co sleeper bed
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 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.
There’s a reason why co sleeping has been one of the most-loved sleeping practices throughout history (and continues to be the bedtime norm for over 70% of children in the world!). Sleeping close to your baby gifts the whole family with better nights of rest, while promoting deep bonding during waking and sleeping hours. But is there a secret to how to break co sleeping when it’s time for your use of the sleep practice to come to an end?
For every co sleeping family, there inevitably comes a time when stopping co sleeping seems like the right next step. And when that time comes, it can be difficult to know how to break co sleeping and move your baby to a room of their own without it causing baby (or you!) extra stress. Rest assured: being unsure how to go about this transition is totally normal.
Luckily, all you need to ease the transition from co sleeping is a little planning—and a little patience!
That’s why we’re breaking down some of our top tips for smoothing the transition from co sleeping to a room of baby’s own—so that you can help your baby feel comfortable in their new space, while taking all the stress out of stopping co sleeping.
Know There Probably Will Be a Transition Period When Stopping Co-Sleeping
Though you might know that it’s the perfect time to transition your baby to a room of their own, that doesn’t mean that your baby will be immediately on board.
That’s because babies—just like adults!—are creatures of habit, and getting used to a new setup after so many months spent catching shuteye co sleeping safely by your bedside will take a little getting used to.
Even if you just know that your baby is fully ready for this next milestone in their co sleeping journey, you should still be realistic that getting baby comfortable with the change might involve a few nights of frustration (for you both!).
If you’ve been practicing safe co-sleeping positions for a while now (like catching your Z’s with a bedside co-sleeper!), then baby has gotten used to having you close and easily accessible if they want love, cuddles, or nursing during the night.
Though we have every confidence they’ll get used to their room soon—and you should have that confidence too!—it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to put a little work in to showing them that you’re still there to care for their every need (even if you’re no longer sharing a room!).
When Deciding When to Stop Co-Sleeping, Choose the Right Time
If it’s deep in the holiday season and you have a few dozen family members roaming your hallways and sleeping on your couch, it’s probably not the right time to decide to stop co sleeping.
When deciding how to break co sleeping, choose a time when all is calm in your household and there aren’t any major life changes or stresses—like big work projects or family events—that could make it difficult for both you and baby to focus all your attention on the task at hand.
During this time of transition, you should be focused on helping your baby get comfortable with their new sleeping arrangement. If life is feeling a little on the crazy side, consider waiting to transition from co sleeping until things have settled down.
Don’t Just Stop Co-Sleeping Cold Turkey! Have Some Sleepovers
Just because it’s time to stop cosleeping doesn’t mean the transition from cosleeping to a room of baby’s own has to happen all at once.
You can help your baby get used to their new room by planning to spend a few nights on a mattress or sleeping bag on their floor.
If you’ve been practicing safe co-sleeping positions with the help of a bedside co sleeper bed, then your baby has gotten very used to having you within arm’s reach.
You can get them used to sleeping alone—while also helping them feel comfortable, confident, and nurtured in their new room—by showing them that you’re still physically there to support them.
Ease the Transition From Co-Sleeping by Finding Other Ways to Bond
One of the biggest co sleeping benefits is how much time your baby gets to spend with you.
When baby is sleeping by your side with the help of a tool like the babybay bedside co sleeper, your night hours are full of deep moments of bonding.
As you make your plan and consider how to break co sleeping so that the transition is as stress-free as possible for the whole family, consider putting a new cuddles-filled nighttime routine in place before you make the transition.
Finding ways to show baby your love before they go to sleep—and getting them used to that routine before they move into a room of their own—will help them feel physically and emotionally supported in their new setup.
So that during the nights when they’re getting used to sleeping in a room all their own, they know that your love is still close by.
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.
When was the last time you actually felt rested?
We totally get it. Those late-night feedings are exhausting, especially during the initial weeks after giving birth.
Imagine how rested you’d feel if you didn’t have to get out of bed every 2-3 hours to feed or soothe your newborn.
No more tip-toeing your way back to the crib, praying not to wake your baby.
No more frustration when, you finally find a comfortable position, only to be woken up moments later.
…sounds too good to be true, right? Not anymore.
Parents all over the world have started getting the sleep they desperately need by switching over to babybay’s Baby Bedside Sleeper.
Uniquely engineered to lock into beds of all sizes and heights, this co-sleeper is changing the game.
Now, you can enjoy all the benefits of co-sleeping, and the closeness of bedsharing, without compromising safety.
CO-SLEEPING ENCOURAGES DEVELOPMENT
James J. Mckenna, Director emeritus of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, found that,
“Parents serve as a kind of biological “jumper cable,” or outsourced regulator, to a newborn baby when she is completing her gestation outside her mother’s body. When parents and babies sleep together, their heart rates, brain waves, sleep states, oxygen levels, temperature, and breathing influence one another.”
In basic lingo, this means, your baby’s development relies on being close to you. Even outside of the womb, our bodies sync together for prime developmental functioning. The separation that comes from a stand-alone crib can get in the way of this.
Does this mean you have to stay joined at the hip? No. But, it shows that simply sleeping nearby makes it possible for them to grow big and strong. Amazing, right?
THE CLOSER YOU ARE THE LESS ANXIETY FOR EVERYONE
Hearing the beating of your heart and the in and out of your breath can be incredibly soothing to your baby. Depriving them of this for 6-8 hours at night means babies cry more often, needing your closeness to soothe their anxiety.
Babies who co-sleep generally cry less, wake less often, and allow you to sleep for longer periods of time.
Added Bonus: You get to wake up next to a smiley baby!
YOU CAN BETTER RESPOND TO A CRISIS WHILE CO-SLEEPING
Parenting guru Dr. Sears found during his studies that:
“Babies who sleep close to their mothers enjoy ‘protective arousal,’ a state of sleep that enables them to more easily awaken if their health is in danger, such as breathing difficulties…Infants who sleep near their parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms, and fewer long pauses in breathing compared to babies who sleep alone. This means the baby sleeps physiologically safer.”
When it comes to defending against dangers to your baby, there is no substitute for your care. Co-sleeping makes it possible to familiarize with all the sounds your baby makes.
As part of your natural-momma-bear instinct, (part of the physiological syncing mentioned above,) your body stays alert even while sleeping. If something is off, you can count on your body to sense it — and, in the event of an emergency, this can make all the difference for the safety of your baby.
The babybay Baby Bedside Sleeper is a leader in safety for co-sleeping with newborns. All of our sleepers undergo rigorous safety inspections, and must receive domestic and international safety certifications before ever going out to you.
If you’re ready to start getting a better night’s sleep, with less stress, and more opportunity to connect with your baby then, it’s time you meet our bedside cribs. 90% of the world’s families are already co-sleeping their way to better nights. Isn’t it time you expected more for your family?
Babies sleep a lot. By “a lot” we mean that you can expect your baby to sleep 16-18 hours a day throughout the first year of their life, waking in 2-3 hour intervals to feed, get changed, and be coddled back into peaceful slumber. (No wonder it’s so hard for parents who are sleeping with a newborn to wake up in the morning feeling rested and recharged!)
Adapting to your baby’s schedule is hard enough. But add confusion or concerns about the correct newborn sleep position into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for wakeful nights.
That’s why we’re about to break down everything you need to know about sleeping with a newborn, starting with the “where” of safe baby sleep and ending with the “how” of getting the best new-parent nights of rest possible.
Where Should Baby Sleep During the First Few Months?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for at least the first six months of life, and ideally through the first year. This is a practice called room sharing, which refers to any sleep set-up where parents and baby sleep in the same room together, thought not on the same sleep surface.
There’s a reason why room sharing is so well-loved by the AAP: not only is it a more convenient choice (making nighttime nursing and responding to any cry easy-as-can-be), but it also puts you in the best location to respond to your baby’s needs in the event of an emergency.
To prevent incidents of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,) timing is everything. The faster you can respond in the event of an emergency, the better.
By sleeping so close with your little one, you’ll also familiarize yourself with the sound of their breathing over time. This will make you well-prepared to recognize any blockages or other concerns that might need to be taken care of for them to sleep peacefully and safely.
I’ve Heard About Bed Sharing. Is That Safe?
It is completely natural to want to be as close to your baby as possible. It’s also completely natural to not love the feeling of reaching over crib bars multiple times per night (especially if you’re still healing from a c-section). And it’s totally natural to not want to risk waking up your hard-to-put-to-sleep baby by having to constantly take them out and put them back in their crib.
While it may feel like the best option is to let your newborn sleep on your chest or tuck them into your own cozy comforter for a night of sleeping on your own mattress, the AAP clearly states that parents should never share a mattress with a newborn. This also includes putting your baby to sleep on a breastfeeding pillow or placing them in-between you and your partner.
To understand the “why” behind this recommendation, you need to understand that modern means of comfort are not ideally suited for infant safety. To maximize infant safety, your baby needs a flat and firm surface without extra cushioning that could accidentally cover their nose or make it hard for them to move.
(Reminder: your baby just came into this world, they’re still learning how to roll out of unsafe situations or untangle themselves when their breathing is obstructed.)
The sad reality is, accidents from bed sharing account for 50% of SIDS cases. Most of these cases come about from babies becoming tangled into sheets, rolling off the bed, or accidentally getting covered by pillows.
Luckily, there are now options on the market that allow you to get all the convenience of this close sleeping without having to worry about those risks.
Sleeping with a Newborn Without Risk: What to Know About Bedside Bassinets
When bedside bassinets and bedside co-sleepers first came on the market, they seemed like the answer to many parents’ prayers. Safe sleep tools like the babybay bedside sleeper keep newborns in close proximity to their parents all through the night (in fact, they get to sleep right by their parents’ side!), while still giving them a sleep space that’s perfectly designed to suit their safety needs.
Parents who choose to sleep with a bedside sleeper can still experience the nighttime ease of nursing and comforting without getting out of bed, while knowing that their little one is sleeping on a mattress that meets all crib safety standards. In this way, your baby can be nurtured through close-as-can-be room sharing, without you having to worry about any of the risks that come from bed sharing.
The Best Newborn Sleep Position: Sleeping on the Back
Back sleeping will always be the safest option for your newborn baby. This position keeps your baby’s airflow clear and open, which prevents chocking and leads to easy nights of catching Zs for both you and them. Unlike sleeping on one’s side or stomach, laying on the back allows for your baby’s natural gag reflexes to take over, which will prevent any obstruction of airflow from occurring.
Though it’s not totally uncommon to see a baby sleeping on side, this isn’t the newborn sleep position most recommended by the AAP. That’s for one very simple reason: when you have a baby sleeping on side, it’s too easy for them to roll on to their stomach.
Experts have long warned against stomach sleeping, in part because it can lead to overheating or lowered oxygen levels. It will take a few months (normally 4-6) for your little one to learn how to roll to their stomach on their own. When this time comes, you should still continue to put your child to sleep on their back. If they naturally happen to roll onto their stomach during the night, don’t fret.
As long as you continue to put them to sleep back-down, you don’t have to worry about this kind of mid-night rolling.
How to Guarantee a Safe Sleep Surface
Though getting your baby a safe and made-just-for-them baby bed is a good start, you can help your baby stay safe and secure all night long by sticking with a few best practices for sleep accessories.
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 can all quickly become dangerous if your baby rolls or if something gets pushed over their airways in the middle of the night.
So keep it simple and remember: when it comes to sleeping with a newborn, less is more.
The parent-loved website Stork Mama created the ultimate buying guide for new parents when they recently reviewed the different baby co sleepers on the market. Choosing a crib — especially one that checks off all the right boxes when it comes to sustainability, safety, and looks — can feel like a “scrolling for hours” kind of chore. So to make things easier, Stork Mama broke the products down into two categories: side sleeper (which are more commonly known as bedside sleepers) and bed-sharing sleepers. And at the end of it all, the best luxury co-sleeper went to (*drum roll please*) the babybay co-sleeper. Here’s a greater breakdown of what Stork Mama had to say about babybay…
The Bedside Co-Sleeper That Beat Them All Out in Terms of Style and Sturdiness
Stork Mama’s review highlights several key factors, with safety, ease of use, and overall quality as some major standouts. Overall, Stork Mama’s verdict on the babybay bedside co-sleeper was that…
“The babybay is the best luxury co-sleeper on the market. The brand is new to the USA but a bestseller in Europe. It’s a very stylish option that gives a classic crib look rather than a metal frame.”
Read more of what Stork Mama had to say about babybay…
“Safety – The Babybay is the sturdiest co-sleeper on our list. The frame allows you to fix the dropped side to your bed frame with straps to keep it flush. The mattress height can be adjusted making it level with your mattress. There is also the option of a removable barrier if you want to be extra cautious about baby rolling between mattresses.
Ease of Use – This co-sleeper takes about 15 minutes to set up. Without the barrier, it is the perfect solution for breastfeeding moms. Pull baby over for a feed, then slide them back when you are done. It can be used as a freestanding crib in other rooms, but you’ll need an additional bed rail. The wheels make it easier for you to move around the house.
Bedding – The Babybay doesn’t come with a mattress provided, however, there are 4 options to choose from. The curved shape means you can’t use a generic brand. Separate machine washable sheets are also available.
Modular –Although not available for the US market yet there are accessories, which help you convert the baby bay into many different forms. This includes a playpen, highchair, child’s bench, desk and chair and freestanding crib. You may be able to have these item shipped over from Europe.
Best for – We highly recommend investing in the baby bay if you plan to have more children. It’s a sturdy piece of equipment and will see you through many years of use. The spacious design also makes it suitable to use for newborn twins.”
For new parents, being close to their baby at all times is a priority. That includes being close to the baby during sleeping hours. The notion of co-sleeping refers to sleeping with your baby close to you, often with a reach of your arm. Co-sleeping generally means the baby is near, but in a different bed.
As you can see in this short clip, this dad is able to adjust his newborn in a babybay® bedside sleeper, which is attached right to the parents’ bed.
For several years now, more parents have been adopting this practice of co-sleeping, with the infants sleeping nearby in a co-sleeping cradle. This aligns with the guidelines set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which advises parents not to sleep with a new baby IN a parent bed, for obvious reasons. Let’s look at some of the benefits of co-sleeping arrangements.
Benefits of Co-Sleeping
Ideally, as a baby sleeps in a bedside sleeper next to the parents’ bed, the baby receives feelings of comfort, security and reassurance. Having the baby near to the parents’ bed gives the parents the ability to calm the baby without having to stand up and walk over to an unattached crib across the room or in another room.
Also, as both baby and parents sleep more soundly, this shared sleep provides benefits to both. The parent is at arm’s length in order to calm the baby if it awakes, and slowly massage the baby back to sleep. The baby gains a more balanced development in the early months of life, without sleep anxieties or other issues arising.
Find the Right Co-Sleeping Bed
At babybay, we take co-sleeping very seriously. Our babybay co-sleeping bed is one of the leading co-sleeping beds made for infants, and it’s largely because of the high attention of quality materials we put into the bed.
We make our babybay beds with untreated solid beech wood. This means the wood is untreated, made from sustainably managed forests, and is pollutant-free. Our babybay bed features 10 different adjustable height positions, giving parents the flexibility to adjust to the parent bed size. If you want to move the babybay around your living space, you can also pick up an optional side safety gate and castor wheels set for extra mobility.
If you’re a new parent, you owe it to yourself to check out a new babybay baby bedside sleeper bed. Our beds are solid and durable, and the quality wood design enhances the bedroom’s aesthetics. The co-sleeper can also be turned into a bassinet bed or play crib as your baby grows. Simply order our Bassinet Conversion Kit to convert your babybay from a bedside sleeper to a standalone bassinet.