Sleeping with Your Baby & Bed-Sharing: What Not to Do

Don't let the latest fads deter you from the best and safest way to help your baby fall asleep.

Bed-sharing can be a hotly debated topic amongst parents when it comes to baby sleep. But it seems sleeping with your baby, or "co-sleeping" as many refer to it, has once again been thrust into the spotlight thanks to some pointed words from celebrity mom Kourtney Kardashian.

In a recent article, Kardashian swears by "bed-sharing" as her secret to getting more sleep. With three young children, we can understand Kourtney wanting to get as much sleep as possible for herself and her kids, but co-sleeping may not be the answer.

Why Sleeping With Your Baby Can Be Dangerous

Contrary to popular belief, using sleep props may not be the best way to help a child fall asleep and stay asleep, but most of them don't actually place a baby at risk. There is, however, one sleep arrangement that has proven dangerous: sleeping in the same bed with an infant

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths". Their recommendations for a safe sleep environment include

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  • supine positioning
  • the use of a firm sleep surface
  • room-sharing without bed-sharing
  • the avoidance of soft bedding

As you can see, while the AAP supports room sharing for infants, they clearly do not recommend bed-sharing.

So Where Should Baby Sleep?

So where should baby sleep? Ideally, the question should be answered before bringing baby home from the hospital and needs to take several factors into consideration. There are both advantages and disadvantages to having baby sleep in your room. Since a newborn needs to feed every three hours, having baby in the parents' room can be extremely helpful in the middle of the night. However, keeping baby in your room can infringe on your sleep if you feel compelled to constantly check on baby or jump at every noise they make.

While you may not want to have baby sleep in their own room for the first few weeks, sharing a room after four weeks can postpone baby's ability to sleep through the night upward to four months. If you are hesitant about baby sleeping away from you, consider purchasing a monitor, which would alert you to any immediate need baby might have. 


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The Safest Sleeping Option for Baby

Taking all factors into consideration, the best and safest way to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep is the natural way. Instead of sleep props or bed-sharing, confidently establish a basic sleep routine to promote restful sleep. Feed baby, rock and love him, then put him down in his own crib or bassinet before he falls asleep.

What safe sleeping practices have you found to work best for your baby? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.

Sami Cone

Sami Cone

Best-Selling Author & Speaker

Sami Cone is the best-selling author of "Raising Uncommon Kids", is known as the "Frugal Mom" on Nashville's top-rated talk show "Talk of the Town" and educates over a million listeners every day on her nationally syndicated "Family Money Minute". She is proud to call Nashville home with her husband, Rick, and their two ‘tweenage' children.

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