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Checklist for Safe Co-sleeping

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Mother sleeping with her baby
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Throughout my book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, it's evident that all four of our babies have been welcomed into our family bed. My husband Robert and I have allowed our children to share our bed, and our children have enjoyed sharing a “sibling bed” as well. Of critical importance, however, is the fact that we have followed religiously all known safety recommendations for sharing sleep with our babies.

The safety of bringing a baby into an adult bed has been the subject of much debate in modern society, especially recently. In 1999, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recommendation against co-sleeping with a baby under age two. Nevertheless, some polls show that nearly 70% of parents do share sleep with their babies either part or all of the night. Most parents who do choose to co-sleep are avidly committed to the practice and find many benefits in it.

The CPSC's warning is controversial and has stirred heated debate among parents, doctors, and childhood development experts about the accuracy and appropriateness of the recommendation; many experts believe that the issue demands more research. In the meantime, it is very important that you investigate all the viewpoints and make the right decision for your family. And remember: Even if you decide against sleeping with your infant, you can look forward to sharing sleep with your older baby if that suits your family.

The following safety list, as well as any references to co-sleeping in my book and on this Website, are provided for those parents who have researched this issue and have made an informed choice to co-sleep with their baby. Wherever you choose to have your baby sleep, whether for naps or nighttime, please heed the following recommended safety precautions:

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