Despite what you might hear from mainstream sources, co-sleeping is perfectly healthy and safe provided you follow all safe co-sleeping guidelines.
As per the anthropological and developmental studies, mothers and children were actually psychologically and biologically designed to sleep together so that the mother could breastfeed and nurture her child through the night. Babies are not designed to sleep alone. The benefits of sleeping together with your little one are enormous as the habit of co-sleeping boosts a child’s physical and emotional health. If you follow the safe co-sleeping rules to the dot, you will have an amazing experience.
Encourage Your Baby to Sleep on His Back
While it may seem like a good idea to let your child sleep on their tummy, this isn’t good for their health. If they are under 9 months old, it’s extremely dangerous as your baby can end up face down on the bed and suffocating. For young babies, it is best to swaddle them and put them on their back to sleep.
Consider Securing the Perimeter
The best way of doing that is moving all furniture and entrapment hazards slightly away from the bed. You may put your mattress on the floor and sleep with your child for more safety as the child would not be badly hurt even if he rolls out of bed. If your bedroom seems to have concrete, tile, or wood floors, it must be cushioned with a carpet pad or a yoga mat. Alternatively, you could consider placing your mattress strategically on the box spring for extra support and security. You must not consider putting soft items or placing pillows around your bed for protecting your child from falls because soft items could pose a suffocation hazard. Personally, I like Magic Bumpers.
Use the Best Mattress
Crib mattresses are made to specific safety standards, unlike regular mattresses, so be sure if you are cosleeping you have a high-quality mattress. Ideally, you should get an organic mattress so you know that it doesn’t contain harsh chemical substances like flame retardant and toxic materials that could adversely impact your child’s health and safety. Moreover, the mattress must perfectly fit the dimensions of the bed frame for ultimate safety.
If your fingers can fit between the mattress and the rail there is the possibility of entrapment. You should set it up to be safer by stuffing that gap with a rolled up blanket or towel. It goes without saying that you should use firm mattresses with cotton-fitted sheets and avoid pillows, stuffed animals, and fluffy comforters that could be a suffocation hazard for your little one.
Ensure that Everyone Is Sleeping in the Correct Place
A baby must sleep next to his mother instead of between father and mother. Mothers are mentally and physically supposed to be more conscious about the child’s presence even when sleeping. It is quite unlikely that a mom would be rolling over onto her baby. However, some dads may not be having the same sensitivity toward his baby’s presence particularly when he is in deep sleep. It is quite possible for a dad to accidentally roll over or even throw out his arm onto his child. After practicing for a few months, it is believed that most fathers were able to develop a sharp awareness of their kid’s presence but this depends on a lot of factors. If you need to have your baby sleep in the middle of the bed between you and hubby, we recommend using a DockATot for the first 9 months or so to keep your baby safe or consider getting a bedside sleeper.
If you follow these co-sleeping rules and a few basic guidelines, sharing a bed with your little one poses no risks and is perfectly safe. Both the parents and the child can sleep peacefully.