I am expecting my first child in the next few months. I am getting rid of my old bed & haven't bought any baby furniture yet. I am looking for ideas about how to best set up my bedroom for co-sleeping. What size of bed? Rails on the bed? Bed height? Better to have a bassinet for the infant stage? Good to have a crib in the room for backup? It will just be my baby and me in the bed. I am particularly concerned with the crawling stage when the baby can get into trouble--also about off-gassing & toxicity. Originally, I was sold on "the" co-sleeper, but realized that, by the time I purchased a natural mattress, it would be ridiculously expensive considering that it is only usable for a few months. Anyway, if you could build the ideal co-sleeping room, what would you put in it? Thank you! :)
Emily Lin, mom to Alia (2011). Clinical herbalist and nutritional consultant at Integral Herbalism (www.facebook.com/IntegralHerbalism).
King size bed, but there's two adults in our co-sleeping arrangement.
In your case, I'd go with a Queen, no frame. When the baby starts crawling you baby proof the bedroom and close the door at night (if you have a very adventuresome baby).
For us, dd has only very recently been willing to get up out of bed without a parent right there. Most of the time she'll lay in bed after a nap and call for me.
I love our king size bed. It gave everyone plenty of room. Then I took the front off the crib to use as a side car. That was bliss till the crawling stage. Then we ditched the frame and box springs and built the same arrangement on the floor. the bedroom is baby safe so my now toddler can fall/climb/crawl down the five inches to the floor and not get into trouble! usually he doesnt prefering to go and talk to the baby monitor to let me know he's awake. Because the bedroom gets hot at night if you shut the door we leave it open with a gate up when DH & I go to bed
If it were me, I'd go with king (or queen if you're certain it's just you and baby) on a plain metal frame, skip the cosleeper (DS is 6.5 months and has spent exactly 1 hour sleeping in the dumb thing) and get one of these for the newborn period. My DS LOVED sleeping in it, and it was nice that he could start the night there, nap there, etc., we could move it around the house & take it to the grandparents and it's waaay cheaper than a cosleeper, but it is also at bed height so it was pretty easy to pull him into bed, nurse, and then move him back into it if I was feeling touched out.
Then, once DC is crawling, take the mattress off the frame and put the frame away somewhere for awhile.
ETA: DS is not crawling yet, so this is what I *think* we'll do, but who knows?
Mumma to DS July 2010 and expecting another baby boy late July 2012
Yep this! Our arrangement is a queen with a twin next to it. I never had any luck moving a sleeping baby and if you plan to continue co-sleeping you won't necessarily need to.
It's pretty individual.
We actually just took down the co-sleeper after 7.5 years. I added a 4" piece of foam so that the level of the co-sleeper was even with our queen bed (initally on rails then a bedframe), so it was a pretty seamless transition between the two. When they were infants I usually had them snuggled right up next to me, but when they got bigger the co-sleeper was their space and I leaned in to nurse them. This worked better for me to get a good night's rest. They stayed in it until transitioning into the next room which was a queen mattress and boxspring on the floor, they were each about 3.
I never had an issue with them falling out of bed. I found they didn't want to get out of bed by themselves for quite a while, even after they were mobile. They seemed to have the interest and coordination for getting down to the floor about the same time.
We kept the cosleeper up so that when our younger one came to visit in the wee hours of the morning he had some more space. In the past few months it's become more of an area for my clothes :) My husband just took it down because my parents are coming to visit in a couple of weeks.
If it's the two of you I would recommend putting one side of the bed against the wall (careful not to have a space between wall & mattress) and having baby between you and the wall.
Congrats and good luck :)
I've always been a fan of our king-size mattress directly on the floor. No rails or anything. Once baby is mobile, just be sure that the room is baby-proofed at all times so they are free to explore once they figure out how to get off of the bed.
We shared a bed from the first night and I LOVED it. I highly recommend it for maximum sleep... as long as you can master nursing lying down and can tolerate a baby on your nipple while you sleep.
It was just me and the baby so we used a firm queen (no thick top padding), and put it on the floor to minimize any rocking or movement when I rolled over or moved away. I was also worried about off-gassing but there wasn't an affordable natural mattress alternative, so I made sure to buy the new mattress a few months before Lu was born, unwrapped it and put it in a room I didn't sleep in. I don't know if that was really any healthier, but it made me feel better anyway.
I didn't feel comfortable with rails until Lu was about 1, so until then I put a very tightly rolled wool blanket under the sheet near the edge. It kept her from rolling off as an infant, and I knew she couldn't get trapped by it in any way. And I ditched my fluffy down comforter and got a heavy fleece blanket and quilt instead; it made me more comfortable to be able to tuck the blankets around me and away from the baby while she nursed and slept.
My big advice is to get a dim night light so you can see the baby's position and placement in the dark. Just bright enough to make out where he/she is in relation to you and the blankets. You'll sleep better knowing where the baby is and that he/she's safe.
We could not put our bed on the floor, since we have too much stuff stored under it. Sigh.
So, we side-carred a crib to the side of our double bed. Baby slept on the crib mattress, or on me in the bed, either way, no risk of rolling or getting caught in the sides.
For naps, she slept in that part of the crib/bed with a rolled blanket under the sheet to keep her from rolling all the way across the double bed.
Just in case, we put todller rails on the side and foot of the larger bed while she napped.
DD (3 y/o) and I are now in a double bed with a side rail and DH is in his own loft bed. He keeps odd hours reading and writing, and prefers it this way.
When we all want to sleep together, we create a super bed.
Double turned sideways, with a twin lashed to the FOOT of the bed. This creates a Super-King that five people could sleep in. The crease is at our calves, and we don't even notice it. It's GREAT!
Enjoy co-sleeping !! :)
I would never do it any other way. You get the most sleep this way, and your instincts are never wondering where your baby is.
I SECOND the recommendation to get a dim night light. We use the warm torch-light from Ikea's children's section. It is soft, neat looking and fire resistant.
I wouldn't spend much on anything until after baby is born, because you simply don' t know what will work until you try it. We had a cradle, used it for a few weeks, until dd wouldn't stop crying unless someone was touching her. Then I decided we would all sleep better if she were in the bed! That was a double at first, then we moved to a queen around 2, I think, and at some point we set up a crib sidecar. I didn't originally want the crib, or the cradle, they were both given to us, and I wouldn't have known what we needed until the time came. The sidecar hasn't been used much, though it might if I were firmer about it. Mostly it is storage for extra blankets and pillows. Dd1 has her own bed, but mostly comes into the "big bed" (now a queen) in the night. dd2 is 3.5 and still in the "big bed." We never used rails or a 4-sided crib. We did make a point of showing her early how to go off a bed or couch feet first. Once she knew that, she could get out safely. Of course, that means more safety precautions and eagle eyes for mom and dad. But we found it a worthwhile trade-off.
This. Make sure you have a nice firm mattress and keep baby away from pillows and bedding.
If you have a hard floor at least put a rug or something to cushion a fall. My son actually cracked his skull falling off our MATTRESS. He was playing, though, not sleeping. I think he tried to stand up (he was 11 months) and sort of flung himself off being wild. I was putting away laundry and only turned my back for a second. We have old very hard wood floors. Just think if it had been a regular height bed (though I doubt I would have been letting him play on it if it was). He ended up being fine and not needing any treatment. But he did crack his skull. I think that just a rug on the floor would have cushioned the impact enough.
For a family of 3 going on 4 we have a king size mattress with a very low frame. I use the Snug Tuck Pillow until about 1 yr and I'm not worried about them rolling off the side. I also have an Arm's Reach mini cosleeper for naps. If I can't nap with an infant, I prefer to have them in an infant bed of some kind, until they learn to slide off the bed safely. DS1 learned around 6 months when he started crawling. We also have a bed for DS1 at the foot of ours, as we are slowly weaning him from the family bed. So basically our bedroom is one small island of beds! lol!
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
We're cosleeping with #4. With #1-#3 we just used bed rails on a Queen sized bed (like the ones kids use). This time, we had a Fisher Price bassinet that I could take around the house for safe napping...and then we bought a crib that we sidecared to the bed. It works so much better than an Arms Reach. Plus, when you're ready to transition... the bed is already in toddler bed mode... so you just lower the mattress...and gently move it away from your bed...and eventually into another room should you desire that. If we had the space, I'd definitely go for a King size bed though. :)
I learned to side car online. The method I liked used bungie cords and then a foam noodle for the space in between.
Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1). "Kids do as well as they can."
I agree that you should wait and see what baby is like. DD1 we had a cosleeper and used it from 4-6 months when she was only waking 1-2 times a night. Other than that, she was in bed with us. When I got pregnant with DD2, we bought a king and all of us are in it and just use a towel rolled up on my side to keep the baby from rolling off the bed (DD1 is in the middle). If you plan on having more in the future, it may be worth while to get a really good king size bed now so you don't have to upgrade if you decide to have all the kids in the bed.
I love love love love co-sleeping. Hope you enjoy it too.
SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)
absolute ideal for me if I was starting from scratch would be a room where the entire floor (at least one width) was bed. So combination of mattresses (king and twin I think takes up most of a standard sized bedroom) stretching from one wall to another and just on the floor, no frames.
I found the crib sidecar to be great for us (since we happened to have a crib someone had given us and a bed already). Loved this site for thorough instructions: http://www.freewebs.com/sidecarcrib/
I agree re: waiting to see. We started out with dd sleeping on one of us, then between us, and now (almost 4mo) i'm thinking of moving her into the cosleeper that we borrowed from a friend so that we can both get better sleep, as she stirs more when we're in the bed. BUT i've loved the cosleeper as a place to store changing supplies for overnight so i don't have to get out of bed if she needs a change, so a space (large nightstand or something) for supplies like that. I also use it for naptimes during the day, with a sheepskin. Other than that, we haven't yet childproofed the room or put our bed on the floor, etc. - that comes so much later that I wouldn't worry about it now if I were you. But a nightlight is essential, and maybe also a dim light you can switch on for feeding in those early weeks when you're still figuring things out. Oh, and make sure you have a place to put a water bottle nearby so you don't have to get out of bed for water after night feeds - you get so thirsty breastfeeding!
This is good info! Thanks for all the ideas. #2 is due in Aug and I knew nothing about co-sleeping with #1, so she just slept in a bassinet beside our bed for about 3 months. Now #1 will sometimes sleep with us, but we have a queen bed so it gets cramped. I would love to add a twin next to it!