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How can I create a safe and healthy family bed?

If you are thinking about creating a family bed, keep these tips in mind:
  • Not before one. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against co-sleeping with children under the age of 1 because of a risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
  • Parents should be on the same page. It’s important that both adult partners are fully in agreement with the decision to share your bed with their child.
  • Routine matters. Creating a soothing, relaxing before-bed routine is critical to helping your child develop strong sleep habits. It’s also important for adults. A family bed shouldn’t mean a routine-less bedtime. Consistency is key to helping your children -- and yourselves -- get the sleep you need.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption on your part increases the risk of injuries to your child during the night. If you’ve been drinking, you should not share a bed with your child.
  • Don’t sacrifice sex. One of the risks of co-sleeping for the adults is that it can wreak havoc on your sex life. Be sure to continue to make intimacy with your mate a priority.
  • Stay attentive to sleep issues. If anyone begins having difficulty sleeping -- parent or child -- it may be time to rethink the co-sleeping arrangement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.