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Sleeping arrangements?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi there...this being my first, I'm trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to do about a lot of things. The thing I'm working on currently is sleeping arrangements. I know that we will co-sleep at first (possibly with a SnuggleNest type thing, possibly with a mini co-sleeper, possibly with neither) and I am going to get a Kanoe hammock so I can hang baby from several places in the house. (That sounds awful, but I think you get the idea) My question is: should we even worry about getting a crib before kiddo arrives? I would have the Kanoe to put him in for any unattended naps, and he can use that until he hits 35 pounds. I know a lot of people who never really ended up using the crib--baby co-slept and then went straight to a mattress on the floor or even a toddler bed. My older nephew always wanted to sleep in his stroller for naps once he was old enough to do that, and his little brother wanted to sleep in his bouncy chair most of the time until he outgrew it (yeah, yeah, evil, whatever, he's fine).

I don't necessarily foresee us having a family bed until the kiddo is 2 or 3, who knows--I'm just trying to decide if there's any point in getting a crib at all when we don't know if he'll ever use it.

What did you do with previous babes? What do you plan to do this time? Any ideas for me? Incidentally, our house is pretty small and I still haven't figured out where I'm going to put all the stuff that is currently in what will be kiddo's room. Ah, the first challenge of parenthood
post #2 of 21
This is my first and I am struggling with deciding, too. I think I'll end up getting an arms-reach co-sleeper or similar. I don't think that we have room in our queen to do proper co-sleeping especially with all the blankets we need most of the year and all the pillows we use to stay comfy I'd be scared of smothering baby, otherwise I'd just plan to stick them in the bed and go from there. We won't be buying a traditional crib though we will re-assess as needed I guess! and we'll have to find a portable place for baby as well, I don't think my back is good enough just to tie it on all the time!
post #3 of 21
I have put a lot of thought into this as well. I want to cosleep, but my husband and I barely sleep comfortably in our queen size bed as it is. So...what I decided to do was get a convertable crib and use it as a daybed right up against our bed. I think they call it a "sidecare"?

DH didn't really want to cosleep, but we have compromised. The baby will start in the crib, but is "allowed" to come to our bed after he/she wakes up the first time. We hope that this will help ease the child out of our bed at some point.
post #4 of 21
I'm curious to hear from some experienced mama's on this one! I'm really hoping to avoid having to buy two (!) cribs. I'm thinking/ hoping that we can go right from co-sleeping to mattresses on the floor. Is there any big reason that this won't work? I know this sounds awful, but I'm honestly wondering: is there a point where the containment of the crib becomes essential?
Thanks for any wisdom you can offer us first-timers!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Glad I'm not the only one wondering! LOL!

J, I know a lot of people with twins have them share a crib until they get too big for it. I haven't heard of any safety concerns with this, though I'm obviously no expert.
post #6 of 21
When we only had one baby, we had no need for the crib. Eventually when I was pg with #2, we transitioned her into a crib as a sidecar (one side taken off, set to 'daybed mode', same level as our bed). Our little babies always sleep in bed with us...the rest of the time they were in the sling, honestly! When they get old enough that you are concerned with keeping them contained...we just put a gate on our bedroom door. Everything is baby proofed enough in our room that we don't need to be concerned otherwise.

Again this time around, we are transitioning dd#4 into the sidecar. We have actually never had the crib set up with both sides! We have a toddler-sized bed for separate sleeping quarters once they are ready to be in another room like the other girls.
post #7 of 21
I forgot to add, that I actually like having the sidecarred crib there even with a little baby...I never had to worry about anyone rolling off as it provides a nice safe barrier, and I could gently lift her into there if dh and I need some 'privacy' without jostling her. LOL
post #8 of 21
We had a crib purchased before DS was born (actually one of those convertible beds...goes from crib to toddler bed to double bed). DS didn't sleep in the crib for a long time. He slept in a cradle or pack-n-play bassinet thing part of the time, then slept in the swing for awhile and co-slept. After awhile, he started taking naps in his crib. As he got older, he'd start the night in the crib and then co-sleep with us after he woke the first time. Sometime around 18 months, I'm guessing, he started sleeping all night in the crib. Now that he's older, we transitioned the bed into the toddler bed and put a short railing on it so he doesn't fall out. This is how he sleeps now. (He is three.)

You just never know how your baby will sleep best, and basically, whatever works best for baby and parents is best for you and your family. DS's sleep preferences and patterns changed all the time, so we just had to be flexible and go with it. That may not be a very helpful answer, but that's what we have done! :-)
post #9 of 21
We decked out an entire nursery - crib, changing table, glider chair, etc...
I think my son slept in that crib all of 2 hours, max.
You will need to have a safe space for the baby for when you want to take a shower, use the bathroom, whatever but if your house is baby proof and then he / she will just crawl around. Obviously, prior to crawling they really don't go far!!!
If you can get your hands on an inexpensive crib, either at a thrift shop or a hand-me-down, it might be helpful only because, at least around here, it can take several weeks to get a crib. It might be nice to have just in case you find that co-sleeping doesn't work for you.
It's so hard to predict sleeping arrangements - each baby and family are so different.
Oh, and you will want to a safe spot for naps as time goes on. I say this only because my son decided to start rolling in his sleep and fell of the bed despite the pillow I had piled up around him. He's absolutely fine but you wouldn't want to take the risk.
post #10 of 21
With DS we did not plan to co-sleep beyond the ArmsReach co-sleeper. He had a crib in "his room."

Well, he hated the co-sleeper and the only way any of us got any sleep was to co-sleep in the bed, and so we did. At first witha snuggle nest and then just in the bed. And I loved it. Eventually I took one side off his crib and hitched it to our (queen) bed for more space (he was probably about 10 months old). We slept like that until he was 21 months and I night weaned him and moved him to his room. I was pregnant and desperate to STTN. He rejects the crib 100%. He prefers his pack n play, and as much as I tried to get him into his crib or a big boy bed, all he wants is his PNP. At this point, anything that brings us all a full nights sleep works for me!!!
post #11 of 21
We're not big on bed sharing, and with DD we had a PNP in our room, but it was just too big. We can't afford a new piece of furniture, even though I'd LOVE an arm's reach. So we ended up getting this: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-N...4433830&sr=8-1

I figure it will keep DS close to me for a while before we move him to the crib, which hopefully DD will have outgrown by then.

I second what jannk says, that you can't predict sleeping arrangements. DD slept in her crib from maybe 2 months-12 months, but recently she has been big on co-sleeping. She starts out the night in her crib, but then when she wakes up we both go into the double bed in the guest room for the rest of the night. Now, honestly, this doesn't bother me much. But with DS coming, we can't do that. Hopefully we can figure something out in the next 4-5 months or so.
post #12 of 21
I never used a crib at all. I don't think we planned it that way from the outset but we grew into realizing that we just didn't need one.

We used the Arms Reach Universal CoSleeper for DS (although he mostly slept in our full-sized bed anyway) then we moved him right into a toddler bed adjacent to ours when he outgrew the cosleeper. When DD was born we set up the cosleeper again, and moved DS's toddler bed to DH's side. We were basically one big swath of beds. After a few months of this we moved to a bigger apartment and got a bedroom for DS (he was 31mos at this point), moved his bed in there and he happily stayed there. We never unpacked the co-sleeper though, instead we upgraded to a king-sized bed in the new apartment, and I bought a Snug Tuck pillow for DD's side of our king. At 20 mos, she moved into the adjacent-toddler-bed setup in our room, when DS graduated to a bigger bed in his room.

A side-car crib would be basically the same set-up as the CoSleeper.

If you are thinking Arms Reach CoSleeper, please let me suggest -- if you have the space -- to definitely buy the full-sized model, NOT the mini. The baby outgrows the mini WAY too fast. Not worth it -- if you have the extra inches in your bedroom, of course.
post #13 of 21
We're planning on getting a pack-n-play. A lot of them come with a higher full-size bassinet level until baby is 35 lbs, and they're pretty cheap (around $80-150 depending on features). We'll put it next to the bed in preparation, and if baby ends up in our bed most nights then maybe we'll move the pack-n-play to the office or living room for naps.

If we end up deciding after the baby is born that we really need an actual crib, we can buy the crib and use the pack-n-play for naps, as a changing table, or as a portable bed for trips, whatever it ends up being most useful for.
post #14 of 21
Just to add... if you are inclined to a side-car crib setup and want to minimize your purchases, a crib will "last" longer than any size of cosleeper. Especially if you get the kind that converts into future bed frames. A crib is sturdier and has higher sides, both of which were concerns for us as DS got bigger and bigger in his cosleeper.

A note about the sidecar set-up... if you plan to nurse the baby in their bed while still lying in yours, you should choose whatever baby-bed will be most flush with the height of your own bed. Even a few inches lower than yours is also OK, you can lean over to nurse, detach and roll back into your own bed (hopefully) without waking your baby. Too far below and it will be too physically awkward for you. One quirk about the Arms Reach in sidecar mode is a pesky metal bar that keeps the cosleeper from being exactly flush with your mattress, even if it is the same height. You will be leaning on the bar if you try this nursing method, so I often had a small cushion there to prop me up over it.

I loved our cosleeper and had no space for a crib anyway, but I'm not anti-crib, especially if you can make it work for your cosleeping nighttime needs. Side-car sleeping is still cosleeping, it's just not fully bedsharing. That may be semantics, but either way the closeness and convenience are still there for you and your needy babe.

With the adjacent toddler bed set-up, we have always raised it up slightly on bed-blocks (plus we use two toddler mattresses instead of one) to get it high enough to reach our bed. That way the night-nursing convenience was not hindered. (I bought small wooden steps from One Step Ahead to enable my 2.5yo toddler to climb up and down from her own bed.)

I really love the side-car method of nursing from my bed because when the baby is done you still get your bed back and they have theirs, without losing the nightlong nursing relationship.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow! Lots to think about. Thanks for all the responses!
post #16 of 21
My kids were/are both crib sleepers. I have two cribs, in fact! One for the toddler, one for the baby (my 3 year old is in a bed). So, I'm at the other end of the spectrum. Cosleeping didn't work for us, but we are all happy with separate beds (and if I could figure out two beds in the master, my dh and I would be happy, too. LOL)>
post #17 of 21
another vote for a sidcarred crib!! We didn't set ours up until Macie was crawling around, but we've learned our lesson, and it will be set up before the baby comes! It really helped transition her out of our bed, too. First, we lowered her mattress so that she wasn't flush with us, then set up the toddler bed separate, but beside our bed, then moved it across the room from us, and at about 2-2.5 she went to her own room with no issues!
post #18 of 21
I coslept 1, 2, and 4 (who is still cosleeping).. #3 was preterm and did NOT like his skin touched, so he couldn't cosleep for a long time, and by then he was used to sleeping on his own..

I am not sure what I am doing this time.. I still plan on cosleeping, but child #4 still doesn't want to be in his own bed, and he moves around ALOT at night.. not sure how safe that would be if he isn't in his own bed by June..

We are pretty "open" regarding sleeping arrangements in our house though.. at any given time the kids can be "camping out" on the floor of the family room, or sharing a bed, or... all depends on the day. We have 4 twins, a queen, and two full size futons..
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Betsy: Bunk beds, king size? It's got to be doable! LOL

Definitely good to know that it's just as unpredictable as I suspected I think we're sticking with the current plan of a cosleeper, a Kanoe, and then playing it by ear. The Kanoe will give a safe place for naps (and can be moved from room to room) and if baby likes that better, no big whoop, he can sleep in there. Or if a crib setup seems to work, we can use the cosleeper until he outgrows it and then figure out the crib and/or mattress on the floor thingy. We'll just have to be flexible. I hear that kind of comes with the territory of having kids anyway.
post #20 of 21
With DD i had a one-level apartment, and i had a cot. SHe slept naps and the first part of each night in the cot and then usually slept in my bed after the first BF (if she was irritating me so i couldn't sleep i might move her back to the cot after the feed). She generally sleeps better with her own space, and she was that way from about 3 or 4 months. She began sttn when i moved her into her own room at about 6 months (for reasons that were nothing to do with her, i had a new partner, didn't think it appropriate her be in my bedroom if he stayed over and didn't want her to feel i was kicking her out every time he DID stay - he actually only stayed twice in the following year, but i did what i felt i should at the time) - by then she'd only been waking at midnight and 5am to feed and from the first night she slept through the midnight feed and only woke at 5am. She slept in her cot to about 25 months and then i moved her straight to a normal single bed (divan style) with a safety rail on it.

This time i live in a 2storey house and plan to borrow a moses basket and do pretty much the same thing - the cot will be in the bedroom near the bed (or against it to begin with, though we sleep on a low bed so it's not like a sidecar) and s/he'll go into it at bedtime, but come in with us after the first feed. In the day s/he'll be in the sling and the moses basket down stairs to sleep, depending on what i'm doing.

This time the baby will be in with DH and I in their cot for the first year or so, and then will be going in to share with it's sister (we have bunks already )
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