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Co-sleeping thoughts, recommendations?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I'm curious to hear all of your experiences with co-sleeping of any sort, if you did/do it. I definitely want baby in the room with us, as it seems that can make for a much better experience for both baby and mama. My husband is really concerned with the idea of having the baby actually in the bed, and we do have a tempurpedic mattress, which sounds like it's not the best. Though I think it's the firmest possible tempurpedic, so it's not actually that soft.

 

Anyway, I'm trying to be attentive to his concerns, and am looking into the options for the co-sleepers that attach to the side of the bed. Have any of you used one of these? Or done both that and bed-sharing, and have thoughts?

 

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! :)

post #2 of 34

We did a little of both. We had a co-sleeper and that actually really helped my husband sleep better. However, I'll admit if baby fell asleep in the center and I fell asleep, she stayed there.

 

I've had friends who removed the box-spring or pushed the bed up against the wall. When baby was too big for the top of the co-sleeper, I used one of the side rails made for a toddler twin bed to keep her in bed with us. 

 

We tried to co-sleep with my son (Baby #1) and he wouldn't do it. He would wake up all night and didn't want to nurse lying down. Also, since we had nursing issues, we had to supplement after each feeding and then I would pump after each feeding to stimulate, so it was never a peaceful nurse together and involved everyone getting out of bed no matter what. We ended up putting him into his own room one night when I crashed on the couch and he slept through the night at 2 months. That sleeping  through the night at 2 months of age is what I credit for there being a baby #2. :) My daughter was so different and co-sleeping just came natural. She also reversed cycled, so she would nurse all night and not take a bottle at day care when I went back to work. 

 

The co-sleeper really helped with a spouse who is uncomfy with baby in bed. It also really helped having baby in bed with nursing and with allowing me to function during the day because I could sleep or not "quite" wake up when baby needed to nurse. 

 

There's also those "sleepers" you can put between your pillows. That was another attempt to alleviate my husband's concerns. We had one and only used it one night with my son. Never tried it with my daughter because I had gotten rid of it. I think it would have worked well for her.

post #3 of 34

We have a tempurpedic-type mattress and it's firm enough I don't have any reservations about putting a baby on it.

 

We did a bunch of things with DD - had her in a bassinette and I would get up to nurse her in a chair (before I figured out how to nurse lying down)... then in a crib side-carred which didn't really work because it's hard to shunt a baby back and forth for nursing.  Eventually she was just in the bed; that worked better but there wasn't much room and DH ended up sleeping on the couch (problem compounded by his poor sleeping habits - he would often just fall asleep there anyway).  What finally worked - and what we're starting out with, this time - is a single bed, sandwiched securely (no gaps) between our bed and the wall.  Then we just have one big, firm sleeping surface so everyone is close but not too close and I can roll over to nurse the baby and then roll back when I need to sleep.  I don't sleep well touching other living things (unless it's the cat and he's being extremely sneaky) so I need the space.  DH needs to feel like there's enough room for him, too - he's tall and broad-shouldered and takes up a fair bit more room in bed than I do.  I want us all to feel like there's a place for us in bed.

 

Fortunately we still have the frame & boxspring from our original single bed (the mattress is in DD's room) so we just need a new mattress.  We might actually get a good one and give it to DD and use the one she's on - it's not particularly comfy and she could really use a better sleeping surface.

post #4 of 34
With DD, we bought a cosleeper and fully intended on using it. However, she came and had other ideas. We fought the first two nights to get her to sleep in there because I was nervous about having her in bed. Well she just hated it and would wake up the second we put her down every single time. After a couple nights of not sleeping, my husband decided that she was just going to sleep with us. It made such a huge difference, we never looked back. I became a really light sleeper at that point, I would wake up as soon as she started stirring. So I got over my fears and cosleeping turned out to be a great fit for our family. When she was brand new, she slept on me. I kept the boppy in the cosleeper at night so it was within reach to sit up and nurse until we learner to side lie. Then as she got bigger, she would sleep on whatever side I last nursed her on. DH slept on the very far side of our king bed, a habit that was easy to continue since I had slept with so many pillows while pregnant. I kept the cosleeper snug to the bed as a barrier and switched to a mesh toddler bed railing once she really started rolling. She coslept with us until 16 months. At that point, I nightweaned her and we started putting her in the crib at the beginning of the night then transferring her to our bed when she woke up. Not too long after, she just started sleeping through the night in her crib. It is nice to have space in the bed again now but I still really miss having her so close at night sometimes!

Every family is different, and so is every baby. I would create a plan that you and DH feel comfortable with, but be open to adjustments once the baby actually comes. You will quickly find out what works for you and what doesn't.
post #5 of 34

With DS - I had the arm's reach co-sleeper. I didn't figure out nursing side lying until he was 3-4 months old, so we'd sit up or go to a chair to nurse. Once that was figured out, he started in there each night, and then came to bed with us at first wake up and stayed there. When I had concerns at first about DH (when DS would nurse on the side between us) I kept a hand on DH to make sure he knew where we were in the bed. In time, DH just clung to his edge of the king sized bed, LOL, and left us most of it. Around 7 months or so, I put up the co-sleeper. I tried it on the bottom, pack n play sort of setting, but the mattress seemed uncomfy for DS. So then he started the night in his crib, in another room, and I brought him to bed when we were ready to sleep. between ages 10-12 months, I left him in the crib until his first wake up, and then brought him in with us. Shortly after that, he STTN for a few months, then stopped when I got pregnant when he turned 14 months and started nursing all night. I couldn't handle that (pregnant working mama needs sleep) and we night weaned and he went back to sleeping in his crib all night.

 

By the time #2 came along when he was nearly 2, he was sleeping all night, in a toddler bed, in another room, and hasn't wanted to come back to our bed.

 

#2 (DD) is a cuddly baby and didn't want to be separated from her food source, ever. Even in the hospital she slept in the crook of my arm and refused the bassinet. She slept on occasion in the bassinet part of a pack n play, but mostly just in bed with us. We nursed side lying from day 1. She stayed in bed with us all the time until right around a year when we transitioned her to her own big girl bed, on the floor, of her own room. She's done fantastic, sometimes wakes once, but being that it's a queen size, there is plenty of space for DH or I to lay with her in her own bed. Once we had moved into a bigger house, I bought a used IKEA crib to sidecar to our bed for extra space. I LOVE it. The new baby will be using that, I think, hopefully for at least part of the night.

 

Logistics: DH and I have separate, lightweight blankets that generally stay around hip level, and never go over the baby. We have limited pillows and only sleep with a fitted sheet. Honestly, this is all personal preference and how we have always slept, but comes in handy in regards to safety and co sleeping. Once baby is mobile, we have used a side rail for safety, and we teach how to get down off of the bed safely too. Now, honestly, all babies will likely fall off the bed once or twice. we have carpet, and I think it startled the baby more than anything. If we had hardwoords or some other surface, I would at least put cushy rugs down around the edges, if not pillows (or maybe some foam play mats - One Step Ahead sells some that actually look like hardwood floors)

 

On all of this, YMMV - I have had one child that always slept better in his own space, and never was super fun to co-sleep with (he twists and turns and finds a way to take up the whole bed - he wants his space that badly - and one that loves to cuddle, and sleeps best with her head in my armpit, literally. Who knows what this 3rd baby will be like?

post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by akind1 View Post

On all of this, YMMV - I have had one child that always slept better in his own space, and never was super fun to co-sleep with (he twists and turns and finds a way to take up the whole bed - he wants his space that badly - and one that loves to cuddle, and sleeps best with her head in my armpit, literally. Who knows what this 3rd baby will be like?

 

You stated that well! It really ends up being baby driven, doesn't it. 

post #7 of 34

We coslept with both kids our son was with us until 13 months then we moved and the transition to his own room was easy for him. Our daughter coslept until a little over 2.

 

I remember with my first I hadn't heard of cosleeping  we had a bassinet which he did not like to be in at all. He would only fall asleep on top of me. I was so tired and exhausted we'd start the night off with him on top of me then slowly  he'd end up next to me and its what worked when I then found out about cosleeping it made me feel validated that what we were doing was ok. It was what worked for our family. We had a queen size bed.

When we moved we sold our bed and had full size bed when our son when to his own room. 4 months after moving in we found out we were expecting again and we both knew we'd cosleep again so we went with a king size bed and it was a great decision.

 

This is a total side note but feel like I have to add it in...we have a 3 bedroom house and we have had so many family members ask where baby will sleep.... our ds and dd have their own rooms...well baby will be with us for the first year or so and then will go with a sibling.... where else would baby go??? I'm wondering if people think we need to add another room onto our house??? Really? I mean I did grow up with my own room but there were only 2 of us. We have lots of friends with larger families 4-8 kids and the kids share rooms and it works out beautifully :)

post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara79 View Post

 

This is a total side note but feel like I have to add it in...we have a 3 bedroom house and we have had so many family members ask where baby will sleep.... our ds and dd have their own rooms...well baby will be with us for the first year or so and then will go with a sibling.... where else would baby go??? I'm wondering if people think we need to add another room onto our house??? Really? I mean I did grow up with my own room but there were only 2 of us. We have lots of friends with larger families 4-8 kids and the kids share rooms and it works out beautifully :)

 

LOL we get that too.  We have a 3-4 br townhouse (1 of the bedroom-sized rooms has the laundry in it, so it's more of a guest bedroom; most of the time it's my sewing room).  Another room is taken up with DH's tools and hobby stuff.  So we don't actually *have* another bedroom for the baby.  I have to remind people that before we moved to this place, when DD was 4, we lived in a one-br apartment and somehow managed just fine!  Even people who DO cosleep ask us this.  It's weird.  It's like you need a room for the baby whether it's going to be sleeping with you or not.

post #9 of 34

LOL! I need a room for the baby's stuff  - even though we co sleep. this baby's stuff will share a room with DD's stuff. Eventually there will be room sharing, I just don't know which 2 will share. DS is a deeper sleeper than DD, but her room is bigger. Unless we get bunkbeds. But that would mean downgrading DS from a full to a twin . . . He obviously doesn't need all that space, but I get the feeling that he likes it.

post #10 of 34

With DS1, I didn't know any better than what mainstream Americans did and made my baby sleep by himself which was very upsetting and nervwracking for all. I got very little sleep and my relationship with him suffered. I also put him in a crib down the hall in his own room when he was a few months old and never understood why he would wake and scream at all hours during the night. I thought I  was doing something wrong. So when I got a divorce and was a single mama, to simplify things I brought him into bed when he was two and we slept great. 

 

DS2 sleeps best in between us. I bought a cosleeper that we never used for sleeping in but would store all of the nighttime essentials in it like extra diapers, spit up rags and a blanket.  At first, I was nervous about rolling on the baby but that just doesn't happen. Humans are biologically programmed to sleep with their young and that is why it is the best sleeping situation for a baby and mother. DH was nervous about not having the hormones to keep him attentive at night, but in fact he was aware of where baby was in bed despite being a deeper sleeper than me. Naturally it has been lovely to cosleep. DH loves it still, being so close to baby and snuggling with him at night really helped him bond and feel needed and not so left out during breastfeeding and such. 

post #11 of 34

We are planning on co-sleeping(ish).  We are sidecarring a crib, since the actual Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper dips down and seems small-- just not that convenient to me.  I would just go ahead and skip the crib altogether if we had a king-size bed, but our queen-size seems a little small (and soft).  Probably silly-- I bet we'll end up not really "using" the sidecarred crib, but the one I want is from Ikea and only around ~$100, so we'll see.

 

One of my aunts seems to ask me every time I see her if we "have the nursery set up yet" and I keep telling her the baby will be in our room.  She doesn't make a big deal of it, it just doesn't seem to stick in her head.  We have a 3BR home, but we run our business out of it, and the other 2 BRs are small-- one for my inventory, and one for an office.  If we REALLY wanted to, we could move the office to the living room or something, and make the office the baby's room... but why?  I don't see the need.  The MBR is big enough to fit baby's clothes and cloth diapering stuff and whatnot, and we can put other baby stuff in the living room, etc.  Our arrangement with this house is that we will have to move (hopefully be buying our own, slightly bigger place) when Buko is either 13 or 25 months old, so I really don't see much need to ever have a "baby's room" here.  

 

I think it's just a foreign concept to some people.  Most of my family doesn't even know we're cosleeping, so it's not that (I guess when we say baby will be in our room, they assume we'll have the baby in a crib off to the side somewhere).  And it's not like they're so rich they have 5-bedroom homes or anything... in fact, the aforementioned aunt lives in a ONE-bedroom home.  I just think they figure if you have at least two bedrooms, you put the baby in his/her own room.  shrug.gif    

post #12 of 34

With DS I was so excited to set up the nursery, even though I intended that he be in the room with us for a bit. My dad built a beautiful crib. DS did us the crib some. DD hasn't used it more than a handful of times. this next baby will likely never use it. I feel bad that he spent so much time, energy, and money on something that we didn't end up using. My sister is welcome to it whenever she has kids. She's much more mainstream than I am, LOL. But she does want to learn to wrap, since she's seen me do it - so that's something!

post #13 of 34

BTW, totally forgot about the mattress issue/question. I have a queen temperpedic, the original kind, which is sooooo fantastic and is not unsafe for baby. It is firm enough not to cause risk of suffocation. We simply switched out our down blanket for thinner layers without the fluff and found that a blanket over the two adults leaves a "cave" over the baby...meaning it doesn't dip down or even touch the baby because it is propped on us tent-like. 

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 

Once again, I really appreciate all the input I can get on here! I'm going to share this thread with my husband. smile.gif I think we will probably still end up getting something that attaches to the side of the bed, but it's so helpful to remember that it really depends on the baby's personality and how things do or don't work as planned. I visited a friend this week who had a co-sleeper attached to the side of the bed, and it was a hand made one that snugged up really tight to the main bed and had a mattress at exactly the same level. So she could sleep with the baby on the "outside" of the bed, and if the baby rolled over it just rolled into the co-sleeper. Sort of like spughy's technique of having two mattresses on the floor!

 

I'm also really happy to know that people are comfortable with the temperpedic mattresses. I will be a bit reluctant to give up our fluffy comforter, but I'd rather have a baby. wink1.gif

 

We have a three bedroom house, one which is currently used as a guest room, and one as an office. We also get the "baby's room" question all the time, and I always feel a little awkward saying that we're planning on having the baby in with us! There will definitely be some baby stuff housed in the guest room, but it will probably be quite a while before it gets really transitioned into a baby/kid's room. I also want to leave the guest bed all set up, because at a certain point, I want my husband to have the option of going and sleeping in another bed if he needs to on occasion, since he'll be the one going off to work. We are also neither of us big decorators or shoppers, so baby "decorating" is definitely taking lower priority to acquiring baby necessities!

post #15 of 34

I'm thinking of getting this, or something like it, to put between the sidecar and our mattress, thoughts?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Innovations-M-BRG-45980-KG-WHT-Bed-Bridge/dp/B0053WHBSO/ref=pd_sbs_hg_1

post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post

We are planning on co-sleeping(ish).  We are sidecarring a crib, since the actual Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper dips down and seems small-- just not that convenient to me.  I would just go ahead and skip the crib altogether if we had a king-size bed, but our queen-size seems a little small (and soft).  Probably silly-- I bet we'll end up not really "using" the sidecarred crib, but the one I want is from Ikea and only around ~$100, so we'll see.

We are sidecarring, and we got an ikea crib thumb.gif 
DS co-slept with us part of the time, the other part he was in a pack n play next to our bed. I am way too freaked out about having 2 babies in bed. Seems like someone is bound to get rolled on.

akind1- I have no previous experience with sidecar ring, but that bed bridge looks like a great idea!

post #17 of 34

Here's a helpful site for anyone wanting to sidecar: http://sidecarcrib.webs.com/

and a video: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/turn-your-crib-into-cosleeper.html

post #18 of 34

Perfect timing on this thread as I'm struggling with this issue. We had DS in a PnP by our bed, but he ended up sleeping with us a lot once I learned to nurse lying down. The problem was when he started moving he'd really get those kicks and jabs in, and DH just never slept well when DS was in bed with us. We have a queen, so it's just a little tight for the three of us. On a side-note - we had a Tempurpedic with DS & it was actually pretty soft (which is why it's in the guest room now... I can't sleep on it), and he did fine. 

 

This time I'm struggling on what to do. I know that we will co-sleep with this new LO, but I feel like I want a place to put her from time to time. Right now I'm leaning towards an Arm's Reach, but I just don't know how much we'll use it. The thing I didn't like about the PnP was the fact that I had to sit up, pick DS up from the bassinet, nurse, and then put him back in. In my head I feel like the Arm's Reach would let me just turn over, slide the baby into bed with us, and then slide her back into the co-sleeper if needed. Am I right on this thought process? Also, the AR would give me a safe place to put the in the mornings when DS comes into our room to snuggle. I don't think side-carring a crib or another mattress is really an option for us. I also have one of those Rock-n-Play sleepers, but I figure that I'll run into the same issues with that as I did with the PnP. But, if the AR isn't really all that convenient, then I might just start with the Rock n Play & then make a decision on a portable crib after she's here. Any thoughts??

post #19 of 34

Sidecarring is the only thing that got two mattresses on an identical level for us; the Arms reach wasn't on the exact level as our mattress, it was a little lower. If it's a space issue, maybe look at a mini crib to sidecar?

 

Also, as said before, you may find this next baby a completely different co-sleeping experience. DD is still a pleasure to co-sleep with - she doesn't move that much, just wants to snuggle in and keep a hand on mom or dad - when we still co-sleep, which is rare. With DS, he really wanted his own space, that's why he was so restless, and he slept really well in his own crib, then toddler bed, and bed, better than he did with us. Once I realized that - that he needed his own space - it was much easier.

 

I love the rock n play for naps, but I wouldn't use it overnight. I think babies need to be able to move a bit during sleep, if for no other reason than to avoid plagiocephaly - flat head.

post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 

withlittlelungs, thanks for those links - they were great! Now I understand more what sidecarring means, and it makes a lot of sense.

 

I realized I have a logistical question, too. I thought I'd read at some point that one shouldn't put a baby down in an adult bed by itself. Is that true even if you're set up for safe co-sleeping? If you have a crib sidecarred, can you put the baby down just in the crib, even if you don't stay in the room? I'm going to try to get the baby more used to napping amidst activity (maybe while in a wrap/carrier with me, maybe just in the same room in something really portable), but if the baby is about ready to go down for the night, and I'm not, is it safe to put it in a sidecarred crib/co-sleeper attached to the bed? 

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