How do you keep the family bed safe with newly mobile baby?

Kimberly - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Our son has been beginning his night's sleep in a co-sleeper attached to our bed then joining us in the family bed after he wakes up for the first time. At 9 months, he is becoming increasingly mobile and will soon be able to climb out of his co- sleeper. How do you safely leave a mobile baby in the family bed when you are not there (i.e. nap time, early bed time)?
We can not put our mattress on the floor because we have a large dog that we do not want on the bed with baby.
Thank you in advance for your help. :)

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Andrea - posted on 07/01/2010

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This reminded me of something else. My kids were climbers from before they could walk. One of the first things I did was teach them to get off anything feet first and sliding backward, including the beds. It came in handy because they climbed up on the dining table to check out my computer (they were about 13 months old and just started to walk a few weeks before that) and one of them had the sense of stopping and he went back onto the chair but the other had such a great fun he waked all over it and decided to get off on the other side where there was no chair. I filmed this and I caught him as he landed on the floor. He is still the one who has no impulse control, thinks he is the biggest strongest kid on Earth. He is the reason we have plexi glass installed on the second floor up to the ceiling on top of the the railing. We are not sure what to do with the railing on the staircase.
He recently told me that he always wanted to try to jump off the second floor to the main because it looks like fun and we have 9 foot ceilings so of course I am freaking out about this. So now I can't sleep and I keep waking up with every little noise. Anyway, sometimes prevention is enough but teaching them more skills to stay safe is also an option in some cases and every kid is different so that's a consideration.

Melissa - posted on 07/01/2010

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I know every baby is different, but from day 1 my kids were in my bed and all I did was put pillows around them while they were sleeping. When they woke up, they never tried to get off of the bed on their own, they would sit at the pillows and make a bunch of noise or yell for me.

I would try it with your son. Put him on your bed and sit close by on the floor, see if he will just dive off or if he will be cautious. I wouldn't call to him or have him jump to you, as you don't want it to become a game of getting off the bed, just stay close by so he doesn't fall and see what he will do on his own.

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Melissa - posted on 07/02/2010

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Andrea! You are so right! It has been SOOOO long since I had a baby that I forgot about teaching them how to get off the of the bed, couch, whatever else they climbed up on, safely!

Having two boys I definitely always had someone climbing on something when they were babies. You do have to teach them how to get down safely. I did this both times as soon as they could crawl!

Andrea - posted on 06/30/2010

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We don't keep the dogs where the kids are. I am not sure how this would work for us if we didn't have the room to have the dogs somewhere else, out of the bedroom.
We had the mattress on the floor. Screwed all of the furniture to the wall, removed everything that was not necessary in the room (even pictures from the wall that could potentially fall), plugged all electrical outlets and installed a new outlet close to the ceiling so they couldn't reach it. We put a gate to the door, removed curtains from the windows and replaced it with black out curtain that was cut to size and fixed to the glass. Now we have a roller blind without cords. Only safe and quiet toys were kept in the bedroom.
We used the cribs as toddler beds, removed the side and put a bed rail with both ends open so they could get out of bed safely. Only one of my kids was a climber out of the crib. We put the double mattress on the floor beside the cribs.
When we slept on the floor mattress we tired the bed rail on one side but I figured they would go over that too and it just added height to fall over so we stopped that nonsense. They are the safest close to the floor, they can't fall from there.

My kids are 5 and we still have gates to keep the dogs away from the kids because my dogs are seniors with health issues and my kids are active and noisy. It is easier for use to respect everyone's needs (dogs and kids) when they all have their own space. I don't know if I had a different approach with a younger healthy dog though. I like them separated.

Brenda - posted on 06/30/2010

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We have a bedrail. I ditched the cosleeper because my son refused to sleep in it. But for nap times, early bed times, I snuggle him up against the bedrail. My little man lets you know when he wakes up though. Now at 14 months he gets on and off the bed like a pro. I think Lisa used to put her little one on a pallet during naps.

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