Of all the ways mothers and babies can sleep, breastsleeping is perhaps the most convenient. Just like the name implies, breastsleeping is simply bed sharing with lots of breastfeeding in the mix. Like any sleep method, there are a few breastsleeping red flags to keep an eye out for, but with the proper safety precautions in place, breastsleeping is a straightforward, convenient, and healthy way for mothers and babies to sleep together and get all the rest they need.
According to the man who coined the phrase, James McKenna of the Mother Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, breastsleeping is “bedsharing with breastfeeding in the absence of all known hazardous factors." It relies heavily on a set of “rules” that researchers say will make the sleeping environment as safe as possible. An article from MedScape noted that breastsleeping seems to contradict many of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for safe infant sleep. However, it also states, that a large majority of parents admit to breastsleeping anyway, believing it can be (and usually is) done safely.
The article goes on to say that parents will continue to breastsleep, and so knowing how to do it safely is key to having a healthy, restful sleep situation. Ensuring the absence of all of these red flags will keep your child safe, and both of you well-rested.