Co-sleeping has been a safe, healthy, and wonderful alternative to the crib for many families. Katie Allison Granju, author of Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child, recommends these safety factors when co-sleeping (many can be applied to crib sleep as well):
When using a standard, off-the-floor bed, be absolutely sure that your baby cannot roll or fall off the sides.
Young infants should sleep between their mother and the bed rail, not between both parents or beside an older sibling.
Make sure that your mattress or futon provides a firm sleeping surface. Never, ever allow an infant to sleep on a waterbed, featherbed, beanbag, deep pillowtop mattress or other inappropriately soft surface.
Never sleep with your baby if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol or prescription medication that makes you unusually groggy or sleepy.
Exceptionally obese parents should use a sidecar arrangement (crib attached to the side of the bed) rather than having a young infant in the bed with them.
Do not overload your bed with excessive pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.
Never fall asleep on a couch, sofa, or overstuffed chair with your baby.
Do not stuff too many bodies into a bed with a small baby.
Make sure that your baby isn't overdressed. Remember, the body heat in a family bed makes most bedtime bundling unnecessary.
Dress your baby in safe sleepwear. Flame retardant with no strings or ties, just as you would if she were sleeping alone.