How to safely co-sleep with your baby

parents sharing a bed with the baby

Some parents choose to share a bed or other sleep surface (also known as co-sleeping) with their babies. Read our advice on how to do it safely.

Some parents choose to bed-share with their babies. This means that their baby shares the same bed with an adult for most of the night, and not just to be comforted or fed. Some parents also choose to sleep with their babies in other places.

Babies should sleep in a clear sleep space, which is easy to create in a cot or Moses basket. We know however that some families also bed share, and so recommend making your bed a safer place for baby whether you doze off accidentally, or choose to bed share. Our advice on co-sleeping with your baby will tell you how. For safer co-sleeping:

Keep pillows, sheets, blankets away from your baby, or any other items that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat. A high proportion of infants who die as a result of SIDS are found with their head covered by loose bedding.

Follow all of our other safer sleep advice to reduce the risk of SIDS such as sleeping baby on their back

Avoid letting pets or other children in the bed.

Make sure the baby won’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall.

When not to co-sleep

It is important for you to know that there are some circumstances in which co-sleeping with your baby can be very dangerous:

Either you or your partner smoke (even if you do not smoke in the bedroom).

Either you or your partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy).

You are extremely tired.

Your baby was born premature (37 weeks or less).

Your baby was born at low weight (2.5kg or 5½ lbs or less).

Never sleep on a sofa or armchair with your baby, this can increase the risk of SIDS by 50 times.

You should never sleep together with your baby if any of the above points apply to you or your partner.

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