Where Should My Newborn Sleep?
When preparing for a baby, you might first think about the fancy cribs, bassinets, bedding etc. you might need for a resting child. But I think the hospital had it right.
When we actually walked through the door of our own home, with a real, very tiny, human being, all the choices suddenly seemed complicated and overwhelming. We had been given fancy baby seats and a swing. We also had the beautiful nursery set up with a crib which seemed so far away from everything else (even though it was only right across the hall). We also had a bassinet in our room and a pack-n-play in the living room.
Being a parent can be stressful enough, so making hourly decisions on where my baby should sleep shouldn’t have been so stressful! Maybe I had given myself too many options?! I really didn’t know what to do or where to put my baby to sleep.
No pillow, no blanket, no dock- a- tot, no crib toys, etc.
Lying on a flat surface. Sleeping peacefully. It’s not the bare minimum: this is the start of a great habit I should have continued at home!
You can add in a swaddle and, voila! you have yourself the perfect, safe sleeper!
Becoming a sleep consultant has taught me to help simplify sleep and include safe sleep practices with all sleeping routines
First we continue the ABC's of Safe sleep they teach you in the hospital:
B- On their back
C- In their crib
Preparing a safe sleep area for your baby means a firm mattress in a non-smoking area, where the baby will lay in their own space, on their back. A crib, bassinet, or pack-n-play are suitable for this area.
While I help teach your baby to sleep, your baby can sleep in a crib/bassinet in your room or in a crib/bassinet in their own room. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing – but not bed-sharing – during infancy because studies have demonstrated a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when parents room-share rather than bed-share. In October 2016, the AAP updated its policy to recommend room-sharing for at least the baby’s first 6 months, or ideally, 1 year.
I have also discussed with my clients a study in the July 2017 issue of Pediatrics, which found that room-sharing with infants at ages 4 months and 9 months was associated with less nighttime sleep, shorter sleep stretches, and unsafe sleep practices.
Ultimately, the decision is up to you and you have to do what works for you and your baby. In either case, you can be very successful in teaching your baby to sleep well. You want to set up a great sleep environment with white noise and complete darkness for nighttime sleep as well as naps. Keep your baby’s sleep area free of mobiles, aquariums, or any other distractions that light up or play music. It is just too stimulating!
Remember: like anything else, with successful sleep education and sleep training, they may not appreciate that sleep area the first, second, or third time you lay them down there, but continue practicing it and they will adjust. All these small steps early on will lead them to a lifetime of being an independent sleeper.
Remembering what to do and what's best for your baby can be very overwhelming to remember, so don’t hesitate to reach out and I can help prepare you and your wonderful child for a lifetime of good sleep!