Sleeping With Your Baby Is A Great Way To Bond With Your Precious Newborn. Find Out What Infant Safety Measures You Should Be Taking When Co-Sleeping With Your Little One...
More and more parents are discovering the joy of sleeping together with their brand-new miracle. After living every moment for nine whole months with a little blessing inside, no mother wants to miss out on a single moment of cuddle time.
And what better way to bond and snuggle with a newborn baby than to lie down together to sleep? Baby feels safe and secure, and mom drifts away on dreams of sweet-smelling baby breath and soft-as-silk baby locks.
Numerous authorities on the subject, including several well-known pediatricians claim that sleeping with the mother is beneficial to infant sleep, resulting in safe sleep by reducing the risk of SIDS dramatically and negating the risk of other crib-related accidents. But, they add, it must be done with infant safety in mind...
So the big question is how can you co-sleep safely with your baby?
While there have been incidences of infant suffocation while sleeping in an adult bed, infant safety experts maintain that the majority of these could have been prevented by following the safe sleep safety precautions outlined below...
Sleeping with your baby is recommended by pediatricians and sleep research experts, including James J. McKenna, PhD, the recognized leading authority on the subject.
No matter where your baby sleeps, place him on his back.
Use a bedside crib or cosleeper when your baby is very young - it's the safest option.
Dress your baby in safe sleep wear such as a sleeping sack and do not over bundle her.
Make sure that your bedroom and any other room your baby may have access to if he manages to escape your bed, is child proof. Sooner or later your precious little one will mutate into a mischievous toddler. They love to explore. Always bear infant safety in mind.
Use a large mattress to provide plenty of space. Baby will be less likely to overheat and hubby will appreciate not being relegated to the last six inches of mattress after you and baby are comfy! -
Queen or King-size is best.
Make sure there are no gaps or crevices between the mattress and guard rails or walls, or between the guard rail and headboards and footboards. Check this every night. Babies can become entrapped and strangle or suffocate.
Sheets must be securely fitted with no possibility of them being pulled loose. Babies can become entangled in loose sheets and suffocate.
The infant sleeps between mom and the wall or rail, not between parents or beside an older sibling. Siblings and fathers do not have the same instinctual awareness of the baby's position as do mothers and are more likely to roll over on the baby.
Pay attention to your own sensitivity to your baby. If you sleep too deeply and only awaken at the sound of a loud cry, your baby may not be safe next to you. You should awaken with the minimum of movement or noise.
The Don'ts Of Safe Co-Sleeping
The don'ts of safe sleep with your baby are just as important as the do's. Make sure you are aware of them...
NEVER co-sleep if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication that may make you drowsy or if you are suffering from sleep deprivation. Your sensitivity to your baby will be impaired.
Yes I know that all new moms suffer with sleep deprivation! Infant sleep patterns are not usually ideal. But the co-sleeping arrangement does minimize it - it's one of the great benefits of sleeping with your baby.
If you are a large person check whether the indentation in the mattress is enough to cause baby to roll towards you into the dip. If he does there is a risk of smothering - rather move him into his own crib to be safe.
Be very careful about using blankets and pillows. Rather dress yourself and baby warmly and use minimal covers. (Make sure that your baby does not become overheated though. Warm bodies together produce extra heat.)
Never co-sleep with your baby on a soft surface such as a couch, beanbag or waterbed. Soft surfaces increase the risk of suffocation.
Don't wear anything that could entangle your baby such as jewelry or night clothes with long ribbons.
Don't use strongly scented lotions or perfumes. They will affect your baby's delicate senses, deprive him of the security of your maternal smell, and mask the natural baby smells that you should be making the most of!
Never let your infant sleep alone in an adult bed unless it is on the floor, in a childproof room and you are using a baby monitor to listen for her.
Never let your infant sleep with pets. Pets can suffocate little ones - it's very dangerous.
Siblings and baby sitters should never co-sleep with your baby. They are not sensitive enough to the presence of an infant's small body.
Co-sleeping with your precious newborn is one of life's indescribable pleasures.
Make sure you do it bearing infant safety in mind and enjoy it. They grow up so fast!
There are far more baby nursery safety issues than those covered above.
The best way to make sure you have everything covered is to use a nursery safety checklist when you are setting up your nursery.