Co-Sleeping? Bed-Sharing?

What’s the difference? Is it safe? It seems the rules on what is safe and what is not when it comes to your baby’s sleep surface often gets muddled so we are here to try to help you wade through the waters of “safe sleep” for you and your baby. Let’s start with a few facts: The Canadian Pediatric Society along with Health Canada and Public Health are all very clear in that the “safest” place for your baby to sleep is on a firm mattress, by themselves, with 2 layers of clothing, no blankets, no toys and no bumper pads. These “rules” are recommendations to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is also recommended that your baby sleep in the same room with you until the age of 6 month’s for the same reason. This practice is actually called “co-sleeping”, sleeping in the same space or same room as your baby and this practice is considered safe.

Now that being said, in a perfect world babies will all sleep on their own, in their own crib or bassinet, with no cuddling, no nursing and stay asleep. So is it safe to sleep with your baby in bed with you or “bed-share”? In many Eastern countries, babies sleep with their mother’s in their beds and have so for centuries (have you ever seen a picture of a crib in a photo of a family in a village in Africa?). So how do we know what’s best?

La Leche League Canada states “There isn’t one right answer about where a baby should sleep. Every family needs to take in to consideration the factual information available about safe sleep practices and figure out what will work best for their situation. The right solution at one point in time may not be the right solution six months later or with a different baby.”
What’s truly amazing is that what most people take for granted is that the very least safe thing you can do is fall asleep with your baby in your arms on a recliner chair or a couch. Most people assume it is unsafe to take their baby to bed with them, so when exhaustion is at its peak this seems like a logical solution. But a baby can easily get trapped in between you and a couch or in the crack of a recliner chair much more easily that they can on a safe bed within a parent’s reach.

If you are considering Bed-Sharing, La Leche League Canada Recommends the following their “SAFE SLEEP SEVEN” Tips

The Safe Sleep Seven
If a mother is:
1. A non-smoker
2. Sober
3. Breastfeeding
And her baby is:
4. Healthy
5. On his back
6. Lightly dressed and unswaddled
And they:
7. share a safe surface such as a firm mattress with no duvet’s or heavy blankets

Then the baby’s risk of SIDS is no greater than in a crib.
We hope you find this information helpful in making your decision’s.
Love,
Bronwyn & Maggie
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