Parents decide to co-sleep for a variety of reasons. Some parents know from the start that they'll sleep next to baby, others bring baby to bed to get some needed sleep and ease baby's cries and soon discover the joys and benefits of the family bed.
Clinical sleep studies of mother baby pairs have shown that mothers are particularly in tune with their baby's movements at night and respond to them almost immediately. Keeping the family bed safe is a top priority. Please read our safe co-sleeping guidelines and visit SafeBedSharing.org for more info.
Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines
- Never leave baby unattended on an adult bed. Co-Sleeping or family bed sharing consists of a child and a committed adult. Babies can roll off of beds (even when using a co-sleeping device) can become tangled in blankets or otherwise need the attention of an adult. We recommend babies not be left unattended on an adult bed.
- Never Sleep with your baby on a water bed or couch. A flat firm surface is safest for baby. Water beds and couches can cause crevice hazards and are associated with infant deaths.
- Avoid adding railing or having furniture next to your bed. Furniture or railings along the side of your bed can cause crevice hazards.
- Check head or footboards for crevices. Make sure there are no gaps or spaces between the headboard/footboard and the mattress. Crevices caused by head and foot boards have been associated with infant deaths.
- Avoid pushing your bed against a wall to avoid a crevice hazard.
- Never let another sibling sleep next to your baby. Children sleep deeply and may roll over on baby. Baby is best placed next to Mom or Dad only.
- Never sleep next to your baby if you are intoxicated or have been using drugs or are taking medications, if you are overly tired or in any other way feel that your ability to be aroused could be affected. Mothers are very aware of babies movements at night, however drugs, medications or fatigue could impair these abilities.
- It is not recommended that you bed share if are currently smoking. This has been associated with higher incidence of S.I.D.S.
- Use a firm mattress for bed sharing. Soft mattresses can allow baby to accidentally roll over causing suffocation.
- Make sure all bedding fits snuggly on the mattress. Fitted sheets that come loose could cover baby's face.
- Always place baby to sleep on her back. This has been shown to reduce the risk of S.I.D.S.
- Avoid over dressing your baby or over heating your room. Overheating is also associated with an increased risk of S.I.D.S. Baby gets plenty of warmth from mom when co-sleeping.
- Avoid strings or ties on night clothes or blankets. These could cause strangulation. Be sure to remove toys or other objects from bed before sleep time, to avoid suffocation.
- If you have long hair tie it in a pony tail or braid it. Long hair could cause suffocation or strangulation.
Co-Sleeping Safety Guidelines & how to keep the Family Bed Safe.