Bed-Sharing & Co-Sleeping
We often hear a lot of talk about the term "co-sleeping" in the world of infant sleep. It is often confused with the term "bed sharing", and some websites use the two interchangeably. However, they are actually very different!
We place great emphasis on safe sleep and help parents to be well informed about safety. We recommend choosing co-sleeping (with your baby in the bedroom) as it aligns with the world's best advice for safe sleep and gives you peace of mind, quick access to your baby at night, and a safe place to sleep for your baby. Nevertheless, we also want you to have information about bed-sharing so that you can see the difference between it and safe co-sleeping and make an informed safety choice if you choose this option for your family.
A UNICEF statement on co-sleeping states: "Close contact sleep helps babies calm down and supports breastfeeding, which in turn protects babies from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)."
Co-sleeping means that your child is in the same room as you. The practice of co-sleeping is highly protective against SAD (sudden unexplained death in infancy), and it is also recommended that the baby sleep in the same room as the parents for the first 6-12 months of life.
Co-sleeping does not mean that the child sleeps in your bed, it means that the child sleeps in a safe bedside bed. This is a great option as co-sleeping meets all the guidelines for safe sleep as the baby has their own safe space and you can go back to your own space.
- Choose from a safe, sturdy carrycot, moses basket or bedside carrycot.
- The safest crib option is the fixed side crib. Rollaway cribs are currently banned in many countries.
- Always put the baby back in his crib after feeding or laying down.
- Have the baby in your room but not in your bed for at least 6 months.
- No pillows, blankets, blankets, or soft toys near the baby.
- The baby should always be put to sleep on his back.
- The sleeping surface should be firm, comfortable, free of bedding and soft toys.
- An infant should never sleep with a cap, bonnet, headband, teethers, or any other necklace, string, or pacifier accessory. These items may cause overheating or suffocation.
Bed sharing is when mother and baby sleep on the same bed, which should be a good firm mattress. This is a common practice in many cultures around the world, which is why many families make this choice despite all the advice on safe sleep that goes against it.
If you decide to share a bed, or think you may occasionally share a bed, we highly recommend that you follow the guidelines below rather than accidentally sharing a bed, making sure the space is safe and there are no pillows or blankets near your baby.
Casual co-sleeping is much more dangerous and poses a much greater risk of SNIDs, as adult bedding and pillows are more likely to be left in bed. Accidental shared bed is when the parents do not intend to share their bed with the child, but the child ends up falling asleep in the parent's bed due to illness, anxiety, or feeding.
It's also common for moms to accidentally fall asleep while breastfeeding their baby in bed, which is why safe sleep guidelines often say to feed your baby in a chair. However, falling asleep in a chair or sofa is also very common and significantly more risky than falling asleep next to a baby, where hazards such as adult bedding and pillows are removed.
- Lay your baby on your back to sleep. Do not place children on their stomach or even on their side.
- Use a hard surface to sleep on. This is one that is not pressed in and does not conform to the shape of the child.
- Breastfeed if possible.
- Let the baby sleep in your room for as long as possible.
- Keep soft objects away from baby. No loose blankets, sheets, bumpers, toys, etc.
- Offer a pacifier. Of course, these steps cannot 100% prevent SIDS. But you can certainly reduce the risk.
- Do not smoke near the child. Smoking is a big risk factor for SIDS.
- No drugs, alcohol, or anything else that makes you sleepy. When you can't fully wake up, sleeping with your baby is dangerous.
Please note that we do not recommend sleeping in the same bed. However, we provide this information, which is available in many other countries, to help parents who choose to sleep together reduce their risk as much as possible.