How to use Arm's Reach Co-sleeper? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am very new to infant care, pregnant with my first baby. I understand that most moms co-sleep by having your baby IN the bed with you, correct? :) But my question is about the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper, so hopefully this is the right place to ask! I also know nothing about breastfeeding, though I plan on bf'ing exclusively. I am 20 weeks so I have time.

 

Anyways, in the description for the Arm's Reach, it says that you can nurse in bed, without having to get up. My question is, are you nursing laying down on your side, or do you sit up? I can't really "picture" nursing laying down, and never knew you could!? :) Or is the assumption that you sit up in your bed? Which works out better for baby?

 

Thanks for any guidance.....I know this is a very freshman question!

 

If anyone would like to answer another.....so after nursing in the middle of the night, how long does it take for the baby to then need a diaper change? Do you just fall back asleep, and whenever you wake up again is when that happens? :)

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Hi there! No question is too freshman around here!!

 

We didn't use an 'official' co sleeper, just a crib with one side removed (same basic concept). We had the baby in the crib portion and then would pull him/her over into bed and nurse lying down--(this is easier than you think---one of your arms just goes up next to your head and you sleep on your side while nursing)--then kind of roll the baby back over to the crib. I feel like I did a lot of rolling in those days--baby on my chest and roll over!  In the early days when baby is pretty tiny I probably sat up more but then as they get more 'sturdy', I laid down most of the time and went back to sleep while baby nursed.

 

In terms of diapering, in the early days when they do poop a whole lot I did change them in the middle of the night. As they get to be older babies and pooping is much less frequent, it can sometimes wait a bit. Also depends on whether you are using cloth or disposable, and also the quality of your cloth covers (in terms of leakage, etc.)

 

I think these are totally excellent questions by the way!!
 


 
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:15 AM
 
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Nursing lying down is wonderful!  You lay on your side with baby facing you, with one arm tucked under your head (especially to keep your pillow away from baby).  You can nurse both breasts without moving - just lean forward a little to access the "upper" breast.  But my daughter had difficulty learning to nurse, and I didn't really get the hang of side-lying nursing until she was about 6 months old and sturdy enough to lay beside me without rolling toward me, and she could reach for the breast without having to be so vigilant about latch and positioning, etc.  Until then, I sat up to nurse, cross-legged in the bed.  Of course, now, at a year, she nurses while wiggling, dancing, standing on her head, with her butt in my face, etc...  :)

 

We used an Arm's Reach cosleeper.  It is designed to be a couple of inches lower than your bed, so the baby won't roll into your area without you knowing it.  So, to nurse, you really have to pick them up and either sit up, or place them in the bed beside you, then transfer them back to the cosleeper when they're finished.  We loved it!  You'll be amazed what a difference it makes to NOT have to get out of bed for a feeding.

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Old 01-07-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! Makes so much more sense, that I don't have any other questions! :) :)

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:26 AM
 
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Hi there! I echo what everyone else said. I would just add that I couldn't get comfortable side nursing DS when he was a baby because he was so small. So in those days I kept him in the cosleeper full time, often with my hand in there with him, touching him, and pulled him out to nurse sitting up. Once he was asleep I put him back in. As he got older I would pull him into bed and side nurse him, and sometimes put him back in and sometimes not. More often than not I would fall asleep nursing him and wake up hours later. But he would start out in the cosleeper at least. The only thing I would do differently if I had it to do over is try to find a cosleeper that rocked. When he was very young, I used to lay in bed jiggling the arms reach to soothe him back to sleep if he had already nursed but was restless.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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wave.gif

 

We have the Arm's Reach, it's currently dropped down into the "pack-n-play" configuration.  We've "used" it since she was born, and "used" is in quotes because bless her little heart, she's always hated that thing.  Her Auntie went and bought it for her because Mama couldn't bear the thought of her being far away at night, and it was still too far for Little Miss.  Just last night I told my husband that I give up, she can use our bed exclusively until we buy her a "big girl" bed in a couple weeks, and then we'll go from there.

So bear in mind that I rarely got to successfully use the Arm's Reach.

 

When it's in the side-car position, if she was in it when she awoke, I did have to sit up to lift her and remain seated to nurse her overnight.  Once she was 5-6 months and more "man-handleable" I would, I confess, just drag her over the edge and nurse laying down.  Nursing laying down is awesome, but we couldn't until she was closer on 5 months or so.  (It's all getting so fuzzy already.)

Once they can sit up you should have the floor dropped down for safety, and then you will obviously need to stand up, or, if you're me, haul their little butts over the rails once they stand up for retrieval. 

 

When she was very little, I would change her diaper about halfway through the "night".  I'd do it before I nursed, so she would fall asleep nursing.  Get nightgowns.  Trust me.  Get the nightgowns. 

Now that she's 15 months I don't bother with her diaper overnight.  She's actually night-weaned at this point, but I haven't been doing an overnight diaper since we cut down to 1-2 night feedings.  I find 2 is about the maximum feedings I could get away with at night and not change a diaper. 
 


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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Awww, this is making me miss the cosleeper peanut days!  I loved reaching over and holding her little hand, and she'd wake up so happy.  When we stopped swaddling, and stopped using the cosleeper, and the 4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 month sleep regression hit, things just haven't been the same...

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zirconia View Post

Awww, this is making me miss the cosleeper peanut days!  I loved reaching over and holding her little hand, and she'd wake up so happy.  When we stopped swaddling, and stopped using the cosleeper, and the 4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 month sleep regression hit, things just haven't been the same...

 

Awwwwww.  hug2.gif

 

I miss how tiny she was in some ways, but at 15 months she's perfectly awesome, and so much more snuggleable.  Now I can just grab her and love on her, and not worry about hurting her as much.  My husband says she gets the same patient, accepting but annoyed look on her face when I grab her and kiss her, just as when I grab a cat and love on them.  He says their faces look like "OK.  This is happening.  Maybe it will not be happening in a few seconds.  Nope, still happening.  *tick tock tick tock*  Ah, it's done.  Well, that happened." and it cracks him up. 


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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We have the min cosleeper, and I wish I'd gotten the full sized one.  I used it while we were in the newborn nursing days, and it was nice to have a safe place to stash my baby between feedings.  With my other child, I used a crib with one side removed (and the whole thing was strapped to our bed), and that was also nice.  

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