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Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Cosleeping + pet - advice / help, anyone?

Cosleeping + pet - advice / help, anyone?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

i feel like we had a thread on cosleeping somewhere, but i can't find it now.. 

 

so we moved into a new place 2 months ago. the nursery is coming along and i've made it a point not to let our cute, but easily jealous cat in. he has come to accept it. my assumption was that baby would be sleeping in his nursery. i sometimes wondered about having him sleep in our bedroom instead (unaware that that was referred to as "cosleeping"), but it never came up between me and DF. 

 

now i mentioned it briefly to him and he told me that he is "pretty sold on it." i was so angry about it (hormones..), if he is sold on it, then why doesn't he bring it up?

while i think it makes perfect sense to have baby sleep in whatever construction right next to our bed, we have made zero preparations for it. no research, no looking into cosleeping beds or whatever -- the only thing we have right now is a tiny cradle that goes right on the ground, family heirloom. our bed however is higher up (bed base + 2 mattresses on top of each other), so i'm not sure how that would work. 

 

the biggest problem i see however is with our cat. he's been sleeping on our bed or in his own little bed next to DF the entire time, every night. he's totally used to it and loves it. i'm afraid he will see it as a "punishment" if we now out of nowhere start shutting him out. he's a loud whiner, so it would also rob us of our sleep. i know a bit about cat training and basically you have to lay down the law right away and then stick to it. that's why the nursery was easy, new territory, new rules. but now he's used to the bedroom.. 

 

i've moved his little cat bed into the living room this morning for starters, much to DF's disliking. he keeps telling me stuff like he's read somewhere that you can actually "train your cat not to go close to the baby". to me this was just upsetting - i am NOT considering any experiments, cat and baby cannot sleep in the same room, period. i wish DF could just accept this condition and work with me on how to get this done. 

 

i know some of you have cats - how did you / are you doing it? i guess there must be a way.. i'd love to hear any tips you might have!

post #2 of 13
I had 2 cats when we brought dd home. (They've since been re-homed very happily with my in-laws for reasons that have nothing to do with us becoming parents.) My rules were the same as yours. No cats sleeping where the baby was sleeping. But, we were able to make that work easily because we had long before baby never allowed the cats in the 2 bedrooms. She slept in our room for 5 months and then we transitioned her into her crib in her room. It worked well for us, and now at 2 years she goes to bed with little to no issues every night in her own bed (minus the brief 18 month sleep regression).

Maybe I'm not as concerned with the cats feelings, but I'd just stop letting him sleep in your room now. By the time the baby comes he will be used to sleeping elsewhere. Not to mention he might not even want to sleep in your room once there is a crying squawking stinky baby in there smile.gif just my 2 cents! Good luck! I'm sure you'll figure out what works for you guys
post #3 of 13

We have two cats. One of them doesn't sleep with us, the other does but in a very specific area of the bed - always in the same place, all night. They have both learned not to step on either of us or get in between us (this we have been enforcing for the last year). They'e never seen our bed as a play or entertainment area, and they know that trying to wake us up does not work other than getting them kicked off the bed, so they no longer try it.

 

So, taking this into consideration we're going with a wait and see approach. Wait and see how the cats react to the baby, since we're pretty confident that the space between DH and I is cat free (and DH does not move in his sleep)

 

Also, I must be doing something weird in my sleep because the cat that used to sleep on the bed has been voluntarily sleeping elsewhere for the last four days - so I'm thinking of buying him a nice cat bed to put in the new spot and try to encourage him to remain there.

post #4 of 13

Wow. It's really weird: I can't remember how we did it when our first baby was born! Both cats were used to sleeping with us, all over the bed, so we must have locked them out of the room.... But one of them is a scratcher instead of a crier, so he's much harder to break of habits since he's not just annoying, but destructive. Hmmm... Weird. I'll have to ask my husband how that went down. 

 

I know we started locking them up in the basement (with their food, water, litter, and comfy places to sleep) every night once we moved and had a place with a basement, because they wouldn't stop bugging us when we just shut them out of the bedroom. So that's been the arrangement ever since, incuding when baby #2 came along.

 

Anyway... My main reasons for banning them were because a) there are two of them, b) they're BIG cats, c) we had a queen-sized bed at the time, so we were somewhat limited on space, and d) they didn't reliably stay in one spot. I think, if there was only one smaller cat who stayed quietly in one spot all night and wasn't in the way ever, then I might just let them stay. But, of course, I know there's also the cleanliness issue to be concerned with, so perhaps not.

 

Long story short: I think you could go either way. But if you're going to make the chnage, now is the time to start. Good luck!

post #5 of 13

Our Cat doesn't sleep in our bedroom, but we have 2 small dogs that are used to sleeping with us. So we are going to see how things play out. I hadn't planned on co-sleeping with the baby actually IN the bed, but I might be re-considering. If we do decide to do this, I am not sure how the dogs are going to handle it. 

post #6 of 13

We never shut our cats out (we have 5) even though they come and go in our room throughout the day and night.  We just found it wasn't an issue - cats generally don't bond well to things that cry and make lots of noise and they seemed to "get" to stay off/away from the baby.  To me, the meowing and whining wasn't worth the issue unless he actually DID something after the baby was born to make me worried.

post #7 of 13

I haven't been that worried about our cat and the baby.  Our cat sleeps with us.  We aren't totally sure if we will have the baby in a cosleeper next to the bed or in bed with us.  But from what I've heard from other mothers about how aware you are of your baby at all times, I figured I would know as soon as the cat was getting close to the baby and gauge whether I needed to run interference or not.  I also think our cat probably won't want to be anywhere near a baby.  She doesn't really even like it when we have friends over that are making a lot of noise and usually runs off to hide.  We will of course play it by ear and if she does anything to worry us we will kick her out of our room.  If the baby is taking a nap on his own or something like that, I wouldn't want the cat in the same room as him without one of us there, but as long as there is either an awake DP or myself (awake or asleep, cause from what I've heard you are even aware of the baby while sleeping) there with the baby, I'm not too worried about the cat.

post #8 of 13
Our cat sleeps nearby and sometimes on the bed with us but I'm not too worried since I think the baby will annoy her to the point where she avoids the places where the baby is. It's when there's no baby in the sidecar that I think she'll jump in (same goes for the bouncy seat and the car seat and any and every blanket she can find).
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

thank you for all the replies so far! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMash View Post

Maybe I'm not as concerned with the cats feelings, but I'd just stop letting him sleep in your room now. By the time the baby comes he will be used to sleeping elsewhere. Not to mention he might not even want to sleep in your room once there is a crying squawking stinky baby in there smile.gif

 

ours is a sensitive cat, a total baby who gets jealous easily and doesn't understand really that other creatures have needs too. when my ferret got sick a few months ago, we had to start feeding her several times a day. our cat got jealous of all the attention and started peeing on my ferrets stuff! so yeah, i AM concerned about his feelings - and i also don't want him to, i don't know, start peeing in the nursery or any baby stuff once baby gets here and he gets jealous of baby. 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bromache View Post

I think you could go either way. But if you're going to make the chnage, now is the time to start. Good luck!

 

that's what i thought too - so i started by moving the cat bed from our bedroom to our living room. he hasn't used it since. he keeps looking for it in the bedroom (it used to be on DF's nightstand), then after a while he either goes back to sleeping in our bed (usually at the bottom of it, though not always), or he sleeps on the carpet, underneath our bed. 

 

other than THAT, i'm really not sure what else to do to make it a "gradual" change.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aidenn View Post

We just found it wasn't an issue - cats generally don't bond well to things that cry and make lots of noise and they seemed to "get" to stay off/away from the baby.  To me, the meowing and whining wasn't worth the issue unless he actually DID something after the baby was born to make me worried.

 

yeah.. i'm literally worried he might lie down ON the baby.. am i being irrational? have i read too many horror stories in the news? 

about the crying, DF has started playing crying baby sounds from YouTube to our cat. he gets very alarmed, tries to find out where the noise is coming from.. looks as if he wants to help to make it stop. i'm not sure if this will really get him used to the baby sounds.. and i find it interesting how these sounds seem to transcend species.. cat and people alike become alarmed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmamita View Post

If the baby is taking a nap on his own or something like that, I wouldn't want the cat in the same room as him without one of us there, but as long as there is either an awake DP or myself (awake or asleep, cause from what I've heard you are even aware of the baby while sleeping) there with the baby, I'm not too worried about the cat.

 

i was thinking this too - if we DID have our baby sleeping next to us, AND the cat in the room, i'd want one of us to be awake. (i generally have a hard time imagining i'd even be ABLE to fall asleep if DF was also asleep at the same time.) but i honestly don't trust DF to stay awake.. simply because i don't think he thinks it's an issue. which would freak me out in return, probably. 

post #10 of 13

I love my two cats very much, and they would LOVE to sleep with us.  10 months ago when we moved into our new home they began their bedroom banishment. For half a year it was a constant mewling campaign to get in when we were in there.    They still cry at the door *if* they can hear us talking, moving around, making any sort of noise in the bedroom. They hate to be excluded.  If we are silent and sleeping, then no begging to get in anymore.  We are planning to cosleep, my being the buffer between daughter and daddy, the bed flush against the wall otherwise (or we'll buy a sidecar sleeping device, not sure yet).
I definitely would not do newborn + cat.  My cats are so friendly and have no boundaries that they sometimes try to drape themselves across our necks, or lay their heads on our cheeks.  I would be scared they'd do that with a tiny baby and that would not be safe.  I'm 99.99% sure I would wake up and notice if an animal were nuzzling my babe in the night, or babe would make a protest and wake me about it, but on the tiny fraction of a percentage chance that I wouldn't, I wouldn't want to risk it.  

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serafina33 View Post

I definitely would not do newborn + cat.
...
I'm 99.99% sure I would wake up and notice if an animal were nuzzling my babe in the night, or babe would make a protest and wake me about it, but on the tiny fraction of a percentage chance that I wouldn't, I wouldn't want to risk it.  

Yes, this. We banished our one inside cat from the bedroom before DS was born. I kept thinking - what if our cat and our baby was that 1 in 1000, or 10,000, or some even tinier percentage, where the cat invaded baby's breathing space and smothered him? The cat's hurt feelings were just not worth the risk.

I've never personally known someone that had that happen (and hope never to!) but I do know a lot of cats that got very jealous of a new baby. Cat pee in the crib is bad enough, cat pee in my bed would make me very cross! Cat claws can do a number on baby soft skin too greensad.gif So our cat simply was never allowed 'unsupervised' time on, around or near the baby. Since I couldn't guarantee 100% that DH or I would wake up if she was around DS while he/we slept, it was simpler not to allow it. Thankfully, our old grumpy cat has actually proven herself to be great with DS even when he gets overbearing with her - but the same rules will be enforced with new baby, just in case.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingSky View Post

Cat pee in the crib is bad enough, cat pee in my bed would make me very cross! Cat claws can do a number on baby soft skin too greensad.gif

 

ouf, yes, all good things to keep in mind. 

 

it sounds like most of you just "changed the rules" at some point and let the cat(s) deal with it. i was really hoping there'd be a step by step technique.. i'll see if i can find how-tos or whatever later today. i do NOT want any cat pee anywhere - and i already know that's something our cat might do out of jealousy. 

 

our cat encountered a 10-month old baby last weekend at my baby shower, and was intimidated.. he felt his space invaded and threatened since the baby just stared at him and that's not a good thing to do with cats. our cat even hissed at him not to come any closer, which he never does. so i cut the encounter short. 

 

my ferret, on the other hand, was super curious about the baby.. which makes sense since she loves people. our cat's an introvert. i'm sure he's gonna get used to that new person after a while, but i expect the beginning to be hard. 

 

oh, and moving the cat bed out of the bedroom has NOT helped at all.. just made the cat sad, he's still looking for it. 

post #13 of 13

I don't think there's a gray area here where you can take it in stages.  You just need to stop allowing the cat access to the bedroom at all times, and wait it out..it might take months and months before the mewling at the door turns into a rare occurance.  One of mine can open doors so we have to use the lock.   Other reason is that we like to keep our windows open in there to allow fresh air to flow, but our cats are strictly indoor cats and are known to go out windows, so....  the area is fresh air, fur free, cat poo/pee free, disturbance free, in order to be as comfy for sleeping.  These things are mostly more important for my DF, but I've come around to see the logic in it and  I'm imagining it's a good thing he insisted because of the baby on the way!  We also invested in a super expensive mattress last autumn so that I can imagine how irritated we would be if they peed or clawed on the corners.  We are getting a waterproof mattress cover of course, but that wouldn't protect from scratching.

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