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To the credit of the anti-cosleeping folks, they at least have a unified message: Never ever ever or else you'll kill your baby.<br><br>
For co-sleeping advocates, however, it's an entirely different story.<br><br>
The La Leche League book, the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, advises a guardrail for the bed so that the LO can sleep on the outside. And William Sears mentions (but doesn't actually cite) research indicating that dads won't know not to roll over the baby, so sleeping in between is dangerous.<br><br>
By contrast, McKenna's book on co-sleeping warns of the dangers of positioning a baby on the outside; the baby can fall and get stuck between the bed and the rail or wall and should instead sleep in between the parents.<br><br>
I have seen one brochure advise that more than one child in the bed should be interspersed evenly between the parents. I have seen other sources say that there should be no more than one child in bed at a time.<br><br>
McKenna says to avoid waterbeds altogether; LLL recommends a waterbed that is "full and firm."<br><br>
I <i>don't</i> want this thread to turn into a debate about the merits and perils of these differing options. I do want to express the need for a more unified message on co-sleeping safety. To parents who are new to cosleeping, the contradictory information can be befuddling and may dissuade them entirely from the practice.
 

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I think the thing is - is that co sleeping is going to work and look differently in every family.<br><br>
We are getting a guard rail when we have another - so DS#1 doesnt fall out of the bed! lol...but just in case dc#2 ever should be on that side instead of DS#1 - its going to be the mesh kind of toddler guard...so there is nothing a small baby can get stuck in or fall through, etc... Some people may not feel comfortable with this, or may not feel it is needed. We slept without one so far, but DS has fallen out of the bed a few time. ...I had a soft light mattress on the floor though so often times I would wake up and he would just be sleeping there meaning he feel out of the bed, but it didnt even disturb him a he had a soft landing lol<br><br>
Daddy doesnt co sleep with us anymore (he respects why we do it, but its not for him)...when he did co sleep with us however, DS was never next to him because I did feel he would roll over on him...he didnt even stir in the night when DS would wake up wailing...how on earth was he going to be aware of him otherwise! Some fathers may be more in tune with their children though - this is sort of an area where the whole family have to be comfortable with in order to make that decision I feel.<br><br>
So when we have another child - they will both be in bed with me. How else would we do it - as we are also a family that feel its the childs choice when they no longer want to be in the same bed...so I will not push my son out just because another member will be joining us. It will be about a four year gap, but at first I will be sleeping in the middle until I feel that its safe for them to be sleeping together - at the moment, I feel this is probably when dc#2 can roll over and back again...move freely basically. Though with DS so much older and so used to co sleeping, I am not really worried about him rolling over onto the baby - but just to be safe, wait till the baby is a bit older and is able to move around.<br><br>
Because of this - baby will be sleeping on the side that is against the wall. Now, our bed leaves no gap there at all - maybe a cm if that!...nothing at all realisticly big enough for a baby to get anything stuck in. Some beds leave a bit of a gap though..bed at MILs for example has about a 2 inch gap...would not feel comfortabl with baby against the wall then...So this and how safe it is, I feel, depends on the bed.<br><br>
I think everything varies...you know...so will vary from family to family on what is really 'safe' and what isnt. If you have activly chosen to co sleep - which many on here have... I feel families have enough common sense to take in their situation and figure out what is safe and what probably isnt and then respond to that appropriately.
 

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To me, the necessary consensus is:<br><br>
Listen to yourself, and your family, not the doctors or the books.<br><br>
Not that these outside resources can't be useful, but the unified, one-size-fits-all approach is not a desirable objective, IMO.
 

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Our solution was to get a stiff thick mattress from the futon store, the stiffest and thickest, and to put it on the floor. I wish we had done it earlier. In the past I had allergic reactions to the dust when I slept on a futon on the floor, but the thicker synthetic mattress hasn't compressed, and my back has been really really happy on this bed. It's so close to the floor that it didn't matter if the baby was feeling rolly-poly. Now he's not a baby at all, but it's still working.<br><br>
A way to deal with a small baby who can't be under covers is to have separate covers or sleeping bags for the adults.<br><br>
I keep expecting to feel sorry we are cosleeping but mostly I haven't.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wallacesmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11475837"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To me, the necessary consensus is:<br><br>
Listen to yourself, and your family, not the doctors or the books.<br><br>
Not that these outside resources can't be useful, but the unified, one-size-fits-all approach is not a desirable objective, IMO.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> exactly
 

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We have a guard rail on my side of the bed but didn't put that up until we took the cosleeper down. About two weeks ago I decided to put the cosleeper up again (rather than drag the crib down the hall and try to squeeze it between the bed and wall) so the guard rail is down again. DD starts out the night in the cosleeper and then crawls into bed with me when she's ready.<br><br>
She sleeps on the outside and in the middle with no problems. DH and I have a king size bed but it's made up of two XL twin beds. There's a natural separation between the two beds so DH stays on "his side". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It really varies from family to family. I've always felt comfortable with dh's awareness of a sleeping baby. When dd2 was born, she slept between me and the wall, while dd1 stayed in her old spot between dh and me. Like Ann, I felt more comfortable being between Baby and Big Sis while Baby was still tiny.<br><br>
However, it was a while before I was able to lie on my side and latch New Baby onto my top breast, so at first I'd just lie on my back, and switch her from side to side, attempting to stay awake until I could switch her back to the side by the wall..<br><br>
I recall one occasion (there were probably more) when I'd accidentally dozed off while dd2 was still nursing on the "wrong" side (between her sister and me), and when I woke, dd1 had started rolling over toward dd2 in her sleep. She suddenly stopped, moaned, and rolled away from the baby. So even she, at age 5, had an awareness of her sister in her sleep.<br><br>
I still wanted to err on the side of caution, so as soon as I was able to give dd2 both breasts while lying on my right side, I started keeping her over there all the time.<br><br>
But now that Little Sis is 3, she enjoys sleeping between me and Big Sis about half the time, which Big Sis also loves.
 

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There are so many different factors - which mean that there isn't a "1 solution" approach.<br><br>
For us - DH sleeps in 1 spot. He's so still that the cats (sometimes all 3) will sleep on him... I need to move and have my space. So - putting DD on the outside drove me CRAZY. She has always slept next to DH except when she needs to nurse.<br><br>
But - if we had different sleeping 'ways' - we would do it differently.
 

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We changed it up after DD turned one and got all sprawly in the bed. Before that, she slept next to the wall. Now she sleeps between me and DH. At this point he and I feel comfortable with her in the middle, but when she was tiny we did not.
 

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I agree with the OP that the lack of a "unified front", so to speak, could be a turn-off for some parents...but I don't see how to come to a consensus. Co-sleeping is so individual. When I was pregnant, I knew I would co-sleep, and I had this plan set in my head of exactly how we would go about it. But it ended up just happening the way it was going to happen--we just went with the flow, and it evolved. It still is. We started out with a side-carred crib and baby always between me and the crib. Now that DS is one year old, we have our king-size bed on the floor and DS pretty much sleeps exclusively with Daddy (DH puts the little one to bed) 'till he crawls over to me to nurse sometime early in the morning and then he snuggles with me.<br><br>
I think that there could be a general consensus on <i>some</i> of the safety issues to take into consideration. E.g., parents under the influence of drugs (certain prescription and recreational) or alcohol should never co-sleep...things like that...I think that there a few rules that could be put out across the board that aren't debatable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ann_of_loxley</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11475812"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the thing is - is that co sleeping is going to work and look differently in every family.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wallacesmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11475837"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">To me, the necessary consensus is:<br><br>
Listen to yourself, and your family, not the doctors or the books.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammal_mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11476932"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It really varies from family to family.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kessed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11477123"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are so many different factors - which mean that there isn't a "1 solution" approach.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><br><br>
Just like all the other parenting decisions we must make.<br><br>
FTR: ds sleeps happily b/t me and dh, who has never rolled over on him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Agreed. I didn't even know about the "rules" of cosleeping when my dd was born. We just did it (me, at first keeping it a secret because i was sure we weren't supposed to be doing this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">) Dd slept ON or snugged up in dh's arms for the first part of night, (except when nursing), then i would have her for the second half of the night. i swear my dh was just as/if not more aware of her in bed with us as me- he still wakes up briefly in the night if she is close to him to make sure she is ok... she still sleeps in between us. its such a personal thing, but I think it would be easier for the general public to feel ok about doing it if there were some unified rules that everyone could agree on!
 

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Like anything else, the "right" message is so nuanced that it seems confusing. Most of the time, IMO, something really simple is not likely to work for everyone.<br><br>
You can think of co-sleeping advocacy as "Sleep with your baby and be very aware of safety," but of course that isn't going to help people know what to do. But if you think about it, people who don't co-sleep still have a lot of safety choices to make: crib bumper or not? blankets at what age? monitor? what kind? how warm should the room be? etc. Their messages are mixed, too.
 
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