The topic of bed sharing is certainly a contentious one, but it’s also a subject that we should talk about more.
Historically, as parents we have been warned to avoid bed sharing with our little ones as the safest sleep environment for baby is in their own clear cot, on their back. Despite this, there have always been families who make the decision to bed share (whether you agree with it or not, it happens), so to keep these families and their babies as safe as possible, organisations have stepped out and updated their safety guidance to try to mitigate the risks and help parents to make an informed decision.
We’ll be taking a look at the ‘Safe Sleep 7’ by La Leche League, and also covering the change in guidance by the Lullaby Trust.
The La Leche Safe Sleep 7
According to La Leche League, to bed share with baby you need to be:
- A non-smoker
- Sober (no drugs, alcohol, or medications that could make you drowsy)
Your baby needs to be:
- Healthy (not ill or premature)
- Kept on his back when he’s not breastfeeding
- Unswaddled, wearing no more than a sleepsuit or light pyjamas
You both need to be:
- On a safe surface. Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
The Lullaby Trust has also updated their bed sharing guidance – this video summarises their safety advice.
You may have noticed that, unlike La Leche League, whilst the Lullaby Trust does indeed emphasise on their website that breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS, they don’t explicitly include this in their updated bed sharing guidance, as despite this there will always be formula feeding parents who choose to bed share therefore they feel that the advice should be tailored to all parents regardless of feeding method.