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Our Favourite Facts About Co-Sleeping

Among other things, our relationship with sleep changes dramatically when we become parents. We've looked at the things you should consider when deciding if sharing a bed with your baby is the right thing for your family

 

Sleep can be a controversial subject for parents, regardless of whether your children slept through the night from when they were a couple of months old, or you've accepted broken sleep as a part of your life for the unforeseeable future.

All parents make desicions about how to raise their children, some more debated than others. If you think that co-sleeping is something that would work for your family, here are a few facts to keep in mind to make sure it's safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Advice for co-sleeping

1. Keep the bedding light

When co-sleeping with babies you should avoid using heavy bedding, and pillows should be kept away, as they could potentially suffocate a small child. Also bear in mind that babies can become overheated if sharing a bed with warm adults and a lot of heavy bedding. Make sure you take the recommended precautions to avoid the risks of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

2. Take safety precautions

Avoid beds with headboards, side rails or footboards with slats in them where a baby's head can get stuck. Also be aware of crevices between the mattress and the wall, and having your bed nearby any curtains or blinds with long leads or cords that could strangle a baby. You should avoid co-sleeping if you are a smoker, if you have been drinking, are on medication that makes you drowsy or are under the influence of drugs. You should also avoid sleeping with your baby on the sofa, or on any soft surfaces such as a waterbed.

3. Consider getting an attachment for your bed

If you worry about sharing a bed with your child, or your bed is not big enough but you would still like to try it, consider getting a crib or bassinet that you can attach to the side of your bed. This way, baby and parents have their own sleeping space, but they are still within arm's reach.

Babies under six months old should always be sleeping on their back.

4. Breastfeeding

Some mums find that co-sleeping can be more convenient for nigh-time breastfeeding - it could make it easier to feed and then go back to sleep. Studies have shown that mothers who share a bed with their babies are more likely to breastfeed, and do it for longer.

5. Talk it over with your partner

Safety tips for co-sleeping

Parents don't always agree on everything when it comes to raising children - which is why it's important to talk about the choices you want to make and try and find a solution that works for both parties. If you share a bed with your partner, co-sleeping is likely to affect them, so it's important to let them have a say in the decision. If they are uncomfortable with the idea, you can try a compromise such as having your baby's bassinet right next to your bed, or buying a crib that can be attached to your bed.

 
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