5 Ways to Sleep Close to Baby If You're Nervous About Co-Sleeping

baby yawning moses basket
iStock.com/Nicholas Free

When it comes to deciding the best place for their baby to sleep, lots of parents are intrigued by the idea of co-sleeping but are too nervous about the potential dangers to try it. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions against bed-sharing, but they do recommend room-sharing between parents and infants -- so how do you do it without giving up half your room to a bulky crib?

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According to the AAP, room-sharing actually reduces the risk of SIDS; it also makes breastfeeding at night easier on exhausted moms and can give babies an increased sense of security. So if you want to maintain some closeness with your little one (as well as avoid the hassles of checking a baby monitor and walking all the way to another room in the middle of the night), here are some alternative ways to keep baby by your side but out of your bed.

1. Bassinet

While your baby will likely outgrow a bassinet quickly, these are a great choice for newborns: They're cozy, they're easy to move (some even have wheels), and they don't take up a lot of room. If you decide to go with a bassinet, just make sure it's well supported with a wide base so it can't be tipped over easily, and make sure your child isn't over the weight limitations. You might also consider a play yard, as many models come with a bassinet attachment; when your baby gets too big for the bassinet function, the enclosed "play" space can be used for sleeping, too.

2. Co-sleeper

Types of co-sleeper products available: a three-sided bassinet-style sleeper that attaches to your bed, and one that you actually place in your bed. Both offer many of the advantages of actual co-sleeping (closeness, better sleep for parents) without the safety concerns. Just check your brand with the pediatrician to be sure it's recommended.

3. Moses Basket

Like in-bed co-sleepers, but even more portable (usually equipped with handles), Moses baskets are practical for families on the go, as it's easy to find a place for them in your room or anywhere else! Have bed, will travel!

More from CafeMom: Co-Sleeping With Baby: What's Your Safety IQ? (TRIVIA)

4. Cradle

A cradle is another great choice for newborns, especially since some parents swear by the rocking motion to soothe fussy babies. They are, however, easily knocked over -- so make sure any small children and/or pets steer clear when baby's napping.

5. Floor Mattress

A mattress on the floor next to your bed is a safe, space-saving way to keep a toddler who's too big for the above options (but still too young for his own big bed) in your room. Just don't step on him on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night!

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