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Friday, July 2, 2010

Sleeping in the Family Bed safely

A friend sent this to me yesterday and I thought it was a brilliant pamphlet for people to have "on file".  Many times familys who share a bed and sleep with their child(ren) are accosted by people telling them how dangerous it is and how they're "spoiling" their children and they'll never learn independence etc.  This pamphlet is an excellent resource to give to people who question your decision to share sleep- short and to the point!
For more information on the facts about sleeping with your baby read my article Baby Co-sleeping Fact Sheet. 
 (pardon the horrible formatting of the pamphlet portions below....I'm not much of a techie and can't figure out how to change it, lol!)

Sharing a bed with
your baby

A guide for breastfeeding mothers
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
with the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths

Sharing a bed with your baby
A guide for breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeeding is best for your baby’s health and your own health. The longer
you breastfeed, the greater the health benefits for you both.
It is recommended that your baby shares a room with you for at least
the first 6 months, as this helps with breastfeeding and protects babies
against cot death.
Bringing your baby into bed with you means that you can breastfeed in
comfort. This may be why mothers who share a bed with their baby tend to
breastfeed for longer than those who don’t.
As it is easy to fall asleep while breastfeeding, especially when lying down, there
are some important points to consider before taking your baby into bed with you.
In particular, adult beds are not designed with infant safety in mind. Babies
can die if they get trapped or wedged in the bed or if a parent lies on them.
So the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a cot by your bed.
However, you can reduce the risk of accidents and, because bed sharing
helps with breastfeeding, you may find this leaflet useful.

Reduce the risk of accidents and overheating
Sofas are very dangerous for babies. Never lie down or fall asleep with your
baby on a sofa or armchair.
Adult beds are not designed for babies. To prevent your baby overheating,
suffocating or becoming trapped:
The mattress must be firm and flat – waterbeds, bean bags and sagging
mattresses are not suitable;
Make sure that your baby can’t fall out of bed or get stuck between the
mattress and the wall;
The room must not be too hot (16–18°C is ideal);
Your baby should not be overdressed – he should not wear any more
clothes than you would wear in bed yourself;
The covers must not overheat the baby or cover the baby’s head;
Your baby must not be left alone in or on the bed as even very young
babies can wriggle into dangerous positions;
Your partner should know if your baby is in the bed;
If an older child is also sharing your bed, you or your partner should sleep
between the child and the baby;
Pets should not share a bed with your baby.

Important – when not to sleep with your baby
Sharing a bed with your baby
A guide for breastfeeding mothers
Smoking increases the risk of cot
death. You should make sure that you
don’t fall asleep with your baby in your
bed if you (or any other person in the
bed) are a smoker, even if you never
smoke in bed.
Falling asleep with your baby is also
dangerous if you (or any other person in
the bed) might find it hard to respond
to the baby. For example if you:
have drunk alcohol
have taken any drug (legal or illegal)
which could make you extra sleepy
have any illness or condition that
affects your awareness of your baby
are otherwise unusually tired to a
point where you would find it difficult
to respond to your baby.
It also may be safest not to bed share
in the early months if your baby was
born preterm, was small at birth or if he
has a high temperature.
Never sleep with your baby on a sofa
or armchair. Sofas are very dangerous
for babies as they can become trapped
down the sides or in the cushions.

HERE to view and download the entire original pamphlet