Why is Co Sleeping Bad for Newborns?

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. 

newborn safe cosleeping babybay

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 cosleeping. 

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. 

cosleeping baby safe sleep babybayAs 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 cosleeping 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. cosleeper newborn safe babybay

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. 

That’s 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.newborn sleep safety babybay

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. 

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How to Safely Co Sleep With Newborn in the Perfect Shared Bedroom Setup

When it comes to supporting your baby’s sweet and sound sleep through the night, creating the right safe co sleeping environment is key. 

Many parents begin their transition to co sleeping by researching safe co sleeping positions and getting excited for the many co sleeping benefits they can expect to enjoy in the days ahead (ones like an easier nighttime nursing routine and deeper bonding between you and baby).

While these can be helpful places to begin your co sleeping journey, once you’re really ready to take the next steps in learning how to safely co sleep with newborn, thinking through the specifics of your baby’s soon-to-be sleeping environment is a necessary next course of action.

That’s because there are many ways to co sleep — but not all of them will gift you with the sound nights of stress-free rest that you’re looking for. 

safely cosleep newborn babybay

Once you’ve decided that co sleeping is right for you and your family, it’s time to take a hard look at your sleeping environment and ask yourself a few questions. (We promise—your   environment prep work will pay off to the tune of more restful nights in the long run!)

What safe co sleeping positions will work best considering my home setup? 

Experts are in agreement: when your baby is first brought home, the safest place for them to sleep is close by your side (that way you’ll be able to respond to every need with super-parent speed!).

But sleeping close by your side doesn’t necessarily mean sharing your bed. 

Truth is, your baby’s body will not be properly supported by the super-soft mattress, plush comforters, and soft-as-a-cloud pillows you love. 

Especially during the first months of their life, your baby needs a clean and firm sleep surface that will support them as they lay on their back and catch some much-needed Zs. 

Safe co sleeping solutions like bedside co sleepers offer your baby a way to be by your side while still getting the support they need. They can rest on a made-just-for-them baby bed mattress that provides comfort and proper ventilation while you rest easy surrounded by your comfiest blankets and silkiest sheets. 

cosleep safely with newborn babybay

And though it might seem like bedside co sleepers that securely attach directly to your bed aren’t an option for families living in small spaces, compact co sleeper models can naturally fit into any room and make it easy to turn your bedroom into a baby-loved co sleeping space. 

How do I create a healthy environment when sharing my bedroom with baby? 

There are several best practices when it comes to sharing bedroom with baby that almost all parents know (like how important it is to keep the room smoke-free and keep the temperature not too cool, not too hot). 

And while you might feel like you’ve been there, researched that when it comes to those much-repeated best practices, there is one big every-parent-should-know safety concern that still comes as a surprise to most parents. 

Are you ready for it? 

Here it is: your baby’s sleeping materials might not be as nontoxic as you think they are. 

Most bedside co sleepers, cribs, and baby bassinets on the market are full of toxic finishes, harmful chemicals, and damaging hard plastics that can wreak havoc on your baby’s still-developing body and immune system. 

babybay newborn cosleeper

That’s why it’s so important to choose a bedside co sleeper made of non toxic, all natural, eco-friendly wood and harm-free finishes. 

And when it’s time to buy sheets and a mattress pad for your baby to sleep on, look for ones that provide proper ventilation while being made of chemical-free materials and baby-friendly cotton and polyester fabrics

How to Safely Co Sleep With Newborn: The Benefits of a Bedside Co-Sleeper

For parents who are just starting to explore co sleeping, it’s easy to feel like you’re desperately trying to fit all pieces of the co sleeping puzzle into one, clearly-readable, easy-to-implement way for both you and baby to rest easy through the night. 

And while many parents toss and turn with worry, wondering…

Have I perfectly designed my co sleeping space for baby to sleep easy? 

Does baby have what they need to feel safe and supported as we sleep? 

Have I chosen a safe co sleeping position that will help baby—and me!—rest stress-free all night long? 

newborn cosleeper babybay

Having the right co sleeping bed securely attached to your bedside can take all the guesswork out of how to safely co sleep with newborn

It can feel like a challenge to adapt your made-for-adults bedroom into a perfect-for-baby safe sleeping space. 

But bedside co sleepers make it possible for you to create the perfect safe co sleeping environment for your baby—without needing to throw away your existing mattress or sheets, redesign your own bedroom space, or spend a single minute of much-needed sleep time wondering whether baby is feeling nurtured and supported in the way they need. 

So that your baby can get better nights of rest—and so can you!

Is Co Sleeping Bad?

Co-sleeping has long been the preferred—and safe, as long as you choose the right method!—way for families around the world to assure that their babies are getting nurturing rest. 

The kind of nurturing rest that uniquely supports baby’s healthy emotional and physical development while helping them feel close and comforted by those they love. 

co-sleeping babybay happy baby

For thousands of years, parents have relied on safe co-sleeping as a necessary tool in their grow-baby-healthy-and-strong toolkit. 

Let’s Start at the Beginning: What is Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping is often the catch-all term that is used to describe the nurturing experience of sleeping with your baby within arm’s reach. 

There are many ways to co-sleep, and co-sleeping will look a little different for every family that practices it. 

Some of these co-sleeping methods are safer than others.

In recent years, tools like bedside co sleepers have made it safe, easy, and stress-free to soak in all the benefits of co-sleeping.

Though sleeping in separate bedrooms has become the norm in the Western world, that does not mean that co sleeping is bad.  

In fact, studies (like one famously conducted by anthropologist John Whiting) have found that almost 70% of children living around the world sleep in the company of others. (Take a moment to really let those numbers sink in70%!)

Despite the overwhelming preference for co-sleeping around the world, in America, Canada, and many countries in Western Europe co-sleeping is finally becoming popular once again.co sleeper babybay dad

That’s not because co-sleeping is bad. 

In fact, there are many well-documented and well-loved benefits of co sleeping.

Benefits of Co-Sleeping: A Quick Overview 

By co-sleeping, baby and parent are able to bond and become close-as-can-be during both their waking and sleeping hours. (Hard to believe, but our sleeping hours account for a third of our day—make them count!) 

Baby also benefits from a boosted immune system and better-supported development for their body and mind. 

Meanwhile, co-sleeping makes nighttime nursing a breeze for mom while making it quick and easy to respond to crises through the night and guarantee longer and more restful sleep for all. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that there are numerous benefits of co sleeping.

Human biology naturally encourages child and parent to seek contact during the night. 

babybay safe cosleeper

You might think it’s simply your love for your child that has you craving a quick hug, kiss, or loving touch during all hours of the day and night (and love is definitely part of it!), but that mutual craving for contact is also just built into our physiology. 

That need for contact through the night is something that many cultures around the world understand well. 

In Japan, for instance, the most common sleeping position is referred to as kawa no ji (represented by the character for river: 川). The two longer lines in that character represent the parents, while the shorter one represents the child sleeping between. 

But in America and other Western cultures, history has set a trend of separating parents and babies during the night. 

That’s not because separating parents and babies is better—we’ve just gotten so used to sleeping separately that it’s hard to imagine that another way of sleeping could be more beneficial. safe co sleeper babybay

Co-Sleeping Throughout History  

The Western world’s interest in sleeping separately can partly be traced back to the 19th century, when it became fashionable to show your wealth by building houses with extra bedrooms and filling those extra bedrooms with plush mattresses and beautiful cribs.

Though collecting mattresses is no longer the in-trend fashion statement it used to be, most families in the Western world continue to encourage their children to sleep in separate rooms. 

And while there’s nothing wrong with preferring for your child to sleep in a space separate from yours, over time this became seen as the standard way to sleep in the Western world—which quickly made all other sleeping methods seem like harmful alternatives. 

Is Co-Sleeping Bad?  

When co sleeping is practiced safely, it delivers a bounty of benefits while helping you feel closer to your child (emotionally and physically!) all night long. 

But just like you have to make decisions with safety in mind when preparing a nursery or separate room for your child to sleep in, you need to make safety a priority when deciding the co-sleeping method that works for your family. 

co sleep with babybayBedside infant co-sleepers make safe co-sleeping easy as can be by gifting baby with a safe, secure, and supported space to sleep by your side.

Your baby gets to drift off into sweet dreams with you within arm’s reach, while you get to enjoy the worry-free rest that comes from knowing you can quickly and easily respond to any nighttime feeding call that comes throughout the night. 

And while there may be other ways of co-sleeping out there, there’s only one safe co-sleeping method we can recommend. 

With the right bedside sleeper by your side, you’ll never have to wonder Is co-sleeping bad? again. You’ll be able to confidently drift toward dreamland, knowing your baby is safe, happy, and soaking in all the benefits that co-sleeping has to offer. 

A Co-Sleeping Timeline: Early Milestones to Watch

When baby first comes home, the ideal place for them to sleep soundly is by your side in a bedside co-sleeper specially designed to keep them safe, secure, and enveloped in a hug of love all through the night. 

cosleeping babybay bedside sleeper

But over the next few months, your baby will grow from a newborn into a crawling, playing, keep-you-on-your-toes toddler. And when that time comes, you may begin thinking about the best age to transition from co-sleeping with your family’s own special timeline in mind. 

Every baby is unique, and so is every family. That means that every cosleeping journey will look a little different. 

But no matter your family’s special cosleeping timeline, it can be helpful to check in at different milestones during baby’s first few months to stay aware of both baby’s development and your family’s needs. Checking in during these early months can help you make decisions about the best age to transition from co-sleeping down the road (even if that time still feels far, far off for you!). 

No matter when you decide to stop co-sleeping, the good news is that co sleeping with your baby during their early life has left them well-prepared to take on sleeping (and the world, while they’re at it!) all on their own. 

Co-sleeping helps your baby develop sensory awareness, meaning that they’ll easily be able to tell the difference between comfort or crisis and restor call for your helpaccordingly. 

bedside-sleeper cosleeper babybay

Your baby has also had plenty of time to nurture a deep and meaningful relationship with you, which means they will feel surrounded and supported by your love even if you’re sleeping farther than an arm’s length away. 

This means when the time to transition from cosleeping comes, you and baby will be more than ready to tackle all the nights of snoozes and sweet dreams ahead. 

When to Stop Co-Sleeping: The 5 Month Milestone 

Baby’s first few months set the stage for a lifetime of healthy growth. 

That’s why co-sleeping during this part of baby’s life is such an important tool in their grow-big-and-strong toolkit. 

By catching their first few months of z’s in a designed-just-for-them bedside co-sleeper that fits flush against your bed (meaning you’re always close by!), baby will benefit from a boosted immune system and better supported emotional and physical development. 

That’s why it’s important to take full advantage of all the co-sleeping benefits your bedside cosleeper can offer in these early months of baby’s life.

Though Europe tests and endorses bedside co-sleepers through baby’s first year, the United States has yet to expand their testing and endorsement procedures past five months of age. 

However, experts agree that sleeping close to your baby is still best practice through the first year of their life. 

That means around five months might be the right time to start taking stock of how baby has grown and decide whether it might be time to start transitioning your baby into a crib or convert your cosleeper into a bedside bassinet or whether they’re still comfy-as-can-be where they are.

When to Stop Cosleeping: The 9 Month Milestone

babybay crib cosleeper

When it comes time to fully decide when to stop co sleeping, developmental stages and family needs are more important indicators than age. 

That’s because all babies are unique, and their growth stages are going to be just as unique as they are. 

Likewise, no two families are the same. What works well for one family might cause nights of restless tossing and turning for another. 

It’s a good idea to check in with baby at the 9 month milestone to make sure that co-sleeping is still the best sleeping solution for them (and you!). 

If baby has started feeling confident enough in their mobility to move from the safe space of their bedside co-sleeper into the maze of blankets and pillows that you keep on your own bed, it might be time to think about keeping baby more secure with a standalone baby bassinet or crib. 

Those blankets and pillows you love to curl up in and keep close can quickly become a safety hazard to baby. Though baby might be learning to be a confident crawler at this age, they still haven’t quite figured out the art of being an escape artist. 

(Ready to learn more about how to cosleep safely? We’ve got you covered!)

And when it comes to plush bedding that can easily wrap around them or cover their head, those escape artist skills are much-needed to assure fully safe sleeping throughout the night. 

But remember: at the end of the day, only you know the cosleeping timeline that works best for your family. 

The day when it’s time to stop co-sleeping with baby will come. 

babybay cosleeping baby

But when it does, be excited to walk with baby toward their next milestone!

Because baby has been cosleeping all life long, their body and mind are ready to take full advantage of all the developmental benefits and conquer every new adventure that comes their way during nights ahead.

And just because baby is ready to transition their bedside co sleeper into a bedside bassinet or sleep in a crib all their own doesn’t mean they have to go far. 

If you choose to stop co sleeping around one of these early milestones, you can still help support baby’s next stage of sleep by positioning their baby bassinet or bedside crib right against your bed, or moving it no more than a step or two away from your own mattress. 

bassinet crib cosleeper babybay

That way, baby will still be able to feel your loving presence offering comfort from close by, even as they adjust to the feeling of sleeping in this new space that is fully their own. 

As baby becomes more comfortable in their bedside bassinet or crib (and as space in your bedroom allows), you can slowly move baby’s sleeping space farther and farther from your own bed. This will help baby gradually develop confidence and awareness that you’re nearby to help, even when you’ve stopped co-sleeping and are farther than an arm’s length or two away. 

And on the day you decide it’s finally time to move baby into a room that’s fully their own, they’ll feel well-prepped for this next important step. 

What Is Co Sleeping and How Do I Know if It’s Right for My Baby?

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. They might even sleep with their baby nestled up against them all through the night. 

cosleeper baby bed babybay

Though there are many ways to cosleep, some are far safer than others. (Bedside sleepers, we’re looking at you and giving you a gold star!) 

But all forms of co-sleeping have one thing in common: they’ve been the safe sleeping practice preferred by families throughout history. 

Though parents in many modern Western countries have popularized separate bedrooms and detached cribs, for thousands of years going to sleep curled up near your newborn has been the norm. 

In fact, parents from many different cultures have long understood that cosleeping 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.

What are common cosleeping 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. co sleeping bed babybay 

(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!)

But your baby isn’t the only one who benefits from co-sleeping. Parents are able to care for their own bodies and minds by making nighttime nursing easier and getting a few much-needed extra hours of shut-eye. 

What is the difference between co-sleeping and bedsharing?

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 cocoon in. 

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.

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