nitty-gritty family bed questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-17-2003, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! This is my first post ever, and I'm looking for some help from more experienced moms...My husband & I have been sharing our queen-sized bed with our daughter since the night she was born (she's almost 4 mos now), and we're very happy. I can't seem to find any advice on the practical aspects of the family bed in any of my baby books or from friends, so I'm hoping someone here will help.
Our daughter sleeps between the two of us, wearing a light-weight long-sleeved t-shirt and a cloth diaper with a wool cover. She usually rolls onto her side and snuggles up next to me. The only bedding we have on top of us is a not-very-heavy comforter in a cotton duvet cover. My husband & I each have a regular pillow, and I squish mine up under me to keep the edges away from my daughter.
She just started to roll over, and I'm wondering how to keep the bed a safe place for her as she becomes more mobile.
I'd love some feedback - Does our sleeping arrangement look like yours? Do you use a bed rail? What about bedding?
Thanks!
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#2 of 12 Old 03-17-2003, 08:52 PM
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Hi there! Welcome to the boards

Yes, that sounds very much like our situation. DS is almost a year and a half now so I don't worry about bedding as much as I used to. But we both always used our pillows, kind of scrunched up under our heads away from his face when he was tiny & had our sheets & quilt tucked around him under his arms but still up around our shoulders. I think I was pretty conscious of where the bedding was and even while I slept knew to subconsciously make sure no blankets got over his face or anything like that. DH feels the same way. I don't know, it's like you know they're there so even while you're sleeping you're cautious and aware. As he got older and rolled around more I switched the blankets a bit. DH got his own quilt and I shared a smaller quilt with out any sheets with DS. This worked really well. We kind of snuggled up and his light weight flannel quilt still kept both of us nice and toasty without being overly bulky.

We never used a bed rail or anything like that since he's always in the middle of us. I did have the co-sleeper butted up to the bed on my side for a while, though he rarely slept in it... so I wasn't too worried about him rolling off during nap time.

I hope this helps a bit!
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#3 of 12 Old 03-19-2003, 05:05 PM
 
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Hello, and welcome to Mothering!

Our arrangement is much like yours, too. DD has slept between us ever since we moved away from our king size bed (boo hoo) and she became more mobile. She was born in summer, so we only used a topsheet and light cotton blanket that was at our waist level. As the weather got colder we added some wool blankets, forgoing a comforter mostly because it is harder to manipulate. DH likes his blankets over his shoulder, so he sleeps a bit lower down, then I tuck the blanket down his side, so that it only goes to waist level on DD. I have an extra blanket that I throw over my back and top shoulders to keep me warm (topless is easier for nightnursing) as the rest of the blankets don't go above my waist. DD is rarely in bed when we aren't, so we've never bothered with bed rails. I will probably be moving the bed down to the floor soon however, just for added peace of mind (and I don't like the metal frame we have).

When your babe is mobile, there is no real risk of them suffocating on blankets, because they can move themselves away. Frankly, even a newborn protests when a blanket goes astray, IME, so we've never been too concerned about it.

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#4 of 12 Old 03-20-2003, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Moonbucket & Piglet 68 - Thank you! I love the different blankets for mom/baby & dad idea, and it makes me feel better to know that it's possible to co-sleep without surrounding the bed with rails & without cold shoulders
I know there are some good books out there that I haven't read, but the books & articles I have found always have general info, like "Make sure the bedding is safe for the baby." Nothing beats getting the mundane details straight from the source!

Thanks!
~Rebecca, mom to Ava Justice 11-29-02
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#5 of 12 Old 03-20-2003, 09:50 PM
 
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We went from mostly comfortable to completely satisfied when we pushed a twin bed up next to our queen. DH takes the twin, which will become DD's when she's old enough to want her own space, and DD and I roll around on and nurse in the queen. We're all close enough to snuggle like mad, and everyone has his or her own space for serious snoozing.

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#6 of 12 Old 03-22-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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Our set up is very similar. We, too, use separate blankets. Dd sleeps at my breast level and when she's not nursing I scoot down lower next to her. Dh sleeps up higher than us and I was getting no sleep b/c I was so nervous, he was always pulling the blanket up over her face! We have a mattress on the floor, I usually turn my pillow longways so it takes up less sapce and sleep with my head on the corner closest to dd. We threw out the top sheet when we got separate blankets. Works great for us!
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#7 of 12 Old 03-24-2003, 02:20 AM
 
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DD is 3 months and sleeps between hubby and me in a queen bed. To keep from covering her head with the blankets and to also be able to keep our shoulders covered we put her on a regular size feather pillow long ways so she is up high. Of course this will not work soon because she will be able to scoot around the bed.
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#8 of 12 Old 03-24-2003, 06:46 AM
 
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Our dd is also almost 4 months and was born in the bed she sleeps in. I have the queen size bed up against the wall and she alternates between sleeping between us and between me and the wall. She rolls from side to side by not all the way over yet, but I don't think that would change too much about our sleeping situation. Maybe we would have to figure out the head of the bed because we have two night tables there and a gap for a lamp so we can have our alarm clocks an water and jumk there. When she rolls over she could roll onto her belly and skootch up off the head of the bed I guess. I guess we'll probably just take away the tables and the lamp and put them at the foot when that happens.
Lauren
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#9 of 12 Old 03-24-2003, 06:54 AM
 
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My dd has always slept on top of the comforter, under her own little blanket. When she started kicking it off, we just put her in sleeper suits or other warm clothes. Has worked perfectly, but you need a verywide comforter to keep both you and partner covered.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-24-2003, 07:42 AM
 
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Our first child loves to be totally tucked in under the duvet. To prevent suffocation, we have a wool duvet. Dh and I have separate mattresses, and separate duvets. When we were all still sharing the duvet, ds1 was waking more often due to the tugging at the covers, and probably draft coming in under the covers too. When ds2 was born, we immediately noticed a difference. He doesn't want any real covering. So I took the duvet for myself (ds1 is on the mattress with dh), and ds2 got his own fleecy blanket, which is light, and we keep his feet uncovered (that's what he wants). We just make sure that he is warmly dressed, as in thick sweat pants and sweat shirt, cotton, and a snap-crotch undershirt. When he was really little, it was hard to find thicker sleepers, most of them are thin cotton and terry cotton, or synthetic. But we found them! Heh!

Also, for pillows, dh and I use buckwheat pillows. They are half the size of "standard" pillows, and we find them twice as comfortable. But that's a personal thing; we don't like stuffed pillows or feather pillows anyway, and were constantly fussing about them. Once we got the buckwheat, we were sold. Buckwheat also won't allow for suffocation, unless the kid is totally *under* the pillow for a long time. The hulls in the pillow allow for a lot of oxygen to flow through.

Keep trying different things until you find something that works for *all* of you. There is no "one way"... there are as many different solutions as there are families. Good luck!
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#11 of 12 Old 03-29-2003, 07:51 PM
 
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Separate blankets here too.

Another solution: lower the bed. Put the mattress and boxspring on the floor, or just the mattress, or a futon. In Japan, for instance, where cosleeping is the norm, a low futon is also common.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#12 of 12 Old 03-29-2003, 11:12 PM
 
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My dh and I discovered early on in our marriage that separate blankets were for us. I'm a blanket hog! lol! When dd came into our lives we started out with her between us dressed in a footed sleeper (she's a December baby).

Once we realized we were committed to cosleeping for the long run we bough a futon and put it on the floor. That worked great for all of us. Last summer when dd was 18 mos old we bought a twin futon and put it next to the queen sized one as dd got bigger and we all needed more room. Eventually we'll move her futon across the room when she's outgrown the family bed.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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