Co-sleeping refers to the practice of sharing the bed with your baby while sleeping. Though this practice was widespread till the last century, it is now controversial in the western culture. A lot of parents and medical professionals are not comfortable with the idea of co-sleeping, but this concept is slowly changing. Here are a few essentials to ensure child safety, in case you have opted for co-sleeping with your baby.
Co-sleeping Safety Products for Your Baby
Bassinets, with barriers on three sides, and the fourth side open, which can be attached to the parent's bed facilitate co-sleeping. This is ideal since the baby is right next to you, but in a separate little bed for itself.
- Arm's Reach Co-sleeper is the most popular bassinet of this sort. It comes in many sizes, and you can pick one depending on your choice, and the size of your room and bed.
- Arm's Reach Original can even hold twins, and can store toys and also convert to a stand-alone bassinet.
- Arm's Reach Mini and Arm's Reach Euro-Mini are smaller versions, and suitable for a smaller bedroom.
- Arm's Reach Clear-Vue bassinet is unique in a way that it allows you to see your baby at all times.
- Arm's Reach Sleigh Bed is another bassinet you can use. Made from wood, it is very sturdy, and is more suitable for beds with heights of 18-24 inches.
- The Little Palace Collection from Arm's Reach feature two elegant bassinets, namely Angelica and Santa Barbara, which can also be converted to free-standing bassinets when your baby grows older.
- Arm's Reach also features the new Gold Jacquard Co-sleeper and the Cocoa Dot Harmony Bassinet from its Harmony Collection, which can also be fitted to king-sized beds, and even come with a removable canopy.
Bed Top Infant Enclosures
These co-sleeping products can be placed directly on your bed, and are equipped with side barriers, which ensure the baby does not roll off into the adult bed.
- First Years Close and Secure Sleeper, which can be secured to the adult bed with a flap. It is portable and can be easily folded.
- Baby Delight Snuggle Nest is suitable for premature as well as full term babies. It has sturdy barriers, which prevent adult bedding from disturbing your baby's sleep.
- Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper has mesh barriers, which allow for better air circulation and parents to view their sleeping infant at all times.
Bolsters prevent babies from rolling off on to the floor. Being heavy, they are better than the regular pillows, as they do not shift or move around on the bed.
- Humanity Family Bed Co-sleeper from Bean Products is a large bolster that can be placed on to the bed, and along with promoting co-sleeping,
Advantages of Co-sleeping
- Co-sleeping gives working mothers extra time with their babies, fostering the mother-child bonding. It also allows mothers to attend to their babies' needs quickly. Mothers do not need to get up and fetch the baby for night-time feedings, which saves time and breastfeeding can go on for longer duration. This helps to synchronize the mother and baby's sleep cycle.
- Babies nestled close to their mothers fall asleep faster, stay asleep for longer duration and get more sleep, which in turn means that the parents also get more hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Co-sleeping advocates believe that babies who co-slept had higher self-esteem, and were more confident. They also say that parents used to co-sleeping are so aware of the baby's presence next to them in the bed, that they will not roll over or hurt the baby in any way.
Disadvantages of Co-sleeping
- If you are not used to co-sleeping with your baby, it will be some time before you can adjust to a squirming, kicking, and crying infant sharing your bed.
- Once the baby gets used to co-sleeping, transitioning him or her to the crib can be a lengthy process.
- Some parents feel co-sleeping can affect their love life. Having a sleeping baby between you and your partner is not the perfect idea of romance!
Safety Concerns Associated with Co-sleeping
- When you co-sleep, sleep facing the baby. Chances of the baby falling down are thus, greatly reduced.
- Never co-sleep with pets or toddlers.
- Parents who smoke, or are under the influence of drugs and heavy medications, or are heavy drinkers should never co-sleep with their infant.
- Never use a couch or a water-bed when co-sleeping. Use a firm mattress.
- Covering the baby with heavy blankets can lead to overheating. Use lightweight, fleece blankets or soft sheets, which are enough to keep the baby warm and cozy.
Co-sleeping is purely a personal choice. Do not get influenced by what other people have to say in this regard. Keep yours and your infant's needs in mind when deciding whether to co-sleep or not. What bedtime arrangements work best for you is something you have to work on. Weigh the personal benefits against the safety issues, and then make up your mind.