Co-sleeping vs Side Sleeping: Safer Sleeping for your baby

Co-sleeping or side sleeping for your baby? Understand co-sleeping & side-sleeping. Find out the safest sleeping method for your baby

As a parent, it can be difficult to know what is best to ensure your baby is sleeping safely, especially as there is a lot of differing information and advice around the topic of co-sleeping, particularly for newborns. As a result, it is no wonder that for first time parents, in particular, this topic is both a sensitive one and one that can cause confusion and anxiety when trying to decide what is right for your family.

Indeed, the NHS recommends that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in the same room as you for at least the first six months. Experts believe that this proximity is a positive thing, not only for parent’s peace of mind but also for the well-being of their babies, enabling them to sync their biological rhythms with those of their parents. However, there appears to be confusion amongst parents as to whether this means they should be sharing the same family bed or in their own cot or Moses basket next to the bed and which is safest option.


Is bed sharing safe?

Sharing a bed with your baby is, without doubt, a hotly debated topic both in the media and amongst parents and there has been much publicity around both the pros and cons of doing so. Ultimately whether you put your baby to sleep in the same bed as you or separately comes down to personal choice, but it is also really important to understand the potential dangers involved in sharing the same bed as your newborn before making that decision.

For a newborn baby, the heat produced under the duvet, combined the body heat produced by those sharing the bed, may become excessive and therefore dangerous. Furthermore, you cannot exclude the possibility of accidental suffocation when sharing the same bed or the potential that your baby might roll or fall out of bed. The NHS also strongly recommends against sharing a bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke as this can be detrimental to your baby’s health as smoke lingers on both clothing and your breath.


Is there an alternative way to sleep close to your baby without sharing a bed? 

Another alternative option to consider is using a bedside cot such as our award-winning Chicco Next2Me, which attaches to the side of your bed and allows very close proximity between parent and baby without having to share a bed or bed covers. This is commonly referred to as side sleeping.


What are the benefits of side-sleeping over bed sharing?

Side sleeping has many benefits for both baby and parents but without any of the potential dangers associated with sharing the same bed as your newborn. The benefits of side sleeping include helping newborns adjust to sleeping patterns, making night-time feeding easier and encouraging baby-parent bonding.

Putting your baby to sleep in their own separate bedside cot also enables you to follow two simple safety rules for newborn – the ‘Feet to Foot’ rule and the ‘ABC’ method. The ‘Feet to Foot’ safety rule for newborns is the idea that your baby’s feet should be close to or touching the foot of the cot with the covers safely arranged so that your baby cannot shuffle below the covers, whilst the ‘ABC’ method refers to putting your baby to sleep alone on their back in a crib.

We understand it can be difficult to know what to do for the best as a parent, but if you are armed with all the facts you will be able to make your own decision based on what feels right for your family. Always follow safety advice and ask for a professional’s advice if you are at all unsure.

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