The Ultimate Family Bed

A new so-called “co-sleeping” mattress has been all over the Internet lately. But while moms are abuzz, is it really safe?

The Ace Collection “family size” mattress measures a whopping 144 inches wide (a queen-size mattress, for comparison, is 60 inches wide; a king-size mattress is 76 inches wide), and it sells for $2,750 (without all the accessories like a box mattress and sheets, which quickly nearly double that price). Although the company doesn’t directly market the bed for bed-sharing with a baby, the mattress’s ginormous size has parents calling it a co-sleeper’s dream.

Sorry, we hate to kill the buzz right off the bat…but this mattress doesn’t provide a safe sleeping environment for your baby. Any kind of bed-sharing increases the risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) — the unexpected death of an otherwise apparently healthy infant, who stops breathing during the night. While relatively rare, affecting about one in 2,000 babies (and thought to be linked to underlying abnormalities) SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies under the age of 1.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep in the same room (co-sleep) but not the same bed (bed-share) for the first year of life. Why? If you share a room, you can hear all of your little one’s tiny stirrings. That means you’re more likely to notice if something is awry than if a wall separates you. What’s more, co-sleeping makes breastfeeding easier to keep up, since you don’t have to leave the room to feed baby in the middle of the night.

The AAP, however, dissuades parents from bed-sharing, or sleeping on the same surface as baby. For one, parents might unknowingly roll over baby during the night, which could result in smothering and suffocation. While there’s more than enough space on this monster mattress to give a baby his or her own corner, it wouldn’t be hard for baby’s sleep space to creep increasingly closer to Mom’s and Dad’s. More importantly, however, there are other risks of this and any bed-sharing arrangement, including comforters, fluffy blankets, pillows or toys in baby’s sleeping environment posing a suffocation risk.

Still absolutely set on buying this mattress or otherwise bed-sharing with your baby? Experts say it’s essential to always take a few precautions. Remove all blankets, comforters, pillows and other loose objects from your sleep space, and be sure to put baby to sleep on his or her back. Bottom line: you and your little one are more likely to have a safe and sound sleep if your baby snoozes in a bassinet, crib or play pen next to your bed.


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