DAILY REALITY – A MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FEEDING
It’s the middle of the night and my baby is hungry. So we lie down next to each other side by side in the big bed. Her crib is in our bedroom, not only that – her crib is a co-sleeper attached to our bed, still she doesn’t make it there. We both fall asleep while nursing, which I only find out 2 hours later when I wake up. Neither of us has moved. Safe? Not safe?
The first time this happened was in the hospital right after she was born. I was exhausted. The nursed taught us how to breastfeed while lying down – the most comfortable position for me. I do want to put my baby in the crib but I’m unable to stay awake for her 40 minute feeding at 4 in the morning.
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS SAYS…
This raises the question of co-sleeping and bed sharing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding to protect against SIDS but at the same time pediatricians recommend mothers and babies sleep in the same room but not in the same bed. “I think you can breastfeed successfully without bed-sharing,” says pediatrician Rachel Moon, MD, chair of the academy’s SIDS task force. “We do want the crib right next to the parents’ bed.”
Breastfeeding without bed-sharing – not always so simple!
A HEALTHY BED SHARING SCENARIO
As of 2009, no one yet has demonstrated that keeping a baby in a crib is any less hazardous than this mother-infant bed sharing scenario:
• The sleeping surface is a firm mattress or mat pushed away from the wall and all other furniture.
• There is no headboard, footboard, or railing attached to the bed.
• The baby is placed on his back and his face is uncovered.
• There are no bed covers (neither blankets, duvets, no top sheets), no soft toys and no dangerous bedding (e.g., pillows) near the baby.
• Care is taken to prevent the baby from overheating (i.e., the room is a comfortable temperature and the baby isn’t overdressed).
• There are no draperies, blinds, or cords nearby that the baby could get tangled in.
• Neither mother nor infant is wearing anything could cover the baby’s face, get tangled around the baby’s neck, or constitute a choking hazard.
• The baby can’t hurt himself by falling out of bed. For example, if the bed is elevated from the ground, the baby is protected from falling out by being placed between the mother and a safe barrier, like the Humanity Family Bed Cosleeping Pad.
• The mother is a nonsmoker and is unimpaired by alcohol, drugs, or exhaustion.
• The mother doesn’t suffer from medical conditions that render her a “heavy” sleeper or a “restless” sleeper.
• The mother is the only person sharing the sleeping surface with the baby.
NATURE WILL TAKE OVER
I do respect all the above, except for the last one. But what can you do, really? Nature takes over. My mother instinct has not failed me. I’ve never moved when sleeping with my baby. Although I will try to move her to her cute co-sleeper every time, I admit that sometimes we might just snooze off together.
DO YOU SHARE YOUR BED WITH YOUR BABY? PLEASE COMMENT IN THE SECTION BELOW 🙂
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