Why are cloth sides of a bassinet considered safe? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-01-2012, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi; I'm a first time mom due in a couple of weeks.


I have been going crazy over this Arm's Reach cosleeper that I bought from a friend.  only one of the 4 sides is mesh.  Why is it considered safe to have cloth edges if bumpers are not safe? It seems like an equal suffocation risk to me.  Sorry for the double post/ I asked about this in a different thread in my birth club. just looking for lots of opinions on this.


So i got so worked up over the sides of this thing not being mesh, and have started looking for a replacement bassinet.  Trouble is, I can't find ANY that have mesh sides.  What's up with that?  I don't see how that is considered safe, when there are so many other hazards.


babies can be squirmy!  I just don't understand and really need reassurance.  Every review I have read of this thing says its amazing, blah blah blah.  I am apparently the only person who sees this as a suffocation risk, so I must be missing something.


I was hoping to have a bassinet for her to sleep in sometimes and have her sleep with us sometimes also.  I don't know what the safest choice is for our family and I'm running out of time.  Does anyone have any resources for bed sharing?  has anyone used a bassinet with cloth sides successfully?  


Thank you!!!

Expecting my baby girl Charlee on 7-21-12!  Love and Light to all the mamas out there!

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#2 of 5 Old 07-02-2012, 06:18 AM
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You might be better off posting in family safety for a definitive answer.  My guess is that bumpers are tied on to a crib and therefore can vary in tautness depending on how the consumer applies them.  They can also come loose.  Both of those properties makes them a suffocation hazard.  The arms reach has stiff sides, IIRC.  Just like tight fitting sheets are not considered a suffocation hazard, I believe that a stiff fabric wall is not considered a suffocation hazard, when the mattress fits tightly.  It would be darned hard to squish even a little baby face into that wall in a way that causes suffocation.  Has this model ever been recalled?


edit - oh, you asked for experiences.


My daughter slept occasionally in an arms reach, and occasionally in a pack n play set up as a bassinet.  We preferred having her sleep in bed with us, because it was cozy.

DD1 6/2009 DD2 5/1/2013-5/5/2013 (HIE) DS 3/2014
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#3 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 06:43 AM
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Octolars, I hear you!  I went through the same frantic search.  In fact, I channeled about 98% of my first-time-pregnancy anxiety into the sleeping issue and nearly drove my husband and family crazy.  Why can't baby bassinets be mesh all the way around?  It seems obvious.  Not to mention that the quilting is always filled with polyester.  Blah!


I think the Cyclamen is right, that the suffocation risk comes from loose bunchy blankets or bumpers that can cover baby's face.  I wasn't as worried about the taut fabric sides - even newborns can turn their heads, they just need to be able to turn away from the side without it moving or falling on them.  However, my concern was about air flow - I had read waaaay too much about a suspected link between SIDS and mattress off-gassing, and I wanted plenty of fresh air around baby.


Incidentally, after many sleepless nights and tears (and a new co-sleeper, and a Naturepedic organic mattress for the big crib, and a heckuva Visa bill), it turns out newborns are bent like kidney beans, and mine refused to sleep flat on her back for six weeks.  She slept cradled in a swing (a big, padded, cushy, polyester thing that broke every rule I had!) right next to the sofa (where I slept) until her little spine and hips straightened out some.  After that, and for six months since, she's slept in an Arm's Reach mini-co-sleeper, because with it sidecarred to the bed, at least two sides were open to air.  Now I'm kind of wishing I had gotten the full-size co-sleeper, because she's outgrowing it fast.


I've always felt unsafe with bedsharing - our mattress seems too soft, and the sheets never stay tight, and baby always rolled toward me (facedown) and scared me while trying to nurse.  Now that she's bigger and stronger and we're needing an alternative to the mini co-sleeper, I'm considering trying bedsharing again, or moving her (unused but oh-so-organic!) crib into our bedroom.  With the cosleeper, at least all I have to do is sit up, rather than get up.  I'll miss that if she moves to a crib!


It's going to be OK!  You are MORE than conscientious, and you're going to make a great mom.  You've already put more thought into your baby's safety than many, many parents.  Give yourself a break and just welcome this baby!  From one anxious first-timer to another, I can tell you that most of what you obsess about while pregnant will make no sense to your baby, and much of it will go out the window!  :)  

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#4 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 10:22 AM
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I honestly think it will only be a matter of time before they start making them mesh. The concern is re-breathing, and for me, it was valid enough to keep me up at night. I ditched the cosleeper, and put her crib in my room right next to my bed. Now, I had 3 miscarriages before my second, so I was so worried. She also was a shallow breather and scared the pants off me a few times when I had her in my bed. But having her even across the room in the crib felt wrong. I wanted her close and safe, so I put her crib next to my bed, no bumpers, and we both slept great. I could still reach out and put my hand on her if she needed me, but we had our own space and i didn't have to keep track of where she was b/c her whole crib was safe. Once she was closer to a year, I moved my mattress to the floor and had her in my bed for a year or so. Then she was in her room with her sister camping out there with her for a while. And finally she started sleeping in her room alone and sleeps better that way. It was basically musical beds for both of my girls. We just kept adapting as the situation changed. Whatever it took to sleep well and feel safe. The cosleeper does make a great changing table, and we did use it once when traveling. I just didn't use it as a bassinet after I found my wiggly LO with her face smushed up to the side a few times.

Mom to: Honey (6/04) and Bunny (9/09)
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#5 of 5 Old 07-09-2012, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your feedback.  I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one.  I was feeling very bewildered.  We finally decided on and got a travel sized pack n play to keep next to the bed, with mesh all around.  I'm guessing she will sleep there sometimes and in the bed with us sometimes.  hopefully this will be a good choice for us!

Expecting my baby girl Charlee on 7-21-12!  Love and Light to all the mamas out there!

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