A quick and easy guide to safe bed-sharing.
- Never sleep on a sofa or arm-chair with your baby
- Make your adult bed safe by:
- Ensuring your mattress is firm and flat – no water-beds, beanbags or sagging mattresses
- Ensuring that your baby can’t fall out of bed OR get squashed between the mattress and the wall, or between the mattress and the bottom of a bed-guard
- Keeping the temperature of the room even – 16-18 degrees Celsius
- Dressing your baby in the same number of layers as you dress yourself
- Ensuring the covers and pillows don’t go over your baby’s head
- No pets in the bed, and older children should have an adult between them and the newborn
- Telling your partner that the baby is in the bed
- Not leaving your baby alone in or on the bed
- Don’t bedshare if:
- You or another adult in the room is a smoker
- You are artificially sleepier e.g. if you have been drinking alcohol, or taking medication that might make you drowsy
- Have a condition or illness that may make you less aware of your baby
- Seriously consider not bedsharing if:
- Your baby was premature or small at birth (only a concern in the early weeks)
- Your baby has a very high temperature
- You are not breastfeeding
More information can be found on the Unicef Guide to Coping at Night.
Next Wednesday I will write about why you might want to consider bed-sharing with your baby.