Yes, you can but in a safe way. There are three ways you can do this. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. Every family has different issues and environmental restraints to deal with, so I will let you decide which of these methods are best for you.
First Method, The Baby Sleeps In a Co-sleeper Next To The Bed
By far, this method is the most accepted to be the best balance between the baby’s safety while minimizing disturbance to the parents. A co-sleeper is simply a fancy name for a baby crib that is right next to parents’ bed. It is conveniently placed so that if the baby wakes up in the middle of the night hungry, the breastfeeding mother will be right next to her. Make sure your baby is sleeping face up, not face down.
The advantages of this setup:
- The breastfeeding mother can reach her baby without getting up and off the bed
- The baby is within arms reach so the parents can easily check for abnormalities
- There’s anecdotal evidence that being close to the parents reduces the chance of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- It is not as convenient to breastfeed compared to sleeping in the same bed as the mother
Second Method, The Baby Sleeps On The Same Bed As The Parents
There will be many so called “authorities” in baby sleep that will make claims against having babies sleep in the same bed as their parents. Unfortunately, these authorities often neglect the reality of the big picture.
Let’s be real here, if your baby can only fall asleep when her mother is besides her, then there’s not much you can do to change that, unless you want your sleep to be disturbed by your baby’s violent waking every hour of the night, every day of the week. You can only compromise based on your baby’s personality.
You simply have to take the right precautions so that your baby can stay safe sleeping in the same bed as you.You will have to make sure the following requirements are satisfied:
- Make sure you mattress is firm, and not soft like a sofa or couch
- Keep pillows, blankets (babies should not use blankets), jewelry, dolls, loose strings (that includes bra strings),etc. What should be near your baby should only be a wall (or a plastic meshed rail guardl), and the baby’s mother.
- Make sure you don’t smell strong. Avoid having perfumes, strong smelling lotions, essential oils or whatever strong smells too close to your baby. This can suffocate the baby’s delicate airways and lungs.
- Don’t do this when the parents are exhausted from sleep deprivation or under the influence of drugs (that includes medicine)
- Don’t do this with other children in the same bed
- Do this only with the mother directly next to the baby
- Make sure the baby isn’t positioned between two people
- Make sure your baby sleeps facing up, not facing down (prevents most cases of SID)
Advantages of this setup:
- Just like the co-sleeper setup, the parents can readily attain to the baby’s needs
- There’s anecdotal evidence being close to the parents reduces the chances of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- You don’t need to buy another crib or bassinet
- There are more restrictions and things to watch out for or you might risk suffocating the baby. Just use common sense to avoid dumb accidents (do not take cough medicines that cause drowsiness for example). You need to be a bit more alert at night.
- It might “get in the way” of partners’ intimate life (more on this later)
The Third Method, The Baby Sleeps In Her Crib While Being In the Same Room
This method might makes for sense for families that sleep on a small bed. Just because sleeping in the same bed is safe (or possibly safer than on a crib) doesn’t mean that it is possible.
You might only be able to have your baby on crib that is positioned out of arm’s reach. However, that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. Each baby have their own personality. It is possible that your baby prefers to sleep alone in her own crib. Just because you want to be close to your baby, doesn’t mean your baby wants to.
My wife has attempted to be close to our daughter, Lilyanna when we went to sleep at night. Guess what happened? Lilyanna kicked her away (literally with her tiny but strong feet). After giving my wife some intense husband style consultation, my wife felt better and gave up on the idea of “bonding”. At least she tried. You have to give her credit for that.
Make sure your baby has no other items in the crib. Your baby and the clothes she’s wearing should be the only thing that’s there. As mentioned earlier, blankets, pillows or whatever loose items can suffocate your baby to death. Also make sure your baby sleeps while facing up, not facing down.
Advantages of This Setup:
- You are still aware of your baby in the same room (you can attain to her needs readily
- Both partners can get naked and fun without disturbing the baby
Disadvantages of This Setup:
- The mother will have to get off the bed to take care of the baby at night
- You need to purchase an extra crib
- It is harder to bond with the baby
There are anecdotal evidence out there that hint at the fact that babies tend to suffer SIDS when they sleep in their own room. Nothing is conclusive yet. However, what is conclusive is that babies need to sleep near their parents.
They subconsciously imitate their parents’ breathing patterns when they sleep in the same room. This is a form of learning that they must receive to grow and develop healthily.
As I mentioned earlier, when parents sleep together with their baby, there’s a fear that it might disrupt “fun and naked moments”. However, that doesn’t necessarily happen to everybody.
There are some parents out there that plays it smart and “invents” ways to get around it. You can always choose to “get in the mood” at a different time of the day. You just have to learn to compromise and cooperate with each other for methods to accommodate the new life in the family.
Just remember that family is about viewing each other as a part of a team. Do not make selfish decisions that brings damage to the family in the long term.
I hope this article has helped you. If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments section below.