Sleeping With Baby

A summer baby boom in New York after the 9/11 attacks? It seemed to be a feasible theory, as couples grew closer and more unsure about the certainty of life. But such an increase in population simply did not happen.
Does your family have a "family bed"?

Your child may climb into your bed when he's sick or has had a bad dream. But the idea of mom, dad and baby all bunking down together is often viewed as unhealthy or just too unconventional.

However, Dr. Jay Gordon argues on The Early Show that this sleeping arrangement is actually better for everyone involved.

In his book, "Good Nights," Dr. Gordon explains that all parents co-sleep with their babies at some point, even if they don't admit it. He says co-sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your child.

Dr. Gordon strongly opposes the thinking that leaving babies in cribs encourages independence and is safer. He argues in his book that a baby is dependent, especially in its first four months. He also writes that parents who sleep with their baby are better able to keep tabs on his/her breathing and other behaviors.

Dr. Gordon recommends the following when sleeping with a baby:

  • Choose a Firm Mattress: This lowers the chance of a baby suffocating. Never place your baby on a waterbed or sofa.
  • Avoid Walls: Babies have suffocated from getting stuck in the crevice between the wall and the bed. If you must have the bed against the wall, firmly pack a towel into the space.
  • Beware of Blankets/Pillows: Again, in an effort to avoid suffocation, light blankets are better than fluffy comforters. Keep pillows away from baby's head.
  • Consider a Sidecar: These are three-sided cribs that attach to the side of the bed. They give you and your baby your own space while keeping him within arms' reach.