SIDS and Co-Sleeping: Debunking the Myths
If you do choose to bed share with your baby, the Nemours Center offers precautions to follow to make co-sleeping as safe as possible
. These tips include:
Always place your baby on his back.
Always leave your child's head uncovered while sleeping.
Make sure the headboard and footboard do not have cutouts or openings that could trap your baby's head.
Do not place a baby to sleep in an adult bed alone.
Do not use pillows, comforters, quilts, or other soft, plush items on the bed.
Do not drink alcohol or use medications or drugs that may impair your judgment, keep you from waking, or cause you to roll over onto your baby.
Keep your bed away from draperies or blinds that have cords that could strangle your child.
Most medical experts would say the safest place for an infant to sleep is in a crib that meets current safety standards and has no soft bedding. The best time to transition a baby from a co-sleeping environment is by the age of 6 months, before co-sleeping has become ingrained and other developmental issues, such as separation anxiety, have time to manifest.
Where your child sleeps is a personal choice for you and your family to make, and it's important to know the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. Talking to your child's doctor is the best way to learn about possible risks, and possible benefits, to co-sleeping with your child.