When you bring a new baby home, there are a few things you can count on: tons of love, TONS of diapers, and constantly thinking about sleep.
Indeed, everything related to a baby’s sleep is pretty paramount once you become a parent—deciding if you want to sleep train and if so, how you want to do it, learning how to get the rest you need when your little alarm clocks goes off every 2-3 hours, and of course, where the baby should sleep.
The Ace Collection has increased our options for the latter. They have developed a family mattress that is a whopping 144 inches wide—that’s almost twice the size of a king size mattress!
The mattress costs $2,750, plus the bed frame and specialty sheets to fit.
The intention of the bed is in its name—it’s meant for families who bed share. But herein lies some controversy. The topic of bed sharing can get pretty heated, and for good reason. Bed sharing has been linked in some studies to increasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), especially for babies younger than 4 months old.
Other reputable experts disagree. Dr. Williams Sears writes that people around the world have been bed sharing since the dawn of time, and that there are potential benefits to bed sharing, including safety (when done correctly). The American College of Nurse-Midwives recognizes that there may be benefits to bed sharing as well.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines the following guidelines for a safe infant sleep environment:
- Baby should sleep on her back on a firm, flat surface with a tight fitting sheet
- Nothing in the crib with the baby—including bumpers, toys, pacifier ties, wedges, positioners and blankets
- Baby should share a room with her parents, sleeping on her own sleep surface for the first 6-12 months of life
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, drugs and alcohol
Some parents plan to bed share. Others never do, but find themselves inadvertently doing so—there’s no real way to control what our bodies do when we are as sleep deprived as we are when we have a newborn.
This means that whether or not we intend to, there is a good chance we will fall asleep next to our baby at least once. So we should know how to do it safely.*
To acknowledge these findings, the AAP has recently adapted their recommendations to include teaching parents how to safely bed share, in the event that they do fall asleep with their baby.
The revised guidelines state:
“If you are feeding your baby and think that there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed, rather than a sofa or cushioned chair. If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed... There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant's breathing or cause overheating.”
The AAP is not recommending bed sharing, however they do want parents to know how to do it safely, given that so many of us end up doing it, intentionally or not.
It’s also important to recognize that to our knowledge, the Ace Collections’ mattress does not advertise itself as being safe for infant use. Bed sharing can extend way beyond infancy for many families—in fact, many families start bed sharing later in a child’s life when SIDS is no longer a concern (after the first year).
Studies have not found any links to developmental problems for toddlers and young children who bed share. And many families simply enjoy it! They may be the ones that the Ace Collection Family Mattress is intended for.
Ultimately, parents need to make informed decisions about all facets of their children's sleep with the help of their pediatricians. “The AAP recommends that doctors have open and nonjudgmental conversations with families about their sleep practices.” Sleep well.
*To learn more about safe bed sharing practices, visit kidshealth.org.