I was born in China where sharing a bed with a baby is fairly common, so I was surprised when I read the recommendation from the hospital that babies should not sleep with adults. In my experience, cosleeping can be great for the baby and the parents as long as it is practiced safely.

My son is currently three months old and he has been sleeping with my husband and I since he got home from the hospital. We have been getting plenty of rest and my baby has more than doubled his birth weight. He does eat twice a night from my breasts but neither of us have to get out of the bed to feed him and he rarely fusses in bed. Basically I make sure that he latches onto my breast and then we both fall asleep after he finishes eating. We do let him nap in a bassinet during the day while we are not sleeping, but at night we have established a good sleeping schedule of 11pm to 8am.

One question that my husband and I get a lot is "how do you avoid smushing the baby?" In our experience, we are both very instinctively aware that the baby is there and we have not come close to rolling onto him. My mom had the same experience where she feared that she would squish me, but it never happened. Most mammals sleep with their young and it seems natural that human babies can sleep with their parents safely.

There are instances where sleeping with your baby can be dangerous. Many of these issues are covered in Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping by James McKenna. For example, if the parents are intoxicated and are not aware of their baby's presence and cries, then the baby could be in danger. Also, if there are pets or older children in the same bed then that is also not suitable for the baby. Another important thing is that you have to make sure that the baby is healthy enough to cry and alert his or her parents in case there is an issue. If you are interested in cosleeping and want to research it further then this is a very comprehensive book to check out.

The bottom line is that sleeping with our baby has worked out quite well for us so far and we are able to go to work refreshed after a good night of rest. Sometimes my husband actually says that he slept too much. Our baby enjoys being close to us and he never wakes up crying. I can also feed him without turning on the light. I am comforted by the fact that my baby is very close by and I can check on him very easily. I think cosleeping with a baby is more of a cultural taboo in America because it can be done safely and benefit the whole family.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to the book mentioned.