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I'm a first time parent to a 5-week old. He won't sleep in the moses basket/ bassinet/ crib, so he sleeps in his carseat, at the foot of our bed. I would love to co-sleep with him, but have been scared into believing that he will suffocate, we will roll over onto him, etc. How do you co-sleep safely with a newborn? What do you do about all the blankets? Do you have a side rail? Any details would be great! Thanks!
 

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I was terrified of co-sleeping with my DS for these same reason so we tried the co-sleeper so he was as close as possible without being in my bed. We found out pretty quickly that he was a terribly loud sleeper (grunting and crying out in his sleep regularly) so we moved him out of our room into his own crib at 2 months old because we needed some sleep ourselves!

With DD, we started co-sleeping because it just felt right. She was a GREAT sleeper the first two months so she slept like a rock and we got 6-8 hour stretches out of her (where that sleeping baby went still baffles me!!!). It was very comfortable and we all slept great. We had the co-sleeper side-carred up to the bed but only ever used it to hold diapers, blankets, burp cloths, etc. We swaddled DD up until she was 5 months old and felt this prevented her from inadvertantly using her arms to roll over or squirm into a funny position. We also used a sleep positioner for a while but found that awkward for trying to nurse in the middle of the night. We have a king size bed so that helps knowing we have enough room for the 3 of us in there.

Now that DD is older and rolling over, we make a border of pillows around her if she is in bed alone. We never pull the covers up over her body - which means I usually only have covers pulled up to around my waist.

I really think you have to feel comfortable co-sleeping otherwise you will never relax enough to get good enough sleep yourself. Maybe you should try a co-sleeper to see if your DS will be happy to sleep in there.

Good luck!
 

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first of all, unless you are on drugs/drunk or quite obese, you will not roll over onto your babe- it's like biological hardwiring. even my EXTREMELY sound-sleeping dp wakes up in the night if dd wakes up to nurse and she is inbetween us.

we use blankets- they just don't come up past my chest, or past dd's underarms.

i have a bedrail on my side of the bed, and our mattress is off the bed frame, as to be closer to the ground- just in case.

i make sure dd's head is a couple of inches down from my pillow, so she won't get her head underneath it during the night. as she has gotten older (from about 4 months on) and more mobile, i discovered she could scoot around the bed and she did fall out of the bed near the top end of the bed rail. she was fine though, but it did give me a scare- not enough of one to stop cosleeping though. to rectify this situation, i got a second bedrail and made it so that the whole length of the bed on my side was protected- even at my pillow.

hth
 

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Cosleeping always felt natural to me. I slept with both mine when they were babies, on the opposite side of me as her dad (not between us). I kept blankets fairly light and put them up to her waist or so. I was always pretty aware of what was going on w/ them when they were tiny even when I was asleep.
 

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We started out with him in the bedside co-sleeper, but quickly figured out we all slept better if he was with me. We didn't do anything too special when he was tiny, just made sure that he was either on top of the blankets or they didn't come anywhere near his head. We have no rails or anything, just pillows at the top and us on the sides. I let him sleep on either side of me until he could roll (still had the co-sleeper there, just using it for naps), now he only sleeps in the middle. That works out OK since he doesn't wake in the night most nights. We also dropped our bed to the floor once he was rolling regularly because if I got up, he'd come looking for me! I sleep with my arm around or touching him and can tell if he moves a muscle. Also when he was tiny he used to sleep on a flat waterproof mat, which was handy for easily moving him around on the bed, even without waking, and also to handle any leaking going on.
 

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Heres what we do...
Dh on one side, me in the middle and dd on the edge with one of those sleep positioner (sp?) that wouldn't let her roll over. She hated the bassinet (not that I was using it but when I tried during the day
)
So far this situation is still working for us. dd is 4.5 months now and I'm thinking I will need something bigger along the edge of the bed to keep her from rolling out if she really tried to do it. Mostly she just wakes up finds the boob and goes back to sleep
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Step one- lay down
Step two- put babe at boob height (and plug in probably
)
Step three- pull blankets up to baby's waist and my shoulder
Step four- sleep



-Angela
This, plus:

A SnugTuck bolster on my side only, with the fitted sheet OVER it so little one's feet don't get stuck. Also, a small travel pillow that goes under my back as I'd sleep sort of on my side but not entirely and this helped with support.

The travel pillow lives between me and DH and acts as a barrier for HIM, not the baby, really, as he's not nearly as aware of his movements as I am and he was paranoid he'd whack her with an elbow or something.

We got rid of the down comforter, and my big fluffy down pillow -- I now sleep on a very firm small throw pillow, but that's more for my neck than for baby's safety. I'd just wake up all wonky and threw my neck out at one point, so the big pillow wasn't working for me.

When she was little, we'd dress her warmly in wintertime and had a small fleece baby blanket that we'd pull up over her to under her shoulders. Then I'd sleep with the regular blankets on me but scooted down so none were on her. Then as she got older, we ditched the baby blanket and would pull the sheet and blanket up over her to about her waist. She doesn't like the feel of heavy blankets though and now kicks them off, so PJs with built in feet help too. But she's next to me and body heat helps a lot in keeping her warm. But for tiny babes, a hat can be a big help too.

When she was tiny, we'd still swaddle her but as she got big enough to squirm a hand free, we started swaddling her with her hands free. After a few months she didn't like being swaddled anymore and was rolling over anyway so it worked out okay.

Before the baby came I never thought we'd co-sleep. We're crunchy people but I was terrified of rolling over on her as I'd always tossed and turned a lot in my sleep. A few weeks of sleeping propped up holding her on the boppy cured me fast of my fears. The first night I gave in and laid her next to me, and let her latch on side-lying was a MIRACLE. And at 18 months it still is, for us, the best thing ever.

ETA: And I don't move in my sleep hardly at all anymore. I'm very aware of the baby's movements and noises, and was quickly able to wake up enough to let her latch on, we both adjust, and fall back to sleep immediately.

In my book, as long as everyone is safe, happy, and sleeping, you do whatever you have to do. Period. For us, co-sleeping meets those needs best. And it can be done very safely and comfortably.

But I highly recommend the SnugTuck -- it's expensive but worth every penny and then some.
 

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No further advice for the co-sleeping part but I would like to comment that some study showed that sleeping in the carseat can be dangerous.
I quote from another site about children & safety:

Children have died or been injured by being left to sleep in a car seat or carrier after the parents arrived at their destination. The victims either fell out, became tangled in the straps or choked to death when their head fell forward and closed off their airway.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Step one- lay down
Step two- put babe at boob height (and plug in probably
)
Step three- pull blankets up to baby's waist and my shoulder
Step four- sleep



-Angela
:

DS is 5 weeks old now and I am finding that I really want more space. He is very hot and the bed is soaked with sweat. We are thinking of side caring the crib this weekend and see if that helps out a bit. He is a great sleeper and loves cuddling with me but I am finding I just need my space.

I have never really worried about DS safety in our bed though. Of course when he gets really quiet, I make sure he is breathing but that is just first time mommy jitters I think.
 

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I kind of curl up around my son. I lay on my side, with his head level or just above my breast, then bend my knees up toward him so that his feet are touching my upper thigh. Depending on how tired my husband is, sometimes my son is in the middle, sometimes between me and the wall.
 

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We have a couple pillows but no blankets. Sheets are per person, not one covering the whole bed. Same with blankets when it's really cold, just wear a sweatshirt and keep the blanket at your waist. When dd was a newborn she loved to cuddle and would stay between my arm and body all night. I feel as though my babies are safest next to me. I am so in tuned to their breathing all night when they are little.
 

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There are a few 'rules' for safe co-sleeping:
  • Never co-sleep if you are under the influance of medication, drugs, or alcohol
  • Put baby between you and the edge of the bed--with a mesh rail/guard (do not put baby next to another adult in the bed, as they will not be as sensitive to baby's presense as you will)
  • Keep all pillows and blankets away from baby--just dress baby warmly
  • Dress yourself warmly so that your blankets stay away from baby
All that said, I don't follow any of it. Not really. I wouldn't keep him in the bed if I were on medication or something, but the rest of them I don't really follow.
I think there is a natural parenting instinct that knows when you need to be responsible for the baby. My dh had an early morning paper route for a few months, and I would pump a bottle and leave dh with the baby about once a week and I'd cover the route for him so he could have a day off. So, even though he rarely woke up for the baby when I was there, he always woke up when I was gone...there's some kind of parental ESP or something.
I put baby's head at breast level, so he's below our pillows. We do have a big comforter on our bed, and once ds could turn his head himself (and especially once he could roll over) I didn't worry very much about keeping it too low--I pull it up to his shoulders and mine too. We like to snuggle in.

I kept his head up on my arm until he was about 6mo, so I always knew right where he was, and could *feel* if he shifted much. Also I knew he wasn't rolling anywhere, and that dh wasn't rolling onto him. I no longer do that though, and he does great...the older the baby gets, the less you need to worry about some of the 'rules' I think. I do think having some kind of bed rail (or else a sidecar bed--either a crib or a co-sleeper) is a really good idea, especially once baby can roll, because you dont' want him rolling off the edge of the bed! However, I don't think you need to sweat it too much about putting the baby between you and your dp. I nurse the baby on both sides, so over the course of teh night he is on either side of me, depending where he's nursing! I Do always keep him in front of me, so that I'm more aware of him, but otherwise, yeah, he's on whichever side has teh fuller boob.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Step one- lay down
Step two- put babe at boob height (and plug in probably
)
Step three- pull blankets up to baby's waist and my shoulder
Step four- sleep



-Angela
Pretty much. We started with DS on the outside of the bed (me in the middle) because DF was afraid he would roll on him. Now I switch him back and forth depending on which side I'm nursing on. (I know I could leave him and roll myself over, but I find that position very uncomfortable and prefer to roll over during the night)

Although, Alegna, I'm very curious to know how you pull up the blankets, as I know that my boob (and therefore the babe's mouth) are lower than my shoulder....

Right now, I have a seperate little "crib blanket" that I use to cover the top of me.
 

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There are a few 'rules' for safe co-sleeping:
  • Never co-sleep if you are under the influance of medication, drugs, or alcohol
  • Put baby between you and the edge of the bed--with a mesh rail/guard (do not put baby next to another adult in the bed, as they will not be as sensitive to baby's presense as you will)
  • Keep all pillows and blankets away from baby--just dress baby warmly
  • Dress yourself warmly so that your blankets stay away from baby
All that said, I don't follow any of it. Not really. I wouldn't keep him in the bed if I were on medication or something, but the rest of them I don't really follow.
I think there is a natural parenting instinct that knows when you need to be responsible for the baby. My dh had an early morning paper route for a few months, and I would pump a bottle and leave dh with the baby about once a week and I'd cover the route for him so he could have a day off. So, even though he rarely woke up for the baby when I was there, he always woke up when I was gone...there's some kind of parental ESP or something.
I put baby's head at breast level, so he's below our pillows. We do have a big comforter on our bed, and once ds could turn his head himself (and especially once he could roll over) I didn't worry very much about keeping it too low--I pull it up to his shoulders and mine too. We like to snuggle in.

I kept his head up on my arm until he was about 6mo, so I always knew right where he was, and could *feel* if he shifted much. Also I knew he wasn't rolling anywhere, and that dh wasn't rolling onto him. I no longer do that though, and he does great...the older the baby gets, the less you need to worry about some of the 'rules' I think. I do think having some kind of bed rail (or else a sidecar bed--either a crib or a co-sleeper) is a really good idea, especially once baby can roll, because you dont' want him rolling off the edge of the bed! However, I don't think you need to sweat it too much about putting the baby between you and your dp. I nurse the baby on both sides, so over the course of teh night he is on either side of me, depending where he's nursing! I Do always keep him in front of me, so that I'm more aware of him, but otherwise, yeah, he's on whichever side has teh fuller boob.
 

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With DS#1 and DS#2, I had the bed pushed against a wall and had the boys sleep on the wall side with pillows wedged tightly to seal off the gap (I'd sleep pretty much in the middle and DSs would usually crowd me to nurse all night, so I never really feared them falling between the wall & bed anyway). Now, with DS#3, I started with a co-sleeper (Arm's Reach), but he hated that and I hated having to lift him over the small lip after my c-section. I then used a sleep positioner next to the co-sleeper to seal the crack and had him directly beside me, at boob level, well below the pillows. He kicks off all covers no matter what, so I cover myself as I please and allow him to be on top of the covers. Now that he's older, we've done away with the co-sleeper and I have a bed rail. BUT, our mattress if very deep and the bedrail really doesn't do anything, so I have a pillow and our Boppy wedged between the bedrail and the bed - this raises the level and prevents slipping into the crack. DS sleeps both on the edge and in the middle depending on how *I* want to sleep considering my body starts going numb & achy if I lay on one side or the other for too long. When he's in the middle, DH is extremely conscious of the baby being there - in fact, DS often falls asleep on daddy's arm these days!

Don't fear it, just know that it's totally natural and there is no more danger to having baby beside you than in another room all alone (unless, of course, you were going to be whacked out on booze or drugs which I sincerely doubt...
)
 

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We did a little bit of everything I've just read here...For the first couple months, DD slept either in my arms(I slept practically sitting up !), or in the side-sleeper bassinet. Then, we put her on the outer side of the bed(Daddy was afraid he'd roll over on her) with a rail guard, with me in the middle. Once she started moving around more, we moved her in between us, and it has been working wonderfully. As for blankets/pillows, my DD hates to be covered up, so I usually dress her a little more warmly, since I know she will kick off the blankets anyway. She is mainly on top of the bedding, and at about "boob-level" for easy feeding/away from the pillows.
I completely believe that we as mothers are "tuned in" when it comes to our children(especially their safety). Never once have we had a problem...My sleep is so different now. I get a very restful sleep, but it's also a very light sleep...Hard to describe. I naturally wake often to check on her, and a lot of times wake up right before she will start crying or moving.
 
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