The possible Risks of co Sleeping with a Baby

Co-sleeping with your baby can be comforting, warming and helpful to parent-child bonding. A baby sleeping with it’s parents feels secure and is more easily comforted than a baby that sleeps constantly alone in a separate room. It also helps relieve the stress of feeding, particularly breastfed babies in the first few weeks and ensures that there is little disruption to both the adult’s and baby’s sleep.

However, it can also be distressing to have a fretful child in bed, uncomfortable when they start to move around and steal most of the bed, and even snore more than your partner! There is also an issue with safety in co-sleeping with many fearing that it can lead to a greater risk of SIDS (cot death) and making the child insecure.

I co-slept with both of my children, still do with the youngest at 8 months, and have found it to be a most satisfactory solution to many of the baby worry problems. It is helpful that my husband and I don’t share a bed (please see my other articles for why), so that we aren’t all squashed up together, but for me it was the best way to comfort my child, to feed them, and to keep an eye on their sleep patterns and ensure that they were as least disturbed as possible. For example, my youngest is happiest sleeping on his side or on his front. I would not feel happy with him doing so in his cot, but when he is with my I can control how he is placed and can move him with ease and with little disturbance. However, with my boys health and safety a big issue in my mind I have always followed these Do’s and Don’ts:

DO change your duvet for sheets and blankets – there is less chance of your baby being smothered.

DON’T sleep with your baby if you are overtired.

DO put your baby to sleep in a cot or crib when you first put them to bed. This means that they do not rely on you being in the room with them and often they will sleep in their own bed for a long period.

DON’T sleep with your baby if you have had an alcoholic drink or taken any drugs (including prescription ones), if you smoke or if you are unwell.

DO lay your baby to sleep on it’s back; when they are older they will move into a more comfortable position for themselves.

DON’T lay your baby on a pillow.

DO ensure that the mattress fits correctly and that there are no gaps for them to roll into.

DON’T ever put you baby to sleep in an adult bed without any safeguards.

DO make sure there is no gap between the headboard and the mattress that your baby can roll into.

Whether you sleep with your baby or let them sleep in a cot they are at risk from SIDS. For me I felt more comfortable knowing how my babies were sleeping without leaning over their cots, but it is a matter that you have to decide for yourself.