Blankets & pillows in the family bed? Or, what's in your family bed? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-03-2006, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hiya I'm expecting my first in April and we are planning to co-sleep with her. My mom bought us an Arms Reach, but I expect there will be "some" times when our little girl is best soothed on our bed snuggling with us . Nice to meet you all... I appreciate your advice & experience

I have a couple questions re: the new guidlines for crib sleeping ("Safe Bedding Practices For Infants" here & here) & the family bed, more specifically how real APs are co-sleeping comfortably in their own family beds.

Everyone must have read this before:

"Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys, and other soft products from the crib. Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets, with no other covering." "If using a blanket, put baby with feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby's chest."
"Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep."

My first question is... does this apply to all babies or just those sleeping by themselves in cribs?

I've also read Dr. Sears' response to the CPSC SIDS "study" & his Safe Bedding Practices For Infants.

A lot of "Do's" & "Don'ts," but nothing regarding pillows, quilts, comforters etc. except "no fuzzy stuff."

This may seem like a ridiculous question, but did your family sleep with blankets and pillows in your newborn/baby family bed? Did you observe any of the CPSC or AAP "Safe Bedding Practices" besides "back to sleep" in your newborn/baby family bed? I am a HUGE fan of pillows and blankets & generally being comfortable while in bed... should I start weening myself off of my 6 pillows now?

Thank you for any experience & advice you have to offer this slightly neurotic first time mom

Sincerely,
Carley in Seattle

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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well, both my babies slept/sleep right in the crook of my arm..attached to my boob BUT I stll made sure that 1. There were no big comforters, I used a flannel sheet and just wore really warm p.j's (IF dh was in the bed he had his own blanket and baby never slept next to him) 2. Pillows were kept to a minimum, one for my head and one for my back (to lean on while side nursing). 3. That on both sides of bed were bed rails, and that he couldn't get caught..

As he got bigger I was able to bring in more pilllows and use a comforter, now at 12 months we usually spend most of the night curled up together under a fleece blanket, sheet and comforter (he hates blankets though ) but I cannot sleep w/o them, so he doesn't fight as long has he's got boob near him

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Old 02-03-2006, 05:34 PM
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In my culture, we have co-slept since the begining of time.
I recieved a Start Quilt that was made specifically to cover me and my babies. It is heavy, yet breathes, and will not bunch up around the face.

I have one pillow I use. It is small and firm.

Quote:
should I start weaning myself off of my 6 pillows now?
No need to wean yourself, as you will probably need your pillows when you are truly huge and pg.
But is you truly want your baby to be safe, I would not let them sleep near all those pillows.
If co-sleeping is going to be just a once in a while type thing, feel free to toss them on the floor.

I would not recommend a comforter, as they can and do suffocate babies and small children.
Stick with a quilt. Pottery Barn has some really nice ones that are similar to the Star Quilt I was given.

Also, my bed has always been close to the floor. It is highly probable that baby will fall out of bed at least once. Better to make it as safe as possible. No pillows or blankets on the floor, neither, because if baby falls out of bed, and is not noticed immediately, they could suffocate.

As soon as my kids are big enough to get up on a bed safely and get down safely, then I will get a bed frame and all that. In the meantime, we are happy and safest being close to the floor.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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I just used regular knitted cotton blankets--like the baby blankets, but adult sized--on my bed when my kids were babies. I did use one pillow (I'm not big on pillows) for my head. I positioned the baby below the pillow, near the breast.
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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Oh geez...this didn't even occur to me. In the summer, when this babe is due, we use light blankets or a quilt, but we have a down comforter for winter. I am really cold blooded, there is no way I can sleep with just flannel sheets, a light blanket, and "warm" jammies in the winter--especially if I'm going to have a boob hanging out of my jammies!

I'm thinking I need a co-sleeper...we were going to use a pack n play for the first month or two and then just co sleep until night weaned, but that's probably a bad idea. Sigh...this SIDS stuff is really scary.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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Old 02-03-2006, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lckrause
I just used regular knitted cotton blankets-
The baby never got stuck in it? Maybe I am thinking of a different kind of knitted blanket?
I just know that I had one from Target, and somehow my 1 yr old got a string out of it and managed to wrap it around her neck and almost strangled.
Before that, when she was 6 months she got her little hand tangled in it, but it wasn't scary, then, that's why I thought it would be safe to keep.
Of course, it's been gone for a long time, now. I stay away from all knitted blankets. Just that one incident was enough to scare me away for life.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
I am really cold blooded, there is no way I can sleep with just flannel sheets, a light blanket, and "warm" jammies in the winter--especially if I'm going to have a boob hanging out of my jammies!
Me, too! The quilt and a Pendleton Blanket on top of the quilt work great! My babies always got too hot and would scoot up out of the blankets, though. I'd always find them curled up to my head or dh's head.

It might also be the one time you allow your heating bill to go up a little. Most 6 month old babies are strong enough to sleep with a down blanket and mommy.

I think it is more worrisome when baby is not mobile and strong enough to wake and move.
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Old 02-03-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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We use a variety of blankets on our bed. Hubby has a comforter on his side, I have a sheet and a waffle weave blanket on my side and DD has a small quilt in the sidecarred crib. Babe sleeps curled up to me and under my blankets by association. I live in a warmer climate and my babes tend to be hotblooded, so light coverings work well. But, if they don't, you could always tuck a blanket into each side of your bed so that it's long enough to cover you and your husband, but they don't meet in the middle. Babe can sleep in the middle and wear warm PJ's and snuggle up to you. Keep the pillows up and away from babe, but available for your head and you should be fine.
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Me, too! The quilt and a Pendleton Blanket on top of the quilt work great! My babies always got too hot and would scoot up out of the blankets, though. I'd always find them curled up to my head or dh's head.

It might also be the one time you allow your heating bill to go up a little. Most 6 month old babies are strong enough to sleep with a down blanket and mommy.

I think it is more worrisome when baby is not mobile and strong enough to wake and move.
What's a Pendleton blanket? We're definitely going to raise the thermostat while baby is little, but the configuration of our house means the bedrooms are always cooler than the rest of the house. It doesn't really get super cold here until December, so maybe we can figure out a way to suck it up for a few months until baby is big enough that I won't have to worry so much.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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Old 02-03-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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What about a space heater for the bedroom? I bet it would cost less than heating your whole house, and you could move it around to wherever you need it if the baby falls asleep elsewhere.
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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I guess I'm a bad cosleeping mama, I have a comforter. I can't sleep without it. I have to sleep in the buff or I can't sleep at all. We have a king size bed and two twin size sheets, thermal (holey) blankets and comforters. DH and I each have our own blankets (ask me how big of a PITA it is to make the bed )

We haven't had a problem. In the begining however we used just the thermal blankets (those ones with all the holes) and sheets, I have since become very aware of where DS is and where the blankets are.

Good luck!

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 02-03-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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When my ds was newborn, I wrapped the blankets around me and just dressed him warm and snuggled. Now that he's almost 21 months, he's under the covers with us with his own pillow that he only uses about 40% of the time.
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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We usually have a sheet and a light blanket (it's rarely COLD here...) but once in awhile we have a second blanket or quilt on the bed. DH and I each have a pillow. DD has been in bed with us since day one. She sleeps next to me at boob height. I keep the covers pulled to my shoulder and her chest. It's worked great for us.

-Angela
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much, your advice & experience is invaluable!

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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Old 02-03-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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We didn't start cosleeping until dd was about 6 weeks old. It was June so it wasn't cold out, so I just slept with a sheet up to belly button height and tucked under me and the regular quilt only up to my hips. I do remember seeing a pic in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding in the section about sleeping with your nursing baby, it was of a women lying on her side with her babe up at boob height and a lightweight blanket that she had on (not up to her shoulders obviously) that was tucked around the babies waist and under him. That way you aren't freezing and the baby can't roll away. I never had the need to to do that though though, as my dd was permentanently attached to my boob once she started cosleeping and hated blankets near her. We did and still do use a bedrail which I think is a must for cosleeping if your mattress is not on the ground (don't ask me how I know this ).

~Rebecca~
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Old 02-04-2006, 07:07 AM
 
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We sleep with a lightweight down alternative comforter (I have allergies). It's really thin, like quilt thin, so I don't worry about ds suffocating. I make sure that it's tucked away from his face when we go to bed, and I wake up a lot and check on him.

I have a couple of extra pillows, mainly for supporting my back while nursing. One is on the external side of the bed so that when ds is there he can't fall out. Bad, I know. I really need to get a guard rail. But, he is never facing the pillow, and he can't roll yet, so for now, he's safe. I know that I'm not going to push him off of the bed. I used to be such a heavy sleeper (I slept through the Northridge earthquake- and it was big), but now I am soooo aware of ds. He never has to cry to nurse at night. I don't even know if he wakes up. I just feel his little head searching for some food.

Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12),  and three babies in Heaven.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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When dd was very little, we used the snuggle nest, because it made dh and I both more comfortable as we were all in a chilly, hard-to-heat house in a full size bed. Yes, you have to move the baby down to nurse, and then slide them back up and it's a bit of a pain, but we felt safer. When we got home (4 months old or so), we went to no pillows, pjs, higher thermostat, and just light sheets. As dd got older, we added stuff back. Now she's nearly 2 years old and we each have a pillow, we all wear pjs, the thermostat is back where it used to live, and we have the comforter back on the bed. But... dd hates the comforter and the sheets and she kicks them all off of herself and sleeps on top of them instead. She also has a futon on the floor next to the big bed, and she sometimes climbs down there in the middle of the night so she can sleep with her doll and stuffed animals.

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Old 02-05-2006, 03:58 AM
 
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I have my one pillow and a sheet and quilt, that's all (poor snore-y DH is relegated to the guest room until he loses his pregnancy weight and stops snoring but if he slept with us he'd probably have his own covers bc he's like 6'4 and 240). I like the quilt because it stays wherever I put it.

Have fun co-sleeping!
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:30 PM
 
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I'll start by saying that DS arrived at the end of May, and for the first 2-4 weeks I was an endless mess of night-sweat, as I poured off 25 pounds in 2 weeks (before I had a chance to go to a weight watchers meeting and get "credit" for that loss!) and then slowly regulated my own heat.

We often woke up in a sweaty mess.

But I'm a majorly tactile person when it comes to sleeping, and can't actually sleep with just a sheet (summers when I lived in SC were difficult).

DH and I each have a pillow, though I often sleep with it vertical. That works because I scoot way down in he bed, so that DS is up towards the top of the bed but isn't completely covered by our bedding. Hubby is much bigger than us and actually usese two pillows, but moves the bedding down on his body as he sleeps, so DS is rarely up to his neck in bedding.

But we've never ever stressed about it. The few times DS has seemed distressed about something while sleeping, one or both of us woke instantly. We trust DS and we trust ourselves, and it's just not something we worry about. Robert's mom's culture has family beds, they have heavy quilts, and it's just the natural thing to do.

Now, as for pillows, the hugeness of normal pillows really annoys me! I figure that *someone* out there needs to come up with a family bed pillow, which would be half the length of a normal pillow. Once you get used to sleeping with a pillow oriented so the long edge is parallel to the long edge of the bed, you realize how much of a normal pillow is useless and unused. (and if *someone* out there starts making such a pillow, please give me credit. )
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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we are "bad" co sleepers too we use sheets and a quilt and we have always used pillows I just keep the blankets under my armpit and the baby below the pillows. I suppose you are also not supposed to co-sleep with a remote controll and lots of toys and board books

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Old 02-05-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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We have a queen size bed and a full size bed pushed together. DD sleeps next to me and I sleep on the side near the crack between beds. DH sleeps on the full. We each have our own blanket. I use a thin quilt and sheet, DH uses a comforter and DD has a baby blanket (just your run of the mill type). I also use two pillows. There is also a womb bear in the bed to drown out the noise from are ridiculously loud neighbors upstairs. It really helps to keep DD asleep through the bumps in the night.

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Old 02-05-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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all of my childrebn slep in my arms, generally latched on . we had lots of blankets and pillows. never took any precautions. occaisionallyI would have to fish her out from under the blankets. There was less on the bed when Lily was a baby but she was a spring baby and was pretty substantial before we put stuff back on the bed (we don't use AC). Ava was born on the first freaking cold day of the year. She was always bundled and haddled against us in a cozy pile of blankets. Sghe was also a tummy sleeper. . . .

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Old 02-06-2006, 04:00 AM
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I still can't figure out how someone could sleep without a pillow and blankets? Wouldn't a quilt smother a baby too? Or would it really be less likely to do so?

Anyway, the question. I do use a down comforter, cotton blanket, sheets and regular firm pillows. Although currently I'm not using the cotton blanket and instead am using flannel sheets.

I position my baby well below the pillow, so her face is about up to my breast (if she moves, even an inch, I know it and wake somewhat, so she never gets near the pillows). I do not pull up the comforter past my hip, ever. In fact, I pull the comforter very low all around DD so that none of the comforter is touching her (she's a furnace at night!). She only gets a flannel sheet covering her halfway. Our apartment stays pretty warm.

When DD was young, I would actually swaddle her in her own baby blanket with her arms out so the blanket would not go any higher than her armpits while keeping ALL my covers away from her. Since I sleep so lightly and am so aware of her, I don't worry much about smothering, especially now that she's a toddler.
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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We have blankets and pillows on our bed. I just keep them away from ds' face.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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This is an interesting thread. I have wondered how other mamas co-sleep while fuddling my way through it!

I sleep under a down comforter and use a pillow. DS stays at boob level for convenient snacking all night long.

I read the precautions and used to worry but now realise it is just like anything else. Too many "experts" and they change their holy grail every few years.
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
DD has been in bed with us since day one. She sleeps next to me at boob height. I keep the covers pulled to my shoulder and her chest. It's worked great for us.

-Angela
Ditto for me. DH, ds and I co-sleep in a regular old double bed, along with 4 regular pillows, a body pillow (left over from my pregnancy, and now often used as a barrier to keep ds in the bed), and a regular complement of sheets and a Pottery Barn velvet quilt (plenty warm, but deemed safer than a down comforter). DS was born at the end of May, and by the time he was 2 weeks old we were in the throes of a major heat wave, so covers weren't much of an issue for about 3 months! We always used a sheet, but I use the same technique as pp, above, and anyway, ds kicks covers off as much as possible, whenever possible. Once he was about 8-10 weeks old he was pulling the sheet away from his face with his hands, and I significantly relaxed at that point (not that I was all that stressed beforehand), and we've never looked back.

Trust your instincts, trust your baby, and I think you'll find in no time at all that co-sleeping is a more relaxed affair than you thought!
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:57 AM
 
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I started with the arms reach cosleeper and my dd had a flannel blanket and warm pj for the first year. When she sleeps with me, I usually have my arm around her and we are under a fleece blanket.
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Old 02-07-2006, 04:27 AM
 
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I have nursed four babies so far, and my nurslings have always been in the bed. Dh and I have one pillow each and we don't change that for a nursling. We continue to use one sheet and one comforter. I position baby below the pillow, so that the mouth is close to the breast. The comforter is over my shoulder. I would freeze any other way.

I keep a bedrail on my side of the bed for nights that baby is on the outside. #4 was often leaning hard against the rail while sleeping. Sure glad it was there!

Just trust that you will make the right decision for you and your little one, because you will! Good for you for looking into these things now and being prepared! Good luck Carley!

Nicole
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