I've waited a while to write a post on co-sleeping and SIDS risks because there are so many different opinions on whether or not co-sleeping actually leads to SIDS. After doing A TON of research, I've determined that co-sleeping can actually be great for your baby if certain precautions are used. THIS study monitored 40 infants ages 0-6 months who had been sleeping in their parents beds and compared their sleeping habits to 40 infants who had been sleeping alone in their crib. The study found that while the co-sleeping infants were more easily exposed to re-breathing, they were able to respond effectively and remain safe. Mothers also woke up and removed any bedding that was close to, or covering the infants face. I would recommend that every mother read this article because it's so informative on how babies respond to dangers while sleeping, but if you're just looking for the precautions of co-sleeping, here they are:
- Sleep in a king sized bed if possible, to give everyone enough room
- Be sure there are no wide crevices between the mattress and the bed rail that your infants head could slip into
- Never allow infants to sleep in the same bed as caregivers or children. They might not have the same awareness of a baby's presence that parents do.
- Don't fall asleep with your baby on a surface that isn't firm such as a couch or a bean bag. They could suffocate by getting caught inside the crevices.
A great way to resolve co-sleeping worries is by having your infant sleep in a bedside co-sleeper. These attach to the parents bed making night time feedings and provides the comfort of having your baby close to you. I hope that this article post has calmed your fears of co-sleeping, and that if you do continue to have your infant sleep with in your bed, you will practice it safely.