CoSleeping Safety: The Do’s and Don’ts


Prevent Rolling Out

Ask Dr. Sears

Take precautions to prevent baby from rolling out of bed, even though it is unlikely when baby is sleeping next to mother. Like heat-seeking missiles, babies automatically gravitate toward a warm body. Yet, to be sure you are cosleeping safely, place baby between mother and a guardrail or push the mattress flush against the wall and position baby between mother and the wall. Guardrails enclosed with plastic mesh are safer than those with slats, which can entrap baby’s limbs or head. Be sure the guardrail is flush against the mattress so there is no crevice that baby could sink into. ~Ask Dr. Sears

Mind The Gap

The bed should be flush against a guard-rail or the wall. Insert pillows or tightly-rolled blanket if there is a gap. Remember that a guard-rail that is designed to keep a toddler or preschooler from rolling out of bed may not be safe for an infant. (An infant is much smaller, so the guard-rail may pose an entrapment risk.) ~WikiHow


Avoid Suffocating Fabrics

The bed should not have any stuffed animals or pillows around the infant and never should an infant be placed to sleep on top of a pillow or otherwise soft bedding.

Sheepskins or other fluffy material and especially beanbag mattresses should never be used with infants. Waterbeds can be especially dangerous to infants too, and no matter the type of mattress, it should always tightly intersect the bed-frame to leave no gaps or space. Infants should never sleep on couches or sofas with or without adults as they can slip down (face first) into the crevice or get wedged against the back of a couch where they may suffocate.


Leave Baby in Bed Alone

cosleepYour baby could easily fall out of your bed, even if you’ve just nipped to the loo. Don’t let your baby sleep on a pillow, or put pillows either side of him. He may roll off a pillow, or be smothered in the folds of pillow supporting him.

Instead, put your baby in a safe place, such as a Moses basket or cot, while you are out of the room. ~BabyCentre

Sleep With Very Young Babies

If your baby is six months or younger, it’s safest for him to sleep in a cot next to your bed, rather than in your bed. This will reduce the chances of your baby getting too hot under your bedding. Overheating increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  ~BabyCentre

Allow Older Siblings to Join

Don’t allow older siblings to sleep with a baby under nine months. Sleeping children do not have the same awareness of tiny babies as do parents, and too small or too crowded a bed space is not a good arrangement for cosleeping safely. ~Ask Dr. Sears

A Potentially Safer Alternative

If you are set on sleeping close to baby, but fearful of the risks, you could try a special bassinet like the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper:

A cross between a bassinet and a co-sleeper, the Bassinest swivels 360 degrees (I loved co-sleeping, but had to crawl to the end of the bed to get out!) and the side lowers for easy access to baby. You can lock it, or allow it to lower with gentle pressure, then return to the original position for safety. The stable base easily adjusts to fit beds from 24″ to 36″ without buying anything extra. 

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