New Parents: Why Co-Sleep With Your Baby During the First Year

Sharing your bed with your newborn might seem scary if you are a first-time parent. You might stress about rolling over and hurting your baby’s tiny hands or feet while asleep. While co-sleeping is less popular in the Western world, it is common in other countries, and there are hardly any reports of infant injuries or mortality due to the practice.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages bed-sharing with babies younger than a year, 60% of parents admit to co-sleeping at least some times. Although AAP guidelines may scare you by highlighting risks like suffocation and parent rollover, the benefits of co-sleeping are worth considering.

Experts recommend sleeping together but safely to achieve the best benefits without stressing over the risks. Safety is a valid concern in this context because a survey suggests that 9 out of 10 parents co-sleep, but half of them hardly seek expert advice before doing it. Besides risk awareness, knowing the upsides of co-sleeping can help you be more confident about adopting the practice.

Here are a few valid reasons for new parents to co-sleep with their babies during the first year:


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exclusively-breastfed babies usually demand milk every 2 to 4 hours on average. That means you may have to wake up several times at night to nurse your baby. 

From a practical standpoint, co-sleeping is convenient because the proximity makes it easier for the mother to nurse throughout the night. The best part is that you can do it with minimal interruption to your sleep, as you don’t need to wake up or prep the formula feed for the little one.


Scientific research has established the significance of skin‐to‐skin contact between the mother and her baby in the first hour after birth. It offers short‐ and long‐term health benefits and strengthens emotional bonding. Not surprisingly, many parents choose to co-sleep to maintain the bonding with their infants as they grow up. It fulfills the instinctive need to be close to your baby, and the little one loves the warmth. 

Better Sleep Patterns

Newborns often mix up their days and nights, sleeping soundly throughout the day and being restless much of the night. Co-sleeping can help with regulating sleep patterns as newborns take the cues like being held close in a safe space and a quiet and dim environment. It is beneficial for both parents and infants as they get ample rest with a regular bedtime pattern.

Growth and Development

Since co-sleeping promotes sound sleep for the baby, it helps their growth and development. Studies have linked spurts in body length with increased sleep in infants, so your little one may actually get taller by sharing their bed with you. The practice also promotes the child’s emotional growth in the long run. 

The Other Side: SIDS Risk

While there are several benefits of co-sleeping with a baby, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a medical concern. According to data compiled by NPR, the chance of an infant dying from SIDS while co-sleeping is 1 in 16,400. The same is lowered to 1 in 46,000 for a baby sleeping in a crib in the parent’s room, which is a recommended practice by the AAP.

But bed-sharing still happens, so the organization focuses on co-sleeping guidelines rather than trying to convince parents to overlook the benefits of co-sleeping. As a parent, you can do something as simple as investing in the best co-sleeper bassinet to reduce the SIDS risk and make the most of the benefits of sharing your sleeping space with your little one. recommends checking the best bassinet brands and going through first-hand reviews to pick a product wisely. It is a small investment for safe and sound sleep with your baby. Besides placing the bassinet on your bedside as a separate surface, you can use it to help your child transition to a crib once you are ready to let them sleep in the nursery.

Tips for Safe Co-Sleeping

You cannot overlook the risk of sleep-related death, as 2020 statistics indicate 38.4 SIDS deaths per 100,000 live births. Following a few safety tips can lower the risks of co-sleeping. Here are the ones you must stick with: 

  • Avoid co-sleeping on the couch or an armchair
  • Ensure a safe sleeping position with optimal distance between the baby and you
  • Never cover the baby’s face with layers of blankets and sheets
  • Keep the baby’s sleeping surface separate by using a bassinet


Co-sleeping with your baby is a personal choice, but parents must always assess the benefits and risks carefully before sharing their bed with a newborn. First-timers, in particular, should be extra careful. Being cautious, following your instincts, and buying a bassinet are enough to create a warm and safe sleeping space for your bundle of joy. 


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