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Precautions To Take While Co-Sleeping With Your Newborn

4 min read

Having a baby is a responsibility as much as it is a privilege. A baby requires constant attention. This is a reason why most parents opt for co-sleeping with the baby, especially in the Indian subcontinent. Babies have tendencies to get startled easily and wake up several times during the night. Hence, it is advisable to co-sleep with the baby especially when he is young for various reasons that are enlisted here.
Co-sleeping with baby

12 Precautions To Take While Co-Sleeping With Your Newborn

However, apart from the fact that co-sleeping with the baby is beneficial for both the mother and the baby, you need to pay attention so as to provide your baby a safe sleeping environment. If you are planning to or are already co-sleeping with your baby there are some precautions that you need to take as follows:

    1. Consult your partner: If you are planning to co –sleep or even considering it, you must consult your partner. Co-sleeping with your baby needs to be a joint decision. You must talk about the pros and cons and arrive to a mutual decision. Co-sleeping with the baby can hamper private time of couples and also cause a little discomfort since both the parents need to be constantly aware of the baby’s presence
    2. Consider the baby’s age: Another factor that you need to consider before co-sleeping with your baby is the baby’s age. Infants are prone to infections and you need to be extra careful around them. It is recommended that a newborn sleeps alone in a different cot or bed to avoid overheating. Overheating can lead to sudden infant death syndrome; always place the baby on his back to sleep
    3. Invest in a big bed: Now that you have a tiny baby sharing the bed, you will need extra room. Even though the baby is small you need to make sure the baby has ample space. Under any circumstances do not crowd the bed. The baby needs to be in a spacious environment to avoid overheating. Also safe distance from the baby ensures that you won’t accidentally hurt the baby by moving your limbs in your sleep
    4. Place baby beside the mother: Instead of placing the baby between the father and the mother, its is advisable to place the baby just adjacent to the mother. Mothers are more aware of their baby’s presence and can wake up easily even when in deep sleep. It is unlikely that a mother will roll over her baby, given her acute sense of awareness. Fathers, on the other hand, take some time to develop such keen awareness
    5. Invest in a sidecar/ beside co-sleeper if necessary: In any case if you cannot co –sleep with your baby, you may opt for a sidecar which is placed just at an arm’s length. Also, later if you realize that your bed isn’t big enough for the baby, instead of cramping it up and adjusting invest in a side cot that you can fix next to the bed. It will be as good as sleeping next to the baby without causing any harm to your baby. Plus, you can hear and feel the baby from a safe distance
    6. Re- arrange the bed: Co-sleeping with a baby requires plenty of planning and prepping. You need to make sure the bed is big. If you plan to make you baby sleep in the corner of the bed make sure there are no gaps between the bed and the wall. There are chances that your baby may move in his sleep and fall off the bed. Rearrange your bed and furniture accordingly

parents with baby

  1. Sofa is never an option: If you decide on co-sleeping, rule out sofa beds and recliners. Your baby and you need to be comfortable while sleeping, even if the sofa in question is big it will not be the most safest and comfortable option for your baby. The crease of the sofa seat and the back rest can especially be harmful since your baby’s delicate limbs might get stuck there
  2. Appropriate mattress: The mattress that you use for co-sleeping must always be firm and sturdy. However tempting soft mattresses are they could suffocate your baby and can also cause overheating. Soft mattress especially foam mattresses also tend take your body shape and make the surface of the bed bumpy. Your baby needs a firm mattress so that he or she doesn’t roll around on the bed
  3. Get rid of soft cushions: As it is the baby will require ample safe if you are co-sleeping with your child; soft toys and cushions take up a lot of space. Also keeping too many cushions next to the baby can be hazardous. If the baby rolls in the night, he might get suffocated. Hence avoid too many pillows and cushions next to the baby
  4. Avoid co-sleeping if: If you or your partner is obese avoid co sleeping since it can cause overheating and the baby might even feel suffocated. Also if either of the parents is under the influence of alcohol or drug co-sleeping must be avoided. If the bed is unstable and the mattress is free floating co-sleeping is not recommended
  5. Sleep Safe: Reserve all the fancy fragrances and smells for an occasion when you are sleeping only with your partner. Not only these smells make your baby feel unfamiliar, since she cannot smell your body’s scent that she is used to and feels comfortable in, such smells can also cause irritation or clogging in baby’s nasal passages. Also avoid lingerie with long strings, or long earrings or fancy night dresses as the baby is likely to get caught up into them
  6. Be responsible: Sleeping with a baby is nothing short of a responsibility. If you are co- sleeping with the baby you need to be constantly aware of the baby’s presence. You will have to restrict your movements while sleeping as well no as to hurt of disturb the baby. Make sure the bed you sleep in clean and also abstain from wearing strong fragrances before going to bed. Use your best judgment and decide what is good for you and the baby
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