Sleeping Arrangements for Your New Baby
March 4, 2022It’s about time to welcome baby to the world. But where will he or she sleep – with you, next to you, in another room? How do you sleep train a baby? Here are some tips for finding your best-fit sleeping arrangements.
Same Room, Different Bed
While it’s tempting to let your precious newborn sleep next to you, experts say it’s not safe. Sharing an adult bed increases the risk of suffocation, strangulation, and sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS1. However, having baby sleep in the same room as mom is recommended by health experts for the baby’s first six months to a year. This sleeping arrangement is beneficial in so many ways because it can:
- Help support breastfeeding.
- Help prevent SIDS.2
- Encourage emotional and social connection.
Crib or Bassinet Only
Your newborn should sleep in either a crib or a bassinet that meets the latest Consumer Product Safety Commission’s guidelines. While the Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t have a recommendation for which option is better, they do recommend a freestanding crib or bassinet as opposed to one that attaches to the parent’s bed.3
Whether in a crib or bassinet, the sleeping surface should be firm and covered with a fitted sheet. The mattress should also fit tightly inside the crib with minimal space between the crib and the mattress. Additionally, avoid putting soft pillows and toys or loose blankets and sheets in the crib, as these can pose a risk for the baby’s safety.
Now that you know where your little bundle of joy should sleep, training him or her to sleep is the next step – at about the age of four months. Sleep training teaches babies how to fall asleep on their own. It’s a natural process of getting them to understand how to put themselves to sleep by self-soothing, which is an important developmental skill. There are several different sleep training techniques to try, and not everyone works for every baby.
Read more about sleep training techniques to find out which suits your family best.
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