Are you on the fence about whether or not you should bed-share with your baby? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room with you, but not in the same bed.
In 2014, a study was published in the journal Pediatrics that stated of 8,207 infant deaths analyzed, about 70% of those infants (ages 0-4 months) were bed-sharing at the time of their death. “Bed-sharing for 0-4 month old babies is extremely risky,” Rachel Moon, M.D., a pediatrician and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) researcher at Children’s National Health Hospital and an author on the study, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “In this study, this sleep situation presented the most important risk for infants in this age group.”
So what is the safest sleep environment for you and your baby? Put the baby’s crib or bassinet next to your bed, within arm’s reach. This will allow you to have quick and easy access to your baby for feedings and for comforting. There are even cribs that securely attach to the side of the bed, leaving the side next to the parents’ bed open so it is even easier for mother and baby to reach each other. Having your baby sleep in the same room with you also reduces their chance of SIDS by 50% (AAP).
Co-sleeping has so many advantages for both the mother and the baby (including more sleep- who doesn’t love more sleep?!). Ask your pediatrician before making any decisions regarding different methods of co-sleeping and bed-sharing to make sure you have all the information. Learn more about the difference between co-sleeping, room-sharing, and bed-sharing here.