Most of us slept in our parents' beds for the first few years of our lives. While that may not be the case anymore, a lot of Indian parents still struggle with the idea of putting their newborns in cribs or nurseries at least for the first few months of their lives. Co-sleeping is a practice which is often debated in the West, but if done right, can actually be quite beneficial for the child. Many experts are of the opinion that co-sleeping helps to the build a stronger bond between parents and babies. In his book, Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed, Dr. Jay Gordon, states that children who sleep with their parents become independent faster because they do not experience separation anxiety. "When a child routinely goes to sleep in the presence of an adult, or with an adult, they are unlikely to take up thumb-sucking or get attached to security objects," he explains. But before you ditch the cot, here are seven things you need to check off the list:
1. The bed needs to be fairly large.
2. Make sure you debug your bed
3. Use a firm mattress; soft surfaces increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
4. Use light cotton sheets to cover the baby. Instead of using thick blankets in the winter, dress your child in thick clothes or woolens.
5. Don't use pillows and soft toys. A soft surface could cause suffocation.
6. Avoid letting babies sleep on their tummies. Sleeping on the stomach is one of the causes of SIDS.
7. Avoid having an older sibling sleep with the baby.
8. While sleeping next to your child, pin your hair back and avoid jewellery.
Don't co-sleep if:
1. You're on heavy sedatives or medications
2. If you've been drinking or smoking
3. If you're sleep deprived
4. If you're overweight
5. If you've used strong perfumes or lotions