Sleeping arrangements vary widely between families. Some parents prefer sleeping next to their baby while others choose to sleep apart. Regardless of what works best for you and your family, co-sleeping has become increasingly popular among new parents. However, if done incorrectly, co-sleeping can pose serious risks to both babies and adults alike.
When to Stop Co-Sleeping With Your Baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants be placed in a crib or bassinet by the age of one month. This is because it allows them to develop proper head control and muscle strength as well as learn how to fall asleep on their own. If they are not able to do this at an early age, then there may be developmental issues later down the road.
If you have chosen to continue co-sleeping after 1 month, make sure that you follow these guidelines :
- Never put your infant into bed with you. Instead, place him/her in his/her own room where he/she will feel more comfortable.
- Make sure that your child’s mattress fits properly under the bottom sheet so that no part of her body touches any other surface.
- Keep blankets away from your baby’s face and neck area.
- Do not use pillows or stuffed animals near your baby’s mouth.
- Avoid using soft toys such as teddy bears, dolls, etc., which could cause suffocation.
- Always keep doors closed when leaving your home.
How to Stop Co-Sleeping with your baby
Make sure that everyone knows exactly when you expect your baby to go back to sleep. For example, tell your partner before going to bed every night that you want your baby to stay awake until morning. Also, don’t let anyone else try to sneakily wake up your baby during the middle of the night. It’s important that you set boundaries about who gets to touch your baby and when.
Have a Plan
Make sure that you know what time you need to feed your baby, change diapers, burp him/her, play with him/her, read books to him/her, sing songs to him/her, rock him/her to sleep, etc. You should also establish a routine for feeding times and naps. Make sure that you stick to those routines consistently.
Place Baby Crib Near Your Bed
Place your baby’s crib right beside your bed so that she doesn’t even realize that she isn’t actually in her own bedroom anymore. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, just pick her up and bring her over to your side of the bed. She’ll soon start getting accustomed to being close to you again.
Reasons Why Co-Sleeping Should Be Avoided
Co-sleeping has been around since ancient times. However, recent studies suggest that co-sleeping may lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, and other issues.
Here are 6 reasons why co-sleeping should be avoided:
It Can Be Dangerous To Babies
Co-sleeping is a common practice in many households today. Many people believe that it’s safer than having the baby sleep alone because they think there will be less chance of SIDS or suffocation. While this may seem like an obvious choice at first glance, there are several dangers associated with co-sleeping which could put your child’s life at risk.
First off, when you share bed space with your infant, you increase the chances of them rolling over on top of each other. This increases the likelihood of choking as well as suffocating due to the fact that infants have no control over where they roll. In addition, since most crib mattresses aren’t designed to support weight from another person, they often collapse under pressure. If your mattress collapses during the night, it’s possible that your baby could get trapped underneath. Finally, some studies suggest that sharing bed space with your newborn might actually cause premature birth.
You Could Get Sick From Sharing Space With A Newborn
When you’re pregnant, you probably don’t want to spend any time sick. Unfortunately, being around someone who isn’t feeling 100% can make you feel just as bad. When you’re not feeling well yourself, you also run the risk of passing along germs to your baby. The same goes for anyone else who shares your room; even though you may not show symptoms right away, you still carry those germs into your home.
Sleeping Together Might Make Breastfeeding Difficult Or Impossible
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, then you’ll need to avoid sleeping together. Not only does breastfeeding require intimate contact between mother and baby, but it also requires direct skin-to-skin contact. Since you won’t be able to maintain proper positioning without touching your partner, you’ll likely end up waking him/her up every few hours throughout the night. As a result, he/she will either interrupt your feeding session or wake you up completely. Either way, it’s going to interfere with your ability to successfully nurse your baby.
Sleeping Apart Makes For Better Sleep On Both Ends
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep by yourself, you know how difficult it can be. Even after tossing and turning for half an hour, you find yourself wide awake. That’s because our brains naturally crave human interaction. By forcing ourselves to lie down all by ourselves, we deprive our bodies of something essential. We simply cannot function properly while isolated from others.
Co-Sleeping Is Just Plain Wrong!
The National Association Of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners agree that co- sleeping is dangerous for babies. They recommend against it unless absolutely necessary. Instead, they say parents should place their children in separate beds until they reach about six months old. At that point, they advise putting your baby back in his/her own bed so that s/he has more independence.
It Can Be Dangerous To Your Baby During An Emergency
In case of emergency, you’d better hope that your child sleeps through the noise. Otherwise, she/he would be exposed to smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning. Plus, when you share space with your infant, you increase the chances of rolling on top of her/him. This means that if anything were to happen to you, your baby could easily suffer serious injury.