Specific rules for shared bed safety
Love your baby! Breastfeeding mothers stay longer in mild stages of sleep, making them more alert to babies. Place the baby close to the mother, instead of leaving it between the father and the mother;
Use grills or bed protectors when placing the baby in the family’s bed. Fill any space between the bed and the walls, bedside and furniture with a rolled up blanket or towel.
If you put the mattress on the floor, away from the walls, you also avoid the risk of falls, plus the risk of the baby falling into some small spaces. Be conscious about the sleep arrangement. Place the baby close to the mother in a safe and secure environment, rather than falling asleep by exhaustion on the couch, chair, armchair, or any other unsafe place.
Only primary caregivers should sleep with a baby, as only they can sleep in a light state of alert, attentive to the movements and presence of the baby. don’t let nannies or older siblings sleep close to the baby because they too will not be alert to the baby’s movements and presence.
IF THERE ARE OLDER CHILDREN the family bed should not include an older sibling next to the baby, who will not be so attentive to the baby in bed. That is, if you have a child who still sleeps in your bed, let him/her sleep between the father and the mother while the baby sleeps between the mother and the wall.
WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT SHARE A BED
If you USE ALCOHOL OR DRUGS, these substances interfere with your level of consciousness and will interfere with your ability to be alert to your baby
If you are taking medicines to sleep or change your sleep state.
IF YOU SMOKE. There is an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) associated with smoking and bed sharing. Stop smoking, for you and your baby!
IF YOU ARE EXTREMELY OBESE There is also an increased risk of SIDS, which has been associated with parental obesity and shared bed practice.
IF YOUR BABY IS PREMATURE, HAS LOW BIRTH WEIGHT, OR HAS A HIGH FEVER.