Sleep: Safe Surface Checklist

If you are a nonsmoker, sober and unimpaired, a breastfeeding mother, and your baby is healthy and full-term, one his back, lightly dressed, and you both are on a safe surface, the solid research indicates your automatic behaviors and responsiveness as a breastfeeding mother make it practically impossible to roll over on him. Other smothering risks are simple to deal with and are covered below.

Avoid these possible smothering risks:

  • Sofas and recliners
  • Softness or sagging that keeps a baby from lifting his head free
  • Spaces between mattress and headboard, side rails, and wall where a baby could get stuck
  • A bed partner who thrashes or sleeps exceptionally soundly
  • Other children
  • Pets that could interfere

Clear your bed of:

  • Unused pillows
  • Stuffed toys
  • Heavy covers and comforters
  • Anything nearby that dangles or tangles (such as cords, strings, scarves, ribbons, elastics)

Check your bed for possible hazards:

  • Distance to floor
  • Landing surface
  • Sharp, poking, or pinching places

By about four months, research indicates that bedsharing with a healthy baby by a responsible adult on a safe surface is as safe as any other sleep arrangement.

From Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family ©2014 by La Leche League International

Sweet Sleep
Safe Sleep for Breastfeeding Babies
Sleep: Bedshare