If you are expecting a baby, you have probably read countless articles and blog posts on safe baby sleep, SIDS statistics, and took in so much information you feel your head might explode. Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to make co-sleeping with your baby safer and give you the peace of mind you need (so you can finally get some sleep!)
Which is why I chose to co sleep! I was getting out of bed almost hourly to check on my baby, and I was driving myself absolutely crazy.
Co-sleeping totally helped me get through the newborn phase.
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There are several reasons you might choose to co sleep, and if you decide to, here are some tips to make it safer and to give you the peace of mind you need to get a good nights sleep!
In the before mentioned countless articles you’ve probably read on baby sleep, they always mention a firm mattress being a key factor in a safe sleep environment for baby, and for good reason. Your mattress doesn’t have to be stiff as a board, but you definitely want it to be reasonably firm to make co-sleeping safer.
The problem with a bed that is too plush is that it poses a suffocation risk for your precious baby. Don’t worry, your bed can still be comfy and cozy, it just doesn’t necessarily need to be as soft as a pillow.
PICK A PARENT FOR THE BABY TO SLEEP BESIDE
When my husband goes to sleep, he sleeps hard. I am seriously jealous of how well he sleeps. I have always joked that he dies when he sleeps, because most the time, there is no waking him up!
Since he sleeps so deeply, I kept the baby on my side to prevent him rolling over on her. I would let them cuddle until he fell asleep, then I would snatch her up and put her on my side.
If you and your partner are both light sleepers, you may feel fine about your baby sleeping in the middle of the bed, it’s all up to you!
SIDE-CAR A CRIB
I really wanted to do this, but we got so busy during my third trimester that it never happened! Side caring a crib consists of removing one of the rails and pushing it directly against the side of your adult bed, then securing it.
This sounded like the perfect way to give my daughter her own safe sleep environment, while keeping my space all at the same time. My husband is pretty handy so I was gonna put him in charge of this project, but this helpful tutorial makes it look simple enough.
GET A CO-SLEEPER
If having your baby close enough to touch sounds good, but you would rather them not be in the bed with you, a co-sleeper is a great option! I have not personally used one, but while I was pregnant I did a ton of research and was going to purchase the Arms Reach Co Sleeper.
It has wonderful reviews on Amazon and I considered it a good option for my safe sleeping needs. A co-sleeper is similar to side-caring a crib, except without all the setup that comes with it. A co-sleeper is also a much more portable option.
Regardless of how hot or cold the room is, I always feel the need to sleep with a blanket, maybe because my mom kept the house so cold when I was growing up, I don’t know.
However, I was always scared that the blanket would cover my baby’s face during the night, causing her difficulties with breathing, but I still wanted her covered and warm. This is where the Halo Sleep Sack comes in. I absolutely love my baby’s sleep sack and she is a fan too!
With her sleep sack I was able to keep my comforter completely off of her while keeping her warm at the same time. We have been using the sleep slack since she was born, but she is finally about to outgrow it, so I will be buying the next size up very soon!
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
If you are expecting your first child, you will be very surprised with how well your instincts kick in to protect your precious baby. I have woken up out of a dead sleep to find my arm up, holding my husband from rolling over onto the baby. My body unconsciously felt him moving and threw my arm up to stop him from rolling over.
He may have not even been trying to roll over, but my body was not going to take that chance. Mom instincts are strong, and if you have a funny feeling about something, you probably need to trust it! Therefore, if you have a bad feeling about sleeping with baby in your bed, a crib or bassinet is great option as well!
Like I’ve said before, co-sleeping is not ideal for everyone. Some people much prefer their own sleep space and would rather their baby have their own sleep space. As a parent, you have to do what is best for you and your family! Use your instincts and do what you feel is right!
What are some ways you made co sleeping safer? If you co slept, did you enjoy it? When did you stop co sleeping?
I am currently trying to transition my daughter to sleeping in her crib after co sleeping, if you have experience with this, feel free to share your tips in the comments!