After spending nine months inside your belly, your little one will need lots of your love and attention once she’s born. After all, you’re all she’s ever known! The sound of your voice and familiar feeling you provide will be all your little one wants. It may seem like she never wants to be put down and may even fuss when anyone else holds her.
Since she wants to be held 24/7 (and rightfully so!) she may not even want to be put down when you’re ready to go to sleep at night. Since it isn’t safe to fall asleep holding your baby, we have some great ways to safely co-sleep. These tips and products will ensure you both get a restful night’s sleep.
Share a room.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sharing a room with your little one for at least the first six months of life. Doing so greatly decreases the risk of SIDS. You can set up her crib, bassinet or another sleeper in your bedroom. Bonus: it makes getting up to feed her in the middle of the night more convenient since she’s right there next to you.
Sharing a room will help your baby to sleep better because she will sense you close by, even if you’re not holding her. Then, when she wakes up and cries, you’ll be able to respond more quickly before she gets too worked up in the middle of the night. It will take time, but your little one will learn that even if you’re not holding her all the time she is safe with you nearby.
Invest in a co-sleeper.
If being in the same room isn’t enough for your little one, you can try a co-sleeper. These range from bassinets that attach to the side of your bed to inserts you can place in your bed. There are many co-sleepers available that strive to meet safe sleep standards while allowing you to be even closer to your little one. Here are some of the top-rated co-sleepers for 2018:
Dock-A-Tot: This sleeper is an insert that you can place in your bed. It allows you to sleep with your little one while she remains safe in her own little cocoon. The Dock-A-Tot’s soft sides hug your baby and imitate the feeling of being held or being in the womb.
Sleep N’ Feed: This product doubles as a sleeper and as a nursing pillow. With removable pillow inserts, it can be adjusted to your growing baby’s needs. Use all of the inserts for your newborn and remove them as she grows and needs more room.
SwaddleMe By Your Side: With mesh sides and a firm bottom, this sleeper is also placed in your bed. It helps prevent the chance of rolling over on your little one during the night and breathable mesh prevents the risk of suffocation. Bonus: the price is super affordable!
Halo Bassinet: The Halo is a stand-alone sleeper that you can set up next to your bed. The height adjusts and the bassinet swivels so that your baby can sleep close to your bed without being in it.
Arms Reach: With a design similar to a pack-and-play, this co-sleeper has one side rail that can be lowered. When placed against the side of your bed, this co-sleeper is like an extension of your bed for your baby.
Transitioning from co-sleeping
When you’re ready for your baby to begin sleeping on her own, transition her slowly. If you’ve used a co-sleeper that’s in your bed, move it to a pack-and-play or crib that’s still in your room. Once your baby adjusts to that move, try taking away the sleeper so that she can get used to being in her own bed alone. The final (and biggest!) step is to move her bed to her own room. There may be a few rough nights as you both adjust, but chances are it will be harder for you than it is for your baby.
It’s important to make a choice that you and your partner are both comfortable with. Remember: co-sleeping isn’t forever. This will be a short season in your life, but it is a season that is incredibly important to your little one’s development.