do you follow all the co-sleeping "rules"? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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Obese - yup
Pillows - yup
Bottle fed - yup
Blankets - yup

We moved the matress to the floor when he started crawling.
Daddy sleeps next to him on Mommy's night off, DH and I haven't shared a bed since before he was born.

Other than drugs, i think we've briken every rule.

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#32 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Yaliina View Post

NAK.   We don't follow any of that.  DS1 is 5 now, and bed-shares about 1/2 the night or so (starts in his own bed), and DS2 is 8 months and sleeps in my arms wherever I am and he wants to be.  He tosses throughout the night, and we switch sides 2-8 times each nigh, so sometimes he's on the edge of the bed, sometimes between me and DH, and sometimes between me & DS.  He's always in my arms, though.  We use pillows (lots) and a sheet and big down comforter in the winter (a quilt in the summer).  DH is obese, but I'm not.  Now, we have a big king bed (which I wouldn't trade for ANYTHING), but it's up plenty high.  We do not have any animals in the room, nor would I allow animals on my bed, especially with my kids, but that's me.  My last animal that slept with us was a 90 lb. bulldog, so maybe my frame of reference is skewed, lol. 

My opinion is that you should be safe- so don't take any drugs whatsoever, drink alcohol, or be ridiculously tired to sleep with baby in your bed.  Otherwise, trust your mothering instincts and go with the flow.  Don't stress.  People have been sleeping with their babies in every country in the world since the beginning of time.  I think we can do it without an instruction manual, lol!!


This is us except it's an 8 yo in the bed and the cats frequently join us. I have a co-sleeper - the cats love it - but the 1 year old climbs back into the bed whenever he notices he's in it.

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#33 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chel View Post

i think the no pillow/blanket rule was not made by a co-sleeper.  no one would naturally sleep like that.



Except my DD!  She will not use a blanket.  We finally convinced her to try a pillow a couple of months ago for the first time but inevitably pushes it away so she can sleep with her head on the mattress.

 

I sleep with a sheet up to my waist and she puts her legs on top of the sheet on her side so it doesn't bother her.


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#34 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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Yup, I've violated those rules. I would have a very hard time sleeping with a pillow or blanket. With our first, baby did end up being myself and my hubby. Occasionally I'd wake up early and hop in for a shower leaving my son snoozing in bed with hubby. With two, I've napped with them both although I think just once or twice were they next to one another (my toddler is not the gentle type). I think our cat might have slept near the foot of the bed a couple of times when our first was a baby.

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#35 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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When I first started having babies there were no 'rules' to co-sleeping, other than no one admitted to doing it lol. I always used a pillow and a blanket, we've had sibs in the bed, baby slept between dh and I, baby slept next to the wall, no guardrails, etc. Currently I have 2 mattresses on the floor, hubby sleeps on the smaller one and I sleep with our 2 girls on the queen mattress. My 3 year old occasionally kicks and flails so I've become pretty tuned into her movements and act accordingly. Sometimes my 9 year old comes to bed with us (so that's 3 babies in my bed, lol, plus dh and myself). I think being smart about it is key... I can't sleep without a blanket so I'm pretty aware of it (and her) when it's pulled up on me. Babe sleeps by my breasts and on her tummy... as did her 4 sibs before her.


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#36 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:02 AM
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I guess I break all the rules. Oh well. 

 

I think someone should not co-sleep if they have been drinking or doing drugs. I also think it might not be a good idea if you sleep very heavily. Common sense goes a long way. I think the people who wrote that book were writing that from a lawsuit perspective.


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#37 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Nope, we don't follow them. Cecilia has slept in my arms, swaddled, since birth. She is between my husband and I most of the night, although sometimes I flip over with her still in my arms and hold her with her on the outer side. She has also slept with her head and shoulders on my pillow since 6 or so weeks old, when I noticed that she was having lots of silent reflux episodes. The pillow helped keep her upper body elevated, and these days she's just used to it, so I don't see any reason to change it. She also sleeps on her stomach (still swaddled!) a lot. The blanket is not usually over her, as she has her swaddle blanket, and I get too hot at night with her in my arms to need a blanket.

I understand why the rules are there, and I think they are great guidelines for people who want to co-sleep but are unsure they can handle it or that it is safe. But for us, what we're doing works well.

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#38 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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I think a lot of those rules are a good guideline but I think that you need to look at what you're trying to avoid by following these rules, and the age of the child.

 

When our babes were newborns, we made sure that we wrapped blankets around ourselves and that she was warmly dressed and didn't need a blanket. She slept in between us to prevent falling. As both of our girls got older, our rules relaxed. Now we sleep four to a bed sometimes, Mom, Dad, 18 month old and four year old. Sometimes the cat joins us too! I'm obese (I HATE that word)...but I'm also the girl's mama and can sense when they're waking and where they are. We have no guardrails, as my daughter loves to try and climb over them...

 

What works for us won't work for everyone...I think it's good to have rules but the best thing is to use common sense when doing anything in parenting!

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#39 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Nope, don't follow those. Our rules are baby doesn't go under the covers, minimal fluffy stuff on the bed (but we both still have a pillow and sleep under a blanket or quilt), baby between us so she doesn't roll off, both stay in the habit of waking a little when she does so we both stay alert to her, watch for and fix immediately any gaps baby could fall into, and don't bedshare when intoxicated. Our little one is about to turn two and, at this point, most of these rules have drifted off in favor of letting her sleep how she's comfortable. No gaps and intoxication are pretty much all we still hold tight to. 

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#40 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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When DD was a newborn, we used a "Snuggle Nest" in bed between us. It's basically a firm-sided travel bed. She grew out of it in about 2 months. Then I created a little palette for her on top of the comforter. Found an old bulletin board, and folded up a large quilt and put on top of it. That way, she was slightly elevated, and couldn't be "rolled on." But of course with night nursing, she often ended up right next to me. We have a king bed, and DH has plenty of room, so I'm not worried about it now. She's about 6 mos now, and just sleeps in between us. We have pillow and blankets, of course. We don't have central heat, so it gets pretty cold in the winter. Our bed is on the floor, but always has been b/c we just haven't gotten around to buying a bed frame. But we definitely do not co-sleep after drinking heavily or altering medications. No animals are in the house, so that's not an issue. There were a couple times when DH would get up and just toss the covers over her, but I'm such a light sleeper, I would fix it immediately. Also, she's been sleeping on her stomach since about 3 weeks. She just started refusing to sleep on her back and would cry and fuss. We flipped her over, it was like magic. But again, I would always sleep so close to her, I could feel her breathing.

So, yes indeed we are a rule breaker.

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#41 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I have not read the book. Let me know what you learned from it! I'm interested...

Anyway I do not follow any of the rules that you posted. I used to sleep with 2 pillows but now I only sleep with one. Though we do have a body pillow laying against the wall between our side car crib and our bed...even though he still does not sleep in his crib...still only used for playing or decoration..oh well.

I suppose when he is older and crawling and trying to walk that we will have to move the mattress to the floor and/or get rails. When he was really small we DID follow the rule about having him sleep with a separate blanket. Now I just wear a zip up sweatshirt to bed as I don't pull the blanket up above my waist. Leo sleeps between us every night but not all night because of me switching sides. When he was younger we put a firm rolled up blanket it between us..but still do that sometimes. I always have my arm around him no matter where he is at in the bed so if DF rolls and immediately use my hand to push him away.


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#42 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Personally, I think those rules were developed by people who have never regularly shared their beds with their kids, and have no idea what it's really like!  Either that, or they were made up specifically to make bedsharing seem like too much of a pain to do!

 

We have blankets on the bed, and pillows, and had a newborn and a toddler sharing our bed at the same time--and a dog.

Never had a problem.

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#43 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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We have pillows and blankets and our son prefers to sleep between us (one hand on his mama, one hand on his daddy).  Oh, and our family bed includes the dog, lol. 

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#44 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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We follow most of them, but not the no pillows/blankets part.  But my head is on the pillow and her head is next to my boob, so it doesn't really matter.  I did try to keep the blankets a little lower by wearing more clothing on my top half, but now she's old enough that she'll move them herself if they're in her way.  And half the time she's between me and the edge of the bed, and half the time she's between me and DH. 

 

We had a bed rail, but it was mostly so I could judge where the edge of the bed was in my sleep.  It kind of had a gap itself.  I wouldn't have let her sleep by herself in the bed with the bed rail up.  Once she got old enough to climb in and out of bed if the bed wasn't on the frame (just mattress and box spring on the floor), we got rid of the bed rail and put the bed on the floor.


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#45 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 12:03 PM
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i personally wouldn't trust dh to sleep next to a baby. he sleeps very soundly and doesn't even wake if she cries at night. i think this is fairly common since you always see these threads about husbands thinking the kid is sttn when it's never happened. 

 

where we live there have been rashes of co-sleeping deaths and a big public campaign and although i know alot of it is related to really "unsafe" co-sleeping, the one thing i've learned is that we can't just chalk it up to "well they've been drinking and i don't do that."

 

because apparently the one common denomonator in all the deaths in this particular city was not drinking or drugs at all but formula feeding. the thinking is that as a breastfeeding mother is more in tune with the baby's presence because of that extra biological connection. now, i would even stretch it to say that ALL mothers have more of that biological connection and awareness, even if formula feeding, than a father would. to be honest, whenever i see friends post those tender loving pics of a dad asleep on the couch with a baby it freaks me out 100% (plus add in the couch unsafety factor...yikes!) so no, never between me and dh. i honestly think that's a bigger safety issue than blankets or pillows.

 


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#46 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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We do not follow the rules and it works great for us.  I swore I would never co-sleep with my infant.....first night I fell asleep nursing him and we have been dedicated co-sleepers ever since.  We use pillows, blankets and babe is between Mom and Dad.  I even put a heavy, but small Buckwheat Hull pillow between baby and Dad, with Baby cradled in my arm.  Dad would bump the pillow and be wide awake.  I have a 4 1/2 year old and a 21 mo. old.  We co-slept with both but never with both at the same time.  We feel its a beautiful way to bond and get great sleep.  Yesterday I walked in to check on my napping kids...my oldest had climbed into his sister's bed and they were curled together sound asleep. I was so happy to see this and know how close of a bond they have.  One note- i did read something about co-sleeping should be done constantly not sporadically.  The the parent who occasionally co-sleeps does not have the same level of awareness of the child during sleep, making it a less safe sleeping arrangement.

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#47 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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Nope.  I started out only having one very small pillow on the bed under my head, and also only pulling the blankets up to my waist and then using a baby blanket thrown over my shoulder, but that quickly became way too much of a circus act in the middle of the night.  I did wake one night to the blankets over DS's head, and totally freaked out.  Later the following day though, I realized that I had *woken up* when he was covered, which is exactly what I was supposed to do and I felt much better about it. 

 

I did use a bed rail for a long time, mostly because my bed was super high.  Once he started crawling, I put the mattress on the floor.  He has never slept between two people, but only because I am single and have been since I was pregnant. 


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#48 of 78 Old 03-01-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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My kids are older now but I used to bedshare.

 

no blankets or pillows in bed

 

Broke that one.

 

baby never between mom and dad

 

Broke that one.

 

mattress on the floor or guard rails

 

Broke that one.

 

don't co-sleep if you are obese

 

Broke that one.

 

I feel we are very safe co-sleepers

 

I feel that we were too.   smile.gif

 

or others?

 

I also never put my babies on their backs.  They always slept on their bellies.  Hope you feel better!  smile.gif


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#49 of 78 Old 03-02-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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Absolutely DO NOT follow ALL the rules! I follow the "Mom Knows Best" Rule and do what works and what is best for our family. I say follow your intuition and do what feels good. If you don't feel safe, then you probably aren't and vice versa.
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#50 of 78 Old 03-02-2011, 11:40 AM
 
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Blankets and pillows? I had them and used them. I did scootch DD up a little higher on the bed so that the blanket could go up to my chin but only up to her waist.

 

Baby never between mom and dad? She was between half the time. I'd flip which side she was on each time she woke to nurse. DH stayed on his side of the bed and we had a queen.

 

Mattress on floor? No, we didn't do that.

 

Guard rails? Yes, we had a snug tuck.

 

We're not obese. We don't drink or take medications or anything either.

 

Pets? We got 'em. Two cats. One cat does NOT sleep with us, ever ever ever. She's strictly an under-the-bed cat. The other likes to sleep with us, but he stayed away from the bed for a year. Very considerate of him (seriously).

 

I think these are things that you should think about - I don't at all think it's ridiculous to consider the baby's positioning, blankets, etc. But I'm a very conscious sleeper, so I did not worry about the blankets. Nobody MOVES in bed that I'm not aware of. DD did not roll over on her own for a loooong time, so she was always exactly in the same position I left her. Some kids roll all around and would go flying right off the bed if there wasn't a rail. We had one but we didn't need it. DD simply did not roll.

 

Our neighbors coslept with 2 kids in a double bed, no rails. The girl (older child) never, ever, ever fell out of bed. She took the outside position. Then mom, then baby brother, then dad against the wall. Some kids don't fall out of bed.

 

Some dads will roll over on anything. It's absolutely a concern. But not for everyone. Mine sleeps on his back and doesn't roll. Admittedly he's very unconscious. He's not aware of much when he's asleep. But he just doesn't roll. And given the fact that I was pretty much conscious all night (yeah, I'm a lousy sleeper) I didn't have a problem at all putting DD between DH and me. DH doesn't roll. If he did, I'd know it.

 

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#51 of 78 Old 03-02-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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Blankets?  Yes.  Its a light blanket that 'tents' over his head if he pulls it up (and I swear he does) so its never actually on his face.  I pull it back down anyway.

Pillows?  Couldn't sleep without one.  The bottom of his pillow and the top of his head meet but don't overlap.

Between parents?  We did that.  He even slept with DH before he deployed.  After deployment it probably won't be something I'm comfortable with for a while.

Floor/bedrail?  We'll start that when he rolls from his back for the first time or when I feel its time.  Right now I don't feel its necessary.

Pets?  One cat.  I couldn't stop him if I wanted to!!  I just have to keep pushing him away from DS's head.

 

I swaddled once and he accidentally rolled onto his belly.  He HATES laying on his belly.  Side or back only.  Now if he has to be swaddled I unwrap his top half before we go to bed.

I'm not obese and I also don't drink or take any medications.


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#52 of 78 Old 03-03-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post

i personally wouldn't trust dh to sleep next to a baby. he sleeps very soundly and doesn't even wake if she cries at night. i think this is fairly common since you always see these threads about husbands thinking the kid is sttn when it's never happened. 

 

where we live there have been rashes of co-sleeping deaths and a big public campaign and although i know alot of it is related to really "unsafe" co-sleeping, the one thing i've learned is that we can't just chalk it up to "well they've been drinking and i don't do that."

 

because apparently the one common denomonator in all the deaths in this particular city was not drinking or drugs at all but formula feeding. the thinking is that as a breastfeeding mother is more in tune with the baby's presence because of that extra biological connection. now, i would even stretch it to say that ALL mothers have more of that biological connection and awareness, even if formula feeding, than a father would. to be honest, whenever i see friends post those tender loving pics of a dad asleep on the couch with a baby it freaks me out 100% (plus add in the couch unsafety factor...yikes!) so no, never between me and dh. i honestly think that's a bigger safety issue than blankets or pillows.

 


I guess I forgot that in my rules. We don't bedshare anywhere except the bed. That is one thing I've just never gotten comfortable with. The pics of the dad asleep on the couch with baby always freak me a little too, especially since the only "incident" we've had with my daughter was when I was sleep deprived, passed out on the couch with her (not intentionally!), and woke up to find I had rolled over or she had rolled off and she was stuck between the cushions. Left me very paranoid. 

 

I'm also not sure if I'd be comfortable bedsharing with a bottle fed baby. For one, it takes away one of the big benefits for me (the practically no waking up at night to feed when baby is already at the breast). I guess I'd have to be in that situation to know for sure though.

 

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#53 of 78 Old 03-03-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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...without having read the thread....

 

When my babies (now 2 and 5) were newborns, i used the snugglenest. That put my mind at rest.

As the baby/ies got bigger, i did what i thought was safe, but i doubt i followed all of the rules listed above. I kept the baby's area clear,  and without possibility of falling, no gaps etc etc. I dont know, my obsession with my baby's safety was enough of a guide to go by. I never used a crib, because i would panic with my child so far and out of reach....it was important that i could 'see' my baby to make sure he was safe.

 

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#54 of 78 Old 03-03-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Can i copy you WifeofAnt?

 

 

Blankets? Not on the baby

Pillows?  Not  for the baby, but definitely for me. How are you supposed to nurse without a pillow? That would hurt my neck.

Between parents?  Never between me and older child. Always near me by the wall

Floor/bedrail?  once the baby was older, discontinued after a certain age

Pets?  Dont have one. Im glad i didnt have to worry about that. But cant a cat jump into a crib? 

 

I still think cribs are dangerous.

 

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#55 of 78 Old 03-03-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
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I'm also not sure if I'd be comfortable bedsharing with a bottle fed baby. For one, it takes away one of the big benefits for me (the practically no waking up at night to feed when baby is already at the breast). I guess I'd have to be in that situation to know for sure though.

 


If you're inclined to cosleep, trust me, you wouldnt care about breast vs bottle. I've been waking at least 2-3 x a night to feed for almost 18 mos now. It was actually worse on the breast because i had to sit up, position the pillow and be fully conscious to get the SNS in place. Now i just have to wake up enough to grab the bottle and pop it in his mouth. There are mornings i wake up and dont remember doing it, but the empty bottles say i did. If i had to get up and go to him 3 rooms away in our unheated house several times a night... Lets just say it wouldnt be pretty. This way i get the maximum sleep possible, which still leaves me grossly sleep deprived, but whatcha gonna do...

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#56 of 78 Old 03-03-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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I don't know. As mama to a bottlefed baby who slept with her father for her first 15 months, I have to say I think it's unfair to make sweeping generalizations about either situation. I do think that when a father makes a serious decision to be the primary nighttime parent, it changes his awareness. A lot of that nighttime awareness that fathers lack is because they have not assumed the responsibility-- mom is there as a backup, so father doesn't HAVE to be so aware. We know that because fathers, adoptive parents, and foster parents experience entrainment of sleep cycles with their infants, just like mothers do, when they assume primary responsibility for an infant they are sleeping with. I'm struggling to find an online reference for that, though. It was years ago that I read the study, when DD1 was a baby, and I can't find it now. I know that my DH was incredibly tuned in to and aware of all our cosleeping children, and I can see even now, years later, that the experience built a powerful bond between him and the kids. I agree that if a man is NOT tuned in and aware, he should not be cosleeping with young babies. I just disagree that this is true for all fathers.

As far as the bottle thing-- frankly, it was bad enough that DD1 wasn't fully breastfed, and that she missed out on all of the benefits that exclusive breastfeeding would have provided. To have taken away the bonding of cosleeping too seemed wrong, to me-- she needed MORE bonding, not less, to make up for what she was missing.

Another common denominator in cosleeping deaths is accidental, occasional cosleeping. That is, families who don't normally cosleep, who one night for whatever reason cosleep.

Babies die in cribs, too, though.

I will admit that the couch-cosleeping thing does also freak me out. DH used to crash out on our futon with the kids sometimes, but only while I was nearby and awake-- daytime naps only. Most sofas have so many gaps and holes and places where a baby can get trapped.

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#57 of 78 Old 03-14-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only rebel!  My first is just 5 weeks, and after the initial nervousness and lack of the sleep the first few nights, I feel very comfortable with our sleeping arrangements.  DD and I sleep with a pillow long ways on each side.  It's great support for side lying nursing and 1. keeps me from rolling too far away from her, 2. keeps my heavy sleeper honey from rolling over on us and 3. keeps her from rolling off the bed.  I lay her on her back after we're nursing (if I don't fall asleep right away), but even though we have a firm mattress, she somehow rolls back onto her side facing me anyway!  

 

When she is older and rolling around and crawling,I think I may be more comfortable with the mattress on the floor.  But I do wake up at her every little movement too.  Every child relationship is different and it's important to trust your instincts and go with your gut and what makes YOU comfortable, whether it's pillows or no pillows, guard rails or cosleepers.  Ultimately, I believe my comfort level with the sleeping arrangements makes for the safest sleep, whatever that may be!

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#58 of 78 Old 03-14-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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We definitely break the "rules".  We sleep with pillows and blankets. No guard rail but we have a never-been-used co-sleeper attached to my side of the bed so that would catch ds if he fell off.  He moves back and forth between my left and right side, depending on which boob he's eating off of.  I have no worries about dh rolling on him...in fact, sometimes ds sleeps in dh's arms! We don't let the dogs on the bed with ds, nor do I drink heavily before bed (not that I drink heavily at any other time either).  But, I have 3 dogs, all over 40 lbs, so it's really more about room and comfort than safety.  The drinking thing is a no-brainer...I wouldn't be drunk around him asleep OR awake for obvious reasons.  Why is that always emphasized so heavily in regards to sleep?

 

Honestly I think all the hoopla about co-sleeping being safe ONLY when you follow certain (and often silly) rules reinforces the idea that it's inherently dangerous.  Common sense should be applied to...wait for it...EVERYTHING, not specifically to bed sharing with your baby.


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#59 of 78 Old 03-24-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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I am pretty sure that those "rules" are published in books and magazines (including Mothering) just so the authors don't get sued.  I recall a recent issue of Mothering where a letter pointed out that, in the cosleeping article, a Mothering article printed the "rules", but all of their photos showed cosleeping families "violating" them!  Probably because no one, child or adult, wants to sleep on a cold hard mattress with just a fitted sheet!  Brr!

 

We have a babe and a 4yo.  Both babes slept with us from the beginning, with a rolled-up towel as a bumper between baby and dad.  We got a bedrail when the 2nd babe was born so the baby could go on my side with our 4 year old in the middle.  And the cats.  And the comforter.  And the 5 pillows.  And I often have a beer, though I'm certainly not drunk.  Hubby usually has some wine.  And we are all a-ok.

 

I daresay it's all about fear of lawsuits, not realism at all.  Perhaps the real question should be, are there any cosleepers who actually follow all the rules?  They must be cold!

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#60 of 78 Old 03-26-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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I'm not obese, don't have pets, don't take medication, and don't drink. I used to be a heavy sleeper and was worried about that -- but believe me, that's not a concern these days.

 

My 6-month-old son was a winter baby, and when he was an immobile newborn I was afraid my heavy comforter would end up on his face (it never did, by the way), so I started dressing very warmly for bed and using one of those fleece throws because it's thin and narrow. I found that I actually sleep better this way. I used to always get too hot and throw off the comforter and then I would be too cold, etc.

 

I've always used pillows. My baby sleeps (way) below them near my breast. I don't understand the rule against pillows.

 

My bed has a frame, but it's fairly low. When my son started rolling, I got a Snug Tuck Pillow (which works brilliantly -- I'm not too keen on hard guard rails).

 

My husband sleeps in another room and has for many years. We are extremely incompatible sleep-wise, and one of the best things we did was to get past the expectation that married people should sleep in the same bed/room.

 

The only things I'm worried about: naps and crawling. My son sleeps alone in our bed for naps. He has the Snug Tuck on his side and can't roll over that no matter how hard he tries, and I put pillows on my side when I'm not there with him, but I don't know what will happen when he starts crawling. Anyone have any insight? I don't want to sleep on a mattress on the floor, but I guess I have to.


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