wanted to cosleep when LO is born, but now discouraged - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 06-12-2010, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pregnant with my first, and was really excited about/committed to cosleeping, but the more I read from McKenna and Sears, etc., the more I feel discouraged. We have a queen bed with a small, tight-fitting frame, but we have a memory foam mattress topper (which, with my back issues, seems to be the best sleep option for me - we tried a firm mattress once and I had terrible sleep/back pain). I get the sense that that's bad for newborns? We also really like our pillows and blankets - I'm not sure how well we'd sleep without them or with really firm pillows and just a sheet - are there other ways? My dh doesn't want to put the mattress on the floor (though he'd be willing if we had to) and we could really use the under-the-bed space for the baby's clothes and diapers since we're in a small one br apt. We could do a sidecar, but I've had friends get one and then the baby hates it, and we don't really have a lot of $ to spend. We will be borrowing a moses basket from some friends, and I thought about putting that on a low side table wedged between the bed and wall, but is that safe? and what about when I take the baby out for breastfeeding? Seems like it might be a pain to take her in and out of the moses basket all night. Thoughts? (and thank you!)

mama to my girl (b. oct. 2010), cding, cosleeping, babywearing, trying to ec.
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#2 of 18 Old 06-12-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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I was really nervous about co-sleeping in the bed with my DD when she was a newborn (and for many months), but she would not sleep by herself at all. We did a lot of chest sleeping the first few months. Baby slept on my chest skin to skin, and it was the only way she'd sleep. However, I have back issues and as she grew bigger this became very difficult for me. We eventually broke down and shelled out the money for an arms reach co-sleeper. It worked really well for us. She liked being able to sleep on her side and look at me and she and I would hold hands through the night, which I loved. She did outgrow it rather quickly though, as once she could get up on her hands and knees she was no longer safe in it. We eventually went to co-sleeping in the bed, but she was older, bigger, and could roll over well. I found that it was really hard to plan sleeping arrangements because every baby is different in how they'll sleep and this also changes throughout their development. We've used many different arrangements-she's 20 months now and sleeps about half the night in her toddler bed (in our room) and then comes into bed with me during the night at some point. Two nights she has stayed in the toddler bed all night. Yay!! I really encourage to find what works best for you and the baby and to be open to trying different things.
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#3 of 18 Old 06-12-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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For the first month i refused to have the baby beside me on the bed with our huge duvet and pillows. It didn't feel safe because he was so tiny and fragile (he was born normal weight btw) and initially i was taking tylenol 3's (sedating drugs and bedsharing is a big no no!) So we bought this cosleeper for him to sleep in until he doubled his weight at 2months of age, after which i had him in my arms while we slept. Anyway, with respect to the cosleeper, we wedged it between our pillows (and we slept in a queen-sized bed). My friend used her cosleeper until her baby was about 4months of age.

ETA: I also liked the cosleeper because it was easy to take into other rooms.
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#4 of 18 Old 06-12-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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We have a Tempurpedic, love our pillows and comforter...we used something similar to that co-sleeper for the first three months or so and it worked great. We didn't nurse in bed, because I had an awful case of thrush and had a little routine I had to do after each nursing session. Before the thrush set in, though, we sat up to nurse (DS was tiny - 6 pounds - and I'm big - 36F - so it was a while before the sidlelaying nursing position worked for us). Once DS was bigger, I just arranged the comforter around us (up tight on my back, down low around his bum/my tummy) while nursing, and we'd usually fall asleep that way.

I don't think there is any way you can know what will work best until your LO is here and you try some. Remember that at first, LO can't roll and will likely be swaddled - s/he will stay where you put him/her. Unless your mattress topper is REALLY soft, it shouldn't be problem for the first 2-3 months (IMO). Can you borrow a co-sleeper from someone? Even if for just a week or two; you can see if you like it before you buy it.

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#5 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 04:53 AM
 
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If you plan on using a crib eventually, I'd just get a convertible crib and sidecar it so you don't have to spend the money for a cosleeper AND a crib, kwim? And if you get the convertible, you can use it later as a regular size bed or perhaps a guest room bed? We have DD's crib sidecarred and love it (though I doubt the people that gave it to us at her baby shower realized we would use it this way!) and she will be 2 in a few weeks.

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#6 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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The first few nights of DS's life, DH & I had separate blankets so DS wasn't covered. And I tried hard to keep DS on my side, not next to DH, because I read DH may roll over him. But at one of our first checkups, DH asked the ped about it, and she said DS would be fine in the middle, and would be fine with our blankets, as long as we were careful. When nursing & sleeping, the baby is so low in the bed, I don't think pillows are much of a problem. We had a co-sleeper side-carred, but DS never slept in it. He hated it. Luckily, it was borrowed, and we will not use one for any future children, because it just didn't work for us!

Oh, and as far as bed size, we have a king, but we went out of town a few weeks ago, and got a hotel room with 2 doubles, the plan being for me to get DS to sleep in his bed, then move over with DH. Well, DH got sick and came down with a fever, and was miserable all night, so I stayed with him. DH missed us, so he came over, too, and we fit just fine. Not ideal for nightly sleep, but doable. I think a queen would be a cinch.

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#7 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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We have an arm's reach also - we found ours on craigslist for less than 1/2 the cost of a new one. I used the bassinet portion until around 3-4 months when he began rolling, and now he sleeps in the bottom pack-n-play part - for the first part of the night, and then comes to bed to sleep with us.

at first though, when he slept with us as a newborn, it was on my chest, or in my arms, so pillows and blankets weren't a concern, I put him on top of the blankets. He was a winter baby, so we needed more than a sheet, but DH and I always have had our own lightweight blankets. (our comforter is for decoration and is jammed between the foot of the bed and the mattress). Now, in warmer weather we can get by with just a sheet. the babe normally sleeps to my side, away from DH (not due to concerns about DH rolling, it is just what allows all of us the most space).

Looking back, I wish we could have just side-carred the crib; however my dad made us a lovely solid cherry crib-dresser combo that won't work for side-carring. bummer.

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#8 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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My first ended up in bed with us (queen, memory foam, comforter) because he was not comfortable in the cosleeper. Lots of folks seem to have success with the baby sleeping slightly apart, but mine was obviously cold, no matter what I did, and missed me. At first I was nervous, and didn't sleep that well (but, honestly, show me a mother of a newborn who is sleeping well!), but it really does become intuitive. Let it evolve. You can make a nest for the baby up at the top of the bed and sleep a little further down, so that you can snuggle in the covers and LO has a separate blanket but benefits from your smell and breathing rhythm and body heat.

Cosleeping babies nurse more, and this is a good thing. Little babies should not sleep deeply. It can seem hard on mom, but I think the connection and the brain and physiological development are worth it. You will find something that works for you!
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#9 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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We used a moses basket in the bed (we have a big bed) until DD outgrew it. I loved it, despite the getting her in and out of it during the night. Though she actually slept better in the early months than she does now (at 10 mos).
Also, I'd have the basket downstairs during the day, as she'd often fall alseep on me and sometimes I could put her down in the basket to finish napping, if it was close by.

I'm sure once the baby's here your sleeping arrangement will resolve itself without too much calculation. I had over three different options in the house (hammock, crib, basket), and really didn't have a plan. Now she sleeps the start of the night on my boob, then in her crib, and the rest in the bed/on my boob again.

Congratulations and good luck!

Lea, mama to DD Rowan, 8/6/09
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#10 of 18 Old 06-13-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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The arm's reach was great for us. I'm not someone who can sleep with anyone touching me directly and I also need my pillows and blankets. I plan to do the same with this next baby. They can still hear you breathe and move and you're right there to instantly pick them up if they cry. I really prefer it.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#11 of 18 Old 06-21-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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Most pack n play's have a 'bassinett' option now, and it is essentially the same exact thing as a cosleeper...and cheaper.

I slept with my DD with a light sheet tucked around my waist...I slept on my side, with one arm tucked with the pillow under my head, so she couldn't get to it. Once she was around 6 months I felt safer sleeping on my back and with a regular blanket, but still tuck it around me.

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#12 of 18 Old 06-21-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalamos23 View Post
If you plan on using a crib eventually, I'd just get a convertible crib and sidecar it so you don't have to spend the money for a cosleeper AND a crib, kwim? And if you get the convertible, you can use it later as a regular size bed or perhaps a guest room bed? We have DD's crib sidecarred and love it (though I doubt the people that gave it to us at her baby shower realized we would use it this way!) and she will be 2 in a few weeks.
i love my side carred crib! even if Dd2 rolls over to me in the night it still makes me feel better that she wont roll off the bed.

Me,DH,DS1'95, '98,DSD'03,DD1'07,DD2'09,DS2'12 Living with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3-Hypermobility.)o( and sometimes I get toif I am lucky.
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#13 of 18 Old 06-21-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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Man. Ok, my DH is a Lt FF/EMT and cosleeping is a HUGE no-no for him. We have 2 DSs and our first slept with us for a few weeks, but didn't sleep as well in our bed as he did in his cradle. By the time we had our second, my DH had ran 3 calls in 4months where a parents had rolled over in bed on and smothered their child, the youngest being 3 weeks old and the oldest being a 2yr old. None of the parents were big people. If you go the cosleeping route, I would absolutely reccomend getting a coosleeper that is an appendage to your own bed. Not putting the little one in the bed with you.

A pack-n-play always worked great for us when we weren't home. They are easy to move and most of them now have bassinets that keep the baby higher up so you aren't bending down into it to pick them up.
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#14 of 18 Old 06-21-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin3085 View Post
Man. Ok, my DH is a Lt FF/EMT and cosleeping is a HUGE no-no for him. We have 2 DSs and our first slept with us for a few weeks, but didn't sleep as well in our bed as he did in his cradle. By the time we had our second, my DH had ran 3 calls in 4months where a parents had rolled over in bed on and smothered their child, the youngest being 3 weeks old and the oldest being a 2yr old. None of the parents were big people. If you go the cosleeping route, I would absolutely reccomend getting a coosleeper that is an appendage to your own bed. Not putting the little one in the bed with you.

A pack-n-play always worked great for us when we weren't home. They are easy to move and most of them now have bassinets that keep the baby higher up so you aren't bending down into it to pick them up.

if anybody does the cosleeping thing, i encourage them to do their own research. there are lots of moms on here who sleep with their lo in their bed just fine. including me with my side carred crib. research research research. sleeping with lo in your bed is safe as long as you follow the precautions.

Me,DH,DS1'95, '98,DSD'03,DD1'07,DD2'09,DS2'12 Living with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3-Hypermobility.)o( and sometimes I get toif I am lucky.
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#15 of 18 Old 06-21-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Erin3085 View Post
my DH had ran 3 calls in 4months where a parents had rolled over in bed on and smothered their child, the youngest being 3 weeks old and the oldest being a 2yr old. None of the parents were big people. .
Were they smokers? Or had they been drinking? On drugs - street or legal - that affected how deeply they slept? Those are all MUCH bigger risk factors than being "big". And during that same time, how many "crib death" calls did he have?

There are definitely reasons NOT to bed share. But a healthy, non-altered mama baby pair sleeps more lightly than normal and are very aware of each other. Roll-overs are very uncommon, and SIDS is also rare if people co-sleep safely.

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#16 of 18 Old 06-22-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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None were on drugs or otherwise impared. He was shaken up over it for that very reason. WHY did it happen? It just did. It happens. As does SIDS, but in my opinion, personally, it's more preventable. Last year was an all-around bad year for DH, running drownings and smotherings on a regular basis and he is a much different daddy as a result.

I know lots of moms who do it are defensive and it's a touchy subject. It works for some people, and that's great, but those are my thoughts.

Good luck with whatever you decide! Hopefully you will have a good sleeper on your hands either way.
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#17 of 18 Old 06-22-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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We got an arms reach co-sleeper too. (used)
And DS slept there until about 4ish months at which point i felt ok with him in bed with all the blankets/pillows/cats.
I got a 4 inch piece of firm foam to put under the co-sleeper mattress so that it was at a better level to my bed. There was still about a 1 inch lip, but WAY better to lift baby in the middle of the night than the 4-5 inches it is designed with!
We also bought a bed rail (used) that has the straps under the mattress to keep it REALLY tight against the bed. So for a few more months DS slept between me and the bed rail only. Now he sleeps....ummm, all over the entire bed taking up more room than both of us!

SAHM to 5 cats, a crazy toddler and my new baby girl born at home 3/12/12.

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#18 of 18 Old 06-22-2010, 04:45 PM
 
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When I had my DD years ago, co-sleeping wan't our plan...as with many attachment or gentle parenting things, it just happened. You discover quickly that you get more sleep, and that you are so in tune to your baby, even while you sleep, that your baby is perfectly safe in your bed. We started with a bassinet cosleeper, and I would carry her to our spare room bed to nurse when she woke up, thinking it "harder" and safer. That worked for a while, but eventually, full bed-shering is where we ended up. Now that she is 3, and still in my bed, I can't imagine it any other way. We have a very soft pillow top mattress, but we used a cosleeper/positioner between us and she was fine. Once she was about 6 months old, we abandoned everything and she was fine right in our bed. We put up mesh bedrails on both sides (now on one side since I am 7 months pregnant and could not get around the rail to get out anymore).
It will be interesting to navigate the family bed with number 2 coming in September, but we plan on using the cosleeper again, and putting one of us between our 3 year old and the baby when he is in bed with us.

I credit co-sleeping as probably the sole reason I was able to return to work as a teacher and keep nursing for almost 3 years. The night nursing kept up my production, allowing me to pump more during the day, while still getting the rest I needed. And the bonding factor is amazing.

Best of luck to you...you will find your way!!
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