Co-sleeping with a baby is one of the most debated parenting topics in the world. This is because there are many different opinions on whether to co-sleep with a baby or not. To help you figure out the best choice for your family, here are the benefits and risks of co-sleeping with your baby.

One of the main reasons why there are different opinions on whether to co-sleep with baby or not is the misinterpretation of the term “co-sleeping”. As many use this term interchangeably with “bed-sharing”. These two terms are different. Co-sleeping is when parents sleep in close proximity with their baby. This includes when the baby is in the crib, basinet, bedside sleeper, or beside the parent’s bed. On the other hand, bed-sharing is a way of co-sleeping in which the baby sleeps in the same bed as the parents.

Here are benefits of co-sleeping with your baby.

  1. Allows close monitoring of the baby. It enables you to notice if there is something wrong with your child and attend to his/her needs quickly.
  2. Convenient for breastfeeding. This is true especially when bed sharing as it allows baby to have easy access to mom’s breast.
  3. Easy to put baby to sleep. Infants feel more comfortable and secure when they are sleeping with their parents helping them to sleep easily.
  4. Allows mom and baby to have more sleep at night. Infants who sleep close to their parents feel more comfortable than when they are alone in baby’s own In addition, it is easy to nurse and put baby back to sleep when he/she stirs.
  5. Ensure that the baby is warm enough. Sleeping close to your little one allows you to touch him/her as frequently as necessary. Checking whether his/her skin is warm, cold, sweaty, or just normal.

The risk of co-sleeping occurs in bed-sharing as the latter is associated to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Bed-sharing puts baby at risk of:

  1. Some adults’ beds are too soft that can make a baby to sink down and have trouble breathing. Blankets, pillows, and lose bedsheets may also cover the infant’s face unintentionally causing suffocation.
  2. Falling off the bed. Unlike cribs and basinets, an adult’s bed doesn’t have side panels to protect the baby from falling off.
  3. Getting rolled over by fast asleep parents.
  4. Infant head might be trapped in small gap between bed and wall.

Safety Guidance When Co-Sleeping with Your Baby

  1. Avoid bed-sharing. Put baby on a crib, basinet, or a bedside sleeper next to your bed. Crib and basinet have side panels to protect the baby from falling off. If you want to feel like you’re on the same bed with the baby, consider using a bedside sleeper which allows you to attached the infant’s bed to your bed.
  2. Make sure your baby’s mattress is firm and remove pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and toys to avoid suffocation.
  3. Dress baby in minimal clothing. Remember that extra clothing may cover the baby’s face and can cause suffocation.
  4. Put baby on his/her back when sleeping. Do not allow baby to sleep in his/her chest as this can also cause suffocation and SIDS.
  5. Keep away infant’s bed from curtains or cords as baby can get caught in them and strangle.

Co-sleeping can be safe and minimizes the risk of SIDS when done correctly. I hope you find this article helpful in deciding on how to co-sleep with your baby.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is an article writer about family, parenting, and households. She works at, an appliance website that offers a wide selection of electric kettles for different needs.