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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!

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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

However.

Reports have estimated that anywhere from 6.5% to 45% of parents report having slept with their babies at some point, whether intentionally or not.

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.

Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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