|

Where Will Your Baby Sleep?

Even if you have a well-designed nursery and a beautiful crib, it can be tough to decide where your baby will sleep. Should you put her in her crib right away or use a bassinet or side sleeper to keep her close? Or do you plan on letting your baby sleep with you in your bed? Although you will have to decide what is best for your baby, you should avoid letting your baby get used to sleeping in a bouncy chair, moving swing, or car seat. Although all of these can be acceptable options, especially if it is hard to get your baby to sleep any other way, your baby may become dependent on them, and have a hard time moving to a crib later on.

Bassinet or Crib?

Your baby can start off in a crib, or you can first use a bassinet and then have her graduate to a crib once she outgrows her bassinet or is sleeping for longer stretches at a time. In the first few weeks and months it can be easiest to keep your baby nearby in a bassinet, because she frequently wakes up to eat. That way, you can wake up, get her fed, and then put her right back to sleep. Even if your baby wakes up frequently, this can help everyone quickly get back to sleep and still get some rest through the night.

Essential

In addition to figuring whether to use a crib or bassinet, parents of multiples also must decide if they want to let their babies sleep separately or together. Many opt to let their multiples sleep together in a bassinet or crib for at least their first few months and then separate them later on.

The main downside to having your baby nearby is that it may cause you to wake up every time that she stirs or wakes up briefly, even if it isn't a full awakening that requires your attention. That closeness does offer some reassurance, though, for many parents who worry about their younger baby through the night.

A bassinet is also a lot cozier than a crib will be for your newborn baby. On the other hand, starting her off in a crib does save you the expense of buying a bassinet, and if swaddled, she will likely feel just as cozy and comfortable in a crib.

The Family Bed

Having your baby sleep in bed with you is a controversial way to put your baby to sleep. Although advocates praise the benefits of a family bed, other people question how safe it is and say that it may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are against co-sleeping, there are many other experts who highly recommend the practice. Most notable of these experts is the respected pediatrician and author Dr. William Sears.

If you do choose to share your bed with your baby, be sure to keep the bed safe, so that your baby can't roll off or get smothered by pillows and soft bedding and can't get trapped between the bed and a wall or headboard. Safer co-sleeping means using bedding that fits tightly on the mattress, avoiding pillows and soft blankets, and making sure that there is no room between the bed and the wall. A bedside sleeper or co-sleeper right next to your bed can be a safe way to get all of the benefits of having your baby sleep very close to you.

|

From The Everything Father's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

thanksgiving crafts & recipes

Make this Turkey
Day fun for the
whole family with
these essentials.

GO

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Surprising Sources of Caffeine in Kids' Foods
Even low doses of caffeine can have an effect on your child's health. Since the FDA doesn't require caffeine content on food labels, learn about hidden sources of caffeine in kids' diets.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!