I’ve thought a lot about this post, as there seems to be two very different camps/opinions on it:
- Babies belong in their own bed in their own rooms. It’s well enough to have baby in a basket beside your bed for the first few months, but after that they need to get used to their own room – away from mom. They’re never in the same bed as the parent(s).
- Babies belong with their parents, in their bed, for several months at least. They need the comfort and security, and it’s more convenient for mom for feeding and calming the infant.
The two different opinions vary a bit on when baby should moved out of the parent’s room – some say weeks, some months, and some years.
I would propose that (1) above is the safer of the two methods. It’s only a matter of when they have their own room.
First, there’s no chance of an adult rolling onto the child as they sleep. We’re unconscious when we sleep, so we have no idea what we’re doing. This is in addition to the fact that sheets and blankets can get tangled up really easy – and suffocate a small child (especially one who can’t really move yet).
The second point is that the child, sooner or later, has to learn to fall asleep on their own. I’ve got personal experience with a child who gets used to “being soothed to sleep” every night – and it becomes a habit. So that child will not sleep unless they’re soothed by someone in particular. It’s trivial enough when the baby is a one year old. Not so funny when they’re seven!
Now, the matter of their own room. I would suggest that the time for this is as soon as they are able to roll over on their own. I know that’s kind of arbitrary, but the timing seems to be about right. Once they have a room of their own, it’s really important to make sure that they sleep as safely as possible (read the link).
What have you had success with? What’s been a dismal failure?