Everyone loves to sleep with the new member of the family, but is co-sleeping with a newborn safe or not? May I share my bed with my infant or let her sleep in his/her separate place.
That kind of indecision and thoughts continuously kept running in your mind like a faucet when you become parents.
Well, In case you don’t know what is co sleeping with your baby, then let me first clear it for you.
A Co-sleeping with a baby means sharing the same bed with your baby.
- It can be like you are laying your baby on the same bed or using any other bed that you are placing on your bed and letting your baby laying on it. for example First Years Close & Secure Sleeper
- Another arrangement is a bedside sleeper. In which you securely attach the bassinet’s side to the parent’s bed. For example, you have three sides of the baby’s bassinet intact, but the side of the mom is removed or lowered. Like Arm’s Reach sleeper
There are a lot of other options available that you can use as co-sleeping. But the question is that, is co-sleeping with a newborn safe?
So, In this article, we will talk about Co-sleeper, Like is co-sleeping with a newborn safe or not?, highlight the benefit of co-sleeping, its pros, and cons, and which one is best, etc
So, let’s start.
Is Co-sleeping With a Newborn Safe?
Co-Sleeping is not a new thing. We are doing it for the ancient time to now a modern-day, and it’s safe.
If you follow some rule that set the by a paediatrician to make sure baby sleep safely and comfortably. But still, some paediatrician thinks that it’s not safe.
So, let see why is co-sleeping dangerous for babies and How many babies die from co-sleeping?
It is essential to know that the first six months of a baby’s life is considered the most important and most delicate time to prevent SIDS.
This is because it is at this time that sleep-related deaths are at its peak. At twelve months, SIDS risk usually goes away.
According to the article posted on daily mail, there are 133 infants die every year.
Co-sleeping’ has been revealed to kill 133 every year – almost three every week – in cases of suffocation, over-heating, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)………….The chance of sudden death goes up when bed-sharing if a parent smokes, has drunk alcohol or taken drugs or is very tired.’
If you read the statement carefully, you will see some words, like Smoke, Alcohol, Drugs. There are no doubts SIDS kill a lot of infants every year, but the reason behind this is parents careless.
Sometimes mothers are tired (due to hard work or alcohol), and when they start breastfeeding, they fall in sleep that increases the risk of suffocation.
Both the bassinet have a mobile device that automatically produces sound after 30 min, as a reminder to tell mother its a time to put a baby back in the bassinet.
According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, in their Clinical Protocol #6: Guideline on Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding:
There is currently not enough evidence to support routine recommendations against co-sleeping. Parents should be educated about the risks and benefits of co-sleeping and unsafe co-sleeping practices and should be allowed to make their own informed decision. If you are breastfeeding in bed, do it in a position where you won’t fall asleep,’ she said. ‘A good tip is to set the alarm on your phone.’
Armchairs and couches also put newborns at a high rate of deaths related to sleep through entrapment or suffocation in seat cushions.
As a parent or a caregiver, you are to be extra careful and cautious when dealing with newborn babies as regards every aspect.
So, When it is not safe to do co-sleeping
- You are tired
- Your newborn baby is born premature ( 37 weeks and lesser), there is particular bassinet for preemies
- You want to sleep on the armchair or sofa or couch. Check this is a car seat or bassinet better for infant
- Your newborn baby weighs very low, about 2.5kg or 5.5 lbs or even lesser
- You or your partner smoke and drunk at all
- Your or your partner has taken a drug or just medications that can make you drowsy
Until we only talked about the negative side of co-sleeping, But, now its time to see the positive side of the co-sleeping means “is co-sleeping with a newborn safe.”
As per the conversation with Dr. James J. McKenna ( is a professor of anthropology and the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame) on huffspot, he said’
When done safely, bed-sharing makes mothers (and fathers!) and babies happy and has positive developmental effects on growing children. Surely mothers should not be stigmatised or considered irresponsible for bed-sharing. Ninety per cent of all human beings sleeps with their babies in some form or another!
Dr. McKenna also notes that
It has never been proven, nor shown, nor is it even probable, that sleeping with your baby has any detrimental long-term effects when the relationships between those involved are healthy. Instead, experts are finding that co-sleeping can help develop positive qualities, such as being more comfortable with physical affection, more confidence in one’s own sexual gender identity, a more positive and optimistic attitude about life, or more innovativeness as a toddler and an increased ability to be alone.
So, it’s clear that co-sleeping with a newborn baby is good for child health development and to make a strong bond between you and your baby.
Have a look at these metrics (In Video ) related to infant death and tips for safe sleeping by Center for Disease Control and Prevention
So, now you have a little bit idea about safe co-sleeping. We will discuss more on how to safely co-sleep with a baby later on, in this article.
Now, the answer to your question, “Is Co-sleeping With a Newborn Safe?” is Yes, Co-sleeping with a newborn baby is safe, and it also helps to develop positive qualities and make a secure bond between both you & the baby.
Check this article “Benefits of Co-sleeping with a Baby,” This article will help you to understand how co-sleeping is beneficial for baby to develop good health.
How To Safely Co-sleep With Baby?
If you decide to co-sleep with your newborn baby, then make sure you follow the below guidelines. These guidelines would help a great deal to reduce the risk of SIDS (set by Raisingchildren.net.au and by James J. McKenna, Ph.D.)
Here is the conclusion of both the guidelines.
- The use of heavy blankets is not to be done when you want to co-sleep with your baby. It is not safe because the blanket may flip-off over the baby’s head and the mother, sleeping beside may not notice. Even if you do eventually, it may be too late to save the child.
- If you are one who is quite insensitive to the needs of a child, then co-sleeping cannot be practiced safely in such instance. Use of drugs also does not provide a safe, co-sleeping environment with your newborn baby. In that case, I recommend using the bassinet for baby.
- You are to put the baby beside one parent or caregiver, not between two people and don’t place the baby in a position where he/she can fall out or off
- Place the baby on her back to sleep, not sideways or on her tummy, and make sure the sleeping surface is flat and not too much soft. For that, you can use a safe infant co-sleeper or bedside sleeper.
- Never leave your newborn baby alone on the bed until he/she is not in his/her sleeping place, like co-sleeper, because adult bedding is very soft and cosy, baby can flip over, can die due to suffocation. Also, Do not put pillows, blankets or sheets close to your newborn baby such that they can obstruct breathing
- Make sure the sleeping environment is clean and do not allow pets around the area. Cats love to sleep and play with newborn baby due to its soft skin, and sometimes they sleep on them and become the cause of baby’s death (keep a pet out of bassinet)
- You can safely co-sleep with your baby when you make sure your older children do not sleep on the same bed with the newborn. The older ones may not understand the risks involved, and this can cause a significant crisis.
- Always tie your hair if it is too long, so it doesn’t tangle or trap your baby’s neck.
Have a look at this video How to safely co-sleep by James Mckenna.
Check this video to get some advice on how you posture your baby on the bed for safe sleeping
Following the above guidelines does not guarantee or eliminates the risk of infant death, but it reduces the risk of SIDS.
Your attention, love, and care towards your baby make him feel safer.
When To Stop Co-sleeping With a baby?
As much as co-sleeping is essential for the baby’s growth, it is said that whatever has a beginning must have an end. Also is co-sleeping with a baby. It is not supposed to last forever.
When the child is older – about a year plus, the risk of getting SIDS is very minimal.
A Co-sleeper is also like a bassinet. So, I recommend reading “how long baby can sleep in the bassinet” to make a better decision about your baby.
Maximum manufacturers recommend to use bassinet/co-sleeper up to 6-8 months,
but again there is no hard and fast rule to stop using it. You can use it until the baby can’t roll in it or until the baby becomes too big for it.
For, example, in case of premature baby, who is growing very slowly, you can use the bassinet for little more extended whereas as a healthy baby grows very fast, and at that time you have to switch to the crib.
Here is an informative article that helps you to make a decision. At what age should baby stop sleeping in the bassinet?
Although lots of experts believe co-sleeping should end when the baby is around two, some others think it should continue until the child is around four or five.
No rule states explicitly when to stop co-sleeping or at what age. Putting a stop to co-sleeping varies from one parent to another and thus, heavily depends on them.
there is nothing wrong with cuddling your eight-year-old in bed, on occasion, sleeping with them for comfort when they are stressed or ill.” She also talks about the fact that if you want them to have independence, no more co-sleeping.
Different circumstances can lead to the moment you decide to stop co-sleeping with your baby. Some parents choose when the child is about nine months to one year old. It can be due to having another baby.
Here are a few more things that will give you a sign to Stop Co-sleeping With the baby
- You can stop co-sleeping with your baby when he or she is old enough to sleep alone. If you start getting uncomfortable with your child being of the opposite sex, then you should stop co-sleeping.
- If you realise your child have started some bad habits because of co-sleeping, then you should stop it.
- If you or your partner start to drink or smoke, seeing that either is unhealthy for a child, you should put a stop to co-sleeping. This will save your child form any form of suffocation or even death.
So, I hope now you have an idea of when to stop co-sleeping with baby.
What I Prefer: Bedside Sleeping or Same Bed Sleeping?
May I do co-sleeping with a newborn or not? I will say Yes, do it for yourself as well as for your infant health.
But I prefer bedside sleeping over the same bed sleeping. It’s much much better and safer.
In this way, your baby gets a separate sleeping place and at the same time, get the benefit of co-sleeping.
If you are like my friend Sara (who drinks and smokes a lot), then I strongly recommend to bedside co-sleeper. This is the best way to eliminate the risk of SIDS when you are doing co-sleeping.
The only thing that I don’t like about the co-sleeper is, they don’t come with some of the features that bassinets have. Like vibrating bassinet, incline sleeper with reflux, the best bassinet for premises, Bassinet for c- section come with.
Now, it’s your turn. Let me know what you think – “Is co-sleeping with a newborn safe or not?” in your view,
What are you doing – Room sharing, same-bed sleeping or using bedside sleeper for co-sleeping?
Drop your valuable opinion in the comment box, and let me know if you have any question in mind.
Don’t forget to share the article.