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.

Here is what you need to know.

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.

A few safety tips if you and your partner do decide to co-sleep with your baby. Remember, it is important that both parents understand the risks and are in agreement.

  • Never sleep on an armchair, rocking chair or sofa with your baby.
  • Never leave your baby alone on the bed.
  • Your baby must always sleep on their back. Never on the tummy.
  • Your mattress must be firm.
  • Keep bedding light and never share adult blankets with a baby. Make sure your baby’s head is uncovered during sleep. Do not let them get hot.
  • Do not put your baby against pillows or a wall as they may get trapped and suffocate.
  • Make sure they are placed where they cannot fall off the bed.
  • It’s best that they sleep beside one parent. Sleeping in the middle could increase the risk of getting rolled over by a parent.
  • Do not let your toddler share a bed with your newborn.

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.

Your child must get the appropriate amount of sleep and healthy sleeping habits directly affects their growth and development.

Also learn about: How to change a diaper, the signs of a diaper rash and the dos and don’ts of bath time.

Reviewed by: Julie Mallon

Date reviewed: 6th January, 2019

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.


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