Co-sleeping is when parents sleep in the same bed as their baby.
Culture and convenience (easier for mothers to breastfeed) play a role in a parents' decision to co-sleep with their child. People also believe that sleeping in the same bed gives their child a sense of security and helps in bonding.
Daddy’s Digest has put together a set of pointers to help fathers better understand baby sleep arrangements.
1. Co-sleeping or bed sharing can increase the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Do not co-sleep or bed share if you or your wife/partner smoke or take drugs (narcotics or even sedative prescribed medication) or consume alcohol.
2. To lower the risk of SIDS, for the first 6-12 months, experts recommend that your baby sleeps independently in a cot next to your bed. A side-car crib is another alternative, making it easier for the mother to breastfeed.
3. If your baby is less than three months old, born prematurely or with a low birth weight, it is not recommended to co-sleep or bed share.
4. Even if your baby is an independent sleeper, it may be tempting to bring your baby into the bed if they are having a difficult night or are struggling to sleep. There is a risk of fatal sleeping accidents if your bed is not setup safely.
It is important to note that our guide is meant to give quick insight and outline the facts. Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child’s health.
Reviewed by: Julie Mallon
Date reviewed: 6th January, 2019