Supporters believe that a parent’s bed is just where an infant belongs. Co-sleeping with your baby might seem like the easiest option, especially if you’re breastfeeding. It’s safer to breastfeed your baby in bed in these circumstances, than to breastfeed and then doze off with your baby on a sofa or armchair (Fleming et al 2015, Blair and Inch nd). Some parents prefer to put their mattress directly on the floor, especially when their baby starts to wriggle and roll around. If your child sleeps in your bed, yours isn’t the only one. Parents have the right to decide what is right for them, what’s safe for them, what works best for them and baby, and what is the best practice they will follow.
Others say having a squirmy child in bed with them makes it difficult to sleep. Some babies sleep better next to their parents. Others seem happier sleeping on their own. Even in very low-risk breastfed babies, where there were no risk factors for SIDS other than that they had slept in their parents’ bed, 81 per cent of SIDS deaths in infants under three months of age could have been prevented by not bed sharing, they add. Regardless of whether an infant sleeps on the same surface as his or her parents, on a same-surface co-sleeper, in a bassinet or in a separate crib, in the same room as their parents or in a separate room, all infants should follow these same guidelines: infants should always sleep on their backs, on firm surfaces, on clean surfaces, in the absence of (secondhand) smoke, under light (comfortable) blanketing, and their heads should never be covered.
For the record, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) position is that babies should sleep close to their parents but not in the same bed. The fear is that a parent could inadvertently trap a baby in bed covers or in the space between the bed and the wall. Sleeping in the same bed as your baby is called co-sleeping or bed sharing. Some parents co-sleep with their baby for part of the night or during the day so that they can get more rest. Sometimes parents fall asleep accidently or without meaning to. Bed-sharing newborns five times more likely to die suddenly than those who sleep in a cot, study shows. About half of parents sleep with their baby sometimes or regularly, either deliberately or because they have unintentionally fallen asleep beside them, other research shows.
Sleep-sharing: The Family Bed
The concern about bringing babies into bed stems from a few studies during the 1990s that linked infant deaths with babies sleeping in adult beds. Advice on how to co-sleep safely from Mumsnet. NB: In this case we’re talking specifically about sharing a bed with your baby, rather than sleeping in the same room which is sometimes also described as co-sleeping. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advice says there is an increased risk of infant death while sharing a bed, particularly when a baby is less than 11 weeks, if either parent smokes, is very tired, has drunk alcohol recently or is on medication or drugs that make them sleep heavily. Babies who sleep in bed with their parents have an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, a new study finds. A new study suggests that breastfeeding and bedsharing may go hand in hand, but while more data supports breastfeeding, the studies aren t as definitive about parents sleeping in the same bed as their infants. Still, she cautioned, physicians’ groups are not recommending sharing a bed with baby because placing infants in adult beds is associated with three times the risk of suffocation or SIDS, even among parents who do not drink, smoke or take drugs. A baby in the same bed with his or her parents is surrounded by the best possible surveillance and safety system. Co-sleeping is a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room. Bed-sharing, a practice in which babies and young children sleep in the same bed with one or both parents, is a subset of co-sleeping.
Pros & Cons Of Co-sleeping
It found that 33 of these deaths occurred whilst the infant was sharing a sleep surface with another person. SIDS and Kids recommends sleeping a baby in a cot next to the parents’ bed for the first 6-12 months of life as this has been shown to lower the risk of SIDS. Parents should think twice before sharing their bed with an infant; a new study suggests bed-sharing is the leading cause of sleep-related deaths in younger infants. This suggests that the sleeping environment is safer when parents and babies sleep without any coverings at all. When people sleep under sheets or blankets, these coverings tend to end up over the baby’s face. Many parents sleep with their infants. Nearly half of the infants in a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shared a bed with their parents at least twice a week.