Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

What the experts say about co-sleeping with your baby:

Do you sleep with your baby?
By Expert Tips
Date: January 03 2020
Editor Rating:
Oleg-sergeichik-mrsbkzrzflo-unsplash

Co-sleeping with your baby in your bed is still a popular way for new parents to get more shut eye, but the experts say it can be dangerous. While every parent is doing their best to manage the challenges of caring for a newborn, it’s important to understand the dangers of co-sleeping, the science behind these concerns, and what you can do to keep your baby safe while you all sleep.

What is co-sleeping?


Co-sleeping mostly refers to parents who sleep with their baby in their bed with them, which research suggests can be dangerous.

Red Nose Australia and Unicef UK both agree babies should sleep in their own space, usually in a cot or bassinet.  Red Nose also says: "Some families choose to bring baby to bed with them, but this isn’t always safe.”

Why do parents co-sleep with their babies?


Breastfeeding a newborn is taxing on any new mum, and being able to roll over and feed your baby, then fall back to sleep can mean new parents get more sleep than if they have to get up to feed.

Plus, many parents believe co-sleeping helps their baby feel safe and comforted, while being able to feel their baby next to them can also help new parents feel at ease that their baby is OK. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.


What are the risks of co-sleeping?


“Sharing a sleep surface with a baby (co-sleeping or bed-sharing) can increase the risk of SIDS (SUDI) and a considerable proportion of SIDS occur on a shared sleeping surface,” says Red Nose Australia. Sadly, 3000 babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in Australia.

Co-sleeping also increases the risk of fatal sleeping accidents such as your baby overheating or getting smothered by blankets.

Tips for safer co-sleeping


Red Nose Australia recommends these handy tips to make co-sleeping safer for your baby:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep, never on their tummy or side

  • Ensure your mattress is clean and firm

  • Keep pillows, duvets, blankets and bedding away from your baby so they can’t cover their face

  • Ensure your baby can’t fall off the bed. Some parents put their mattress on the floor to minimize this risk.

  • Move your bed away from the wall to ensure there are no small spaces between your bed and the wall for your baby to get stuck in.

  • Always place your baby on the side of one parent, and never between both parents, children or pets.

  • Dress your baby in a safe sleep bag with no hood (with gifted neck and arm holes) but do not swaddle your baby.

  • Tie up long hair, take off jewelry and remove teething necklaces so they don’t strangle your baby.


The bed you choose is important too


Soft, sagging beds put your baby at risk of rolling into you and overheating, or even worse, rolling off the edge of your bed. Soft, sagging mattresses also increase the risk of your covers becoming bunched in areas which is dangerous for your baby. A firm, flat mattress is the best solution if you plan to co-sleep.

If you do co-sleep, always follow these Red Nose six safe sleep recommendations:

  1. Always put your baby to sleep on their back

  2. Keep your baby's head and face uncovered

  3. Keep your baby smoke-free, before and after birth

  4. Create a safe sleeping environment, day and night

  5. Put your baby to sleep in your room in a safe cot

  6. Breastfeed baby (Breast feeding has been shown to be protective for SIDS by approximately 50% at all ages throughout infancy)

You should never co-sleep if:

  • You are very tired or feel unwell

  • You or your partner have drunk alcohol recently, even if you’re not drunk

  • You or your partner smoke at all, even if you don’t smoke in the bedroom. Research shows there is a much greater risk for SIDS if the mother smokes or if both parents smoke, and co-sleep.

  • You or your partner have taken any drugs that alter your awareness, including sleeping pills.

  • Your baby is unwell, was premature when they were born, or is small for their gestational age.


Most babies will end up co-sleeping with a parent at some point, but it’s important to understand the risks of this sleeping arrangement. Always follow the evidence-based recommendations by Red Nose Australia if you do co-sleep, and ensure you have a safe, firm and high quality bed if your baby is in it with you.

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Recent Comments
2 Total Comments
Maurice smith says: 2020 05 02
Rating:

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. a course in miracles review

Anonymous says: 2020 05 03
Rating:

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. sagaming

View All Comments
Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


Post a Comment
* your email address will not appear

Please enter the word you see in the image below:33343


Your Comment has been posted
Related Articles
Shipping-containers-freight-wallpaper-preview

Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Vtech giveaway motherpedia

Win 1 of 3 VTech Toys Pack Giveaway
Playtime is so much more with VTech

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!

Bruno-kelzer-zqzuigxcvrq-unsplash

Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.