Guidelines for safe co-sleeping

accreditation


All the researchers who are pro co-sleeping are of the same opinion that guidelines need to be followed and that parents need to be educated to ensure their child's safety. These guidelines include:

  • Always placing the baby on its back to sleep;
  • The baby should always sleep next to the mother, not in-between the mother and father;
  • Precautions should be taken to stop the child rolling out of the bed;
  • A parent should not share a bed with an infant if the parent is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or sleep-inducing tablets, or if the parents are sleep-deprived;
  • Don't allow babysitters or older siblings to sleep with the baby;
  • Don't fall asleep with the baby on a couch, beanbag chair or waterbed;
  • Don't let the baby sleep unattended on an adult bed;
  • Don't overly bundle the baby as they get additional warmth from the mother's body and overheating can cause problems;
  • Mothers with long hair should tie it up to prevent it tangling around the baby's neck.

The four prime hazards of co-sleeping include:

  • Suffocation caused by an adult rolling on top of or next to the baby;
  • Suffocation when an infant gets trapped or wedged between a mattress or headboard, nightstand or wall;
  • Suffocation resulting from a baby being face down on a waterbed, regular mattress or on soft bedding such as pillows, blankets or sofas;
  • Strangulation in a headboard or foot board that allows part of the baby's body to pass through the area while trapping its head.

When it's time to stop co-sleeping
According to Kidshealth.org, many medical experts agree that it's important to speak to your doctor when you feel it's time to move your baby out of your bed and into its own crib.

This should be done when the baby is about six months old - i.e. before the co-sleeping pattern becomes a habit and other issues, such as separation anxiety, come into play.

Sources:

  • Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre
  • World Health Organisation (www.who.int/nutrition/publications/evidence_ten_step_eng.pdf)
  • Kidshealth.org (www.kidshealth.org)
  • Attachment Parenting International (www.attachmentparenting.org)
  • We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
    In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
    Subscribe to News24
    Voting Booth
    Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
    Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
    Results
    Authorities should bring in the army already
    9% - 896 votes
    Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
    55% - 5203 votes
    What else did we expect without no proper policing
    33% - 3113 votes
    Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
    3% - 302 votes
    Vote
    Rand - Dollar
    16.16
    +2.6%
    Rand - Pound
    19.78
    +1.2%
    Rand - Euro
    16.69
    +1.5%
    Rand - Aus dollar
    11.44
    +0.9%
    Rand - Yen
    0.12
    +0.6%
    Gold
    1,797.91
    +0.2%
    Silver
    20.69
    +0.8%
    Palladium
    2,247.50
    +1.1%
    Platinum
    942.50
    +0.5%
    Brent Crude
    96.31
    -0.4%
    Top 40
    62,995
    -1.2%
    All Share
    69,582
    -1.0%
    Resource 10
    64,088
    -1.5%
    Industrial 25
    84,550
    -1.5%
    Financial 15
    15,732
    -0.1%
    All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
    Editorial feedback and complaints

    Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

    LEARN MORE