Finding a safe sleep surface for baby

Filed under: Newborns, Health & Safety: Babies, Feeding & Sleeping, Expert Advice: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Nutrition: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Day Care & Education, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Gear Guides: Babies, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Behavior: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Development: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Health & Safety: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Toddlers Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Babies, Baby-sitting, Development/Milestones: Babies, Expert Advice: Babies

Sleep is an issue for any new parent. Not only are they not getting any, but where in the world is the baby supposed to sleep? Co-sleeping is either ideal or dangerous, depending on who you talk to. Putting the baby in a crib in their own room just adds distance between you and a crying baby in the middle of the night, meaning you have a much greater chance of crashing into doorways in your sleepless stupor.

The AAP has changed their recommendations over the last few years. Though they still don't support co-sleeping, citing the fact that half of all infant deaths catergorized as sudden and unexpected happen when babies share a sleeping surface with adults, they do recommend room sharing, where parents and baby share a room, but not a bed.


When parents and babies share a room, baby often sleeps in a bassinet. A recent study done by the Children's National Medical Center, however reminds us that -- like cribs -- there are safety guidelines to using bassinets. They should conform to CPSC guidelines, for one, with a firm, snug fitting mattress, locking legs, and a wide base with no protruding hardware. But they also should be kept free of blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys, just like a crib.

Now that we're all clear on safe sleep surfaces for baby, I wish someone would research techniques to actually get babies to use those surfaces. Because if I remember right, every time I laid my kids into a crib or bassinet, the nap was suddenly over.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.