Jan. 7, 2014
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If you're considering co-sleeping with your baby, both you and your partner need to be happy with the arrangements. If either of you has doubts , try a trial period and then review how it went. Co-sleeping will only work if it's what everyone wants.
If your baby is 6 months or younger, he should sleep in a cot next to your bed. This will reduce the risk of your baby overheating under your duvet or bedspread, which is one of the causes of cot death.
WHEN IS CO-SLEEPING NOT SAFE?
Because of the increased risk of cot death, you shouldn't co-sleep if:
* You or your partner smoke,
* Your baby was premature or had a low birth weight,
* You or your partner have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medication or drugs. This may affect your memory and you could forget that your baby is in your bed and roll over onto him. You may also sleep so soundly that you are unaware that you've rolled onto him,
* You are extremely tired or have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnoea. You maybe in such a deep sleep that you don't wake up if you roll onto your baby.
HOW CAN ANYONE MAKE CO-SLEEPING COMFORTABLE?
Bed size is important if you plan to have your baby in bed with you. It won't be as enjoyable, or safe, if your bed is too small. King-size is best, but if that's a no-no for your budget or bedroom, buy a cot that you can attach to the side of your bed. Or try putting a normal cot next to your bed with the side down.
You'll have an easier time touching or soothing your baby if you can adjust his mattress to the same height as yours. This approach works well if your baby is a wriggler. He's still at arm's length, but not kicking you in the night.
There's no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to sleeping arrangements for you and your baby. Some parents like to sleep with their babies and some don't. And some babies need more night time comfort and companionship than others.
As your baby grows, he might not want to sleep all night, every night with you. With a bit of trial and error, you'll eventually find a method that works for you, your partner and your baby.