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Cosleeping options

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm having a hard time figuring out where this baby (our first) is going to sleep. I'm just going to type out my current thoughts to see if anything becomes clearer, but I also welcome any opinions or solutions. I definitely want to room-share. We'll set up our 2nd bedroom as a "nursery" but we'll keep our futon in there (for quiet adult sleeping for whoever isn't with baby) instead of a crib for an indefinite amount of time. 

 

We currently have a full-size bed. The mattress is pretty terrible and would be unbearable without a memory foam topper, but I don't think I'd feel safe with baby in bed with us on the topper. We do not have a box spring since it won't fit up the stairs; we have bedslats in an ikea bedframe. There are ready-to-assemble box springs that would work (to raise the bed height, etc) but they are $150+. We would like to upgrade to a bigger/better bed, but I'm not sure if we can afford it given all the upcoming baby expenses

 

I think bedsharing would be nice, but it would be impossible in our current bed, my partner is concerned about it at all, and we'd still need a place for baby to nap.

 

I think the Arm's Reach Cosleeper could be an option, but we could not secure it as intended with our current bed . Plus I think it is kind of expensive. 

 

We could use a pack 'n play with bassinet feature (NOT the weird babyseat thing some of them have, but the raised sleeping surface). This is the one I like: http://www.target.com/p/Bright-Starts-InGenuity-SleepEasy-Play-Yard-Briarcliff/-/A-13303219

I'd have sit up to reach over to get at the baby and couldn't really touch the baby with our bed at its current height. My concern with this option is that there doesn't seem to be a safe way to put sheets/a mattress pad on the bassinet surface which could get messy, and since it isn't a mattress, it might not be that comfortable for the baby. 

 

We could have a crib freestanding and within a few inches of our bed (or right up next to it depending on the safety of the mattress heights). I could reach through the slats to touch the baby occasionally, but I'd still have to sit up to pull the baby over the side of the bed. This would solve the issue of where the baby would nap, and it would be a relatively inexpensive option. 

 

We could sidecar a crib, but we can't push it against the wall (our room is not square) so I would be concerned about a gap between mattresses even if we could secure the frames. 

 

We could get a new mattress, skip the bedframe, and put a crib/toddler/twin mattress next to it for the baby, but once again I'm not sure how we would avoid a gap. Another option for putting our mattress on the floor would be the Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper (http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Rest-Assured-Sleeper/dp/B004J7VHVG/ref=pd_sbs_ba_8) for the first few months. My partner would love to have the mattress on the floor (or a platform bed) but I have a couple issues with it:

- If we're going to get a new/bigger mattress, I want it now, and I am not sure I will be able to get up from the floor when I am super pregnant or recovering from birth. 

- In previous places (all of them were shared apartment buildings) we had vermin problems and I felt much safer sleeping up high off the ground where critters could go UNDER me instead of crawling ON me. We are now in a single family rowhome and haven't seen any pests, but there's no guarantee since we're in an urban area. 

 

We could use a family bassinet (my dad slept in it, my siblings/cousins/I slept in it, my nieces/nephews slept in it). I could get a new custom mattress and sheets, and I could check the slat width and test for lead paint, but it definitely breaks the rule about not using an old crib. It is only for really young babies, so we'd have to come up with another option once the baby was mobile. 

 

Whew, that was long! But it helps to have written it all out. 

post #2 of 31

If you bought a larger sized mattress (queen or king) for the floor, the baby could bedshare, if you and your partner felt it was safe. We've had Cecilia in our queen sized bed since she was born, and only recently she has started to sleep in the sidecarred crib. So you could bedshare at first, and then reevaluate down the road.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Where do you put her for naps? 

My partner did cosleep on a mattress (& youth mattress) on the floor with his ex and her son, but he was 2 when they met. I think he's more concerned about a newborn and how we tend to bunch up our blankets. I guess if we get a twin mattress too, he can just sleep on that and baby & I can sleep in the middle of the queen mattress! 

 

I was thinking that getting a new mattress for us is something we need/want to do anyway, and if for some reason the baby hates cosleeping, it's not a wasted purchase like an Arm's Reach might be. 

 

For adult mattresses, do they need to be innerspring? Is foam completely unsafe? 

post #4 of 31

Been thinking about this a lot, too.

Our bed is similar to yours, and I keep thinking there is a way to attach the arm's reach to the bed even though we don't have a boxspring. I guess I don't know for sure, though. Have you seen any picture of the attachment device on the AR?

I'd like to get an AR mini, and we'll have a crib, too. I have thought about sidecarring the crib, but I hadn't planned on buying a playard, I think the cosleeper could do some of the things that the playard is meant for, including perhaps travel to daycare? I don't know. That might be a huge pain if we have to rig the thing up to the bed in some way other than the bracket it is meant for.

I could sidecar a crib in our bedroom, but it's pretty small.

I just don't know! Now I'm nervous about how we would attach the AR to our bed.

 

 

 

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

The Arm's Reach attaches with a strap that has a plastic plate on the adult-bed end. The strap is meant to go between the mattress & box spring and the plate is meant to rest against both the mattress & box spring. I *think* we could put the strap under the mattress, and the plastic plate would rest between the bedframe & the mattress (since the mattress is down inside the frame a little) and it should stay in place if pulled, but I'd have no way of knowing until I try it. 

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleuthia View Post

Where do you put her for naps? 


That was never really an issue for us. For the first four or so months, naps were pretty exclusively on me, either just as is or in the wrap. Then she gradually became okay with the swing and napped there until 8 or so months. After that, I just laid her flat in the sidecar. She never tried to crawl away or anything. smile.gif

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I am hoping my partner (who will be home with the baby during the day) will take to using a wrap/sling/carrier, which should work as long as he can still play World of Warcraft while the baby's sleeping ROTFLMAO.gif. But he will need a safe place to put the baby while he showers and cooks. I think we're getting a swing from my sister, so that might work. 

post #8 of 31

I sleep on a queen size futon (I actually have the Ikea bed you're talking about in my spare bedroom and we've put a memory foam topper on it). My son slept in the bed with us the whole time. I had a pack-n-play set up next to the bed, but I honestly didn't use it at all. He slept on my chest for the first month or so and then I would kind-of do the fetal position around him when he got a bit older.

 

As for naps, he would nap on me most of the time (in the wrap) or we'd nap together in the bed. I was always told to sleep when the baby sleeps and it was the best advice. You won't believe how tired you are! There's no reason to worry about your babe sleeping on the bed...s/he won't be rolling for a while, so you don't have to worry about him/her falling off the bed.

 

Also, you sleep totally differently when you have a baby. I can't really explain it, but I think it would have been impossible for me to roll over on my son. I was in a different mode of sleep and would wake up to the slightest noise. I mean, do what you're comfortable with, but with breast feeding and everything, it was way easier to have him in the bed.

 

We were given a crib from my partner's dad, but we honestly didn't even set it up until my son was 18 months or so...and now the crib is sidecarred against the queen size bed. I put a piece of cardboard to bridge the gap between the bed and the crib and then stuffed a gigantic body sized pillow in there. I never worried about my son suffocating in pillows or blankets. He was always active and it just wasn't a problem for us. Every kid is different, though.

 

To conclude my long response, it's good to think about these things now, but you'll do what feels right when your babe arrives. There's no way to figure out what you want to do until that point. I had about 4 different options and the easiest thing to do was have my son in the bed. And that's what we're still doing two and a half years later.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleuthia View Post

I think we're getting a swing from my sister, so that might work. 



One more thing, I used a bouncer for naps a lot as well. My son wasn't into the swing at all. 

post #10 of 31

We went straight to a king size bed when we got married so space was never really an issue.  Like with Aimee, naps were always on my lap until like five months, then I just put her down in the bed.  I had the same experience of just sleeping differently with the baby by me.  Before I had her I was the sleep-through-a-fire-alarm kind of deep sleeper and afterward I was able to sleep yet still be aware of her.  And once she was big enough to move herself around or at least make noise when something bothered her I started sleeping a little deeper but not like before.

 

We have our mattress on the floor and it's worked out great for us.  I moved it after a couple close calls with a new crawler when she would wake up from her nap and not make any noise so I didn't get her.  I'm trying to figure out how to rearrange some things in the bedroom to give Elsa some space of her own before the newb comes.  Our room is tricky too, in that it's hard to put the mattress in without blocking the heating vent.

post #11 of 31

I agree that my sleeping itself totally changed with Cecilia. I never once worried about rolling over her or anything like that. I know my husband did worry at first, but since she was in my arms and on me, it wasn't a concern. I understand that some people may not gain that awareness, but I know that I personally never rolled over onto my husband when I was sleeping before we had Cecilia, so I felt pretty confident in bedsharing with her.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sallyrae17 View Post
To conclude my long response, it's good to think about these things now, but you'll do what feels right when your babe arrives. There's no way to figure out what you want to do until that point. I had about 4 different options and the easiest thing to do was have my son in the bed. And that's what we're still doing two and a half years later.


Yeah, I want to be flexible because I won't really know what works best til we try it... BUT if we decide the bigger mattress on the floor sounds like the best option, I want to buy it now/soon, so I can have the benefit of a more comfortable place to sleep during pregnancy. If we end up needing a crib right away, we're only 1/2 mile from ikea, so it wouldn't be a hassle to get one (plus there is a local kids furniture store a couple blocks away, so I'd have other choices for crib mattresses). 

post #13 of 31

We also co-slept from the beginning with our newborn...and still do with her at 5 1/2 yrs old!  I purchased an Arms Reach that ended up being an expensive glorified laundry basket as it was obvious once she was here that night feeding would be easiest with her in my bed already.  We had to upgrade our mattress asap once we realized co-sleeping would be the long term plan.  We found an affordable gently used king sized mattress & box spring on Craigslist -- still using it today, still comfortable. Just like others have mentioned, you sleep completely differently with a babe in the bed. 

 

She napped on my body, in my lap, or in a bouncy seat for probably the first 6 months (she also disliked the swing).  After that in the bed alone with rolled blanket barriers to make the space smaller.  Once she started crawling, we removed the box springs and put thin foam pads on the floor around the bed (tile floor) so she could safely make it down on her own, although that happened very seldom as the house was very small and I always heard any sounds of her waking. 

 

I'm hoping DD will be interested & willing to transition to her own bed before this baby comes, but if that looks like it will be too stressful for her our plan is to buy a twin mattress/box set and put it up against the king.  Basically there will be no room for anything but one giant bed! 

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by joy2grow View Post

We also co-slept from the beginning with our newborn...and still do with her at 5 1/2 yrs old!  I purchased an Arms Reach that ended up being an expensive glorified laundry basket as it was obvious once she was here that night feeding would be easiest with her in my bed already.  We had to upgrade our mattress asap once we realized co-sleeping would be the long term plan.  We found an affordable gently used king sized mattress & box spring on Craigslist -- still using it today, still comfortable. Just like others have mentioned, you sleep completely differently with a babe in the bed. 

 

She napped on my body, in my lap, or in a bouncy seat for probably the first 6 months (she also disliked the swing).  After that in the bed alone with rolled blanket barriers to make the space smaller.  Once she started crawling, we removed the box springs and put thin foam pads on the floor around the bed (tile floor) so she could safely make it down on her own, although that happened very seldom as the house was very small and I always heard any sounds of her waking. 

 

I'm hoping DD will be interested & willing to transition to her own bed before this baby comes, but if that looks like it will be too stressful for her our plan is to buy a twin mattress/box set and put it up against the king.  Basically there will be no room for anything but one giant bed! 


This was me, too. When Cecilia started napping in the bed, we bought a monitor (didn't have a need for one before that). It is actually really easy to hear when she wakes up, and always has been. Her breathing patterns change, and then a few seconds later she starts making noises or talking. I've never left her for more than a minute or two after waking up, so there's never really been a time that she would be able to go clear off the bed. Of course, now, as a toddler, she knows how to get off the bed safely by climbing to the bench at the foot of the bed first, and then to the floor. orngbiggrin.gif

 

post #15 of 31

We (and especially my husband) were too nervous as first time parents to co-sleep with a newborn. (Not that there is actually anything unsafe about it--and I have a feeling we probably will this time around, now that we have been co-sleeping with my daughter for so long).  I bought a used AR co-sleeper, but honestly, I never liked how plastic it was and how it smelled, so it never made it out of the closet. Instead we used a wooden bassinet pushed up close to my side of the bed. I don't really think there is any advantage to the AR over this--I could reach through the slats to put my hands on her while still lying down and pick her up easily without getting out of bed.  She also spent a lot of time sleeping on my husband or I--and she did this exclusively for naps for a long, long time (and still sometimes takes naps on us).  

 

When she outgrew the bassinet, she moved into our bed. But for us, even in a queen, this felt too cramped with all three of us, so for about a month we kicked my husband on to an air mattress.  Then we bought a king (expensive, but so worth it for us), and never looked back.  All three of us still sleep there, with my daughter in the middle (She now starts out the night in her crib, until we go to sleep).

 

I agree with the others though that it is hard to know what will work for you and the baby until (s)he's here.  Not that it stopped my from obsessing about it the first time about.  I can't tell you how much time I spent pouring over various options and stressing about not finding the one perfect solution.

post #16 of 31

I think you should go with the cheapest option, and upgrade/change things up as you discover what your needs are in your particular situation.  There's really no knowing now how your sleep might or might not change after the baby arrives.

 

With Badger, we started out with a AR connected to the bed, because we didn't have room to sidecar a crib.  The AR never quite lines up though, no matter what I did, and always having to lift him a few inches to slide him over for nursing got tiring.  So we detached it and used it as a bassinet, but I lost a lot of sleep swinging my legs over the bed to pick him up, and he woke up more too.  Finally one night I just brought him in bed with me and kept him there, and we stayed that way from then on.  The one modification we made was to add a bed rail on my side, which stayed there until he moved to a big boy bed around his 3rd birthday.

 

This time we will probably sidecar a crib.  We're in a full size bed (last time it was a king) and my current husband is a lot bigger than my ex, so we have much less room.  Also, Badger continues to have sleep difficulties which I believe are related to becoming to dependant on being pressed right against me at night, so I'd like to keep this one close but encourage slightly more independent sleep.

 

Every baby, every family, every situation is different.  Don't spend money you don't have on something you might not end up using.  I would wait and see, and decide based on what your baby ends up needing.

post #17 of 31

Great thread!  I hope you find options that work.  It is hard to know what exactly what to do for me too.  It has been great reading what others have done.  I love each of the sleepers you posted a lot too.  

post #18 of 31

I had already planned to co-sleep w my LO-we had a crib all set up,attached to our bed,since we worried that our bed w 3 of us could get a little crowded. Well,it turns out that our DS won't let us put him down for more than an hour,if that. So,I actually "have" to sleep w him on my chest the whole night! I'm propped up on 3 pillows,so I lay in an incline,w a big pillow on either side of me. He's happiest this way,and we get the most sleep. I'm writing this because,as I learned very quickly, you can plan all you want,but be ready to adapt and get creative. Things very well might not turn out as you planned. Good luck!

post #19 of 31

I would definately move up to a king-sized bed, if you can afford/fit it. By far our biggest "baby" purchase was a king size organic latex mattress, which we put on a very low Ikea bed frame. It was expensive, but we NEVER regret it. The mattress came rolled up in a box and was heavy, but fit up the stairs. There is room for everyone, and our now toddler can easily climb on and off safely. Also the mattress is relatively firm, and IMO totally safe for the infant, especially since there is no out-gassing from real latex and the mattress breaths through the slatted bed frame.

 

If you are open to co-sleeping, and planning to breastfeed, you will probably end up doing. It is really easy to feed, check on, and comfort the child in your bed with you, and in a king size mattress, there is room for the whole family. If you decide something else might work better, you can always buy the child a bed, and still enjoy the room in your own with your partner and when the kid(s) come crawling into bed with you everyone will fit comfortably : )

 

post #20 of 31

With my first, we slept on a futon with him between us.  At first I put him on a changing pad, you know the one with the curved up sides.  That way he couldn't roll over and I felt safe that we would not roll on him.  Most of the time my husband slept with him right on top of his chest.  He loved to feel his breathing.  After a while we took away the pad, realizing that, as someone else said, you sleep differently with a baby and really would never roll over on him.  He slept with us for about 18 months even though we had a crib in the room. 

Our second birth was twins so I got an Arms Reach.  It strapped between the mattress and slatted frame.  It worked well even though the height was a bit off.  They ended up in cribs sooner.  I used cribs from family and close friends for all three kids.  My husband and contractor friend thoroughly looked them over, springs, nuts and bolts, everything.  There was not a thing wrong with them.  They had each been used for at least two kids before us but were not more than 6 years old, ( for my first). 

The pack-n-play bassinet didn't work so well with having to reach up and in but at least the baby would be right next to you.  Same with the crib next to the bed idea.  I would want to reach in as well.

Good luck with your choice.  Perhaps craigslist for a gently used AR? 

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