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What is Accidental Co-Sleeping? Groovy Babies Sleep Consultant Explains

Of all my clients I go visit, not many have planned from the out set on bed sharing. Many do plan on co-sleeping as that is what is recommended as a WHO and SIDS initiative in the first 6 months of life.

Research shows many benefits for babies who bed-share safely with their parents, including improved breastfeeding duration rates, improved settling with reduced crying, more infant arousals which are protective for baby, and improved maternal sleep. 80% of Australian families co-sleep or bed share in the first 6 months of life.

Accidental co-sleeping though is dangerous. It’s not planned bed sharing, its bring my baby into bed for some much needed sleep (understandably)in a bed environment not set up for bed sharing, or fall asleep on the sofa cuddles. This is unplanned bed sharing.

My clients  all ready feel guilty, and sleep deprived and anxious, and desperate, and alone, very much alone. Fear of being judged, fear of rolling onto their baby, fear they are going to create long term bad sleep habits.

I help them take action and eliminate these fears, and re align the goals they want for the future.

So what is the answer?  If you find that the only way your bub settles is with you (naturally), then educate yourself on safe co-sleeping and bed sharing guidelines.  Read Dr James McKenna’s information on safe be sharing and co-sleeping here. http://cosleeping.nd.edu/

Where should my baby sleep?

Tips to consider when choosing your Baby’s Sleep Environment.

Where a baby is “supposed to” is a common discussion for all new parent’s. There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of baby sleeping arrangement.

The most common baby’s sleep environments are: cot, bassinet, bedside sleeper, parent’s bed, hammock, bouncy seat, car seat, stroller and swing.

Advantages to having your baby in your room:

1. Recommended by The World Health Organisation for the first 6 months.

2. You are able to respond quicker in case of emergency.

3. Baby is closer for feeding.

4. Baby does not get as worked up to get your attention and will settle more quickly and peacefully.

Disadvantages to having a baby in your room:

1. Babies are noisy. It takes time to understand their “noises”!

2. If bed sharing, it will be harder for your baby to settle if being looked after by someone else.

3. It takes some time for gentle transitioning from your room into baby’s own room.

4. It can be a little inconvenient relationship wise having a baby in your room.

Advantages of having a baby in its own room:

1. Maintain your bedroom as your own space.

2. Unhindered intimacy (when your baby is asleep).

3. A greater tendency to leave your room to tend to your baby. May suit your partner and work schedules better.

Disadvantages of a separate room:

1. The need to physically get up and feed during the night esp winter’s nights.

2. Can be more difficult to settle your baby back to sleep- depending on temperament.

3. Missing the closeness of your baby.

4. Continual worry about your baby’s well-being. Many new mums get up and constantly check on their baby- can then actually wake them up to see if they are ok.