Snuggling your newborn through the night sounds ideal. Breastfeeding will be easier and you’ll get more sleep. In reality, bed-sharing or cosleeping as its also called, can be deadly for your child. Alzein Pediatric Associates explains why cosleeping with your child, especially those under 12 months old, should always be avoided – and recommends room-sharing ideas instead.
Baby needs a very different sleep environment than you do.
To prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation, babies need very firm mattresses with a bottom, tightly fitted sheet only. Babies require a completely open bed – no blankets, no top sheets, no quilts, no pillows, no crib bumpers, no toys or other soft materials. Put your child in a close-fitting sleeper to keep them at a cool yet comfortable temperature.
Your bed is not built for a baby’s safety, even without blankets and pillows.
Your mattress shifts on the frame, creating space between the mattress and wall or headboard or footboards, where your child’s head or other body parts can pass through, causing strangulation. Your mattress is softer and “gives” more than a safety-approved baby mattress, causing your child to suffocate. Never let your child sleep on a waterbed. Your bed does not have closely spaced rails, preventing your baby from falling from a height.
Larger cosleepers are a grave danger.
Babies can be suffocated by anyone bed-sharing, even a toddler. Cosleepers are just that – asleep – and so are unaware of baby’s presence while moving. Especially of danger is an adult who is under the influence of any type of substance, from prescription drugs to alcohol and illegal drugs.
Room-sharing is the safer, better solution!
While cosleeping increases the risk of SIDS, room-sharing reduces it. Put Baby to sleep in a crib or bassinet placed next to your bed, with all safety advice followed. There are bassinets available that put your child right next to you, within arm’s reach, but eliminate the possibility of rolling onto your infant. Keep this room especially (and ideally your whole home) smoke free. Double-check that the crib is away from any draperies, blinds or cords.
Alzein Pediatric Associates can help you make a room-sharing plan, or break a cosleeping habit. Make an appointment by calling 708-424-7600 and we will be happy to help!