Before we go any further, we always like to say to people; there are no such thing as bad habits. If you choose to do something which helps your baby go to sleep, then it’s not bad. It’s just a habit.
Co-sleeping is a perfectly natural and normal way of sleeping with your little one. A lot of parents find that babies (especially younger ones) sleep so much better when co-sleeping than when in their own cot. The mixture of smells and hormones makes a perfect concoction for your little one to drift off into a nice sleep.
So why does it have a bad reputation? Well mainly because some people don’t know how to do it safely! We all hear these horror stories of babies who fall out the bed or accidentally get suffocated when their parent rolls over on to them. Obviously these are few and far between, but it can put a lot of parents off.
We always suggest that our clients learn how to safely co-sleep just in case they need to resort to it. You might get to a point where your baby is sleeping well and then they start to cluster feed, or maybe they go through a period of separation anxiety, or perhaps the dreaded 4 month regression. It’s always good to know how to safely co-sleep.
You can find all the information on the Lullaby Trust website, but here are a few key points:
Keep bedding and pillows away from your baby,
Don’t bring other children or pets into bed with you when co-sleeping,
Make sure there is nowhere for your baby to get trapped, or wedged in between the mattress and the wall.
Do not co-sleep if you or anyone else in the bed has consumed alcohol,
Co-sleeping is a personal decision, so take the time to read the Lullaby Trust’s full advice sheet and use that to decide what is best for you and your family.