Where should my baby sleep?

The best sleep environment for babies is a hot topic. Especially since Dr. Sears came around.

Some believe that a baby belongs in a sling all day and in the bed at their side at night while others believe babies should have their own space for sleeping (crib or bassinet) away from the craziness of every day activities.

What you choose to do is up to you, but since this site is about how to get your baby to sleep well (compared to the both of you waking up several times a night for the next few years), I'm going to focus on having your baby sleep
in his crib or bassinet. I'm not saying your baby can't sleep well by your side, but the chance of this happening isn't huge--at least not for quite some time.

Where should baby sleep for naps
I don't believe it is practical (or, for that matter, enjoyable) for most parents to hold their child all day long. Now, I like to hold my children, but besides it destroying my back (and yes, I do have a good baby carrier), I have lots to do that can't be easily done holding my baby and I personally get a tad cranky when I end up with my baby in my arms all day, day after day.  I know, I've tried it. Trust me, do not be around me then ;)

Plus, there's the issue of baby getting a good amount and a good quality of sleep. Most babies will start to struggle falling asleep around 3/4 months (if not before) when there's stuff going on around them. They want to be involved with what's going on. I dont' blame them. So if you want them to fall asleep in your arms or a carrier after this point then you're probably going to have to wait for a very overtired baby. And we all know I don't suggest that.

So where does this leave us? With a bed. Baby's bed.

Where should baby sleep at night
Then there's the night issue. How many of you want to and can commit to going to sleep around 7 pm for the next several years?  Um, say goodbye to any other life outside of children. And when you try to have this life, do you think baby is happy about it? Trust me, he's going to notice you missing if you've been by his side every second since he breathed his first breath. And he's going to let whoever is with him know how angry he is about this.

Some of you will decide to co-sleep for some time for various reason and that's OK if it's right for you. Just be aware that if you want a bit more of a life after 7 pm one day (and likely more sleep), you'll have to make the transition to baby's own bed. And, like above, if you do it within the first several years, expect some major protests.

So, I can't even hold my baby to sleep?
I'm not saying you shouldn't ever hold baby when he sleeps or have him sleep in his car seat while you are out and about (see sleep props and newborns for more on this). The key is consistency and that means having him sleep in his bed most of the time. Get your snuggles in, but remember that he's going to want what he's used (your arms, his bed etc), and you need to be OK with that all the time.

We have to find "a balance between instinct and practicality" and let baby "get used to sleeping in his bed". (No Cry Sleep Solution, p. 71). 

Related Posts:
Getting the Right Temperature
What impact does light have on my child's sleep
Sleep Attire
What Does Sound Have To Do With Sleep?

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