It’s something that many parents do each night, it’s also a controversial topic, but co-sleeping can be the right option for you, so long as you make sure safety comes first.

Before your baby sleeps in your bed, keep the following safety tips in mind: 


1. Make sure your mattress is firm

Your baby could suffocate or overheat on a soft mattress. If your bed has a frame, a headboard, or is against a wall, make sure the mattress fits snugly, so your baby can’t fall into any gaps. This risk is highest when your baby is between three months and 10 months.

2. Keep the bedding light and minimal

Don’t use a duvet if you are co-sleeping. If your baby is less than a year old, use lightweight covers, and use them sparingly to prevent overheating or suffocation. This risk is highest during his first three months of his life. Check every now and then to make sure he hasn’t wriggled down and covered his head.

3. Never sleep on a sofa with your baby

He could become wedged in the cracks between the sofa cushions or between you and the back of the sofa. Don’t co-sleep on a waterbed as these are too soft and may have deep crevices around the frame where your baby could get trapped.

4. Keep your baby warm

Make sure bub is not hot, and dress him lightly for sleep. Contact with your body will raise his skin temperature. As a rule of thumb, if you’re a comfortable temperature, then your baby probably is, too.

5. Don’t let your baby and toddler sleep next to each other in bed.

Toddlers don’t understand the risks, and could roll over onto your baby, or put an arm across his mouth or head. You or your partner should always sleep between the children if you want them both in your bed.

6. Your baby should never be left alone on the bed

He could easily fall out, even if you’ve just nipped to the loo. Don’t let your baby sleep on a pillow, or put one either side of him, as he may roll off it or be smothered in the folds.

7. Buy a rail to attach to the side of the bed

Or put him in a safe place, such as a bassinette or cot, while you are out of the room.

When is co-sleeping not safe?

Because of the increased risk of cot death, you shouldn’t co-sleep if:

  • You or your partner smoke.
  • Your baby was premature or had a low birth weight.
  • You or your partner have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medication or drugs. This may affect your memory and you could forget that your baby is in your bed and roll over onto him. You may also sleep so soundly that you are unaware that you’ve rolled on to him.
  • You are extremely tired, or have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnoea. You may be in such a deep sleep that you don’t wake up if you roll onto your baby.

How can I make co-sleeping comfortable?

Bed size is important if you plan to have your baby in bed with you. It won’t be as enjoyable, or safe, if your bed is too small. King-size is best, but if that’s a no-no for your budget (or bedroom), buy a cot that you can attach to the side of your bed. Or try putting a normal cot next to your bed with the side down.

You’ll have an easier time touching or soothing your baby if you can adjust his mattress to the same height as yours. This approach works well if your baby is a wriggler. He’s still at arm’s length, but not kicking you in the night.

There’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to sleeping arrangements for you and your baby. Some parents like to sleep with their babies, and some don’t. And some babies need more night-time comfort and companionship than others.

As your baby grows, he might not want to sleep all night, every night, with you. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll eventually find a method that works for you, your partner, and your baby.

What worked for you and your baby? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • I never thought I’d co sleep. I used to be such a fidgety sleeper. However, we have found that we all sleep better with co sleeping.


  • I have co slept with all of mine and it has been great as long as safe


  • Bub has always slept in the room next to ours.


  • It can be done safely but there are many risks to consider as the article points out. We never co-slept as out babies just wouldn’t settle in our bed and we like heavy blankets which is not appropriate for co-sleeping. I also couldn’t sleep peacefully with a baby in the bed.


  • I remember a nurse bringing my daughter into me when I was in hospital a day or so after she was born …they could not settle her … she placed her in the bed next to me and told me to go back to sleep. I could not sleep due to worry but she did. No baby next to your bed in those days, it was down to the nursery at night so the mum could sleep. Oh how things have changed now a days.


  • I co slept during nap times, not at night as my husband takes up much space in the bed


  • Co-sleeping scares me. I worry too much about sids. It is nice however to bring baby in to oyr bed of a morning for snuggles :-)


  • We had our son in a crip in the bedroom next door, then into a cot in the same room. He was close enough that a monitor was not required when we were sleeping, and we had quick and easy access. It also meant my husband could sleep reasonably and get up early each day to function at work.


  • We had the bassinet next to our bed, then a cot in the next room but with the door open up to 12 months.


  • I was always very nervous about co sleeping.


  • was always scared to co-sleep. spend many a night on the recliner with bub at the breast


  • Personally my daughter never slept with us. Since the first day home from hospital she slept in her own cot in her bedroom. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep with her in our bedroom.


  • Great article full of useful information. My husband and I only put our baby in our bed once when she was quite young and we all managed to get six hours sleep. On other occasions I placed my baby in bed with me for about an hour until she fell asleep, and then I would place her back in her cot.


  • Thank you for the tips we only co slept on the really hot nights with a young 2 week old baby…


  • I’ve never co slept with any of my kids and their was a stage where each of them would wake around 2am when they about 9-10 months and we would bring them into our bed for 10 mins and both hubby and I would be so anxious as to not hurt them accidentally.


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