The family bed has long been a traditional custom in many cultures. My own mother-in-law always shared a bed — first with her parents, and then with her two younger sisters — until she grew up and got married. Because co-sleeping has remained popular, especially among breastfeeding moms, experts have come up with guidelines to keep babies as safe as possible when sleeping in their parent's beds. If you are considering keeping your baby with you overnight, there are some
things you should do before you start bed sharing.
turn to co-sleeping as a means to get more rest. According to research by Dr. Sears, mothers and babies who sleep together tend be in the same stage of sleep for longer periods, which helps everyone in the household to get more rest. Additionally, What To Expect noted that babies who share a bed with their parents tend to fall asleep more easily at bed time, and go back to sleep more quickly when they wake up during the night. It's no wonder why new parents, many of whom are carrying around a huge sleep deficit, begin bed sharing.
Here are some ways to prepare before you start sharing your bed with your baby.
3 Keep The Baby From Falling Out Of Bed
Dr. Sears also recommended that the baby sleep adjacent to the mother, and not in between both parents. To keep your baby from falling off of the bed, invest in a mesh guardrail or push your bed up against the wall making sure there is no gap between the bed and the wall.
4 Transition Older Siblings Out Of The Family Bed 5 Get Rid Of The Comforter
Pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon recommended that
babies only sleep under light blankets or a blanket sleeper. This means you will have to put away the down comforter until your baby is over a year old. 6 Stick To One Pillow
If you're like me, you sleep best with two pillows under your head (and maybe even one under your back or between your knees.) Unfortunately, pillows pose a suffocation risk to babies. According to Babble,
you should only use one pillow and make sure that you keep the pillow away from the baby's face. 7 Use Tight-Fitting Sheets
Kelly Mom recommended that your
bottom sheet fit snugly on the mattress with no bunches or creases. This is to prevent the baby from getting tangled in the sheets, or having the sheet bunch up around his face. 8 Invest In An Incontinence Pad
When I came home from the hospital, I realized that I had accidentally brought home the reusable incontinence pad that was on my hospital bed. Somehow, it got inadvertently tangled in my pile of used nursing gowns and baby blankets. I only felt slightly guilty when I pulled it out of the dryer, and figured my insurance company was most likely billed for it.
This pad was a lifesaver when I needed to change the baby in bed overnight, and it also kept leaky diapers from drenching us and soaking our mattress overnight. Alpha Mom recommended
fastening down the waterproof pad with safety pins to keep it from bunching up. You can find your own reusable incontinence pad ($13) on Amazon. 9 Make Sure Your Partner Is On Board What Parents Are Talking About — Delivered Straight To Your Inbox