There are different methods on how to sleep with newborns. Some parents choose to co-sleep with their baby, while others opt for a bassinet or crib next to the bed. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to follow some basic safety guidelines to keep your baby safe while sleeping.
If you choose to co-sleep with your baby, you must follow some safety guidelines.
#1 Keep the Co-Sleeping Space Safe
A safe co-sleeping space has firm surfaces and enough room for everyone. Always place your baby to sleep on his back in a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper next to your bed. Never place your baby to sleep on a soft surface like a couch, chair, or waterbed.
If you are using a co-sleeper, make sure it is placed close enough to the bed so that you can easily reach your baby, but not so close that he could fall out. Remember to keep all cords and wires away from your baby’s reach.
#2 Place Your Baby on His Back to Sleep
Always place your baby on his back to sleep. SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is a major cause of death in infants. Placing your baby to sleep on his back will help decrease the risk of SIDS, even though sleeping on his back might be difficult for your baby at first.
If he rolls over on his own and can sleep comfortably on his stomach, it’s OK as long as you always put him to sleep on his back whenever you check on him. Never let your baby sleep in bed with other children or pets as they can easily roll onto the baby and cause suffocation.
#3 Keep Your Baby’s Sleeping Environment Cool and Dark
A cool sleeping environment will help your baby sleep better. Make sure the room is between 60-68 degrees F (16-20 degrees C). You can also use a fan to circulate the air in the room.
Keep the room as dark as possible. The light from a television or other electronic devices can disrupt your baby’s sleep.
If you are co-sleeping, you may want to use a thin baby blanket to keep your baby warm. Do not use any type of bumper pad in the crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper as they can be dangerous.
It’s also important to avoid using soft bedding materials like sheepskins, quilts, comforters, and bumper pads in your baby’s sleeping environment. These can increase the risk of SIDS.
If you are using a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper, make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly in the frame. Avoid using pillows, blankets, and soft stuffed animals in the baby’s sleeping environment as they can endanger your child.
#4 Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine is an important step on how to sleep with newborns. Many babies will fall asleep after feeding and this is one of the most effective ways to get your baby to sleep especially during the night. Making sure that there is a sleeping and feeding schedule will help your baby fall asleep faster at night.
#5 Know Your Baby’s Sleeping Pattern
It’s important to know when your newborn sleep, eats, and wakes up. If they are crying, check to see if they are hungry, wet, or need a diaper change. If you think your baby is over-tired, try to put him down in a quiet and dark place to sleep.
Some babies will sleep for long periods during the day but might wake up more often during the night. Other babies will sleep for shorter periods and may wake up crying in the middle of the night.
Follow your baby’s natural patterns when he sleeps during the day and night, don’t try to change it or let him cry himself to sleep. It’s OK if he wakes up more often at night as long as you put him back down after feeding and changing him.