A Problem Shared: Is Co-Sleeping Safe?

A Problem Shared Health Parenting & Family Advice | by | 7th Apr 2017

Newborn Baby asleep for APS on Co-Sleeping

A new mum wants to co-sleep with her baby daughter. Her partner has raised concerns. With news reports suggesting co-sleeping can be dangerous, what should Lucy do?

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I am a mum to a gorgeous little girl who is now 10 weeks old. She doesn’t settle well at all in her moses basket at nighttime. We also tried the crib and didn’t have any luck. So we tried co-sleeping instead. She just loves being close to me and sleeps so much better because she knows I’m near.

I do listen to advice I’m given but I don’t always do everything by the book because I feel every child is different and a mother knows her child best. The only problem is that we’ve seen a bit in the news recently about the dangers of co-sleeping. Now my partner doesn’t want us to co-sleep anymore as he’s he’s scared about what might happen.

We tried to put her down in her moses basket again and we tried to be a bit stricter. Yet I gave up in the end because I’m not going to listen to her screaming for hours! The trouble is it’s starting to cause arguments between my partner and me. I think we’re careful enough and that she’s totally safe, but all the warnings say otherwise.

Do you know if under certain circumstances that co-sleeping is safe? If not then can you suggest anything we can do to get her to sleep on her own? I haven’t spoken to my health visitor about this because I don’t want to be judged by her as a bad mother. All I want to do is care and be close to my daughter.

Hoping you can help.

Lucy, NPT.

Our FamilyPoint Response to Lucy

Dear Lucy,

Many thanks for contacting us here at FamilyPoint Cymru. Congratulations to you on the birth of your wonderful baby daughter. Such an exciting and happy time ahead for you but also a time of doubting your decisions as new parents. It’s always hard to know what the best thing to do when a new baby arrives. It is very natural for mum and dad to have very different views.

Your baby is still very young and wanting to be close to your daughter is a natural feeling for you to have as a new mum. Having that bond and wanting to keep an eye on her by being so close is what all new mum’s experience and going with your own instinct is what all mum’s tend to do and trust.

Co-sleeping is always a subject that divides opinions.

Baby sleep patterns is one of the most talked about issues once a newborn arrives. As you already mentioned every baby is different and you will find that your baby’s sleep pattern will change several times until they become older. There are no set rules how to get your baby to sleep on their own but there are a few important things you can try to see if this will help your daughter to soothe herself to sleep.

Co-sleeping is always a subject that divides opinions. There are some concerns about co-sleeping which you are already aware of and the NCT website have a great article on this for you. They also mention that over half of new mums co-sleep at some point during the first few months.

Independent sleeping

Independent sleeping is recommended when a baby turns 12 weeks old and getting a soothing and relaxing bedtime routine together is very much encouraged even at this young age. This will help your baby to feel relaxed and sleepy before their bedtime. Routine is one of the most important factors to introduce to a baby’s daily life to help them settle into a relaxed and structured daily routine. The NHS have some useful tips on what and how to introduce a bedtime routine.

Routine is one of the most important factors to introduce to a baby's daily life APS Co-Sleeping

How to co-parent – make time for both of you

One of the most important aspects of being first time parents is communicating and understanding each other’s point of view. You have both started on a new journey together and disagreeing might be a new factor in your relationship, alongside lack of sleep and a completely new lifestyle for the both of you. It’s really important that you sit down and talk about different issues that come to light. Try and compromise with each other’s view point. It is also important for you to have some quality time out to spend with each other to make sure you keep your relationship strong. This will help towards the new challenges you face of being parents.

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

I hope this advice has been helpful. Good luck.

The FamilyPoint Cymru Team

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