Sharing a room with your baby: how it reduces SUDI risk
Where your baby sleeps is a personal choice. It’s best made after you think about your own family’s needs and situation.
But it’s recommended that you sleep with your baby in a safe cot next to your bed for the first year of life or at least for the first 6 months. This kind of room-sharing, with separate beds for you and baby, has been shown to halve the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents.
If your baby sleeps in a separate room from you, check your baby regularly to ensure that your baby stays on their back and their head and face stay uncovered. Babies who can roll well in both directions can find their own sleep positions, but they should always be put to sleep on their backs.
Your baby should always sleep in a safe cot, whether they’re sleeping in your room or somewhere else. Don’t put your baby to sleep in bouncinettes, hammocks or bean bags, or on sofas or pillows. If your baby falls asleep in their capsule, car seat or pram, put them in a safe sleeping environment as soon as possible.
Room-sharing in separate beds: other advantages
Parents who share rooms with their babies and have their babies in cots next to their beds say it has the following advantages:
- You can be close and respond quickly when your baby wakes.
- You can check on your baby when you want to during the night.
- It’s easier to breastfeed your baby when they wake in the night.
And parents also say that room-sharing in separate beds has these advantages over co-sleeping with your baby:
- You get better sleep. Babies sleep very lightly, and their movements can disturb a parent sleeping in the same bed.
- If babies are used to settling in their own beds, it’s easier for them to sleep away from their parents at child care centres or in the care of friends or relatives.
- It’s easier to start babies off in their own beds than to change the sleeping arrangements at a later stage.