(This is your happy medium!) As the baby grows and enters the toddler stage, he or she will be better prepared for falling asleep in their own room. Often parents think it’s best to place the baby between them, but we don’t recommend this. Ideally, you move away from your baby a bit during the night, both for safety reasons, to improve your sleep and to not make your baby completely dependent on your body contact for sleeping. As you look at ways to help your little one fall asleep quickly and remain safe and secure through the night, you’ve probably come across the idea of co-sleeping. McKenna and Gettler say because breastfeeding is a protective factor against SIDS, “safe bed-sharing may actually exert a protective effect against SIDS." 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 … It could be an open-faced crib or a specific type of bed that’s designed for this function. Professor of Biological Anthropology, Director, Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory, University of Notre Dame. Infants a year or less should not sleep with other/older child siblings -- but always with a person who can take responsibility for the infant being in the bed. The baby sleeps in a room separate to the parents or caregiver.Bed-sharing. Aside from never letting an infant sleep outside the presence of a committed adult, i.e. In 1963, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) became a medical concern, and the death rate was two to three babies per 1,000 live births in most Western nations. Keep pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals out of the bed until your baby is old enough to exert enough motor control to move them if they cover the face. See how to safely share a bed with your child and how it benefits the both of you. Mom and child are at approximately the same level, and they have physical access to each other. The best choice is to place the mattress on the floor, making sure there are no crevices that your baby can become wedged in. It may be in the same bed or just in the same room. While some people consider co-sleeping to mean that baby is within arm’s reach, others qualify it as parents and baby sleeping in the same room. Everyone wins in this scenario. Some of the links included are directly geared toward co-sleeping. Bringing baby onto a sleep surface when co-sleeping is possible, whether intended or not.Room-sharing. Drag … While this is an unpleasant and uncomfortable topic, it is one that is worth thinking about before you make the choice to cosleep/bedshare with your infant. There has been a lot of media claiming that sleeping with your baby in an adult bed is unsafe and can result in accidental smothering of an infant. Beginning at the age of 1, co-sleeping is generally considered safe. Extremely obese persons or others who may have difficulty feeling where exactly or how close their infant is in relation to their own body, may wish to have the infant sleep alongside but on a different surface, such as a cosleeper attachment. SAFE SLEEP FOR BREASTFEEDING BABIES. Mom doesn’t have to get up and go into another room. This decreases the risk of suffocation and choking. Contact Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, Teresa Pitman Photo: Weaver by Lisa on Location Photography Excerpted from Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family, Chapter 2: The Safe Sleep Seven, by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, Teresa Pitman, a La Leche League International book, Ballantine Books, 2014. If you’re like most new parents, then you’re probably constantly worried about keeping your baby safe. The bedding needs of an infant are drastically different than what’s recommended for an adult. Persons taking sedatives, medications or drugs, or intoxicated from alcohol or other substances, or otherwise excessively unable to arouse easily from sleep should not cosleep on the same surface with the infant. It is important to realize that the physical and social conditions under which infant-parent cosleeping occur, in all it's diverse forms, can and will determine the risks or benefits of this behavior. The best position for co-sleeping is on your side facing your baby. 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