As new parents, there is a lot that you get to learn about the ways your little one sleeps. Some of the most common questions include the time for which the little one sleeps, or from when they can easily sleep on their own. However, going through the internet, you might have come across a certain term that you may not have heard before – co-sleeping with baby.  

Co sleeping with baby is exactly what it sounds like. It is when a parent, a sibling, or a caregiver sleep on the same surface with the baby. While you may have seen many mamas talk about it on social media or in advertisements, you might not be aware of the exact process of it. 

However, if you wish to learn more about co sleeping with baby, you are just at the right place. In this article, we shall discuss what co sleeping actually is and if it is the best sleeping practice for your little one.  

What Do You Mean By Co Sleeping?  

While co sleeping is a well-used term, not everyone uses it in the same way. While in its most literal sense, co sleeping means sleeping together with the baby. This can be both intentional and unintentional. For instance, you can bring your baby to sleep with you, that is what we call as intentional co sleeping with baby.  

What Do You Mean By Co Sleeping

On the other hand, if you fall asleep on the couch while watching a movie with your little one, that is what we’ll call as unintentional co sleeping. Co-sleeping is a healthy practice as it helps with breastfeeding and makes it easier for you to respond to babies while they sleep at night. It is also a very good exercise if you wish to bond with your little one.   

However, based on sources, co-sleeping might be used to refer to various sleep practices. Some of the most common practices where parents tend to refer to co sleeping with baby are:  

Bed sharing: This is a practice where the baby and the parent sleep in the same bed. This process is also known as surface sharing because this process requires the baby and the parent to sleep together in the same bed, couch, or floor.  

Room sharing: Room sharing is a practice where the baby might sleep on a different surface but in the same room as the parent.  

Rooming in: Rooming is the kind of room sharing that happens immediately after the baby is born in the hospital. This is where the baby sleeps on a separate sleeping surface that remains close to the parent for 24 hours while they are still in the hospital.  

Is It Really Safe To Go For Co Sleeping With Babies?  

Is It Really Safe To Go For Co Sleeping With Babies

While this might seem like a very bonding exercise for parents, is it really safe for you to sleep with your child? As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is a good habit to share your room with the little one, but bed sharing might not be as healthy.  

There are certain co sleeping that might pose a death risk for the little one.  

However, despite the risks, people across multiple cultures prefer sharing a bed with their little ones. Some studies have, in fact, found out that bed-sharing is very common among parents and also has a relatively lower rate of the sudden death of the infant.  

However, it is still not understood if the low rates are because of sharing a bed or if it is because of other practices such as less smoking during pregnancy, high rates of breastfeeding, or easy access to medical care. Additionally, in such countries where bed sharing is a common practice, the baby might be sleeping on a flat, firm surface without too much bedding. 

Bed Sharing  

In the United States particularly, experts suggest parents not to let their baby sleep in the same bed as them as it might increase the chances of injuries and accidents. These experts particularly focus on the chances of sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS] and sudden unexpected infant death [SUID] in babies who particularly share beds with their parents.  

SUID refers to the unanticipated death of a baby during the first year of their life. Some of the reasons behind SUID might include infection, choking, injury, heart problems, and suffocation.  

If there is a lack of proper explanation behind the death of the baby, it is usually considered that they might have experienced sudden, unexpected infant death.  

As per some older research, it is considered that the possible benefit of bed sharing might be the increased duration of breastfeeding. However, the newer recommendations claim that even if breastfeeding is done in bed, the baby must sleep somewhere different than the parents.  

Room Sharing 

If you are unable to sleep on the same bed as your little one, you can try out the room sharing method of co sleeping with your baby. This way, you can eliminate the risks of bed-sharing and keep them as close as possible while sleeping at night.  


Can easily check on the baby  

When you sleep in the same room with your baby, you do not have to rely on the baby monitor to see when they need you. You can easily check on them without having to leave your own bed.  

Reduces the risk of SIDS  

Babies are at a very reduced risk of accidents or injury when they sleep on a completely different sleeping surface. In fact, room sharing might also reduce the risks of sudden infant death syndrome by approximately 50 percent. Room sharing is also a safer option than a baby sleeping in a different room.  


Less breastfeeding 

The earliest research suggests that room sharing might reduce the time you get to breastfeed your little one. If you somewhat reduce the frequency of breastfeeding, it might lead to reduced production of the mother’s breast milk. 

Accidental bed sharing  

People who wish to avoid bed sharing might also end up falling asleep while breastfeeding the little one. This creates a very unsafe sleep situation for the baby.  


Rooming is a practice that mainly takes place in hospitals where babies are kept very close to their parents but on separate sleeping surfaces. It is an important practice, particularly when it comes to postnatal care. Rooming in improves breastfeeding, skin to skin contact, and nurtures a healthy connection between the baby and the mother.  

While rooming in one of the most preferred ways of co sleeping with baby, it too is associated with few risks. Experts recommend taking proper precautions while rooming in to be able to reduce any risk of injury or accident.  

Being Cautious About Falling Asleep  

Mothers tend to fall asleep with their little one while doing skin to skin contact. As this might create a pretty dangerous situation for the newborn, you will have staff and nurses available to put the baby back in their bed if it is at all needed.  

Avoid Sharing Bed  

Bed sharing is absolutely not recommended for babies under one year old.  Therefore, if you are rooming in with the baby, it is always advised to put the baby back in their crib after you are done tending them.  

Asking For Help  

Mothers must feel fully comfortable asking for help from any professional, such as nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, and health educators, who can help them with different sleep advice. This will make the entire process simpler, and you will know just the right thing to do while putting your baby to sleep.   

Tips For Safely Co Sleeping With Baby  

Tips For Safely Co Sleeping With Baby

When you take the right precautions for co sleeping with baby, the risks reduce by a substantial amount. Regardless of the exact sleep arrangement you follow, there are tips that can help you keep the sleep environment comfortable and safe for the baby to sleep in.  

No Soft Surfaces  

It is usually the safest for infants to sleep in flat, and firm surfaces that are particularly made for babies to sleep in. Soft sleeping surfaces are usually riskier and increase the chances of breathing difficulties and other accidents.  

Keep The Sleeping Area Clean  

Your baby’s sleeping area should be clean of anything soft, including toys, pillows, blankets, crib bumpers, and stuffed animals.  

Always Place The Baby On Their Back  

Babies must always lie on their backs when they are taking a nap, even during the day. This sleeping position reduces the risk of SIDS, along with the risk of nasal congestion, fevers, and ear infections.  

Keep Other Children Or Pets Off The Bed  

When you do practice co sleeping with baby, make sure that it is only you gets to share the sleeping space with the little one. No pets or other children [if you have any] should be allowed on the same bed as the newborn.  

Provent Overheating  

Make sure that the baby is not getting too hot while sleeping. Their face and head should always be uncovered. Try not to use blankets that will keep them warm or layering.  

Give Them A Pacifier  

You may give your baby a pacifier while practicing co sleeping with them. This will help reduce the chances of SIDS.  

When does co sleeping with baby become more dangerous than ever?  

Co sleeping with baby, particularly bed sharing, can be highly dangerous for little babes in certain circumstances. Research has proven that these factors may increase the risks that are usually caused by bed sharing. Thus, mothers must avoid such circumstances if they wish to share a bed with their little ones.  

Premature Babies  

If your baby was born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is particularly suggested not to practice bed sharing with them. Babies who have a low birth weight are also pretty vulnerable to SIDS or other accidental injuries from bed sharing.  

Impaired Mothers  

Infants are usually at a higher risk of injury while sharing a bed with someone who is at a greater risk of going through fatigue or is impaired by the use of alcohol, certain medications, or other substances. 

Bed Sharing With Someone Who Is Not Their Parent 

Bed sharing is only an advisable practice when the kid does it with parents. No one other than the parents is to practice bed sharing with an infant.  

Tobacco Use  

Sharing a bed with an infant if you are a smoker increases the risk of SIDS. The death risk of infants also increases if the parent smokes tobacco during pregnancy.  

How To Stop Co Sleeping With Baby?  

How To Stop Co Sleeping With Baby

Of course there will be a time when you would have to stop co sleeping with your baby. But, it is not as easy as you think. While you may realize the importance of it, your baby will not.  

But it is extremely important to stop co sleeping with them to promote healthy sleeping habits. Here are some ways that might turn out to be more helpful than others.  

Transition Slowly  

Do not rush with it. It is a habit that your little one is trying to let go of. This does not happen in just one day. Try to be as patient as you can.  

Try To Talk With A Professional  

There is nothing wrong with taking the help of a professional. If your child is being too fussy, you can get help from an expert. See what they have to say. This way, you will be able to take a safer and more professional step towards your baby’s sleep transition.  

The Bottom Line  

If you think co sleeping with baby is the right fit for your family, go ahead with it. However, if you find it too stressful for you or your partner, you may rethink your personal space.  

Remember, staying fit and healthy is a priority for keeping the baby healthy, too. Also, if you are co sleeping with baby, you need to be as cautious as you possibly can. Co sleeping, particularly bed sharing, increases the risk of SIDS and SUDA.  

Unless it is absolutely a necessity, it is best not to sleep in the same bed as your baby. This will only keep them as protected as you possibly can.


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