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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-21-2011 09:42 AM

We never used bed rails and I always slept with a pillow and blanket.


I took precautions when he was an infant like keeping my head below his on the bed and tucking the blankets in to the bottom of the mattress so I was sure they wouldnt be able to cover his head.


We dont sleep that much since my DS has reflux. So Im not sure we would ever fall into a deep sleep.


Never took drugs or alcohol or smoke. We did have a close call one time where I woke up and the blanket was on his head. He was making a big fuss about it thank God and I quickly removed them. That was when I started sleeping with my head below his to be extra careful.

04-19-2011 11:57 AM

I wish I read these posts 5 months ago!  The "rules" we break every time are sleeping with blankets, pillows and on a pillow-top.  Although I don't really think the pillow-top's THAT great...I never get the sensation I'm sinking into it going aaahhhhhh...  Anyway, even though we sleep comfortably, I'm still very aware of where the pillows and blankets are although that's getting easier now that we side-lay most of the time to breastfeed.  (Before we were practiced in breastfeeding while laying down, I'd sit up at least three times a night and cradle hold my love.  So silly.)  :)


Also, when DS was a brand-new born we had one of those co-sleepers we put in the middle of the bed with bars and mesh.  My days-old babe would scutch over to me, lay on his side and place his tiny little hand against the mesh - it felt like he was in jail!  No thank you!  We never lasted the night using that and for months it's been holding my clean folded laundry.  At least it was a shower gift...  (And at least now I know!)

04-19-2011 10:36 AM

I remember being just hyper-aware of my babies when we were nursing and cosleeping for the first few months. I often woke up right before they started crying. My eyes would snap open and then literally a second later the crying would start before I'd even moved. This was especially true with Corbin. I used to sleep with Orin pressed up against my chest like a tiny teddy bear when he was a newborn. Two adults, two kids, two cats, and one dog piling into a king-sized bed with a crib sidecarred...and we never even came close to having an incident. Now it's one adult, two kids, and one dog in a queen. I sure miss that king... Even the sidecarred crib would be nice. lol.gif

04-18-2011 07:48 PM

Nope. I don't know who could sleep without a blanket. Does anyone actually follow that?? Or a pillow for that matter. My bed was on the floor, but not because of baby, just because I like it like that.

04-18-2011 04:46 PM

I don't know anyone who cosleeps and actually follows those "rules". I always sort of skimmed over them and assumed they were there to cover the authors' butts. We use a down comforter, and pillows, no rails, and babe definitely sleeps between DH and I. Almost 4 month old DS even sleeps between 2year old DD and I quite frequently. I was a little anal about having both kids in bed with us for the first few weeks, but then reality set in! We do have a firm mattress, and it is on the floor, but that would be the case without children in it as well. We like a firm mattress and we're not spending money we don't have on a bed frame. :) Neither of us are obese, but I really don't see how that would make any sort of difference in terms of our sleeping decisions. 

We tend to sleep tummy to tummy, although there was a lot of babe on my chest for the first several weeks. Both kids also seem to sleep better on their bellies, so that's how we put them down. 

I agree with everyone else, you use your common sense and do what works for your life. It's interesting to see what everyone else does. 

04-18-2011 03:59 PM

Honestly, a e slept on my chest the first four months, thats the only way she would sleep, and when she wasn't sleeping  she was nursing every two hours. Now she is 2, 38" and 25lbs, and we still sleep in the same room.

04-18-2011 02:14 PM
luckiest Other than DH sleeping on the couch after a few beers, we don't follow any. We have thin blankets, but it's TX and it's hot. Our mattress is on the floor, but only until we have the funds for a frame wink1.gif

I heard one time that breastfeeding mothers are more aware of their infants when sleeping than those that don't. The specific example was that bf'ing mothers very very rarely turn their backs to the baby while sleeping, while dads and bottle-feeding moms will. I know I never have woken up with my back to him. I've just always felt like I'm aware of where he is, in the sane way that I don't roll off the bed because I know where the edge is.

I love reading about all of you who have 2 in the bed! I keep wondering how it's going to play out when we have another.
04-17-2011 10:12 PM

We don't follow any of those rules either :) We have always had a blanket, usually a comforter but I don't feel bad about that because LO sleeps on top of it anyways; he can't stand being under the blanket and won't sleep with it. We have pillows. Our bed is on the frame now but for a while it was on the floor when DS first started crawling

04-16-2011 06:08 PM

we don't. We've both got pillows, only one blanket though, I swaddle her (other wise she squirms and stretches so vigorously even while deeply asleep that she wakes us up). we're pretty sure DD also has moderate GERD (she wouldn't tolerate having the pH testing done so we're just going to treat it as gerd since it seems to be working) so she sleeps on her stomach on wedge when it's really bothering her. She generally sleeps on whatever side of the bed I'm facing and in the crook of my arm, be it between me and DH or not. As far as DH supposedly rolling over on her because he wouldn't be as "aware" as I am....LOL he's woken me up before saying that he was worried I was getting to close to her!

04-05-2011 12:01 PM


Originally Posted by chewynotcrunchy View Post

So I just started reading the No Cry Sleep Solution and am wondering if there are other co-sleeping families who don't follow all the safety guidelines for co-sleeping she outlines?  For example: no blankets or pillows in bed, baby never between mom and dad, mattress on the floor or guard rails, don't co-sleep if you are obese, no pets, or others?  Of course making sure there are no gaps between the bed and the wall baby could get stuck in is very important, but no blankets or pillows just isn't feasible at my house.  I feel we are very safe co-sleepers, but we do "break the rules" quite often.  Are there other rebellious co-sleeping families out there or am I totally out of line? 

I coslept with two LOs.  I haven't ready the No Cry Sleep Solution, but those guidelines were not followed by us.  No blankets or pillows seems outrageous to me.  We had guard rails for one LO and they were more dangerous than any other options and we abandoned them.  Baby slept on either side of me at night with DS1, which meant sometimes between mom and dad.  I tried keeping DS2 on the outside so DH and I could have more snuggle time and this was horrible.  It hurt my back and hips and made it so my son also never slept on his other side, which is really bad for us both, IMO.  Our older child would climb into bed in the morning when DS2 was little, which would count as the "others" you mentioned, but he would never lie next to the baby.  So of all those "requirements," the only ones we followed are not being obese and making sure there were no gaps.  I don't see how people could actually sleep with all the other requirements.

04-05-2011 08:27 AM

CheriK, you're right, the rules are nowhere on the AAP site. However, they do appear in all sorts of AAP-influenced media, like Parents magazine or here on the March of Dimes website, which I think is a pretty typical presentation. That's what I was thinking of, anyway. But you bring up a good point.

04-04-2011 12:56 PM

Actually, most medical organizations, like the AAP, say you should never sleep with your baby (actually, I think they say a baby should never sleep in an adult bed but in a crib or cosleeper).  So those "rules" aren't being publicized by medical organizations, nor by sleep researchers, but by folks trying to sell sleep books.  Again, I'd go to a source that is actually studying infant and maternal sleep, James McKenna, or API, for safe sleep guidelines.  Or, like so much in parenting, trust your gut and do what works for your family.

04-04-2011 09:28 AM

No rules here.  I am very aware of my dd during the night.  We sleep in a bed with her dad and 3 year old brother.  I am just aware of everything that goes on.  I follow common sense, not rules.  

04-04-2011 07:30 AM


Originally Posted by CheriK View Post

Really?  No pillows or blankets?  Um, how are you supposed to sleep?

Yeah, that's exactly what I thought! Frankly, I think the sanctioned "rules" about cosleeping/bedsharing (and they are disseminated as rules, not guidelines, by e.g. the AAP and other medical organizations) are intentionally designed to discourage cosleeping. Honestly, I don't know any adult who would be willing to regularly sleep without a pillow and blanket on a hard mattress. So advocating that as the only safe way to sleep is tantamount to saying "don't do it." (I also know many babies who aren't willing to sleep on a flat hard surface, like, say, DS and myself as a baby!) All the more so when you are required to ditch your bed frame and never roll over/change positions (because the baby must stay on the mother's side of the bed).


DS wouldn't sleep anywhere but touching me - not in a cosleeper, not in the snuggle nest, nothing doing. So I thought, well, what am I going to do, throw out our relatively new "pillow-top" mattress and replace it with a hard one that I have never liked? Lie there cold and uncomfortable all night? I thought about it, of course. I mean, here are the professionals telling you you are endangering your baby's life. But I had to do something in the meantime, because he would not sleep anywhere but on me and I was falling asleep holding him as it was, also not safe. Well, I tried it, he never moved from the crook of my arm and I was hyperaware of everything that was going on with him. I wore a warm shirt, put the blanket only up to my waist, made sure there were no dangerous gaps around the mattress, and didn't look back. I have been upset about the "rules" ever since. Especially after doing more reading more about this topic, such as the juvenile products' lobby to change the term "crib death" into SIDS - why? To mask the fact that cribs are, statistically speaking, still a riskier place for babies to sleep, than in beds with their mothers. (I think they can both be safe options, btw, whatever works for a given family.)

04-03-2011 09:39 PM
MsFortune I followed these rules to a T when my kids were in the SIDS age danger zone. The only rule I did not follow was the mattress on the floor one. At about 6 mos I relaxed a lot.

I swaddled or used sleep sacks on baby and did not use a blanket for myself - I used a zip from sweatshirt and blanket up to my waist.
04-03-2011 09:15 PM

Wait, he isn't supposed to sleep between us?? I didn't even know that was a rule until I started reading the replies in this thread! LOL.


We don't. We were always pretty intentional about making sure the blankets and pillows weren't next to his face, but we pretty much just plopped him in between us and even now- I just put him in his spot in the middle of our bed, LOL. Actually, now at almost 6 mos., he kind of snuggles with the comforter but I'm not as worried because I know he can turn and move it off his face. We don't have the bed against a wall or anything even. So I guess when he's old enough to roll off the bed, we'll have to be vigilant about preventing it or just be more aggressive about putting him in his own bed or something...


I worried about the rules when I read the No Cry Sleep Solution too (and pretty much every other co-sleeping literature). But things are going well and we all sleep great so I guess this works :) (heh. I guess I didn't even read the rules close enough to see that part about him being between us!)





03-31-2011 07:34 PM

No, I don't, but that's because my kids are 5 and 3. They are used to sleeping in their bed together, on the couch, or with me with pillows in blankets and have been for a long time. I don't think they're at any risk of suffocating on them! We cosleep in a queen sized bed with a memory foam mattress topper and lots of blankets. Very comfy. :)

03-31-2011 02:17 PM

Really?  No pillows or blankets?  Um, how are you supposed to sleep?  You might want to check out James McKenna's website ( for guidelines from someone who actually researches infant/maternal sleep.


We removed really fluffy bedding (down comforter - all our babies were born in the winter - boo!) & kept pillows at our head height.  Baby slept next to my side for the most part, but all 3 at some times slept chest to chest with an adult.  We almost always had a baby btwn mom and dad (how not to, with twins).  We had dogs in the bed.  We had older children in the bed with our 3rd, but not right next to the baby.  No drug or alcohol use, so that wasn't an issue.  No obesity, so that wasn't an issue.  We dropped the mattress to the floor w/ the twins when DD scooted herself off the bed - oops!  W/ #3, we dropped the mattress right away.  It's slightly off the floor on a bedframe.  By the time they were a year old, we pretty much did whatever worked & didn't worry about "guidelines".


Key point - "guide".  It's a suggestion, not rigid rules.  What works in one family won't work in another.  Fox TV did an interview w/ James McKenna a few years back & the common factor in all the cosleeping deaths reported was formula feeding.  They all had other factors, but all the babies were formula fed.  So if you're not breastfeeding, then there might be more risk involved.

03-26-2011 07:05 AM
Ginger Bean

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.

03-24-2011 06:56 AM

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!

03-14-2011 12:10 PM

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 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.

03-14-2011 09:32 AM

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!

03-03-2011 05:14 PM
Llyra 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.
03-03-2011 08:57 AM
Originally Posted by Jen286 View Post

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...
03-03-2011 07:31 AM

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.


03-03-2011 07:26 AM

...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 was important that i could 'see' my baby to make sure he was safe.


03-03-2011 06:26 AM

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.


03-02-2011 12:36 PM

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.

03-02-2011 10:40 AM

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.


Considerations, but not law.

03-02-2011 10:10 AM
CaraShrum 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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