The fact that babies need a place to sleep is a no-brainer, but where they are going to sleep gets a bit more complicated. There are so many different choices when it comes to the type of beds you can purchase for your baby, and many parents will often choose more than one. The type of bed you decide upon will depend entirely on your personal preference, the amount of space you have, where in the house you want baby to sleep, and what is most convenient. Take a look at the most common baby bed choices and what each one has to offer.
For most parents, their newborn spends his first few weeks or even months in their bedroom. As a means of saving space and hassle, many parents will opt for a bassinet during this time. Bassinets are smaller and very portable, meaning that you can easily move baby around the house with you as he sleeps.
These beds are also much smaller than a traditional crib which can be either good or bad. For newborns, the small space is often comforting for them as they adjust to life outside the womb. A wide open crib could feel big and cold while a bassinet gives them a feeling of closeness and security. As time goes by and your baby grows, however, he will begin to move around more in his sleep. If you’ve got a baby that likes to throw his arms around, you’ll find that he’s waking himself up by hitting the sides of the bed as he sleeps. This usually means it’s time for a transition to a bigger bed; the last thing you need is to lose more sleep.
Moses baskets are basically a small carrying basket for newborns. These beds can only be used for a short period of time but offer the same benefits and drawbacks as a bassinet. These are wonderful for easily transporting the baby around the house while he sleeps and enable you to keep him close by. Simply pick up the basket and carry on with your day! These are often a popular choice among moms who choose to set up floor beds for their children as the basket can be set on top of the floor bed and then easily stored away once the baby has outgrown it.
A much safer and recommended option to actual co-sleeping, co-sleepers allow you to have your baby right next to your bed without actually having him in your bed. Co-sleepers can be put right up next to (and some even attach directly) your bed. These offer a partition between you and baby so that there’s no risk of baby being rolled over on, while still giving you that comfort of seeing and hearing everything that your baby does. Co-sleepers are a fairly new idea but they are becoming increasingly popular and are definitely something that should be looked into if you feel strongly about co-sleeping.
Tried and true, baby cribs are the most common bed choice. Today, cribs are becoming increasingly versatile, stylish, and are better and better at growing with your baby. Many cribs today are a “3-in-one” where you get a crib that converts to a toddler bed and then a head and footboard for a full size bed. This is definitely a money saving option if you don’t want to be back out purchasing a new bed in a couple of years. One thing to keep in mind is that drop-side cribs are becoming obsolete because of safety issues. There have been babies injured and even killed by malfunctioning drop-side cribs. When purchasing yours, check the safety information and make sure that all of the sides are stationary.
There are an increasing number of parents opting for floor beds for their children, particularly those who follow the Montessori Method. This style of teaching and parenting revolves completely around the child’s independence. By placing their bed on the floor, the child is not confined or limited in any way and can get in and out of bed by himself. While this is somewhat untraditional, it is still a bed that has its advantages. Most parents will use a futon mattress on the floor; this also eliminates the risk of baby falling off of a bed or out of a crib, since the mattress is only inches from the floor.
Places Babies Should Never Sleep
Because babies tend to sleep so well in the car seats during the day, parents often take that as a sign to put them there at night too. If taking baby for a car ride is what it takes to get her to sleep, that’s one thing, but leaving baby in her seat all night is another. Car seats are not a safe or healthy place for baby to sleep. Their heads can slump to the side, putting their necks in an awkward position, they can easily bury their face, and many babies have suffocated in car seats.
Babies should never be left on an elevated surface unattended. Even though they are tiny, they do tend to move around and could easily roll or scoot themselves off the edge of a couch or bed.
Unless you have thoroughly researched and implemented every way to ensure safe co-sleeping and are completely comfortable and confident about it (and even then it’s not always a good idea), baby should not be sleeping in your bed with you. Co-sleeping significantly increases the risk of SIDS, and parent can easily roll on top of their child unknowingly. Babies can suffocate within three minutes and not even realize it; is it really worth the risk?