Cosleeping. Possibly the best/worst decision I’ve made in my life. It’s all cute & cuddling when they’re fresh, 20 months later you’re fighting for room on your own bed.
While cosleeping isn’t always recommended, there are ways to positively sleep with your little one. Let me start by saying that cosleeping is a parental personal choice. Always do what’s best and comfortable for yourself mama. Cosleeping just so happened to be what worked for my family and me. Over the years, I’ve co-slept with my oldest for 4 years, my middle for 18 months, and my youngest for 4 months.
What is Co-Sleep?
Co-sleeping is sleeping with your baby nearby compared to them being in their room. It can just be room-sharing, which could be in a bassinet or a crib within your room. Or actual bed-sharing, which would be your babe sleeping with you in your bed.
As a mama coming home from the hospital with a tiny baby, it has given me comfort knowing that my babies are close to me and that I’m able to get to them easily. And as a breastfeeding mama, all my children have at one point, slept in the same bed as me because of middle-of-the-night feeding. So I’ve done my fair share of research on the best ways to bedshare with my babes.
My Tips for Bed-Sharing
The “C” shape method. This is laying on your side and curving your body in a “C” shape around your baby. This helps prevent you from rolling over on the baby.
No blanket on baby/Light clothing. Babies don’t typically need blankets and the same rule applies when they’re bedsharing. You don’t want your little one to overheat while using a blanket or wearing too much clothing. We use footie pajamas for the girls and that keeps them warm enough on a cold night and cool when it’s summertime.
No pillow/Firm Mattress. Babies do not need nor benefit from any of the extra fluff that pillows or pillow top mattresses offer. Just like if the baby was sleeping by themselves in a crib, remove any added padding or pillows from the baby’s sleep area.
Baby laying flat on their back. Studies have shown by laying your baby flat on their back reduces the risk of SIDS. Laying the babies flat allows them to keep their airways open and avoid airway blockage.
Bed-sharing Vs Co-sleeping
For my littlest babe, we don’t typically bed-share with her because she’s so young. We do however co-sleep with her in her bassinet right next to our bed. This allows her to be safe in her own space while she’s still very little, but close enough to us for when she wakes up in the middle of the night.
My toddler, on most nights, does bed share with my fiancee and me while her crib is in the room. With her crib in the room it allows us to work on her transition to becoming an independent sleeper, but still having the comfort of mom and dad nearby.
And similar to bed-sharing, I make sure to follow certain guidelines for how my babies sleep in their beds too:
- Flat on their back
- No pillows or covers
- Light clothing
Mamas, please remember to never bed-share with your littles if you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or if you are overly tired. And that may sound silly telling anyone with a baby younger than one-year-old, but you want to make sure you’re alert enough to hear your baby in the event they become in distress.
Co-sleeping and bed-sharing are completely personal decisions that you can make after doing your own research. Mamas always remember to do what’s best for you and your baby.
XOXO – A Busy Mama