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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
You open up your front door to find your babybay bedside sleeper just-delivered to your door by the mailman. As you open the box up and catch a comforting whiff of the ethically-sourced beechwood that is guaranteed to cradle your little in comfort, you have one thought on your mind: you’re already in love with your new co-sleeper, but what if it could be a bedside bassinet too?
Having the freedom to use your co-sleeper as a safe place for your little one to rest their head at night and a comforting home that nurtures them during the day is the ultimate in convenience.
With a freestanding baby bassinet, you get an enclosed space for your darling little one to nap nearby or simply hang out near you. During the day, and also during the evening.
How Do I Turn the Babybay Bedside Sleeper Mobile?
This wooden guard rail pictured below is all you need to keep your lil’ guy or gal snoring happily near you. We call it the Bassinet Conversion Kit, and you can order it separately as an accessory to your babybay bedside sleeper.
This protective wooden guard rail fits onto the open side of your bedside sleeper. It uses wooden locking clips, so it’s able to withstand any holding and pulling by your baby’s little exploring hands.
The picture below on the left shows the bedside sleeper with the wooden guard rail being attached. And the image on the right shows you the enclosed safe space your baby will be able to happily snooze in all day long.
Having the freedom to transform your bedroom sleep set-up into a moveable bassinet is a win-win for both the baby and the parents.
Because your baby is already used to the comforting feeling of catching Zs in their made-just-for-them bedside sleeper. So they’ll have an easy-peasy time finding a sense of peace no matter where you happen to take your bedside bassinet: whether it’s across the room or on a whole new floor.
What’s the Best Way to Use My Convertible Bassinet?
Using the guard rail to enclose the sleeper and turn it into a convertible bassinet for your baby can help gently move your baby away from the parental bed and further toward nap time sleeping independence after a few months. When that particular independent sleep time period happens is up to you to decide, of course.
But when the time is right, having the guard rail to convert your sleeper into a bassinet will give you the assurance you need to know your baby always sleeps safely.
And if you need even more options on the convenience front, you can add some easy-to-put-on rolling casters to the bottom of your bassinet to make movement even easier. For when you’re using your babybay bedside sleeper as an attached sleep space and when you’re keeping it by your bed as a convenient bassinet.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
In the United States (and much of the Western world), we’re pretty big fans of catching quality Z’s while cocooned in super-soft bedding. And while there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel comfy and cozy through the night, it can be challenging to fit your co-sleeping baby into your bedroom equation when you know that the oh-so-comfortable bedding you love isn’t quite right for them. But there have to be answers to how to safely co-sleep with baby that don’t sacrifice your own comfort and leave you tossing and turning while worrying about your baby’s safety through the night…don’t there?
Good news: there are ways to keep your baby comfortable while co-sleeping. Ones that will prioritize your own comfort during sleep time just as much as they prioritize theirs.
To feel super-comfortable all night long while your baby is safely co-sleeping close by, all you need is the right crib and a little bit of know-how when it comes to common co-sleeping terms. But we’re going to break all that down now…
How to Safely Co-Sleep With Baby: Why the Sleep Surface Matters
When you’re co-sleeping with your baby, the mattress matters.
Most mattresses made for babies would feel too firm to satisfy adults. But that firmness is exactly what your baby needs to breathe easily and feel like their body is properly supported throughout the night.
That’s why when it comes to mattresses for your baby, the firmer the better!
Parents who choose to bed share (the term used to describe the practice of inviting your baby to share your bed through the night) might need to put extra thought and consideration into which mattress they choose.
That’s because the babybay bedside co-sleeper helps you prioritize safe co-sleeping positions by practicing what is often called separate surface co-sleeping.
Separate Surface Co-Sleeping
Separate surface co-sleeping is exactly how it sounds—instead of making room for your baby on your own mattress, you get to snore the night away on the bedding you love, while baby co sleeps on a mattress of their own.
You get to take advantage of all the co-sleeping benefits that come from being no more than an arm’s reach away from your baby, while being filled with the peace of mind that comes from knowing baby is cradled in safe co-sleeping positions that will keep them rested and happy.
Co-Sleeping With Baby Comfortably: Why Separate Surface Co-Sleeping Is Best
The truth is, no matter how careful you are when setting up your shared sleeping space and preparing to bed share, it can be incredibly challenging to set up an environment that works equally well for both you and baby.
You’ll have to meticulously strip away all your memory foam mattress pads, soft quilts, comfy bedding, plush pillows, and take care to make sure that there are no gaps between the mattress and headboard or mattress and wall that could be dangerous if your baby gets stuck.
But bedside sleepers like the babybay fit flush against your bed and cradle your baby in their own nurturing cocoon—so that you can rest easy and comfortably while knowing they’re doing the same.
And rather than wondering how to co sleep with baby while still feeling comfy-as-can-be yourself, you can be confident that baby has everything they need to sleep safely through the night…on a co sleeper mattress made just for them.
Co-Sleeping Benefits: How Does Separate Surface Co-Sleeping Affect the Benefits You’ll Get?
And luckily, you and baby can still experience all those benefits while choosing to sleep in safe co-sleeping positions with the help of a baby crib like a bedside sleeper.
Though you might be moving baby out of your bed and into a made-just-for-them space of their own, you’ll still be close enough for them to feel the positive effects of being by your side—and take advantage of the benefits that come from that kind of closeness.
Which means you never have to worry again whether discovering how to safely co-sleep with baby without giving up your own comfy mattress means that baby won’t be enjoying all the positives that co-sleeping has to offer.
Because you’ll know that during all the nights that you’re sleeping happily, comfy as can be…
Your baby is feeling comfortable, nurtured, and supported during every second of their own sleep.
Your co sleeping journey begins way before your baby sleeps on their made-just-for-them baby bedside co sleeper for the first time.
It starts the moment you look around online for the best baby bedside sleeper on the market (hint: you’ve stumbled upon the right page!), chat with fellow parents about bedside crib and bedside bassinet models they love, and click the “Choose Your Babybay” button so that we can get your brand new co sleeper shipped straight to your door.
Because when it comes to choosing co sleepers, it’s not just about finding one that will provide you with feelings of ease after your baby arrives. It’s about choosing a bedside co sleeper that is easy to unbox, easy to assemble, and easy to make a part of your and your baby’s soon-to-be shared bedroom space.
That’s why when we designed babybay, we had ease in mind. And we carry that ease through every step of the assembly process.
Take an inside look at one family’s experience unboxing their brand-new babybay cosleeper:
Properly assembling your babybay so that your co sleeper attaches to the bed takes just 12 steps, all easily accomplished with tools you already have at home (no trips to the hardware store needed!).
And though the assembly time might be short and simple, that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing a single ounce of safety or security. Each babybay co sleeper has been given a gold-star for safety from top safety certification organizations (including ASTM International, TÜV Rheinland, and Confidence in Textiles Oeko-Tex), which means you’ll have confidence that your baby is peacefully sleeping safe and secure while catching Z’s of your own with full peace of mind.
How to Customize Your Baby Co Sleeper For Fullest Comfort
Your little one is unique, and so is your family. That is why we made it our mission to offer plenty of accessories and customizable color options that will make your bedside co sleeper easily blend into your home (or stand out in your home, if that’s more your style!).
Though all babybay bedside sleepers are made of 100% eco-friendly and fully sustainable beechwood (because we believe that caring for the Earth is just as important as caring for your family), you can easily choose untreated, walnut, white, or gray color options to help you personalize your co sleeper so it feels part of your space.
(Don’t worry—we never use the harmful glues, chemicals, or paints that you’ll find in most cribs. With us, it’s all-natural, all the time.)
You can even deck your baby co sleeper out with a colorful canopy that creates a pop of cute with stars or polka dots. So that by the time you’re finished putting together your babybay, you feel fully ready to welcome your baby home with a soft space all their own!
Convert to a Crib With a Bedside Bassinet Conversion Kit
Straight out of the box, your baby co sleeper attaches to bed and keeps your baby secure by sitting flush against your own mattress. But for families who want to have options when it comes to converting their bedside crib into a moveable bassinet, the bedside bassinet conversion kit is here to help!
The bedside bassinet conversion kit has a wooden guard rail that can be installed in minutes with wooden locking clips, allowing your baby to sleep soundly—even if your bedside co sleeper isn’t right next to your bed.
This is a perfect choice for families who have nursery space where their baby can nap (because yep–with the bassinet conversion kit and attachable roller casters you can easily roll your new standalone crib to another room), or who want to have options for how they use their bedside sleeper throughout their journey.
After Unboxing: What to Remember As You Start Co Sleeping
Your bond with babybay doesn’t end the moment that your bedside co sleeper is unboxed!
We’re here to support you and be by your (bed)side — see what we did there? — through all stages of your co sleeping journey.
Which means if the time ever comes when you feel like your babybay needs a little extra accessorizing — like a breathable, moisture-regulating, mattress pad upgrade or all-natural 100% organic cotton sheets — know that we’ll be here to help you out.
Which is our way of saying, we’re here to help you for the long haul.
Already ordered your babybay? It’s time to accessorize!
Just getting started on your babybay journey?
There’s one important thing you should always remember when deciding how co sleeping fits into your family’s nighttime routine: only you know what works best for you and your baby.
But as you research the many benefits of co sleeping and get excited for the nights of deeper bonding ahead, you might come across fellow parents claiming that co sleeping might not be the best option for children under a certain age.
Which might have you wondering—why is co sleeping bad for newborns?
Here’s the simple answer: when done safely, co sleeping isn’t bad at all!
In fact, when anthropologist John Whiting surveyed 186 cultures, he discovered that almost 70% of children sleeping and growing strong around the world slept in the company of others.
While 70% of families around the globe and much research has shown that co sleeping offers many benefits (Easier nighttime nursing, better rest for the whole family, and quicker crisis response? Yes, please!) there’s a little trick of naming that’s causing some confusion about co sleeping.
The truth is that “bed sharing” is not the same as other, safe co sleeping practices.
While the babybay bedside co sleeper has been safety-certified by ASTM International, TÜV, and Confidence in Textiles, bed sharing (when a baby sleeps in the same bed as the parent/s) does not come backed by the same safety guarantee.
Despite this big safety difference, these two terms (“bed sharing” and “co sleeping”) are often used interchangeably.
As any parent who enjoys sleeping an arm’s reach away from their baby with the help of a bedside co-sleeper will tell you, there are ways to get stress-free, worry-less, and benefit-filled nights of rest while co sleeping.
You just need to choose the right co sleeping method.
What Age Is Co Sleeping Safe? Is My Newborn Baby Too Young?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sleeping in the same room as your baby (or “room sharing”) for at least the first six months of baby’s life.
When you room share, you set up a separate space for baby to sleep beside your own bed. By giving them a firm mattress to sleep on that is all their own, you allow them to feel properly supported through the night, while still being close enough to respond quickly to anything they might need.
There’s a reason why so many parents recommend this approach. Depending on your child’s development, it can be dangerous to have your baby share space on the soft, plush, comfy, and pillowy bedding and mattress you love.
The truth is, your baby’s body is best supported by a firm space to rest.
And though your baby will one day be a pro at untangling themselves from any blanket or pillow that comes their way, newborns are still not quite used to the art of getting themselves unwrapped or untangled from any fabric that covers them.
What’s why many experts suggest waiting to bed share until baby is old enough to easily get unstuck from any bedding they get tangled in.
However, with the help of a bedside co sleeper, you’ll be able to co sleep from the first night your baby is born–without having a single safety concern.
That’s because babybay bedside sleepers are specially engineered to give your baby the safe, firm, and far-from-your-blankets sleeping space they need to rest comfortably and securely all night long.
Which is why parents who are wondering why is co sleeping bad for newborn babies? need to understand that the how of co sleeping is important, especially when determining what age is co sleeping safe for your baby.
With the right safe co sleeping solution by your bedside, you can enjoy rest-filled nights and the other many benefits of co sleeping from the first day baby is brought home, while being fully confident that your baby is safe and comfortable in a bedside co sleeper made just for them.
What’s the Best Age to Transition from Co Sleeping?
As we said: no one knows your baby’s needs better than you.
Though the best age to transition from co sleeping will eventually come, there’s no hard and fast rule of when this will be for you.
The best thing you can do is keep track of your baby’s developmental patterns, and know that there might be a time when baby’s sleep habits or your own needs make you feel ready to move baby to a separate crib or room of their own.
When that time eventually comes, just know that your baby will be well-prepared to take on the nighttime routine changes ahead.
And the next time you hear a fellow parent ask Why is co sleeping bad for newborn babies? just like you did, you’ll be able to tell them straight out…
It’s not! You just need the right safe co sleeping solution by your bedside.
For parents wondering when is co sleeping safe?, there are many factors that need to be considered. But the #1 most important one might not be quite what you think…
To know when the right time to start co sleeping with your little one might be, you first need to know the differences between the types of co sleeping that parents might choose to practice as a family.
Because as it turns out, there are many different sleep practices that often get grouped under the “co sleeping” umbrella.
And while some—like enjoying the benefits of a bedside co sleeper—offer an ASTM, TÜV, and Confidence in Textiles certified-safe solution for helping baby catch some rest while sleeping by your side, other common co sleeping practices don’t offer the same safety guarantee.
“Bed sharing,” for example, references the practice of inviting a baby into your own bed to sleep during the night. Though bed sharing is often considered one form of co-sleeping, there are key safety differences between the two.
So let’s break down what those differences (and similarities!) happen to be…
Bed Sharing: What to Know About Safety and The Question When Is Co Sleeping Safe?
The American Academy of Pediatrics knows that keeping your baby close during the first year of their life carries a whole host of benefits (like making nighttime nursing a breeze and helping you easily respond to every crisis call).
That’s why they recommend room sharing with baby for at least the first 6 months of their life, and ideally through the first year.
But in the eyes of the AAP, room sharing is not the same as bed-sharing.
While bed-sharing with 6 month-old or younger babies can carry risks like concerns about comfy bedding, soft objects, or any other pillowy or quilted materials causing harm, room sharing does not create these same concerns.
When you room share, you offer baby the firm, made-just-for-them sleep space they need to feel comfortable, cozy, and safe all night long.
You get to enjoy the adult mattress and oh-so-plush bedding you’ve come to love, while giving baby a sleeping space all their own that is perfectly designed to support them and keep them safe.
Which is the kind of win-win that bed sharing does not always guarantee.
When Can You Start Room Sharing?
Because you’re sharing a space rather than sharing a bed, you can room share with baby from the first moment they come home from the hospital.
On the other hand, bed-sharing with 6 month-old or younger babies is not as easily recommended.
That’s because your baby has yet to learn the escape artist skills they need to untangle themselves from any soft fabrics that come their way. (Those escape artist skills will come one day! But not for a while down the road.)
That’s why many parents of young babies choose to confidently practice a form of co-sleeping that give baby a sleeping space that’s made just for them.
With a bedside co sleeper securely attached to your bed, this is the kind of confidence you get from the first day you bring your little one home from the hospital.
How to Co-Sleep Safely: Down to the Details
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be hard to co-sleep safely.
There are certain gold-star co sleeping practices that help you get stress-free nights of sound rest while supporting your baby’s body and mind.
Bedside sleepers deliver all the benefits of co sleeping like more bonding time with baby, easier nighttime nursing, and boosted support for baby’s healthy physical and mental growth. While also gifting you with peace of mind (which is one of the best gifts of all, can’t we agree?).
Bedside sleepers like the babybay attach snugly to the side of your own mattress, allowing you to sleep comfortably on the soft bedding you love while giving your baby a made-just-for-them sleeping space that properly supports their needs.
That means they can enjoy the firm mattress that’s safest for them—without you having to sacrifice any of your own sleep comfort.
The best part? Bedside co sleepers allow you to always be within arm’s reach of your baby all through the night. That means you’ll be able to soak up all the close-by-baby benefits of co sleeping, without a single moment of stress or worry.
When Is Co-Sleeping Safe with a Bedside Co-Sleeper?
The babybay bedside co sleeper has been lovingly designed to support your baby through nights of safe co sleeping as soon as they come home from the hospital.
That means that the babybay will be there to support all of your co-sleeping needs from the moment that your baby is born!
And when you feel it’s the best age to transition from co sleeping, you can be sure that your baby will be ready to get full nights of rest all on your own, with full confidence that you’re there to support them during every step of the way.
That’s why parents that wonder when is co sleeping safe? should keep this in mind: how you co-sleep matters when you’re trying to decide the right time to start.
Whether you’re welcoming your first little one into the world or have plenty of practice co-sleeping with newborns: getting a full night of rest is probably at the top of your priority list. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to take the guesswork out of how to co-sleep with an infant in the perfect sleep set-up. One that will deliver you total peace of mind while delivering your little one a full night of Z’s.
Let’s start with the most basic: while some co-sleeping methods (like bed-sharing) are likely to leave you tossing and turning with worry for baby’s safety, a safe bedside co-sleeper helps you sleep soundly — while baby catches plenty of Z’s of their own!
Let’s break down all the reasons why bedside co-sleepers are the no-brainer way that parents support their own rest. While leaving your little one resting peacefully all night long.
Here are 4 ways that bedside co-sleepers help you and baby get the quality sleep with an infant you crave:
1. Bedside co-sleepers make nighttime nursing easy-as-can-be
You can expect your baby to double their weight in the first five months of their life. All that growing takes a lot of energy!
Combine that need for a nutrient boost with a tiny tummy that can only take in a little milk at a time. And what do you have?
Answer: the perfect formula for frequent feedings through the night.
For parents who choose a detached crib or baby bassinet, those frequent feedings will mean constantly pushing back the covers, getting out of bed, leaning down into a crib, and trying to find a position that will let baby feed…without you feeling uncomfortable.
And though your body and mind will both be ready to get some rest once baby is fed and you’re back in bed, getting comfy in your pillows and blankets again is going to take some time.
With bedside co-sleepers, baby is always within reach.
That means you’ll be easily able to give baby what they need without taking long walks across the room. (Because trust us—those extra steps add up fast!) And without moving from the comfortable space of your own bed to find a space to breastfeed baby elsewhere.
Which is good news! Because the less disrupted your sleep feels, the easier it will be to fall right back into dreamland.
2. Bedside co-sleepers help you quickly care for every concern while co-sleeping with an infant
Hunger isn’t the only reason your baby might cry during the night.
They might not love the temperature of the room. Or could be trying to let you know that a soiled diaper is causing them discomfort.
They might even just be calling out for a little extra love.
Being within arm’s reach of your baby helps you quickly — and easily! — take stock of what baby needs. In fact, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of the covers when caring for baby’s cries. Which won’t just help you get more shut-eye during the night. It will also help your body’s regulate in a healthy way.
When you co-sleep with infant, your little one’s body temperature naturally (and healthily) raises slightly, while they also use energy more efficiently and breathe more regularly.
3. Bedside co-sleepers make it easier to co-sleep with twins and multiples
For families with twins or multiple newborns, the question isn’t how to co-sleep with an infant and wake up well-rested. The question is how to co-sleep with infants and get any rest at all.
And while some parents quickly decide to give each baby a crib or baby bassinet of their own, this adds time and distance during every feeding or crisis call.
But a bedside co-sleeper for twins can support both babies in safe comfort. Without you needing to get up or push off your covers to care for their needs.
When your babies are in a bedside co-sleeper for twins, their bodies and minds feel the impact.
Experts believe that when twins sleep together, they’re reminded of the nurturing feeling of sharing a womb. This gives their healthy growth a boost while helping synchronize their feeding and wake-up patterns during the night.
That synchronization is key. Because the more in sync your babies become, the fewer times you’ll be called to care for them—leading to far more sleep for you!
4. Bedside co-sleepers set your mind at peace
When baby isn’t close by, it’s easy to be filled with thoughts of what might be going wrong.
But bedside co-sleepers make it easy to check that baby is sleeping safe and sound.
That means you’ll spend less time wondering and worrying about how baby is doing—and more time getting the sleep you need.
babybay bedside co-sleepers are committed to making peace of mind a priority.
That’s why every babybay bedside sleeper is made of locally-sourced and eco-friendly beechwood that is naturally antibacterial and antistatic. babybay bedside co-sleepers are also free of the toxic wood glues, cheap fillers, plastics, or other harmful chemicals that fill most other cribs, baby bassinets, and bedside co-sleepers.
Because for most parents, figuring out how to co-sleep with infant and wake up well-rested can be a challenge.
But babybay believes that better rest is possible—and is committed to delivering nights full of sweet, sound, and long rest to families like yours.
So what is co-sleeping?
Whether you’re a preparing parent-to-be looking into all of the sleep set-up options out there, or have simply heard about co-sleeping on the playground and are wondering what’s up — let us introduce you to one of the oldest and most parent-loved sleep practices out there.
We’re about to break down the what, why, and how of co-sleeping, while giving you all the inside insights you need to decide whether co-sleeping is right for you and your family.
Let’s Start with the Basics: What is Co-Sleeping?
Co-sleeping is often used as a catch-all term to describe the experience of sleeping with your baby close by.
Co-sleeping may look a little different for every family. Parents may lay their child in a safe bedside sleeper that attaches to the side of their own bed, or they might share a bedroom with their child but encourage baby to sleep in a separate crib (this kind of sleep practice is more often — and more accurately — referred to as “room sharing”). They might even sleep with their baby nestled up against them all through the night.
Though there are many ways to co-sleep, some are far safer than others. (Bedside sleepers, we’re looking at you and giving you a gold star!)
With a safe sleep tool like a bedside co-sleeper by your bedside, you’re able to sleep with your baby no more than an arm’s reach away. This makes nighttime nursing a breeze, while giving you up-close-and-personal insight into when (and how!) your baby needs a little extra support during the night.
When Did Co-Sleeping Become a Thing?
Though parents in many modern Western countries have popularized separate bedrooms and detached cribs, for thousands of years parents have been going to sleep with their newborn baby curled up close to their side.
In fact, parents from many different cultures have long understood that co-sleeping promotes healthy emotional and physical development while bonding you and your baby, easing the stress of nighttime nursing, and gifting everyone in the house a more restful night of rest.
(A full night of rest—now that’s something at the top of every new parent’s wish list!)
But as soon as mattresses and cribs became the new in-trend home fashion statement of the 19th century, parents in the Western world increasingly kicked children out of their own beds and moved them into mattresses and rooms of their own. In America, Canada, and Europe, some parents continue to boot children out of their own bedroom and encourage them to sleep through the night alone.
However, anthropologist John Whiting surveyed 186 cultures and found that solitary sleeping might be a Western trend, but it’s far from a universal norm. He discovered that almost 70% of children living and growing around the world sleep in the company of others.
That proves that co-sleeping isn’t just a trend — it’s the most popular and longest-loved sleeping practice in history.
Co-Sleeping Benefits: What Parents Like Best
When it comes to co-sleeping benefits, there are some that support your body, some that support your mind, and some that are fully focused on helping your baby develop healthily.
Research has shown that parents remain physiologically connected their baby long after they’ve given birth. Co-sleeping builds off this connection by setting parent and child in the close proximity they need to become responsive to breathing patterns and uniquely attuned to wakefulness.
Experts have also discovered that this kind of night-time close contact leads to a host of other benefits for baby, by helping them:
- Stabilize their body temperature
- Breathe more regularly (partly by matching their breathing patterns to their parents)
- Use energy efficiently
- Grow more quickly
- Feel more calm and experience fewer moments of heightened stress
It also helps mothers (especially those who are getting used to getting sleep after c-section) by making it easy to nighttime nurse without getting out of bed, or offer comfort without continuously needing to reach over crib bars.
But How Does Co-Sleeping Deliver All These Benefits?
To grow healthily in body and mind, your baby needs to be able to receive—and respond to—a ton of sensory feedback. When babies are shut alone in their room at night, they lose the opportunity to grow their sensory awareness during their sleeping hours.
But when babies are able to sleep close to others, they learn to bond and build meaningful connections while learning, growing, and developing an ability to separate and identify different sensory input.
This helps them breathe more regularly, while experiencing less stress overall by learning what it feels like to be safe, secure, and protected.
(And that’s good news—because when babies are less stressed, they put more energy into healthy growth and reap the rewards of a healthier immune system!)
Before We Go: What Is the Difference Between Co-Sleeping and Bed Sharing?
Many parents who start to explore co-sleeping will find another term pop up in their suggested searches: bed sharing.
Bed sharing is just as it sounds — it’s the practice of inviting your newborn not just into your bedroom, but onto your mattress as well.
Though bed sharing may boast some of the same benefits as other forms of co-sleeping — including increased bonding between parents and child and a less stressful night’s sleep for all — it can also be far less safe.
The feather-topped, super-soft, oh-so-pillowy mattresses that most of the Western world prefers can’t properly support your baby throughout the night. Your baby needs firmness and stability under their body while they sleep to ensure their body’s healthy growth.
Though baby will love having you nearby as they rest, they won’t love your sleeping surface. Nor will they love all the extra blankets, pillows, and other comfort materials that adults love to surround themselves with as they sleep.
As comfy as it might be for adults to tuck into a long night surrounded by a cloud of goose down, those comfort items can easily get wrapped around your baby throughout the night and lead to unsafe situations. That’s why parents should choose safe sleep for babies when setting up their environment.
By choosing a bedside sleeper that fits flush against their bed, parents can control the specifics of their baby’s environment. (The first step? Pick a bedside co sleeper that’s right for baby and right for your room!)
Baby can sleep securely nestled within an arm’s reach of their parents, but feel comforted and protected on a mattress that is firm enough to support them and ensure safe sleeping. They can receive, learn, and grow from all the sensory input they receive throughout the night — while their parents sleep soundly knowing that they are safe in a bedside sleeper built just for them.