When it comes to co-sleeping, I firmly believe that it is a personal choice. There are no absolutes in parenting, and that includes co-sleeping, as long as both you and your baby are happy, comfortable, and safe. That last word seems to be what sets off critics of co-sleeping, however. And I think if you stay educated on the safety issues, like knowing if you can have a blanket on the bed when co-sleeping, you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Blankets seem to be a hot button topic in the parenting world, no matter where your little one sleeps. Even if your baby is in her own bed, blankets are still not recommended because they put your little one at risk of suffocation, entrapment, and even SIDS according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. In fact, according to CBS News, accidental suffocation is still one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in infants and unsafe bedding is often to blame.
So does that mean that you need to strip your bed down to the mattress in order to co-sleep? Not exactly. KellyMom notes that, just like any cot or crib you plan to put your baby in, the surface of your mattress should be firm with a tight-fitted sheet. If you sleep on beanbag chairs, then co-sleeping's probably not going to go well. Your baby needs a firm surface to lay on, and they need to be placed on their back, even when co-sleeping.
When it comes to blankets, it is best to keep them off of your baby. Parents notes that you should remove any extra pillows, blankets, and comforters from the bed, leaving the bare minimum you or your partner need to sleep. If you can switch to a light cotton blanket, that may be your best option according to Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician and expert on attachment parenting.
However, you still need to make sure the blanket is away from your baby. Don't cover them up in the blanket. There's a chance it could end up near their face, and if you're tossing and turning in the bed, it could put your little one in danger. KellyMom suggests moving your baby farther up in the bed as you slide down, so that your little one is on a firm surface with no pillows or blankets surrounding them. If you're worried about them getting cold, dress them warmly instead of relying on soft, hazardous blankets. By following these guidelines, you and your baby can sleep soundly and safely.