How to safely sleep with baby in bed


Today I’m going to discuss on how to safely sleep with a baby in bed. This is a very controversial topic so I will try to break it down into smaller parts giving you the advantages and disadvantages and what you can do to do this safely.

I am a 38 year old stay at home mother to 2 children under 3. I have an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Art Education. I was a teacher in the American public school system until I moved to Greece with my husband and started a family. This is my perspective on some hot parenting topics, what actually works, and just life in general as a women who has lived in two continents. I have consulted with doctors done my own separate research and consolidated the knowledge I learned at University but most importantly I have real experience with children.

As a parent I think sleep is the single most discussed topic of all parents everywhere. It is a necessary function for everyone. Parents often do not get enough of it. Babies require a lot of it. However like everything else sleep actually can be dangerous for a baby. This led to the “Safe Sleep Industry being created.

How to safely sleep with baby in bed - Checklist
How to safely sleep with baby in bed – Checklist

Via @taylorkulik on Instagram great resource for mother’s.u

This industry uses triggering language such as safe sleep or unsafe sleep, bed sharing, coe sleeping, to market products to desperate sleep deprived parents who will spend $$$ for them. Then there are a slew of sleep training programs, and tons of selective “science” justifying them. Pretty sure a new sleep program is released every parenting cycle because sleep is a business and the child’s mental and wellbeing are a marketing standpoint but In reality they come second to business.

As a first time mom. I bought every gadget, I read every book (just spiked my anxiety) I spent thousands on the baby sleep industry. I literally bought every token industry changing swaddle America produced and imported it to Greece. I was the perfect targeted audience for the sleep industry. A new parent, educated, desperate, terrified of SIDS, correctly appalled by any CIO method. Especially the widely popular (at the time) Extinction Sleep Method that normalizes baby neglect because “I’m tired.” I had what I have later come to know was a “sensitive baby” basically she was a stage 3 clinger who physically needed a warm body to sleep next to because she was extra sensitive to everything. However the safe sleep industry said meeting her biological emotional needs was wrong. Providing over night comfort to my infant doing what mothers have done in every culture, for centuries was wrong because it was not profitable. It’s not wrong and I wish I had the confidence to do what I intuitively knew my daughter needed. But as a FTM I listened to the “experts” and did not bed-share.

Baby Quote
Baby Quote

I now follow Dr Kristyn Sommer PHD on social media she promotes Evidence-Based Parenting from a child development perspective. I have included her ticktock video explaining the 3 types of baby temperaments. Understanding this is vital to identifying and meeting your babies needs and thus getting sleep.

Baby sleep Temperaments @drkristynsommer


When I saw this video I instantly identified that my now toddler was obviously a sensitive baby which is why the sleep industry failed to met her needs while stimulatiniously taking advantage of her. They were able to take advantage of my sleep deprived desperation causing me to buy a lot of things that just did not meet her needs. Dr. Sommers is a fantastic resource and makes many TickTock videos on sleep. I agree with most of her content. Especially her sleep content which I utilize with my 3 month old son. It just makes sense.

The great bed sharing coesleeping controversy of this decade that has every mom group on Facebook dealing with vicious debates that are rooted in sleep industry driven bias NOT science. Even men have have discussions on the topic. With other dads. Sleeping with your baby has been the norm for all cultures through all ages. Yet in modern America the practice is fraught with questions, guilt, and shaming. It is something intuitive parents talk about with each other away from the harsh hysterics of your local “Karen” just waiting to shout you down with judgment while promoting CIO sleep training methods with are scientifically proven to be detrimental to your child. But no one wants to address that giant mark against the Sleep Industry.

Safe parenting
Safe parenting


How to safely sleep with baby in bed – Why Co-sleeping is important

I knew co-sleeping was the answer with my first but I lacked confidence to do it. At 8 weeks old my daughter was hospitalized for a minor surgery (it was major for us but objectively minor) she had anesthesia. The dr and nurses gave me a bed NOT a crib we were there for 3 days. I asked where my baby would sleep and they both looked at me and said on you, she need to feel your body heat to self regulate her body especially after anesthesia at such a young age. So I did for those three days in the hospital she slept as much as all those magical unicorn babies you read about because her needs where being met. I was a nervous wreck because children’s hospitals do amazing things but are so nerve racking for parents.

How to safely sleep with baby in bed - Reasons to co-sleep
How to safely sleep with baby in bed – Reasons to co-sleep

Like Dr Sommer I looked at the science, all the sciences. When I was pregnant w baby number two I decided that while yes I would love my baby to sleep sweetly by my bed in his own space if he wants to bed share, I will bed share with him. Parenting is looking at all the options, understanding your child and making the best choice for your child that you can with the information you have. Literally everything is a risks assessment. I truly applaud parents who make it look easy because it is not.

Unsurprisingly we bed share. Now with a toddler and newborn I am more rested then I ever was with just one child. Am I still tired? Of course. However with a toddler a newborn which are demanding by nature it’s a constant state. Now by bed sharing I am getting at least 6-8 hrs total hours over night so I can function. My newborn is up every 2 -3 hours for food at 12 weeks he’s just starting to have longer stretches but that is within the last few days and then leap 3 hit and now he wants me all day and all night and I will meet those needs.

How to safely sleep with baby in bed – The Do’s and Dont’s

With my first my MIL would come over every morning and would hold my baby while she slept so I could get sleep in the morning to make up for the sleep I missed overnight. For the first 6 months this was the arrangement we came up with so I could function and my daughter could also get her needs met. This is unrealistic for most people. Most people do not have a Greek MIL that will come over every day and hold the baby for you to sleep. I was so anxious about a sids (read way to much pregnant) that I could not sleep unless someone I trusted had eyes on the baby. I had PPA which is another blog post. When it’s up I will link to it here.

My current baby is a more relaxed child that is his behavioral trait. He is Breast feed, we baby wear and we coesleep as needed. I personally do not like corsleeping bc I prefer to make my room ice cold and sleep in as many blankets as possible. Obviously this is NOT safe for an infant. Even though they DO just love to be snuggled up in blankets who can blame them? Safe sleep is miserable how can anyone expect babies to enjoy that and get good sleep? Would you as an adult?? No you would not. And that is the trap of the baby sleep industry. Babies needs “safe” sleep because SIDS, safe sleep is miserable sleep so babies do not sleep well, this no one sleeps, parents get frantic spend tons of money to try and get babies to sleep. First on gadgets and then on Barbaric sleep training methods that are created to take advance of sleep delirious parents who just want to do the best for there babies. CIO becomes normalized when CIO should never have even been a phrase. Cry It Out gose against biology and against human nature.

Mine naps with supervision snuggled in blankets in a cool room for 2 hrs every afternoon while I do laundry, take a nap w him, etc. comfortable sleep equals deep sleep. Same for everybody. Now over night I do follow the Safe Sleep guidelines because while I am with him and while I am a light sleeper obviously I am asleep just like he is.

How to safely sleep with baby in bed - Do's and dont's
How to safely sleep with baby in bed – Do’s and Dont’s

What does bedsharing look like

It is different for everyone but this is my bed sharing set up. My husband has moved to the spare bedroom and is on toddler night duty. So it’s just me and my newborn baby. Currently I have pushed my bed into the corner, I got a dark fitted sheet, (because baby accidents do not come out) downsized to one blanket and the pillows I do have I keep away from the child and use to prop up my back. There is a gap by the window but I fill that in w pillows every night and use the in bed coesleeper as a barrier to it just in case.

Sleep with baby setup
Sleep with baby setup

How to setup bed to safely sleep with baby

Current set up my Son is 13 weeks.

When my son was an infant I used a in bed coesleeper which settled my anxiety because newborns are tiny, but it kept him close enough that settled his anxiety and that worked great. He also woke up every 2-3 hours consistently for the first 12 weeks for ?. Which is the normal sleep of a 4th trimester baby.

Safe baby bed
Safe baby bed

I wrapped the mattress w a fluffy blanket so it was cozy for my son. Sometimes I would also use a hot water bottle to warm up the sleeping surface before I laid him down. Babies are very sensitive to temperature change so if yours wakes up when you put them down that could be why. That helped me a lot. He was swaddled when we used this. It also comes w a slight incline in case you baby has reflux. It is amazing.

We no longer have a need for the in bed coesleeper as my son has out grown it. I will retire it. Now I use it to creat a block on the edge of my bed while my son uses his play mat in the morning.

Baby play area in bed
Baby play area in bed

He’s up from 5-6/7 am then I can nurse him to sleep and doze off until my toddler wakes up at 8:30/9


Baby essentials in bed
Baby essentials in bed

To make my life easier I also have a plastic bin with Everything needed to change my baby in middle of the night. Which I keep in his coesleeper that we no longer use.


Baby grooming in bed
Baby grooming in bed
Baby sleep light
Baby sleep light

I also have a wireless touch activated led night light w various setting. This is amazing for night feeds and changes brightness. I can see for a diaper change but he doesn’t wake up fully.

I like to start off the night w my baby in a sleep sac in his mini crib at the end of my bed. He has just started to sleep anywhere from 3-6 hrs in the first stretch. So he has his privet space and I can sleep alone. The when he wakes I change him, feed him and we sleep nursing as we sleep until he decided to get up for playtime around 6 we do play mat tummy time then nap until his sister wake up.

How to safely sleep with baby in bed - Safe sleep
How baby sleeps safe in crib

How to start when sleeping with a baby in bed

We do always end up coe sleeping at some point. I refuse to fall asleep sitting up nursing that is painful for my back, neck, shoulders it’s a giant nope. So at the first or second feeding I prepare the bed for safe bed sharing. Falling asleep mid night feed when your not prepared to bed share that is dangerous. Falling asleep in a safe prepared environment minimizes that and is beneficial in many ways aside from satisfactory sleep.

What does bed sharing actually look like?

I am pretty sure it looks a bit different for everyone this is what it looks like for me. I pull everything back so it’s only a fitted sheet on the bed. I block my window gap off I lay w a small pillow for my head, my maternity pillow threw my legs and up my back and a second pillow wedged against my back. I slightly lean back against my back pillows so I’m at an angle my baby is on my Brest and if I need a blanket I pull mine up over me. I also have a small fan for noise and air circulation.

Baby pillow
Baby pillow

How the night ends sleeping with a baby in bed

Sometimes I keep the night light all night depending on how tired I am That about sums up my first post. Any questions or comments or topics that you would like discussed leave them down below. I hope you found this helpful and enjoyed my perspective.

Your not going to get the best sleep of your life but you will sleep and sleep is something you forfeit when you have children. I asked a parent about sleep with my first as he has older children and he told me that is doesn’t matter the age because once you have children you never sleep well again for various reasons. I think he is probably right. As babies and little kids they need you periodically threw the night and then as they get older they may need you less but you worry just as much.


If you found this article useful and you think it may have helped you please drop me a cheer below I would appreciate it.

If you have any questions, comments below I check periodically and try to answer them in the priority they come in.
Also if you have any corrections please do let me know and I’ll update the article with new updates or mistakes I did.

If you would like to learn more about babies please take a look at my section here for more articles.

Have you tried sleeping with your child in the bed?

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