Where should my baby sleep in her first weeks at home? Getting the Right Gear

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newborn sleep
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When you first welcome your baby into the world, you'll want to make sure your home is set up for her safety and comfort. One of the main details you'll want to nail down is where baby will sleep for the first few weeks of life -- and you've got several good options. Here's what experts and moms advise on the best sleeping arrangements for a newborn.

Bassinet or Cradle, Then Crib

"You might consider using a bassinet or cradle during the first few weeks since they're portable. However, since bassinets and cradles may not be sturdy enough for a bigger baby, it is generally recommended that babies sleep in their own cribs by the time they are 1 month old or 10 pounds, whichever comes first." -- Lisa Liu, MD, physician at Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb, assistant professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Melrose Park,...

"You might consider using a bassinet or cradle during the first few weeks since they're portable. However, since bassinets and cradles may not be sturdy enough for a bigger baby, it is generally recommended that babies sleep in their own cribs by the time they are 1 month old or 10 pounds, whichever comes first." -- Lisa Liu, MD, physician at Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb, assistant professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Melrose Park, Illinois 

Put Baby in Your Room but Not Your Bed

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborns sleep in the same room, but on a separate sleeping surface as their parents for the first six months -- and optimally, the first year to prevent SIDS. This also makes it a bit easier to reach your baby when you get up for the middle-of-the-night feeds." -- Jennifer Mayer, certified holistic health coach, birth doula, and cofounder of Baby Caravan, New York, New York

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends newborns sleep in the same room, but on a separate sleeping surface as their parents for the first six months -- and optimally, the first year to prevent SIDS. This also makes it a bit easier to reach your baby when you get up for the middle-of-the-night feeds." -- Jennifer Mayer, certified holistic health coach, birth doula, and cofounder of Baby Caravan, New York, New York

Bedside Sleepers Make It Easier

"This is up to the comfort of the mom. Some moms put the baby in the nursery right away; some keep the baby in the bedroom. I had both my babies in a bassinet next to our bed, so they were within reach for all the overnight feedings, and so I didn't miss their cries." 

Consider a Co-Sleeper Bassinet

"We used a co-sleeper -- a bassinet made to put beside the bed -- with the rails up. We put it right next to the bed with both of our kids. It was so much easier for nighttime feedings, diaper changes, and of course, cuddles."

In a Bassinet

"My daughter slept in her bassinet, because I felt it is the safest place for a newborn baby. I had to breastfeed every two and a half hours, so I had enough mommy and baby time, and feeding put her right back to sleep."

In a Playard in Your Room

"I find it easiest for baby to sleep in a playard with a bassinet attachment near my bed for the first several weeks at home. They wake so often that it makes feeding them much easier than going in and out of their room checking on them." 

In a Crib

"All four of my kids slept in their own crib on day one. It worked well. At bedtime, it'd be bath, feeding, bed. Always. I play classical music until they are asleep."

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.