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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm writing a book (it's been a long process, since I'm juggling 2 other careers at the same time) about parenting and other things, and I'm brainstorming different sleeping arrangements one could use for an infant.

Now, I obviously recommend co-sleeping (and I describe how to practice it safely), along with the other standard arrangements: cot, cradle, moses basket, co-sleeper side car, floor bed (montessori style).

However, I had another idea that I'm having a hard time getting a read on, since it's pretty unique (i.e., I can't find any safety protocols or products that fall in line with it), so I was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts.

You see, personally, I really love cradles for infants. I see the natural wood as being very beautiful, and the rocking being truly practical for helping a little one fall asleep (and back to sleep). However, it's obviously very unsafe to use a cradle past the age of 6 months (or sooner, depending on baby's physical development and the size of the cradle), as the baby could fall out. At this age, if their baby isn't co-sleeping, parents usually transition their baby from a cradle or bassinet to a crib. However, I absolutely hate cribs. perhaps it's the cage-like quality they have or the fact that it's hard to kiss baby goodnight once he's lying down, but they just feel the opposite of what I picture a good environment for a baby to be: warm, open, inviting, peaceful. So, instead of a crib, I thought it might be a nice idea to take the cradle off the rockers, and place it on the floor. I've seen some pretty large cradles that would still comfortably fit a baby in the 6-18 month range, with deep sides to boot. And if it was placed on the floor (sans rockers), there wouldn't be the same danger of baby tipping out and falling from a considerable height.

Since I've never personally tried this (I don't have a baby of my own, and no family I've worked for has ever used this arrangement) - nor have I known any family who has - I really have no experience with this arrangement. I've tried to research safety recommendations for this on the internet, but have come up dry, since apparently no one else has ever thought of doing this. It seems like a good idea to me, but I don't want to recommend anything to parents that isn't safe for their babies.

I should also mention that I am 100% in support of co-sleeping. I love co-sleeping (especially for infants under 9 months) and think it can be a wonderful sleeping arrangement. But since I'm writing to a large audience, I want to provide alternative ideas, because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all family. So, I'm just trying to brainstorm a sleeping arrangement for older infants that involves neither cribs nor co-sleeping, for those who aren't a fan of either.

What do you think? Have you ever tried this? Do you see any outstanding safety hazards that I've overlooked? Would you feel safe using this sleeping arrangement for your baby (bearing in mind that I only recommend using this if the baby is sleeping in the parents' room - not her own nursery)? Please, kindly tell me your thoughts. I would love a sounding board.
 

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Hi! I'm going to bump up this thread for you so hopefully you get a wider variety of answers!

I think it's an interesting idea, however it wouldn't have worked for us since our babies would have all crawled out of it by a year or shortly after. I always end up cosleeping with our babies from birth until about 6 months but after that point our babies tend to be sleeping through the night and I have various sleep needs due to health issues. So we end up using a crib for safety reasons, although I love the Montessori style of just mattress on the floor.

Hoping other chime in with other answers that could give you a better idea of what you are looking for!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been talking to some people about this idea. If I mention it on a parenting forum, I tend to get the one-liner, "babies can only safely sleep in cots/cribs; cribs/cradles are unsafe." In person and online, I've heard the following concerns: a) if the sides are deep, baby might try and crawl out, fall out head first, and injure herself (first idea that comes to mind would be to rest the cradle on top of a soft rug, sheepskin, or foam mat), b) that it's imperative that the sides of the cradle be barred, because apparently solid sides on a cradle decrease airflow, which increases SIDS risk, and c) the cradle being smaller (if only slightly) than a crib would be unsafe for a baby who's rolling over because he may not have room to roll back (still somewhat confused as to how this is an issue, because, presumably, if baby didn't have enough room to roll over from tummy to back, she wouldn't have enough room to roll from back to tummy in the first place). The decreased airflow argument makes some sense, but I'm wondering if there's any truth to it, given how many cradles have solid sides, and I haven't heard this concern until recently. Is there some safety literature on cradles that I'm missing? Perhaps it isn't widely known since the majority of babies do sleep in cots/cribs, but one would think there'd be a safety check list for crib/cradle sleepers, as well. My own sibling slept (well, took a few naps - he was a happy co-sleeper) in a cradle during infancy, and it had deep, solid sides. It was also big enough for my then 5 y/o brother to lie down in (it was a tight fit for a young child, but obviously roomy for an infant). So, thoughts? I'm I totally nuts to even entertain this idea? A lot of people seem concerned with the idea of a baby in a cradle (even a young infant), and I take that seriously, but then again, a lot of people think co-sleeping/bed sharing with an infant is basically a death trap for baby. What am I missing?
 

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Hm,good idea, but do most cradles have removable rockers? We put our babies in cradles early on for short periods during the day but neither could be taken apart. One did have barred sides though. Good luck finding more info.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hm,good idea, but do most cradles have removable rockers? We put our babies in cradles early on for short periods during the day but neither could be taken apart. One did have barred sides though. Good luck finding more info.:)
Yes, not all, but some are made in such a way that one can remove the cradle off the stand/rocker. They're usually called swinging cradles. I know this is the type we used with my younger brother when he was an infant.
 
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