We are planning to sleep with our baby with a three-sided crib that attaches to our bed. This is normal where we live. My mother, though, is quite concerned because this isn't normal in the US, and she would like us to also use some kind of infant sleeper thing, that basically prevents you from rolling on top of the baby if you are too tired. Does anybody have any experience with such a device? How is it to sleepily nurse the child? Doesn't it require removing the child from the sleeper, nursing, then returning the child to the sleeper? And doesn't it hinder cuddling and snuggling? I want to be safe, and I also want to have life be as simple and uncluttered as possible. I'm not that interested in having something that can only be used for a couple months, and I'm not convinced that sleeping with the baby in our bed is dangerous. Please tell me your experiences and thoughts on this?
Sleeping with baby
My experience with co-sleeping devices has been that my babies hate them and want to be right next to me
I've co-slept with 4 babies now and never once have I woke up on top of them, but I do often wake up with them laying on me!
Yes, I do think it is a pain to get the baby out of the co-sleeper to nurse and then put them back. I like to sleep on my side and nurse them. After the first couple months it's nice because they can just latch on themselves and have a drink when needed.
Here is an excellent website by a leading researcher on co-sleeping and co-sleeping safety.
We've always had a bassinet next to our bed. It usually ended up being the place where I stored diapers/supplies/my pump! The babies slept with us and it made for much easier, peaceful nights. I rested, they rested, their mini cries didn't wake my other kids in the middle of the night, and they fed on demand.
Looking forward to cozying with this little one!
I had my son in a 3-sided box next to our bed for the first 5 months or so - no problems and I really didn't worry at all. My dad build the box for us to be the right height for our bed - it was modeled after this: http://www.babybunk.com/
It was very easy to nurse - I never got out of bed and could easily pick him up while I was still lying down after a few weeks. I never worried about rolling on him or him getting under our pillows or blankets. Honestly, it felt safer to keep him close while I was asleep.
My parents and in-laws didn't give me grief about it - and I think they might have with him in the bed with us. If you have the co-sleeper, you don't need to tell them if the kid ends up in the bed, they can assume the baby sleeps in the bunk :)
Yep, Mole, it's commonly called a co-sleeper and you can buy them in the US (google Arms Reach Co-Sleeper, there may be other brands but that's the one I've seen the most), although I see no reason a safe, homemade version or a sidecarred crib wouldn't work just as well. We just co-sleep with our toddler but I'm considering doing the same just to make a little more room in our queen sized bed.
The one's I'm familiar with are level with the mattress but have a small barrier that I guess is supposed to keep the baby from rolling out of the cosleeper and into the bed but in my opinion just makes sliding over to nurse more awkward. I think if I was making my own I'd keep it level with the bed, making sure there are absolutely no gaps and that the co-sleeper and bed are securely fastened of course.
Out of curiosity, what country are you in? I think that's pretty cool that co-sleeping is considered main stream where you are!
I didn't have anything special. Our baby slept next to me in the bed (I was always in the middle, my husband never slept next to the baby). We were lucky to have a king size bed. We started out with a bassinet next to my side of the bed, but found that we didn't use it (like beans' post, I think it was used more for diaper/pillow storage!) It took us a loooong time to learn to nurse laying on my side (many, many months), so I always kept extra pillows nearby - the Brest Friend was my favorite nursing pillow by the way (kept it in the bassinet, usually), and when he woke up, I grabbed the pillows, propped them up behind me, sat up, and nursed him, then put everything back and went back to sleep. Eventually, as baby got stronger and could hold up his head, etc., we didn't need the pillows, but in the beginning, I needed to be propped up.
But I never needed anything in between us to keep me from rolling over. This seems un-imaginable to me, but I have heard of this happening, so you have to do what feels comfortable for you. You will be able to feel how aware you are of baby's presence, and you will know if you are a light sleeper, etc.
Look, it's not like you have to have all of this figured out right now. The baby comes, you keep it simple, you find out if you need something, and you get it (or ask your MIL to get it for you!) I think you have the right attitude and you'll figure it out as you go. Your MIL probably just wants to feel some kind of assurance that everything is going to be ok. If she is really pushy, you could just let her get you something, and not use it... I know it's not ideal, but sometimes the path of least resistance! Good luck!
I've been wondering about this. Right now, with just the two of us on a queen, we might cuddle up watching a movie, but we migrate to the far ends of the mattress as soon as it's time to sleep. I like the idea of baby sleeping in bed with us, but worry that it might make things cramped.. I've been figuring on a sidecar/cosleeper, and I guess we'll figure things out from there. Glad for this post, very interested in reading about people's experiences.
We used this thing with DS:
I didn't know how to nurse side lying yet anyhow and had to sit up to nurse him every time. I won't bother with this one - we will just have baby in the bed with us - or rather me. I think the plan this time around is for me to sleep in the double bed in the room with the crib and for DS to crawl in with DH at midnight like he always does. We don't have the room (nor do we think it is safe) to sleep with a small infant and a 5 year old. One baby is bigger and more able to defend themselves, we might all end up back together though.
Although, I have this idea that I want to use the crib more and eventually transition DS to the room with the baby and OUT of our bed by the first year - might just be a pipe dream though,...
We just co-sleep directly in the same bed. We started with an "insert" type thing in the bed - hated it. We also tried the bassinet type thing first - and that was even worse. I hated him being so far from me, and I couldn't sleep. I woke up to every single peep and squeak and fling of his arms and legs.
To reply to mole from above - the thing was built to be the same height as the top of our mattress - the main technological problem was to make sure there wasn't a crack between the bed and the bunk - easy enough with some bungie cords and I put a waterproof crib protector spanning the gap. The kid was swaddled the whole time he slept there as well - so he really couldn't move much - and you could just scoot him over to his spot when he was done eating. Nursing lying down was awesome - but we didn't get the hang of it until maybe 8 weeks.
I'll also confirm that "co-sleeper" is a term that should be at least a little familiar.
goin' green- exactly. The few times we tried to have a new one sleep in the bassinet, any teeny peep or breath that wasn't just like the previous one had me waking and checking my babes. Plus they're so cute and sweet, you just end up wanting to keep staring at them. Like I said, co-sleeping in bed ended up being more peaceful. We could all just get some real sleep. Although- for me, it's always half-sleep for the first few months. Hyper-aware mom mode sets in...
We have a crib with the toddler rail on the side that is up against our bed, so there is a slight barrier between the bed and the crib. I sleep with a body pillow between my knees for my back and it makes me less worried about the body pillow getting pushed into the crib. DD still ends up in our bed by morning if she wakes to nurse an hour or so before the alarm goes off she's too restless to get back in the crib. When she was a newborn we had her between us, up between our pillows in a little positioner thing that is basically a small wedge pillow that the baby sleeps on with two little bolster-type pillows that velcro onto the base on either side of the baby so that you can safely position baby on it's side if it has reflux. We kept her on her back, but the positioner defined her space and helped me feel a little more confidant about our pillows not ending up on top of DD. It's not as big as a co-sleeping nest or anything, just a few inches wider than baby. I did have to take her out to nurse. I can't sleep unless my covers are up around my neck so we needed a solution to keep DD up away from the covers. It was very nice having her so close by as a newborn - I felt like I would notice if she stopped breathing or something. When she started getting wiggly we switched her to the side-car crib because neither of us have been able to learn to sleep with a kicking wiggler.
My goal for the next 30 weeks is to get DD HAPPILY settled in her own bed in her own room (although I am willing to move our bed into her room for a time if need be). I do not feel good about her sleeping in our bed with a newborn, and we don't have room for two sidecars! Any suggestions for making this transition?
When I was pregnant with DD, DH started sleeping with DS in his room and we explained that it was because only mommy and daddy can sleep with baby when baby comes, so we wanted to get him used to sleeping in his room. DH was willing to sleep with DS every night though. Is your DH open to that?
With dd1, we had a bassinet right next to our bed at first. But after a few nights of waking in a panic because I thought I had fallen asleep while nursing, looking all over for her (only to usuallly find her in the bassinet (How the heck did she get back in there?). I decided just cosleeping (with her in our actual bed) would be easier and it was!!! She slept bw DH and me. That's how it stayed for over 2 years. When due date for dd2 was nearing, we took the railing off her crib (that she had never used) and put it right up next to our bed. We got her used to sleeping in there, still next to us, but not in the bed. Once dd2 was born, dd2 slept between DH and I, as well. This time around, dc3 will sleep bw us again. We have dd2 generally sleeping in the crib that is flush with our bed (no gaps!) and dd1 has recently transitioned to her own bed (at age 4, we were able to really reason with her and she did it easily and with no tears). I am hoping by the birth to have the two girls sharing dd1's bed, but if dd2 puts up a fight and appears not ready, we will delay that until she is. FWIW we have a queen sized bed. Regular Jodie is fine with that.... Pregnant Jodie, however... well that's a different thread!
I am afraid I will be afraid and not sleep- that happened to my mom and - she was a back to the land type of gal- she put me in a laundry basket on the floor then picked me up when needed. cheap bassinet- ha ah ha. I think I will go with the 3 sided crib- I looked at the box thing link there that is very cool but looks like if the child can sit- hoist or stand it could fall out.
Anyway, things might change and maybe I'll be a lot more confident/happy/rested if we need or want to sleep with the baby in the bed instead of next to the bed, but I'm planning on setting the co-sleeper up when the time comes.