“Should I sleep with my baby?” is a question that causes new parents a lot of anxiety, as there are widely varying opinions about the best answer. First and foremost, know that there is no absolute right or wrong answer, learn about your options and do what feels right for you and your family!
I recommend that new parents at least have the baby in the same room, if not the same bed, with them. Recent studies show that some form of co-sleeping (aka. sleeping in the same room as your baby) has the potential benefit of decreasing the chance of SIDS by up to 50%. Your co-sleeping options are:
-Sleeping in the same bed
-Attaching a crib to your bed
-Keeping a crib in your bedroom, but not attached to your bed
Sleeping in the same bed/room as your baby can make nighttime breastfeeding a lot easier, especially if the baby senses mama nearby when they wake, so that both mama and baby can easily feed and go back to sleep.
No matter where the baby sleeps, these are the recommended rules to create a safe space:
-Place the baby on their back to sleep.
-Make sure the baby’s mattress is firm with no loose bedding, pillows, blankets, toys, etc.
-Make sure there is absolutely no way the baby can roll off their bed. Do not let the baby sleep on a sofa or chair, and make sure there is no crack between their bed and the wall where they could fall and be trapped.
-Use common sense and don’t sleep in the same bed as your baby if you’ve taken alcohol or sedatives or if you’re an exceptionally deep sleeper.
- Remember that you are the only home your baby has ever known. They flourish the more contact they have with you, so touch and cuddles are an incredibly important part of their development!