Keep your sweet dreamer nearby—but in a safe sleep space of her own—by sharing a room, not a bed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against sleeping with your babe in the same bed as you and your partner, but room sharing can be healthy and harmless. Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, says that co-sleeping “allows parents to closely monitor their infant all night long. And [because] their baby is close by, they can get more sleep than if they’re worrying about the little one who is in another room.”
Follow these expert-approved sleep practices, so you and your babe can rest easy.
Your tiny snoozer should be near enough to wake you if she stirs or makes a peep. Place her nearby in a crib or bassinet, or consider a sidecar arrangement in which a co-sleeping device sits directly beside the main bed. This way, you can see and touch her while keeping her out of harm’s way.
Mom and dad’s bed is too soft and warm for baby, putting her at risk for suffocation and overheating. Her bed should comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards—make sure that the mattress is flat, firm and smooth, that the fitted sheet stays secure, and that there are no crevices she could get wedged in.
On the plus side
Rooming with your bundle of joy doesn’t just help mama catch more Zs (now that you don’t have to go across the hall for every feeding), but it also bolsters your bond with baby because she’ll quickly learn you’re there if she needs you.
As your tot (and perhaps your family) grows, sleeping arrangements will go through a transformation process. Pantley’s advice is to stay aware of everyone’s needs, make thoughtful decisions and go with the flow. •