Co-Sleeping with Newborn: Is It Safe?

Co-sleeping with newborns is a common practice that involves parents and their infants sharing a sleeping space. While some parents swear by co-sleeping to promote bonding and ease the demands of nighttime feedings, others prefer to have their baby sleep in a separate space. This blog explores when is it safe to co-sleep with a newborn and provides information to help parents decide what might work best for their families.

Different Sleeping Practices with Newborns

Here are some of the most common sleeping practices with newborns

  • Room-Sharing

    This entails putting the infant to bed in the parents' room but in a different cot or bassinet. Pediatricians frequently advise room sharing as a secure and practical approach to watching over newborns while giving them their sleeping space.

  • Bed-Sharing

    The baby shares the same bed with the parents. Bed sharing can strengthen relationships and simplify breastfeeding.

  • Co-Sleeping

    Depending on the situation, this phrase can refer to bed or room-sharing. Co-sleeping generally refers to any practice where parents and their infants sleep next to one another.

  • Having a Solo Bed

    This involves having the infant sleep in a separate room, either a cot or a bassinet. Certain parents prefer to sleep separately for their own comfort or to mitigate the potential risks associated with sharing a bed.

When Is It Safe to Co-Sleep?

People often wonder– is it safe to sleep with a newborn in bed? Some methods of co-sleeping are harmless, while others may endanger an infant's health. The American Academy of Paediatrics strongly advises against bed sharing but highly encourages room sharing.

Even while these professionals advise against sharing a bed with a baby, many parents nevertheless opt to do so. Cultural and other variables impact the decision to bed share. Up to 60% of infants younger than a year old share a bed with a caretaker.

It's important for parents to consider the potential risks and benefits of co-sleeping and take measures to ensure that their baby is sleeping in a safe and secure environment.

Why Do Parents Choose Co-Sleeping with Newborns?

Here are some reasons why parents may choose to co-sleep with their newborn

  • Bonding: Co-sleeping can facilitate a close bond between parents and their newborns, as they are near each other during the night.
  • Convenience: Co-sleeping can make it easier for parents to breastfeed and respond to their baby's needs at night without getting out of bed.
  • Sleep patterns: Some babies may have difficulty sleeping alone, they tend to have a deeper sleep near their parents.
  • Medical concerns: In some cases, co-sleeping may be recommended by a healthcare provider as a way to monitor a newborn's breathing or other medical issues.

Risks of Co-Sleeping with a Newborn

The following are some possible dangers of sharing a bed with a newborn

  • Suffocation: When you co-sleep with a newborn, there are high chances of suffocation from a soft mattress, waterbed, or bedding.
  • Overheating: Being in close proximity with an infant can increase the risk of overheating and respiratory issues.
  • Enhanced SIDS: Co-sleeping increases the risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) due to suffocation, particularly if the baby is preterm or with low birth weight.
  • Parental Sleep Disruption: Congestion, less nightly sleep, more overnight awakenings, and higher sleep anxiety can cause parental sleep disruption.

Tips and Precautions for Safer Co-Sleeping

Here are a few tips and safety measures for co-sleeping with a baby

  • Use a firm mattress: Make sure the surface on which the baby sleeps is firm and not too soft.
  • Avoid soft bedding: Soft bedding, such as pillows and blankets, can pose a suffocation hazard. Instead, use a fitted sheet and dress the baby appropriately for the temperature.
  • Sleep on your back: Sleeping on your back reduces the risk of accidentally covering your baby's face with your body or bedding.
  • Keep the baby nearby: Place the baby's crib or bassinet in the same room as the parents.

Get the Right Guidance at North Atlanta Women’s Care

At North Atlanta Women's Care, we assist new mothers in caring for their infants through child-birthing classes in Suwanee, GA. We offer practical instruction and best-in-class labor services to assist new mothers in feeling more comfortable and confident. Contact us today to start designing your personalized parenting plan!



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