Where Should Your Newborn Sleep?

Deciding where your newborn will sleep is one of the many things you’ll obsess about while you’re pregnant. Should it be a crib? A family bed? A co-sleeper? There are too many options and not enough advice! As the author of Bedtime Sucks, allow me to throw in my two-cents and provide you with the pros and cons of the most popular choices.
by Joanne Kimes

lover's feet

The crib

Many experts agree that a crib is the best place for your newborn, especially for consistency sake. Put your baby there from day one and he can remain until he's old enough to climb out of the thing. But there are problems with it as well. For one, changing the sheets is exhausting and should qualify as an Olympic sport. For another, lowering your sleeping baby inside is a long distance causing him to startle awake as if you're lowering him into the Grand Canyon. And finally, a newborn in a crib looks like a pebble in the desert. Considering where they've been living the past nine months, you should get a crib divider to make them feel more at home.

The family bed

The upside to a family bed is that newborns tend to sleep better. Plus, if you're nursing, you just have to roll over rather than travel down a cold dark hallway. The downside is that although your newborn may sleep better, you may not. It's hard to rest when you're nervous you'll roll over and turn your kid into road kill, or that they'll smother in your pillow. Also, their sharp velociraptor-like nails will cut you like bologna on a deli slicer. And finally, unless you plan to sleep next to a pubescent kid with B.O. and body hair, your child will have to move to another bed at some point, and that transition is never pretty.

A bassinet

Bassinets don't take up much space, can move from room to room, and are small so they feel cozy to your newborn. But they can easily cost hundreds of dollars and your baby will grow out of it faster than Dolly Parton outgrew her training bra.

A co-sleeper

This combination of crib and bassinet is the latest invention in mommy marketing. It attaches to the side of your bed allowing your baby to be close, but relieving any safety concerns. Although convenient when nursing, these devices tend to be pricey with expensive add-ons and difficult assembly directions. Plus, they offer a short life span and soon, your baby will have to transition someplace else. My suggestion, skip the co-sleeper and put them in your sock drawer (once you remove your socks of course).

An infant car seat

Sure, a car seat isn't as picturesque as an antique finished crib, but it does offer the advantage of portability with no sheets to change. More importantly, babies tend to sleep well inside car seats since they somewhat mimic the position they slept in-utero. Some doctors however warn that sleeping in a car seat can deprive a baby of oxygen and recommend waiting until he's old enough to support his head before using it as a sleeping option.

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