The family bed

Some parents really don't feel comfortable with a family bed. That's fine too! The ideal sleeping solution is the one that works for your family. Some infants are more content to sleep alone than others. Some absolutely insist on the family bed, while others actually seem to sleep better with less distraction.

Some of the advantages of the family bed -- for instance, safety issues for a very young infant -- can be addressed without actually bringing the baby into your bed. It's probably a good idea for a newborn to sleep in your room for at least the first few months. It will make it easier for you to attend the baby's night-time needs and still get the rest you need. A bassinet beside the bed, or the sidecar arrangement discussed above, work very well for some families.

Even if you don't think the family bed is for you, try to keep an open mind about the possibility. Most parents do end up having their children in their beds some of the time. For some, its weekend mornings; others, when the children are sick or have nightmares. Some parents use it as a last resort when they're desperate for sleep and the baby won't stop crying. And for others, it's the nightly routine. If you do try it out, remember to use the safety guidelines.

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