Co-Sleeping Safely With Your Baby

Co-sleeping is a hot topic of debate that frequently divides rooms of mothers. Supporters of co-sleeping are of the mindset that a parent’s bed is where an infant belongs while those opposed to it argue that it is just downright dangerous.

Co-Sleeping With Your Baby

People choose to co-sleep with their babies for a number of different reasons. It is believed that co-sleeping encourages breast feeding and makes it more convenient by helping to synchronize the mother and baby’s sleep cycles. Supporters of co-sleeping also believe that it brings a mother and baby closer together, especially if there is separation during the day due to work or other commitments. With these benefits in mind, it’s understandable why some mothers choose to co-sleep with their infants. If you do choose to co-sleep with your baby, it is important that you do so safely.

Sudden Death Infant Syndrome (SIDS)

The correlation between SIDS and co-sleeping is still unclear and research is continuing in this area. Some people think that co-sleeping will reduce the chance of SIDS because both parent and baby wake up more regularly during the night. However, others feel that the chance of SIDS is increased by co-sleeping, especially in environments where mothers smoke. If you are considering co-sleeping as an option for you and your child then be sure to always place your baby on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Steps for Safe Co-Sleeping

To ensure a safe co-sleeping experience for both you and your infant, there are some  measures that you can take. Co-sleeping is widely practiced in many non-western cultures but with lower risks. Differences in bedding and mattresses have a huge impact on how safe an environment is for co-sleeping. You should never use pillows, quilts or comforters or other soft items on the bed. Even teddy bears or other stuffed toys can be problematic in a co-sleeping situation. The location of your bed is also important and should be given some careful consideration. If at all possible you should  keep your bed away from blinds, curtains or drapes to prevent your infant becoming tangled in the cords.

Your beds footboard and headboard should be solid and be free of large gaps or holes in which your child’s limbs or head could become stuck. Your mattress should also fit tightly into the bed frame so that there are no gaps where your baby could get trapped. Always leave your child’s head uncovered while sleeping and don’t ever drink alcohol, take medication or use drugs that could keep you from waking up during the night or that may cause you to move around more than normal in your sleep and suffocate your baby.

Co-sleeping has many benefits, and if you follow the simple steps outlined in this article there is no reason why you and your baby shouldn’t be able to enjoy a comfortable and safe co-sleeping environment.

About The Author:
Brenda O'Brien is a full time mother and part time parenting blogger based in London writing on behalf of Sleepymoon Cards a start up business selling unique, top quality baby thank you cards.


  1. We had a co-sleeper on our bed that had sides that prevented us from rolling onto the baby. Best thing I ever did!

  2. Back when I was a kid growing up safety was always important and it was one reason why mom never got a water bed. We did stuff in our home before most did or even had a name for it. I think this is perfect for nursing moms as well.

  3. Thank you for this article. I know this is a hot topic for many parents and hate to be judged on what I feel is comfortable for me and my child. Thank you also for the safety measures. I enjoy co-sleeping for the first few months and it makes it easier with breast feedings.

  4. I was so happy when I decided to start safe co-sleeping. It made breastfeeding so much easier and we all got more rest. It is a hot topic and I rarely discuss it with others. I see something on the news about infant death every so often and I believe the term co-sleeping is used loosely. The latest was a mother who was high and "cosleeping" with her infant in a recliner. I wish there was a better term, or way to way to differentiate. I see some Moms using 'bed-sharing' and perhaps this is a good term? Thanks for linking up!

    1. I like that term a lot better! I have bed shared with both of my babies and I don't think breastfeeding would have been as successful if we didn't. I breastfed my daughter for 14 months until she self-weaned.

  5. I agree with the previous poster, I hate the term "co-sleeping," and I prefer calling it "bed sharing." I've been bed sharing with my 2.5 year old since she was born and I have absolutely no regrets. Yes, its not for everyone but it has worked for us! It has made breastfeeding easier, it has made both of us happy, and we both sleep better when we're cuddling! Thanks for sharing the article! :)

  6. I did bed sharing with my son and daughter and I found it to be a very good bonding experience. I breast fed both children and felt that it helped me when feeding baby at night. I also cuddled them more and my kids were soothed and slept better.


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