Co Sleeping Safely
Co Sleeping Safely
Co sleeping safely is a hot topic. But firstly, what is it?
Co sleeping is the correct term for when baby sleeps in the same vicinity as you. As a result, you can see, hear and touch baby within close range. In practice, this can mean:
- having your baby in a crib or Moses basket on a stand next to your bed
- letting your baby sleep in a co sleeping crib with its own connecting wall, such as Snuz Pod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib
- having your baby sleep in the family bed
What The Experts Say: Co Sleeping
All infant sleep experts agree: the safest place for a baby to co-sleep is in his own separate cot/Moses basket, separate to the parents’ bed. However, many parents, whether through pure exhaustion or for their own specific reasons, do take their baby into their own bed to sleep during the first six months. The risks of bed-sharing are well documented, including an increased likelihood of sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). As a result, parents are often keen to find a way to co-sleep more safely. And that’s where commercial co-sleeping products may help.
Co Sleeping Safe Age
What’s the safe age for co sleeping? Current NHS guidelines recommend that parents keep baby in the same room, in a separate cot, for the first six months. By this, we may assume that it’s not only safe, but highly recommended, to keep baby nearby until they are six months old.
Formal definitions aside: many of us take co sleeping to mean sharing the family bed, not simply the same room. Here, the guidelines are clear: the safest place for your baby is a separate cot. However, realistically, many parents do bring their babies closer to them at night-time than the traditional cot allows. In this case, surely it is better to be prepared.
Co Sleeping With A Newborn: Is There A Safer Way?
If you plan to co sleep with your newborn, then there are some special Sleeping products that are halfway between a totally separate crib and sharing the exact same sleep space (e.g. the family bed).
A bedside co sleeping crib is a side-sleeping bassinet that attaches to the parents’ bed.
One side of the crib is easy to lower/raise/unzip, leaving the parent close to the baby but far enough away not to roll onto them. As a result, it provides the near-closeness of bed sharing while giving baby his own separate sleep zone.
Benefits of using a bedside sleeper to co sleep safely with a newborn include:
- lowered risk of SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents
- a convenient way for you to access your baby without having to get up in the night
- keeps baby close for breast feeding
- less painful for mums recovering from surgery – no need to stand to lift baby from cot
- greater closeness/bonding – mesh sides provide easy visibility of sleeping baby; you can hear their sounds clearly.
Co Sleeping Safely: How To Choose A Co-Sleeping Cot
If you, like many parents, are looking to go down this route, then there are lots of products available. Each has their own features and benefits, so to help you, we’ve put together this short list of the best cots for co sleeping.
All of the following co sleeping cots are suitable from birth – 9kg, or until baby shows signs of rolling over or pushing up on hands and knees.
The only co sleeping cot in our selection to rotate a full 360, it’s ideal for mums recovering from surgery. Simply spin the bassinest towards you when baby cries – there’s no need to stretch or reach, so places minimal pressure on stitches or tears. Its push-down mesh wall is easy to use and can be locked to upright if required. Fits beds 56-86 cm tall.
Choose the HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper if you’re looking for a co-sleeper that is:
- very easy to manoeuvre
- has a very solid, anti tilt base
- has a flexible push down wall (as opposed to a zip)
With five height settings, this practical side sleeper fits beds up to 86cm. It weighs 11.30kg, so feels solid without being overly heavy. To access your baby, simply unzip the mesh side.
Choose Hauck Face To Me Bedside Cot if you’re looking for a co sleeper that is:
- good value for money in pretty colours
- has safety extras – includes anti tilt
- Compact when folded – great as a Travel Cot
When it comes to co sleeping, this cot packs a lot in. Use as a side sleeper, standalone crib, or as a portable bassinet for naps around the house. As well as two mesh zip sides for extra airflow and visibility, it also has a rock-to-sleep function and a recline to help with reflux.
Choose Snuz Pod 3 in 1 Bedside Crib if you’re looking for a co sleeping cot that:
- helps with reflux and soothing
- is portable and lightweight – just 4.1kg
- fits the lowest of beds – adjusts 31-63cm
This bestselling co sleeping safely device has a legion of fans and it’s easy to see why. Use standalone or at bedtime – with wheels and brakes, it’s a dream to whizz between rooms. It’s height adjustable 35-52cm so will fit the majority of beds and comes with a handy storage bag.
Choose Chicco Next 2 Me if you’re looking for a co sleeping crib that:
- is lightweight and portable – ideal for nights away
- you can use standalone
- has an optional incline to help with reflux and congestion
This is a premium co sleeper. With lots of added extras to help baby sleep, this could be the game-changer you’re looking for! It comes with a roll-up slide panel that’s operated with just one hand, allowing you to reach out for your baby with ease even when you’re feeling at your most groggy. The rocking mechanism helps you soothe baby back to sleep after feeding. Finally, the 11 height settings give you lots of flexibility.
Choose Chicco Next 2 Me Magic Crib if you’re looking for a co sleeping crib that:
- rocks at the press of a button
- has superior fabrics and mattress
- tilts into four positions to help reflux and night-time coughing/colds
Co Sleeping Positions
Regardless of whether you bed share or use a side car, the best co sleeping position is putting baby to sleep on their back.
Other considerations when co sleeping safely and using a side sleeper:
- Consider using baby sleeping bags to keep your baby at a comfy temperature all year around. For example, ErgoPouch Winter Baby Sleep Suit Bag 3.5 Tog for the colder months and ErgoPouch Bamboo Cocoon Swaddle Sleep Bag 0.2 Tog for summer.
- Keep pillows and blankets away from baby’s face
- Consider a pink noise accessory to reassure baby if she wakes, such as myHummy Max Smartheart Sleep Sensor
Safety Considerations For Co Sleeping
Whatever form your co-sleeping takes, be aware that you should never co-sleep with your baby if:
- your baby was born premature
- if your baby shows any signs of illness
- if you or your partner smoke
- or are under the influence of alcohol or medication.
For a full list and more information, visit the NCT website: Co-sleeping or bed sharing with your baby: risks and benefits