Baby Bed Safety - How safe is co-sleeping with your baby?
Baby bed safety
Baby's safety in the adult or family bed can trigger conflicting advice among health care professionals.
Some warn us for the increased risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and others insist co-sleeping can save babies‘ lives.
A survey from the National Center for Health Statistics from 1991 to 1999 found that 25% of American families always, or almost always, slept with their baby in bed, 42% slept with their baby "sometimes", and 32% never co-slept with their baby.
Many mothers take their baby in the family bed.
Especially breastfeeding mothers tend to take their baby in the adult bed so they don't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
They also enjoy the closeness of sleeping with their child. Mothers have been sleeping with their babies since ancient times.
How can the adult bed become a hazard to your child?
Possible dangers are:
- Falling of the bed
- Suffocation by heavy blankets or duvets.
- Too many pillows on the bed.
- Getting trapped between the mattress and the wall.
- Getting overheated and increasing the risk of SIDS.
On May the 14th, 2014, Govenor Snyder has taken the initiative and signed the "infant safe sleep act" which requires hospitals in Michigan to educate parents about unsafe sleep habits including the risks of bed sharing.
Bed sharing or co-sleeping can also put stress on your relationship and have a negative effect on your sex life. Many fathers feel neglected when mothers take their baby in the family bed.
Another negative point, that mothers often realize when it is too late, is that a baby gets used to sleeping together and refuses to sleep alone when she gets older.
Baby bed safety - rules for co-sleeping
- Do not sleep with your baby if you have been drinking.
- Sleeping tablets can also make you sleep so deep that you may not notice rolling on top and suffocating your baby.
- Be extra careful if you are overweight. Your baby may roll towards you in the dip of the mattress while you sleep.
A safer way is to put a smaller crib or bassinet next to your bed if you want to sleep close to your baby.
The Arm's reach co-sleeper bedside bassinet offers a safe and comfortable way for you and your baby to sleep next to each other.
This mini co-sleeper can be turned into a bassinet or playard.
Because of it's size it is ideal for smaller bedrooms. Some of the Arm's reach co-sleepers have wheels on one end, so can easily be moved from one room to the other.
The Co-Sleeper system is recommended baby bed safety by pediatricians as a way for parents to connect with their infants.
Co-sleeping with your toddler
To prevent your toddler from falling of the bed consider using child safety bedrails.
Check out the safety 1st Secure Top Bed Rail shown left.
Be careful because some of these bedrails are only made for older children.
There have been cases where a young baby became trapped in the space between the rail and the mattress.