In national polls, 25% of US mothers admit to bed sharing (or co-sleeping) with their baby. Do you know how to do this safely?
What defines a safe sleep environment for bedsharing/co-sleeping:
  • Always place babies in the supine position for sleep.
  • Use a firm, flat surface, preferably a mattress on the floor.
  • Avoid waterbeds, couches, sofas, pillows, soft materials, or loose bedding.
  • Avoid duvets, comforters, pillows, and stuffed animals in the infant’s sleep environment.
  • If blankets are used, they should be tucked in around the mattress so that the infant’s head is less likely to be covered.
  • Ensure that the baby’s head will not be covered.
  • Never put an infant down to sleep on a pillow or adjacent to a pillow.
  • Never leave an infant alone on an adult bed.
  • Ensure that there are no spaces between the mattress and headboard, walls, and other surfaces, which may entrap the infant and lead to suffocation.
  • Place a firm mattress directly on the floor away from walls.
  • Another alternative to sharing an adult bed is using infant bed that attaches to side of adult bed.
Certain practices are unsafe for bed sharing/co-sleeping. These make co-sleeping dangerous:
  • Tobacco smoke is hazardous.
  • Never allow smoking in your home. Do not smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
  • Alcohol use is hazardous, as are illicit or mind-altering drugs used by the adult who is bed-sharing.
  • Sharing sofas, couches, recliners, and daybeds is hazardous.
  • Sharing waterbeds is dangerous.
  • Use of soft bedding materials is hazardous.
  • Sharing beds with adjacent spaces that could trap an infant is dangerous.
  • Prone position of baby is always hazardous.
  • Placement of the infant in the adult bed in the prone or side lying position is dangerous.
  • Infants bed sharing with other children is hazardous.

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