Sleeping Safely Together with Co-Sleeper Beds

Sleeping Safely Together with Co-Sleeper Beds

Whether or not you’re a fan of sleep training your baby, in her early weeks and months you may wish to have your baby in close proximity while sleeping. It makes for simpler access for middle-of-the-night breastfeeding, and some parents appreciate that they can hear their infant sleeping in case there are any problems. In today’s market, there are so many sleeping products available designed with this closeness in mind. These baby beds – called co-sleeper beds – are intended to attach to or push right up next to your bed.

Types of co-sleeper beds

Co-sleeper beds come with a variety of features such as rocking, swiveling, and

  • Bed-sharing co-sleeper – This small bassinet is placed in the bed between you and your partner. It usually has a metal frame with mesh sides and is about the size of a laundry basket.
  • Bedside crib or bassinet – A bassinet or bedside crib is great for premature or low birth-weight babies who sleep better in their own space. Bedside cribs sit unattached beside the bed and can be placed as close or far as desired. These meet the AAP’s recommendation for room-sharing rather than bed-sharing.
  • Attachable co-sleepers – Also called sidecar beds, these co-sleepers attach to the side of the bed using a locking or anchoring system. They are popular choice for parents who want to reach their baby from the bed but not risk rolling on top of him.
  • Adjustable crib/co-sleepers – A crib with three stationary sides, but one side drops down and attaches to the bed when using as a co-sleeper. This front fourth side can be locked back into place for use as a regular crib later.

Look for these co-sleeper safety features

There are some safety features you should look for when selecting a co-sleeper bed to keep your baby safe while sleeping. Though it may seem more comfortable to have a soft, squishy mattress, these can suffocate your baby. The co-sleeper mattress should be firm and no thicker than one inch. Search for a co-sleeper that is flame resistant and is not made with any harsh chemicals. The bottom should be solid and hold your baby securely in place. If you choose a co-sleeper that attaches to the side of your bed, make sure it is secure and does not allow for more than a half inch gap between the two surfaces.

Because co-sleepers are typically only recommended for use up to 4-6 months of age or when your baby begins rolling, after 6 months it will be an adjustment transitioning from the bassinet or sleeper to the crib (unless you decide to purchase an adjustable co-sleeper crib).

Follow the safe sleep guidelines when using a co-sleeper

Because co-sleepers are relatively new to the parenting world, there have not been any decisive studies about their safety. However, the AAP does suggest room-sharing as the ideal sleep situation for babies in their first year. This means you should have your baby in your room on a separate sleeping surface (not in bed with you!). According to the AAP and CDC, to reduce the risk of SIDS your baby should:

  • Always sleep on a firm surface intended for infants
  • Always be placed to sleep on her back
  • Not have blankets, stuffed animals, or other items in the bed with her
  • Offer a pacifier
  • Dress your baby in appropriate clothing

For additional peace of mind when putting your baby down to sleep, consider a baby sleep monitor such as the MonBaby. Our device is a wearable button that alerts parents if baby’s sleep position changes, tracks her breathing movements, and more.

Did you use a co-sleeper bed for your baby? Share your experience with us in the comments!


You Might Also Like...