Should Your Baby Sleep In Your Bed?

Should baby sleep in her own cot or in bed with you? There are arguments on both sides.

Advantages:

  • Breastfeeding is easier, you don't have to get out of bed to feed baby.
  • Many mothers say baby sleeps better - if she wakes she is more likely to be comforted by your presence and heartbeat and go back to sleep.
  • You will probably get more sleep.

Disadvantages:

  • Other mothers can't sleep for fear that they will roll over and suffocate baby.
  • They wake any time baby makes the slightest noise.
  • Baby's presence could disrupt your sex life.

According to the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths:

  • The safest place for baby to sleep for the first 6 months is in a cot in your room.
  • Never sleep together on a sofa or armchair - it is easy to suffocate baby who can sink into the soft surface.
  • Do NOT share a bed with baby if you smoke, have drunken alcohol or take drugs that make you drowsy, are ill or are exceptionally tired (how many mothers are not exceptionally tired in those first few months?!!).
  • A recent study found the risk of infant death doubles if you co-sleep before 8 weeks, and if either partner smokes this risk increases eleven-fold.
  • Make sure baby's room is not too warm, use lightweight sheets or blankets in her cot, and never use duvets or pillows as she may overheat or suffocate.

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