Good sleeping habits are important for your baby’s physical and emotional well-being. An important part of establishing good sleeping habits is the sleep environment – where your child sleeps, the kind of crib or bed, the type of mattress, and so on.
Creating a safe sleep environment will also reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is when a baby younger than one year of age dies unexpectedly while sleeping. Putting your baby to sleep on his back reduces the risk of SIDS.
The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that babies under one year of age sleep on their backs in cribs that meet Canadian Government safety standards. Babies should not sleep in their parents’ bed, which is called bedsharing. Adult beds are not safe for babies. Many large-scale studies have shown that bedsharing can put babies at greater risk for entrapment and suffocation.
If you want your baby to be near you during the night, you can put a baby crib in your room, next to your bed. This is called cosleeping. Many mothers find that this makes night-time breastfeeding easier. This type of sleeping arrangement may also further reduce the risk of SIDS.
Whatever you choose, your baby should get a good and safe night’s sleep.