Is it okay to co-sleep with my baby?

There is general agreement among pediatricians and public health policy makers that co-sleeping poses risks to infants. However, having an infant sleep close to parents in an approved “co-sleeper” can be beneficial for both infants and parents, particularly during the first 3 to 6 months.

Risks of co-sleeping with an infant are increased when parents use pillows and blankets in their bed, are overweight, use alcohol or sedating medications or have a sleep disorder. There are also infant specific risk factors, such as prematurity, family history of SIDS and sleep disorders, developmental delay and other medical problems. Even when these risk factors are not an issue, tragedies do happen and the most conservative or safest approach is to have your infant sleep close by in an approved co-sleeper or crib to facilitate easy feeding.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Lewin Daniel S. Lewin, PhD, DABSM is a pediatric psychologist, sleep specialist, and licensed clinical psychologist. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine and Behavioral Sleep Medicine and is the Associate Director of the Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Director of the Pulmonary Behavioral Medicine Program at Children’s National and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine.

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