Sleeping with your infant helps to strengthen and cement the bond between mother and infant by allowing constant contact with each other.
Co-sleeping may reduce the risks of SIDS.
Mother gets more rest as she does not need to fully arouse herself to tend to the baby's needs and can thereby fall back alseep again much more quickly.
Baby's needs are met immediately so that they do not need to cry or fully awaken. This allows the baby to fall back asleep more easily.
Baby is fed much more regularily, ensuring a healthy milk supply and keeping mother's fertility at bay.
Sharing sleep with your baby allows working parents more time to reconnect with their baby at the day's end.
Because nothing in the world can beat waking up to that sweet, expectant smile every morning!
We have all heard the stories of babies being smothered by sleeping parents, and what with the CPSC reccomendations against sleep-sharing, the family bed can seem like a dangerous place. It does not have to be. The Family Bed can be as safe, and arguably safer for your baby than sleeping in a crib. Here's how to do it:
Never leave an infant in an adult bed unattended.
Have baby sleep between the mother and a barrier such as a bedrail or the wall. Mothers have a keen and natural awareness of their babies, even during sleep. Mothers will not overlay a baby. This, however, is not true for anybody else in the family. Fathers, caregivers, and siblings do not share this same natural awareness of baby, so they should not sleep next to them, especially when they are very small.
Sleep on a firm mattress to avoid baby re-breathing in the air that he has exhaled.
Always place baby on her back to sleep, NEVER on her tummy (unless otherwise indicated by your baby's doctor for medical reasons). Placing baby on her back to sleep is the number one way of reducing the risks of suffocation and SIDS.
Mother should not sleep with baby if she has been drinking or taking mind-altering medication or sedatives. Anything that reduces the mother's sense of awareness could be harmful to the baby.
Make sure that there are not any gaps between the bed and the wall, in between the headboard rails or between the bed and the bedrail. If there are any, pack them well with rolled up towels.
Keep heavy bedding and pillows away from baby.
If you are very obese, consider using a sidecar or bassinet placed next to the bed to ensure baby's safety.
Breastfeed your baby! Not only does it carry some protection of SIDS, but breastfeeding also serves to heighten the awareness between mother and infant.
Sleep facing your baby. It heightens your awareness of baby.
Do not sleep with your baby if you have a medical condition that requires heavy medication or could cause you to have seizures.
Do not co-sleep if you smoke. Studies have shown that babies who sleep with a parent who smokes are at a higher risk for SIDS.
Make sure that your baby does not become overheated at night. Dress him in a sleeper and cover him with a light receiving blanket. Do not cover him with comforters and adult heavy blankets.