In continuing our discussion on parenting choices that must be made prior to the baby arriving is the sleeping arrangement. Parents need to decide where will the baby sleep? What will they sleep in? Where does mom sleep? Where does dad sleep?
There are three main ways that parents choose to have their baby sleep:
1. In a crib in the nursery
2. In the parents room in a crib/bassinet or something similar
3. Physically in the parents bed
The term co-sleeping simply means that the baby is in the same room – bed-sharing means that the child is in the same bed as the parents.
Facts About Newborn Sleep
- The American SIDS Institute recommends parents keep their baby in a crib in their room until 6 months of age. Studies clearly state that infants are safest when their cribs are closest to their mothers.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics says that babies are safest in their mother’s room, but not in the same bed due to rolling over and suffocating the baby, falling off the bed and being trapped in bedding.
- In Asia and African countries primarily, bed sharing is a popular practice. In India alone, 93% of children bed share with their parents.
- In the USA, JAMA Network found that there has been an uprising trend in bed-sharing. In 1993, 7% of families practiced this and in 2010, it had risen to 14%.
- The benefits of bed-sharing include: promotes bonding, better sleep for both the baby and mother, and breastfeeding bonding is easier.
- Co-sleeping also has these benefits.
I always knew that I wanted Aiden to sleep in our room when he was born. I was unsure how long this would last, but I assumed at least the 4th trimester (3 months) if not longer. We received a rock n’ play as a gift that worked perfectly for Aiden was he was a newborn. It was light and versatile to move around the house, it was inclined to further reduce SIDS and reflux and it was like a cozy little nest for him.
He started trying to roll over in in when he was about 3.5 months old and then we put the straps on him while he slept for another few weeks, until we decided we had to transition him to the crib.
Now that we have done this once, it’s easy to look back and decide if that was a good decision. First, all kids are different, so it’s not guaranteed that what worked for Aiden will work for the next one. With that said, I will co-sleep again for sure. I could never imagine not doing this for several reasons.
It was hard to transition Aiden into his crib, so I think I’ll work on putting our next child in his crib earlier (for short daytime periods) than I did with Aiden. He never touched his crib until he was about 3 months old.
Listen to the podcast about this topic for more!
What was your sleeping arrangement?
Would you do it differently next time?