What Age is Co Sleeping Safe for Your Baby or Toddler?
Whenever parents start to consider co-sleeping as the sleep practice that will work best for this family, one question always comes up: what age is co-sleeping safe?
As soon as baby is born, most parents invite their newborn into their bedroom to sleep nearby for a form of co-sleeping called “room sharing.” Experts agree that room sharing is the safest method of caring for your newborn during the first 6 months (and ideally the first year) of their life.
That’s because your baby still isn’t quite oriented to the differences between day and night—a truth that wreaks havoc on their (and your!) sleep schedule. Until your baby develops their circadian rhythm—the 24-hour clock within all of us that regulates our patterns of sleepiness and alertness—baby will have a hard time sleeping for more than a few hours at a time.
Partner their undeveloped circadian rhythm with a tiny stomach that has them calling for food every few hours and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a rocky night of sleep for both you and baby.
With baby in your bedroom, you’ll be able to catch some much-needed extra shut-eye while quickly responding to baby’s every nursing need. You’ll also be close enough to respond to any concerns that arise as baby gets used to the world and used to the rise and setting of the sun.
Bedside co-sleepers like the babybay are designed to offer you and baby a safe co-sleeping solution to maximize rest time, emotional bonding, and healthy development during these important first months of baby’s life.
babybays are specially engineered to properly support, care, and nurture your baby up until they are around 5 months of age. They offer a firm, stable surface away from the plush and not-baby-friendly softness of your own mattress and blankets—while keeping baby within arm’s reach all through the night.
What happens after 5 or 6 months?
Similar models of babybay that are popular in Europe (used and loved by some pretty cool people like Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and German pro soccer player Sebastian Jung) are endorsed for and regularly enjoyed by parents and baby up through one year of age.
Though the US only tests co-sleepers up through 5 months, most experts agree that you should be sharing your room with baby through at least the 6-month mark. Depending on baby’s growing level of independence and your needs as parents, you can start thinking about moving baby out of your bedroom after this point.
However, co-sleeping and room-sharing has been the natural and normal way for parents to bond with baby and get a better night’s sleep for centuries. (In fact, a study from anthropologist John Whiting found that almost 70% of the world’s children sleep and grow surrounded by loved ones!)
For parents who want to continue to reap the emotional-bonding and healthy-growth benefits of co-sleeping past that 6-month mark, converting your safe co-sleeper into a bedside bassinet or keeping a crib in your bedroom may be the ideal method for continuing to support baby.
What happens after 9 months?
By now, your baby is becoming increasingly independent. No longer content to simply lay on their back all through the night, they’ll feel the urge to move and crawl around during any break from sleep.
As your baby continues to explore their own mobility, your co-sleeping environment needs to be adapted to support their needs. Though by now baby is full of the adventurous spirit and can-do attitude they need to turn your mattress into a fun-filled playground, it’s better to save that kind of exploring for when you’re awake and watching.
Truth is: baby might still be too young to be fully supported by the softness of your comfy-as-can-be mattress, blankets, and pillows. The wrong roll, twist, or turn during the night can leave baby struck with no clue how to get themselves out.
To keep baby safe, make sure that you move them to a space of their own by converting your safe co-sleeper into a bedside bassinet or standalone crib as soon as baby starts being filled with that must-move, must-dance, must-explore spirit.
What happens after 12 months?
Between one to two years of age, your child will grow from a tiny bundle of joy into a free-moving and free-exploring adventurer who doesn’t just know how to get themselves into some fun-filled situations…but how to get out of them safely as well.
Around this time, your child should be able to naturally be able to move out of, rollover, and free themselves from any kind of restraining blanket, pillow, or comfy comforter that comes their way.
Of course, every child is unique.
As your child continues to grow, they’ll become increasingly talented at getting themselves unwrapped and unwound during the night—allowing you to sleep easy with your child by your side. The same feeling of ease that you enjoyed while using the babybay co-sleeper for safe cosleeping in the first months of baby’s life can be joyously felt and luxuriated in once again.
Though the babybay co sleeper bassinet safely supports your baby through their first several months of life, you’ll have to use your own judgement when deciding when your baby is ready to leave their co-sleeper and crib to bed share with you.
That’s why it’s important to carefully determine where your child is in their development when deciding what age is co sleeping safe with a toddler in your own bed.
But when that day comes…get ready for a long and restful night of cuddles, the kind of love-filled cuddles only your child can give.