When we think of a young baby sleeping, the most natural assumption is that, the baby will be sleeping with his mother. Babies have slept with their mothers from time immemorial. This was thought to be the best practice as constant contact between mother and baby not only gave the baby a sense of security, but also strengthened the emotional bond between the two. The increase in research and studies done on babies, in the recent times, has given rise to a debate as to whether it is better for the baby to sleep with their mother or alone in their cot. Some mothers prefer sleeping together, while others prefer to put their baby in a cot. In case you wish to co-sleep with your baby, read on to find some valuable tips on co-sleeping safely with the baby.
Tips for Co-sleeping With Your Baby
Take care not to sleep with your baby, if you have taken any drug that may affect the pattern of your sleep. If have consumed alcohol, avoid sleeping with the baby at all costs. Counter drugs, such as cold medicine, also dull your sense of awareness during the night and you may put your weight or roll over on the baby without realizing.
Make Enough Space
You need to ensure that there is enough space in the bed to accommodate you and your baby comfortably. A crowded bed is potentially unsafe for your baby. Each one on the bed should have space to move around a bit.
Use Bed Rails
You can use one or two bed rails on the bed, so that the baby doesn’t roll off onto the floor. The chances of injury can also be minimized by pushing the mattress flush against a wall or placing another mattress on the floor to give support to the baby in the instance of falling.
Tie long hair
If your hair is very long, it is advisable to tie it back in order to avoid strangulation. Though such chances are very slim, it is better to tie the hair or wear a bonnet, while sleeping with the baby, as there have been instances where the babies have suffocated in sleep by getting entangled in their parent’s hair.
Head & Foot Boards
Flushing the mattress against the headboard and the footboard can also ensure that the baby is not entrapped between the mattress and the bed frame. Some babies tend to wriggle themselves to the top, bottom or side of the mattresses.
Siblings & Pets
A baby should not be made to sleep next to the siblings or pets. The baby should always sleep next to the mother, so that she can breastfeed him/her during the night, if required. There is a danger that the pets or siblings may roll over the baby and injure him/her.
Bedding & Pillows
The baby should not be made to sleep with fluffy bedding, pillows or stuffed animals. In fact, babies should not be even sleep close to fluffy bedding or pillows. Take care not to cover the baby’s face with a blanket, unless it’s extremely cold. You can cover the rest of the baby’s body with comforter or blanket, but the face should be left uncovered.