I want to co-sleep with my baby. How can I do this safely? Sleep

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While many doctors say co-sleeping is a complete no-no that will up your baby's risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), others believe it can be done safely. Here's what experts and other moms have to say about whether or not it's possible to safely bed-share.

Avoid Co-Sleeping Completely

"There is no safe way to do this. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend co-sleeping. Drowsy parents have accidentally suffocated infants, and this is a tragedy that is easily avoided. Use a crib or a co-sleeper attachment to your bed that separates the baby safely from you." -- Hannah Chow, MD, FAAP, pediatrician and codirector of the Loyola Center for Health at North Riverside, Illinois

Take Strict Precautions

"Although there are certain risks of SIDS or suffocation associated with bed-sharing especially in the first year of life, I understand that some families do choose to bed-share. If you do, I recommend that you always place your baby on his or her back to sleep to help prevent the risk of SIDS. Avoid bed-sharing with a baby who is under the age of 4 months or was born prematurely or low birth weight, as these babies are at higher risk of SIDS. A bassinet or crib next to the bed is a better...

"Although there are certain risks of SIDS or suffocation associated with bed-sharing especially in the first year of life, I understand that some families do choose to bed-share. If you do, I recommend that you always place your baby on his or her back to sleep to help prevent the risk of SIDS. Avoid bed-sharing with a baby who is under the age of 4 months or was born prematurely or low birth weight, as these babies are at higher risk of SIDS. A bassinet or crib next to the bed is a better option for these babies. Do not place your baby to sleep on a soft surface. Avoid using pillows, blankets, comforters, or other soft items on the bed, as these can pose suffocation risks. Try not to allow your baby to fall asleep on your chest or to fall asleep with your baby on a couch, recliner, or rocker. If you do inadvertently fall asleep with your baby on your chest or while you are on a couch or recliner, as soon as you wake up immediately place your baby to sleep on his or her back on a hard, flat surface without any loose bedding or pillows." -- Madhavi Kapoor, MD, pediatrician at Hassenfeld Children's Hospital at NYU Langone, New York, New York

Keep Baby Beside the Bed

"I had a cradle next to the bed. We did co-sleep sometimes when I fell asleep while breastfeeding, and once when camping and it was just too cold for my daughter to be asleep in her bouncy. But I was always too worried I would roll on her."

Use a Co-Sleeper Crib

"Trust your instincts if you are unsure. One of those by-your-side co-sleepers is amazing!"

Do Your Research First

"I was nervous to bed-share at first but after a lot of research, I found it to be safe when following specific guidelines. It was the only way I was able to get sleep with my daughter, and it was so easy to nurse her through the night that way. For my twins who are arriving this fall, we are sidecarring a crib to the side of the bed. They'll probably be in here with us until they're a year."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.