Disclaimer: What works for me may very well not work for you. These are tips from MY experience that have helped me and MAY help you. Always proceed with caution when implementing any advice or tips that you receive online or from others.
My son, from day one, always had a hard time sleeping by himself and it drove me crazy because I couldn’t get any sleep with him crying in his co-sleeper all night.
It drove me crazy because obviously it was loud, but more importantly I couldn’t stand to see my baby crying alone in that tiny little co-sleeper bed.
His pediatrician warned me against putting him in the bed with me but one night (I think he was around 4 months old)…I said “to hell with this” I’m letting my baby sleep with me! (Best decision ever)
So the first night turned into EVERY night and from then on I could always get good and meaningful sleep with my son right beside me!
It wasn’t easy AT ALL going against what his pediatrician so firmly discouraged but I researched healthy sleep practices for bed sharing with infants day after day and it eased my worries. (SIDS was a huge HUGE worry of mine).
There were many safe sleep practices I came across but these really helped ME and my son out. (That does not mean they will necessarily work for you).
- I NEVER had super heavy covers or soft bedding on the bed.
- I never slept too too close to him (unless I was breastfeeding).
- I always had him on his back (I’ve heard one too many horror stories of infants being placed on their stomachs at night).
- I kept him in very light pajamas so he wouldn’t become too hot at night (just a onesie).
- I kept pillows away from his head.
- Never had my phone cords on the bed at night.
IF YOUR BED ISN’T FIRM NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER. IF YOUR BED IS HIGH OFF OF THE FLOOR I WOULDN’T PRACTICE BED-SHARING EITHER.
Do not implement ANY OF THESE TIPS if you have a pillow-top bed or your bed is super high off of the floor.
Falling could be a disaster waiting to happen, especially without the presence of guard rails. Also super soft mattresses could allow a baby to sink in and that would pose a major suffocation hazard.
Anyway, I actually felt better about SIDS when my baby was with me. It wasn’t healthy for my sleep but when we first started bed-sharing, I would watch him sleep for like an hour or two and THEN go to sleep.
When I became more at ease with him next to me, I started to lightly lay my hand on his stomach/chest so I could feel it rise and fall as we slept.
According to research, bed-sharing can be safe, especially when the baby is breastfed (my son is actually STILL breastfeeding to this day) and you are practicing it safely and intentionally.
All this information is coming from a woman who was deathly scared of SIDS and implementing these practices literally and figuratively helped me and my son sleep great at night!
Do you guys co-sleep or bed-share with your infant? Let me know with a comment or email! If you’re scared and don’t know what to do let me know too!