborns
For the first 6 months to a year, the AAP recommends room sharing with your baby. Not only is room sharing a more convenient choice, but it also puts you in the best location to respond in the event of an emergency. To prevent incidents of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,) timing is everything, and, the faster you can respond in the event of an emergency, the better. Additionally, over time, you will become familiar with the sounds of your baby’s breathing, making you keenly aware of a blockage, and able to respond in the event of an emergency.
2) Bedsharing is NEVER a safe option
It is completely natural to want to be as close to your baby as possible, and getting up to return your baby to their crib can result in them waking up again. While it may feel like the best option is to let them remain on your chest, the AAP warns parents to NEVER share a bed with a newborn. This includes sleeping on a breastfeeding pillow, in between you and your partner, or anywhere else that might appear safe.
The sad reality is, accidents from bed-sharing account for 50% of SIDS cases, resulting from becoming tangled into sheets, rolling off the bed, or accidentally getting suffocated by pillows. Regardless of how tired you may be, how convenient, or comfortable it may feel, letting your baby sleep in bed with you is extremely dangerous and should never be an option. The risks always outweigh any momentary benefits.
3) Newborns Should Only Sleep on their Backs
To prevent choking, or a blockage of airflow, your baby should only be placed on their back, while sleeping. Unlike sleeping on one’s side, or stomach, laying on our backs allows for your baby’s natural gag reflexes to take over, and will prevent an obstruction of airflow.
4) Less is more: A Firm Mattress and Fitted Sheet are all you need
We completely understand the desire to make your baby’s crib as cozy as possible, but, the AAP recommends keeping cribs clutter-free. For the first year, your crib should only contain a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. Extra pillows, blankets and toys all pose safety hazards. So keep it simple, less is more.
Now that you know the key steps for keeping your sleeping newborn safe, we hope that you feel more confident that you’re doing what’s best for your baby. Ultimately, we want you to be able to enjoy this magical time, and look forward to these moments you share with your baby. Sleep easy knowing that your baby is close by, free from harm, and able to be close to you throughout the night.
So what are you waiting for? Order your babybay bedside co-sleeper today!
¹“Newborn Sleep Patterns” Stanford Children’s Health, https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=newborn-sleep-patterns-90-P02632