Sharing the Bed
Many babies share the bed with a parent at some time during their first six months of life - and most of these babies sleep for at least 2 hours out of every 24 in bed with a parent. Sharing the bed is more common in the first 12 weeks of life than at any other time.
Why should I share my bed?
Some parents enjoy sharing the bed with their baby because they believe that it helps to build a strong bond between them and that their baby will sleep better in a safe and secure environment. Others do it for more practical reasons: with their baby in bed with them, they can quickly respond to their waking child and easily breastfeed during the night. With baby in bed with them, they also believe that settling is quicker and easier too.
Safely sharing the bed
Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that bed-sharing can reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), in fact it has been connected with SIDS and other fatal sleep accidents when:
- You or your partner smokes
- You or your partner drinks alcohol, or takes drugs - including sedatives
- You or your partner are very tired
A 'safe bed' for baby is one where:
- she always sleeps on her back
- the mattress is firm
- she does not use a pillow
- her face is kept clear of blankets
- she is never left alone
- it is not a waterbed
If you or your partner smokes, drinks or takes drugs, don't share the bed with your baby. For further information call your Plunket Nurse, or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922, 7 days, 7am to midnight
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