Although many experts advise against sharing your bed with your baby, many moms’ guilty secret is that they do it anyway. If you’re one of those moms, keep in mind that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s difficult to make bed sharing completely safe.
One recent study has attracted attention. It found no risk of SIDS from bed sharing — but only for babies over 11 weeks whose moms didn’t smoke during or after pregnancy and who slept in beds with no loose bedding, sheets, blankets, and pillows included. Following all those rules in your own bed isn’t easy. “Nearly fifty percent of all babies who die suddenly and unexpectedly are in a bed-sharing situation, so why take the chance?” says Rachel Moon, M.D., member of the AAP’s task force. (SIDS risk peaks from 2 to 4 months and is minimal after 6 months.)
Instead of sleeping together, consider putting your baby in your bedroom in a crib, bassinet, or co-sleeping attachment (a low crib right next to your bed). She can come into bed to nurse, but then sleep in her own safe place.