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Sleeping With Your Newborn Baby: Pros, Cons and What to Watch Out For

By Kelly Ekardt 2 years ago 1580 Views No comments

When your baby has just been born, you’re probably going to be inseparable, so sleeping together at night can be a great feeling. Sleeping in the same bed as your newborn baby has some excellent practical benefits, but there are some important aspects to consider and watch out for.

beautiful woman and baby sleeping together in a bedroom | newborn baby clothes - sense organics

Why sleep together with your newborn baby?

Not only will sleeping with your newborn encourage bonding in a way that other kinds of shared activity between mother and baby cannot; there are also some practical reasons and emotional benefits to having your newborn baby in bed with you at night.

1. Nighttime breastfeeding is considerably easier for the mother

Not having to get out of bed during the night to feed your baby can make sleep for both of you much more achievable. Once you get used to feeding your baby at night, you can briefly wake up to help them latch on, and then fall back to sleep while your newborn nurses himself or herself until they fall asleep, too.

2. You can keep an eye on Your newborn’s health throughout the night

Should you have any concerns about your baby’s health at any time, you’ll want to be able to monitor them. Doing this while they’re in bed with you will be considerably easier than if they’re in a cot or another room. Just knowing that they’re next to you will also help alleviate any worries you might have if they are showing any small sign of illness or discomfort, making it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep.

3. It can be a very cosy feeling snuggling up with your newborn

This is especially true during the winter months, when you or your baby could feel chilly overnight. Having them close to your chest and feeling their soft organic baby clothes next to you can be very comforting — for both parent and baby.

 

Encourage good sleeping habits for your newborn baby

In order to comfortably sleep alongside your newborn baby, it’s a good idea to encourage some good sleeping habits to ensure you both get into a positive sleeping routine.

1. Be active during the day

Even from birth, keeping your newborn active and busy during daytime hours can help their bodies calibrate their own circadian rhythm, learning to be awake during the day and asleep at night.

2. Reduce stimulation at night

By the same token, by making sure you don’t overstimulate your newborn at night when you want them to sleep, you’ll help them adjust to a normal sleep cycle. Therefore, it’s important to not fuss over them too much once you’re in bed together.

3. Have a consistent bedtime

Consistency really is the key. Once you’ve found a rhythm that works and a bedtime that makes sense for you and your baby, stick to it. This way, your baby’s body becomes accustomed to a set bedtime and can adjust accordingly.

4. Dress them comfortably

Ensure that your baby is adequately dressed at night, ideally in a baby bodysuit. Newborn babies (and children in general) are prone to getting cold during the night, as they lose body heat much quicker than adults —  especially wearing cotton baby clothes, as it is so breathable. Check your newborn’s torso to get an idea of how warm or cold they are, and see if they need another layer or to be changed into a thicker bodysuit.

5. Offer them a dummy at night

It can be a good idea if you’re breastfeeding to offer your newborn a dummy to suck on at night, as this can prove very comforting for them.

 

Take some precautions

If you decide that sleeping alongside your newborn baby in bed is the right decision for you, then there are some safety considerations to keep in mind.

1. Put your baby down to sleep on their back. Any other position can potentially be dangerous for a newborn to sleep in.

2. Avoid wearing anything with buttons, clasps, pins or long strings in bed with your baby. Such things could scratch your child or get tangled up in their own newborn baby clothes, causing unnecessary discomfort for you both. The same goes for any jewellery: take it off before getting into bed.

3. Make sure there are no gaps where your baby could get stuck such as gaps between the mattress and the bed frame or between headboard slats.

4. Install a baby-safe rail. If there are exposed sides of your bed (such as if it’s not against a wall on the side your baby will be sleeping on) and the mattress isn’t very close to the floor, installing a rail will prevent your little one from potentially falling out of bed.

5. Dress your newborn slightly less warmly than if they were sleeping on their own. This is so your baby’s body temperature doesn’t rise too much as you conserve warmth together. Choose something from our range of organic cotton baby clothes, such as a light baby bodysuit, that allows a small amount of their natural body heat to escape as needed.

 

Check in with your newborn baby

Not every newborn will love sleeping surrounded by their parents. Some babies enjoy having space and quiet when sleeping from a very early age, so it’s important to check in with your newborn and adhere to their preferences. This does not mean that you won’t be able to bond; just like the rest of us, some babies prefer to sleep alone!

Read more on the Sense Organics blog about how to dress your baby to ensure their comfort at night in a cosy baby bodysuit or any of our organic baby clothes. Happy bonding!