Important information if you co-sleep with your baby
If you do co-sleep with your baby, it’s important to follow these guidelines
If you decide to share a bed with your baby or there is a chance you may fall asleep with your baby in bed unintentionally, it is still important to make sure you are following safer sleep advice.
A survey of over 8,500 parents carried out by the safer sleep baby charity The Lullaby Trust showed that 76% of parents admit that they have co-slept with their baby at some point. However, over 40% of parents admitted to having done so in dangerous circumstances such as on a sofa, having drunk alcohol or as a smoker. All of these circumstances greatly increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (also known as cot death or SIDS).
The survey found that co-sleeping on a sofa or armchair was the biggest risk, with 40% of parents admitting to having done so and 25% having done so more than once.
You should never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair, this increases the risk of SIDS by 50 times.
The survey also found that 12% of respondents smoke and share a bed with their baby and 9% have done so after drinking alcohol. Studies have found that bed-sharing with your baby after drinking alcohol or using drugs or if you are a smoker has a very high risk of SIDS.
If you do co-sleep with your baby, it’s important to follow this safety advice:
Keep the space around your baby clear of pillows and duvets
Always sleep your baby on their back
Avoid letting pets or other children in the bed
Make sure your baby cannot fall out of bed or become trapped between the mattress and wall
Never leave baby alone in the bed
It is important to know there are some circumstances where it is dangerous to share a bed with your baby. You should not co-sleep if:
Either you or anyone in the bed smokes (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom)
Either you or anyone in the bed has recently drunk any alcohol
You or anyone in the bed has taken any drugs that make you feel sleepy
Your baby was born prematurely (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or weighed under 2.5kg or 5½ lbs when they were born