Can Both Parents Sleep With a Newborn?
For many parents, bed-sharing is a rather heated debate. It’s easy to start asking yourself “can both parents sleep with a newborn? “Some cultures are pro bed-sharing, while others are not. People who support bed-sharing say that it helps the baby fall asleep, it’s easier on nursing mothers, and it promotes a bond between the parent and child. However, bed-sharing can be dangerous. Adult beds are unsafe for babies, parents can roll over on the baby, and the baby can suffocate in the bedding. Studies show that bed-sharing can potentially increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), especially for babies whose mothers smoke.
While there is no final verdict on bed-sharing, there are some guidelines you should adhere to if you choose to share your bed with your baby. First, you should not sleep next to your baby if you are a smoker, if you have been drinking alcohol, or if you’ve taken medicine that can make you groggy or less responsive. Breastfeeding is also an important aspect for bed sharing. As for the bedding you will need to remove any loose blankets and pillows from your shared sleep space. Finally the room temperature needs to stay between 69-72 degrees for safe infant sleeping.
After four months old, napping beside your baby can be a great way to strengthen the bond you have with them. You should always put your baby to sleep on their back, refrain from bed-sharing on a soft surface, such as a water bed, couch, or armchair, and make sure that your bed’s headboard or footboard does not have openings where your baby could be trapped. Finally, make sure your mattress fits snugly on the bed frame and use minimal amounts of bedding to avoid covering your baby’s head.
Bed-sharing or co-sleeping can be a very personal decision between you and your partner, and while there are no perfect answers, there are some guidelines you should follow before you decide to sleep beside your baby. You should try to avoid falling asleep on the couch or in an armchair with your baby, and you should also avoid sleeping next to your baby if you have taken any medications or are a smoker. If you have further questions relating to can both parents sleep with a newborn, feel free to contact us and we should be able to help!