There are some important things to have in consideration when choosing how and where your newborn should sleep.
The safe sleep begins during pregnancy, it is important to have a healthy gestation without exposing the fetus to smoke. After being born, parents have to decide whether their newborn sleeps in a co-sleeper, a bassinet or a crib. Parents have also to decide if they want their infant in the same room or in a separate room.
Co-sleep with your baby means sleeping close to your baby, it can mean in the same bed or just in the same room. There are different ways of co-sleeping, some safer than others. We are going to explain the different ways to co-sleep with your baby with the caution you may take.
Different options to co-sleep with your newborn
- Bed sharing: the baby sleeps next to parents in the same bed. It is not a safe option but if you decide to do it, you must use some co-sleeper to assure your baby his own safe space. There are a lot of options of co-sleepers that can be placed between parents.
- Co sleeper attached to bed: a crib or a bassinet securely attached to parent’s bed. One of the sides of the bassinet is removed or just lowered to have the bassinet next to parent’s bed but assuring the baby his own space. This option lets mothers’ access easily to her baby to breastfeeding or soothe.
- Crib or bassinet in the same room: the best options are the ones within arm reach of the parents to make it easy to reach the baby at night.
Bed sharing risks
Bed-sharing is associated with infants deaths but when that occurs usually there are at least one risk factor associated as:
- Baby sleeping on their stomach.
- Baby sharing bed without meaning to. If parents decide to share their bed with their newborn they must be aware that the baby is in the bed with them. Besides, tired parents may not plan to fall asleep with their babies.
- Baby being placed in an adult bed on top of a pillow.
Some authorities and we also do recommend parents to co-sleep with their babies but not share the same bed.
Although some ways of co-sleeping (sharing the same bed) are not the safe, there are some ways of co-sleeping that have advantages for babies and parents:
- Babies sleep better and cry less through the night because they feel safer next to their parents.
- Parents also sleep better because it is easier to soothe the baby during the night.
- Breastfeeding is easier.
- Babies sleeping in the same room reduce up to 50% the risk of SIDS.
Finally, no matter where parents decide that baby is going to sleep. In all the cases they should follow the next advices:
- Infants should always sleep on their back, not on the tummy or side.
- Babies should sleep on a firm surface.
- Infants should be away from smoke.
- Baby’s head and face should never be covered.
- Infant’s bed should not have pillows or stuffed animals.
- Babies should never sleep on sofas without adult supervision.
- Bedding should fit perfect to the mattress.
- Mattress should fit to the head, foot and sides of the crib or bassinet.
- There should not be space between bed and sides to avoid the baby rolling and became trapped.
- When using a bassinet with wheels, they must be locked when baby is sleeping.
- Do not use a waterbed mattress.
- Don’t bed share if you are smoker or you have smoked during pregnancy.
- Don’ bed share if you use drugs or alcohol or if you are very tired.
- Tie your hair if it is very long, because it can provoke entanglement around baby’s neck.
You can find the best available co-sleepers with detailed information in our section: co-sleeper.
If you prefer to use a separate bassinet or a crib you can visit our sections with the best bassinets. You can find them separated between Rocking bassinets, for those parents who want to rock their baby easily, and Portable bassinets, with wheels, lightweight or both, for parents that need to move easily the bassinet from room to room or who need to take it when travelling.