Co-Sleeping Safety - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you recommend to co-sleep safely. My husband and I don't have the option of removing our bed from our bed frame (which has a head board, but no foot board), unless we want to put the frame in the middle of our living room. 

 

I've looked up a few products on Amazon, but I'd love to know what you all recommend. I'd love any positioning tips too, such as don't put babe between mom and dad; rather, put him between mom and guard rail, etc.

 

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#2 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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I put baby on the outside of me as my husband isn't a light enough sleeper and worries about hurting/rolling on baby.  In the beginning there isn't much sleep so I'm fine with the babe close to the edge, but after a few weeks I just put up one of those toddler guard rail things (that I bought used and have only used for this stage).  The guard rail is for *MY* benefit so I know how far away I can push baby as I don't sleep well when there's someone touching me.  FWIW, babies are a lot like partners...they keep moving closer until they're *right* there.  And I just keep pushing everybody away.

 

Oh, the reason why I like a toddler sized guard rail is because it ends halfway down the bed and I don't have to hike over it to get up in the middle of the night.

 

Also, babies sleep in our bed with our pillows and our blankets.  I don't do anything special in regards to that, but some are very particular about blankets and pillows.  IMO, it's just preference on the part of the parents.


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#3 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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We have a king-sized bed. I slept with a twin-sized blanket and minimal pillows. I also used a toddler-bed rail and DS slept between me and the rail on top of the fitted sheet in a sleepsack. He was sleeping in his crib long before DH came home, but I think it would much the same set-up with DH on one side and the baby on the other by the rail.

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#4 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 03:57 PM
 
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For my son, we shoved the mattress right up next to the wall and then filled in the crack with a rolled up blanket.... he never even got close to any edge as he was always in the crook of my arm. :)  It worked great for us!  Now we just need to figure out how to safely have the four of us together when our new little one comes (in one and a half smashed together beds, since my son now has a twin mattress on the floor next to ours.  Not that it matters... he always ends up, still, in the crook of my arm).

 

We just used blankets on our lower half if we needed but kept it pretty warm so it wasn't an issue.  I used my pillow as normal since my son was lower... he was always hovering around milk level!

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#5 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 05:32 PM
 
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We don't have a frame, but our bed is still pretty high as we have the box springs & mattress.

 

All my babies have slept next to the wall, with a tightly rolled blanket to fill any space at the edge just to be safe. I keep the pillows away from them until around 1(except for ds1 who had reflux & I propped up on pillows starting around 6 months). I don't worry about the blankets/sheets at all. In fact, I usually pull them up to the baby's chest, at least in the winter.

 

Trying to figure out what we're going to do this time around, since ds3 is still nursing to sleep & to wake up (my other 2 were weaned by the time I had a new baby) & there is no way dh would be willing to have ds3 sleeping between us, even if there were room. Trying to clean up the floor so we can put the extra (single) mattress & boxspring down for ds3, but that puts me on the outside edge & the baby would probably have to go between dh & I. Not sure how safe that is.


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#6 of 25 Old 09-09-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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I was reading about this a lot yesterday.  I am a first time mama, so I am really glad we have the experienced mamas here to tell us how its done!  I also can't take the bed off the bedframe or move it against the wall.  I have a king so there is plenty of space, and I would probably use the Arm's Reach co-sleeper with anything smaller than a king.

 

The top 2 contenders for co-sleeping products for me at the moment are the Snuggle Nest:

http://babydelight.com/index.html

They sell this at places like Babies R Us, and I am a little concerned about just how "natural" and non-toxic this type of product would be...

 

And the Humanity Family Bed:

http://www.beanproducts.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=001&Product_Code=10HPH&Category_Code=MaternityProducts

 

The Humanity Family Bed is a little pricey, but I think it's worth it for something you and the LO will sleep on every night for a long time (and cheaper than a crib!)

 

A much more cost effective solution that I'm also considering are these bumpers:

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Bumpers-Portable-Child-Safety/dp/B003KEMMNG/ref=pd_sim_ba_3

 

I'm thinking I might get the Snuggle Nest for my peace of mind in addition to whatever bumper we end up using, in case I don't feel secure with a tiny newborn right there next to me with no separate space.  I also like that a little separate space means the baby can sleep between DH and I.  Outside of the Snuggle Nest the baby will sleep between me and a bumper, with DH on other side of me.

 

My biggest question is what do you do with a napping babe if mom needs to leave the room? Before and after they are mobile?


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#7 of 25 Old 09-10-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by element2012 View Post

The top 2 contenders for co-sleeping products for me at the moment are the Snuggle Nest:

http://babydelight.com/index.html

They sell this at places like Babies R Us, and I am a little concerned about just how "natural" and non-toxic this type of product would be...

 

...

 

I'm thinking I might get the Snuggle Nest for my peace of mind in addition to whatever bumper we end up using, in case I don't feel secure with a tiny newborn right there next to me with no separate space.  I also like that a little separate space means the baby can sleep between DH and I.  Outside of the Snuggle Nest the baby will sleep between me and a bumper, with DH on other side of me.

 

My biggest question is what do you do with a napping babe if mom needs to leave the room? Before and after they are mobile?

A friend loaned me something that is basically just like the Snuggle Nest that we used for a day or two.  Neither of my kids would even try it - they literally *needed* to be right there and smelling me to get comfortable enough to sleep.

 

Seriously, I just went to Goodwill to get our guard rail.  I think I got the set of two for $1.99 and I've used them for two kids now.  It was seriously the best money spent.  And they're older so they're just metal and mesh - nothing toxic to off-gas.

 

I leave the room when I'm up and let the baby sleep.  It's never been a problem.  My daughter fell out of bed once (after she was mobile) and that's because I didn't put pillows around her so she rolled right off.  I think that's one of those things that everybody worries about, but isn't a major issue in reality, yk?
 

 


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#8 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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We didn't need to take the bed out of the frame until my son was mobile.  We did test it to make sure that it was extremely unlikely that he could somehow get caught in it-- if I couldn't get my (relatively small) fist down the side of the thing when exerting immense force and TRYING to get caught, I couldn't convince myself it was a real danger to my infant. 

 

We did take it out of the frame once he was mobile because he crawled off of it.  I think pillows on the floor around the bed could be a good solution to this as others have mentioned.

 

I was terrified of putting my son next to me at first, so when he was really tiny, he slept on my chest.  I'm not a big sleep roller (especially not after two years of co-sleeping in a queen sized bed) and as tired as I was, I was SO aware of his body position when he was that small.  When he got bigger and we figured out sidelying nursing (around 4 weeks or so), he started falling asleep in the crook of my arm and that's where he sleeps to this day.  When he was still night nursing, I'd swap him from side to side throughout the night, which meant he slept between me and my husband sometimes, between me and the bedside other times.

 

He didn't nap by himself until he was over a year old, so I can't give any advice on that... however, he is also not a big sleep roller and now that he's bigger, I do just leave him in the bed and go about my business.


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#9 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 04:45 AM
 
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We're thinking of building our own "sidecar" out of wood and connecting it to our bed. We have a super thick solid wood frame (~15cm on each edge), which appears to be too wide to accommodate the side beds (whatever they're called) you can buy. A railing wouldn't work so well for us, as our mattress is only 160cm wide, and I don't want to be squished in there with 2 children. winky.gif Our 2-year-old sleeps in his own room most of the time, but if he's sick/grumpy, he likes to sleep with us. He's a very wild sleeper, so I couldn't safely put a newborn in there with him unless we had a separate cove for her. Hence the sidecar idea. smile.gif

 

As for last time. . . When our son was a baby, we made him his own "nest" between us. He slept on a folded baby blanket with his own tiny blanket on top of him (when he wasn't kicking it off, anyway orngtongue.gif). We each have our own blanket, so there was no overlap on the bed. When he napped in our bed, I created a pillow barrier (breastfeeding pillows are great for this due to the curviness) so he wouldn't roll off the bed. He started rolling at 5 weeks, so this was a big worry, but he never fell off while sleeping thanks to the pillow wall.


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#10 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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Here's a good blog post with general ideas. http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/01/11/co-sleeping-safety/

 

Also, I don't know if this would be an option now that drop-side cribs are out, but we originally bought a crib planning on not co-sleeping. It obviously didn't work and I quickly found out the benefits of co-sleeping, but we still had the crib. We took off the drop-side of the crib and attached it to our bed (side-car style) using these things that my parents connect their boat to it's trailer with (I don't know what they're called, but it's like a belt that you crank the metal part of it and it tightens, very secure) and scooted the crib mattress over to the bed (also put the crib mattress at the same height as my bed mattress). Since there were a few inches of room on the other side of the crib mattress, we used craft foam (the really hard kind) that was cut to the right size and covered with a sheet. This all sounds very complicated, but it wasn't bad to do. Didn't take very long either. Also was very safe because I was crazy paranoid.

 

It worked really well for the first few months. When she started getting mobile (which was really young for her, probably less than 6 months) she would for some reason roll to the bottom of the bed where the crib wasn't attached and then off the bed. I solved that by taking my husband's and my pillows and putting them around the edges of the bed in combination with the covers pulled down and bunched up at the bottom. That worked well because it was like once she even touched something against the edge she's stop rolling. This all worked pretty well until she got a bit older and started rolling towards me as she slept (which she still does) so the crib part wasn't being used at all. This happened around the same time that our crib was recalled (because it's a drop-side) so we returned it for a full refund. :-D


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#11 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Is anyone thinking of using a sidecarring setup or Arm's Reach Cosleeper right away (or have you ever?) This is something we're considering in case we or baby needs our own sleeping space without being separated entirely from the family bed...


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#12 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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I borrowed a friend's Arm's Reach and it only worked as a clothes catcher in the room.  Maybe my kids are weird, but they wouldn't sleep unless they were *right* there next to me.  So having the co-sleeper just didn't work for our family.


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#13 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 11:23 AM
 
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We had an Arm's Reach to start with that we bought used.  I think my son slept in it for uh, probably < 5 hours total ever.  He would only ever sleep in it for 20-30 minutes at a time and it was just too much hassle to even bother with him in there.  Part of the problem was that our bedframe was very low, lower than you can set the Arm's Reach.  So he wasn't anywhere near level with me, there was no easily rolling him out of there and into my bed or anything.

 

I was really NOT interested in having him actually in our bed to start with, which was why we tried the Arm's Reach... two years later, here we are, and the person who's not ready to let go of cosleeping is me.  :)


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#14 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 03:42 PM
 
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My ds who is almost 2 still sleeps in bed with us and has from day 1.  We bought an Arm's Reach and had it all set-up when he was born, but he never ever would sleep in the thing!  The first month, he literally would only sleep if he was laying on my chest (or sometimes hubbies), finally he was able to start sleeping right next to me, but he had to be skin to skin.  And he's still this way.  So, I suppose some of it depends on your babies sleep personality. I do know of some babies who slept better with a little more personal space.

 

We never did anything special about blankets/pillows etc. The first few months, I just slept lightly and ds woke often. . .so I felt I always had a sense of where he was.  I did however, learn to wear an extra long-sleeved nursing shirt to bed so that I could keep my arms out of the covers--if I was all the way under the covers I was too worried that they would get too high and cover his face too.  But probably with a newborn in Jan most of us will just be keeping the house warmer, so it shouldn't be a huge problem. I did keep ds btw me and the side of the bed with the unused co-sleeper, as I found that DH had much less awareness of ds in bed and I worried that he would fling his arm out of roll over too close.  But now that ds is bigger he sleeps in the middle. Something to consider for later too, we did wind up moving our bed down to the floor and switching from a Queen to a King and it made all the difference! So if you're considering a family bed for a longer time period you might keep this in mind. As soon as they can roll, it's too scary to leave them in a high bed alone and King size is the way to go! :)

 

This time I am considering something like the snuggle nest partly b/c we will likely still have a toddler in bed as well. . we still have the arm's reach too. . .but not sure if it will ever get used.


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#15 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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We used the Arms Reach for the first 5 months or so -  i mostly used it for naps, once DS was out - he was OUT!  I could have put him anywhere.  Overnight i generally slept with my back against the wall and him sleeping on my chest - but as he got older, i put him in the co sleeper overnight as well.  We have a queen - matt & box on the floor and just recently bought DS a twin to go next to us.  He is 13 mo. now and hyper-mobile while he sleeps!  He starts off in my bed - then i move him to his bed, at some point he catapults himself on top of me - when hes done nursing he will crawl away -  sometimes he will sit up - then flop backwards and fall back to sleep like that.   winky.gif

For a tall bed - get a good quality monitor - so you can start toward the bedroom as soon as you hear baby is awake - before you know it LO will be able to climb out by himself


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#16 of 25 Old 09-19-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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I've tried the Snuggle Nest, but like some previous posters, my babies needed to be touching me to sleep well.  (DS would literally wake up if my nipple came out of his mouth for the first 4 or so months!)  I always just push the bed up to the wall and that's worked for three babies so far, with nothing else "fancy" - no bed rails or magic bedding or anything.

 

I always slept topless, with a cloth diaper nearby to rest on top of my non-nursing breast (to catch the leakage) so that the baby could just find my breast and many times, I'd barely stir.  DH and I only sleep with a top sheet, for the most part, and we each have our own top sheet since we don't like to share ;) , so baby will be in light footed PJs when we are all in bed together.  I never had any issues rolling on top of the baby or anything else.  If you or your DH have issues where you roll on top of each other while you sleep, you may need some further protection while co-sleeping.  (For instance, any time my 6 yo DD sleeps in our bed, which is about once a week, DH or I will wake up multiple times in the night with a foot on our head or DD trying to roll on top of us, so she will never be sleeping in the same bed as a baby!)


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#17 of 25 Old 11-17-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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HI all. I just wanted to drop in to this thread because of an ad I saw online. In no way am I promoting this ad or trying to discourage anyone from co-sleeping. I just wanted to let people know that there is a new war against the family unit!

 

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/milwaukee-health-dept-releases-ad-comparing-parental-co-sleeping-to-baby-sleeping-with-butcher-knife/cosleeping-babies-ad-controversy/

 

Sorry it is so long. This was truly shocking to me and disheartening. I co-slept with my daughter before I even knew that co-sleeping was even a "thing". When I first brought her home from the hospital I was trying to nurse while sitting up in a rocking chair and I would fall asleep and was worried that I was going to drop her so I started nursing in bed and then laying her back in the crib. Well, we live in MN and it turned out that her bedroom was drafty and when I would go get her to nurse her, her hands and feet were freezing even though she was well dressed, swaddled, and the house was heated, so she ended up sleeping with us. From everything I have read about the increased "co-sleeping" deaths in Milwaukee it has been a case of drunken mothers passing out and rolling over on the child. Anyway, I can't believe that they would put up an ad like this!


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#18 of 25 Old 11-17-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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I saw this on Yahoo a few days ago and was pretty upset by it myself.  Interestingly enough, Yahoo featured an article last week about a study in New Zealand that showed co-sleeping in a positive light: http://news.yahoo.com/newborn-mom-co-sleeping-study-stirs-controversy-214412620.html

 

As a first time mom, I really don't know what to expect with co-sleeping.  I know that my intuition tells me that, for me, a tiny newborn has no business being left to sleep by themselves.  I know that I slept by myself as a newborn and I'm sure most of us did, but when I read Dr. Sears information on co-sleeping in the beginning of my pregnancy it just resonated with me.  I wasn't planning on buying a crib before baby's arrival, in fact.  As we get closer to baby's arrival, I do believe I will buy a crib to put in my room "just in case".  One of the natural parenting groups in my area has a co-sleeping class this weekend that I also plan to check out.  Basically I am a bundle of nerves about everything right now lol, so I guess my tactic is to just cover all bases lol.


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#19 of 25 Old 11-17-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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For me, baby sleeping in her own crib, even in when in our room, did not work for us. Like I said in my previous post, I didn't know co-sleeping was a thing until after my daughter moved into her own room. Every time she would make a noise or shuffle in her crib I would wake up, so I ended up sitting up most of the night to see if she was ok. When she slept with me, and I have heard this from other moms too, I had a different kind of sleep. Its like you are asleep but somehow know where the baby is, if she is breathing, if she is hungry and rooting for food, etc. I would say that co-sleeping is crucial for new mom survival, at least until the baby is sleeping through the night.


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#20 of 25 Old 11-17-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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We have an arm's reach, it worked fine for two of our kids, and the other one had to be in the crook of my arm.  I personally prefer not to bedshare if I don't have to.  if it's the only way we all sleep, then so be it.

 

If the baby is in our bed we use separate covers because my husband would totally pull them right up over the baby.  We do not use pillow tops, foam toppers, pillows, fluffy blankets, etc. if there is an infant in our bed.  We don't bedshare under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.  

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#21 of 25 Old 11-18-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedarwoman View Post

Is anyone thinking of using a sidecarring setup or Arm's Reach Cosleeper right away (or have you ever?) This is something we're considering in case we or baby needs our own sleeping space without being separated entirely from the family bed...



We have the arm's reach mini.  It was great for naps, or for me to roll our son into after he fell asleep if I needed to get up to pee.  It was also WAY easier to take to my parents' house if we were staying over than the huge packnplay.  He wasn't keen on falling asleep in it, but it was great to have a safe place to put him down after he nodded off.  My son needed 7 stitches after rolling out of my brother's bed (awake) with supervision at 6 months old, so I'm not a fan of the pillow fort while you step out of the room idea, both from that experience and from seeing how easy it is for babies to crawl under them.  For the most part we bedshare, with a crib handy for naps or if my husband and I want some privacy once he's asleep.  I second the chest sleeping the first few weeks.  There was no place else that either of us wanted to be, and I sleep pretty lightly whether he's in our bed or next to it, so I wasn't worried about smushing him.  Husband is a deep sleeper and would totally pull the covers over our son's head if I didn't prevent it.  A blanket for everyone can work well.

 

(My poor brother still gets teased "I left him alone with his Uncle for 5 minutes and we ended up in the emergency room for 3 hours!")

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#22 of 25 Old 11-18-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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We did what another poster said and shoved the mattress against the wall and then rolled up a ton of receiving blankets and shoved them down tight in the gap. I tried the snuggle nest one time and it was a pain so we didn't use it anymore. I dressed my baby in long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts and a sleep sack instead of having him under the covers. It gave me better piece of mind. I'm not really sure what setup we'll do with this baby because our room isn't really conducive to having the bed against the wall and I hate the feeling of having a child's bed rail on my adult bed, lol


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#23 of 25 Old 11-18-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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I had given up on the possibility of co-sleeping since our bed is a full and we can't buy a bigger bed right now.  BUT my husband has recently been reassigned to the overnight shift for december-march (yippee :( ) so It will just be me and baby at night, therefore it would be possible and probably in my best interest to co-sleep at least during the week.  After reading some of the comments above I realized that I hadn't thought about what I would do if I needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night!  

Is there any reason I can't just leave my baby on the bed (away from the edge) at least until she learns to roll over?  I guess the problem would be that who knows when she'll learn to do that!  What other options are there besides a bed rail or using pillows around the baby?

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#24 of 25 Old 11-18-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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I put the baby in the spot against the wall & leave them if I need to pee. Even for naps occasionally. Even once they start rolling, it's a long roll from the wall to the edge. Honestly, after ds1 fell out of a crib at 11 mths (& he was only ever in the crib when I needed to pee & dh wasn't around), I'm a lot more leery of cribs than a bed. As soon as they start moving, I start teaching them to roll onto their stomach & get off feet first. They learn pretty quickly. The only trouble we ever had was ds1 (again lol) who got off the bed properly, but it was a lot higher than he was used to (we were at my mom's) and he landed hard.


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#25 of 25 Old 11-19-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post

I put the baby in the spot against the wall & leave them if I need to pee. Even for naps occasionally. Even once they start rolling, it's a long roll from the wall to the edge. Honestly, after ds1 fell out of a crib at 11 mths (& he was only ever in the crib when I needed to pee & dh wasn't around), I'm a lot more leery of cribs than a bed. As soon as they start moving, I start teaching them to roll onto their stomach & get off feet first. They learn pretty quickly. The only trouble we ever had was ds1 (again lol) who got off the bed properly, but it was a lot higher than he was used to (we were at my mom's) and he landed hard.

 

I taught Rocket to get out of bed safely as soon as he was big enough and that saved a lot of anxiety!  Great reminder/idea for newbies!  I don't have to worry nearly so much about what he might be doing if I pop out of the room for a moment!

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