Co-sleeping is often a controversial topic amongst parents, with co-sleeping parents believing their way is best, and cot sleeping parents believing their way is best. But actually the best way for your baby to sleep is what ever suits your family best, and these top tips for co-sleeping will help any co-sleeping family or new family thinking about the decision of where baby sleeps.
- It is still important for your child to learn to put themselves to sleep. Most parents who find bed-sharing frustrating have begun to resent the early evening hours they are missing out on spending with their partners. If you practise once a day, putting your baby down drowsy but awake in their cot, they will easily settle in the evening in their cot and usually sleep until close to 10 or 11pm which is the deepest part of the night sleep for all infants. Once they wake at 10 or 11 pm, you can easily bring them to your bed for a feed and to sleep the rest of the night.
- Ensure that you have a conversation with your partner before your baby is born, how do you both feel about bed sharing/co-sleeping. Being on the same page as parents about something as big as possibly a 2-5 year commitment to share your bed is important.
- When you do decide to stop co-sleeping, give your baby a week or 2 to adjust and consider sleeping near their new bed for a few nights at least.
- You can have just as many benefits from room sharing as you can co-sleeping, using a side-cared cot or an in arms reach co-sleeper. If you are uncomfortable bed sharing these options might suit you better.
- Invest in a big bed, a queen or a king will be the best money you spend!
- Sleep with baby next to mum rather than in between mum and dad. Us mum’s have more awareness that the baby is in our bed and thus its safer.
- If you find your baby is over 8 months and nursing so much through the night they are not eating any solids during the day, try settling bubs with a few cuddles at night and reducing the feeding back to 1-2 feeds. Not only will this allow your baby to practise some important self settling skills, their appetite will increase during the day.
- If you don’t have time to bed share during the day, instead of skipping naps, try a push chair or baby carrier. Often a quick 10 minute walk will result in a good 45 minute nap. If you are consistent with your timings, these naps will get better and better.
- Try to teach Dad how to settle bubs for their naps from the early days, having someone else who can settle your baby will give you a welcome reprieve on the weekends and enable you to avoid getting burnt out.