How do you co-sleep safely?
I love co-sleeping with my son, and have done so with both my boys. It is such a rewarding experience! Everyone always questions me about how I keep him from getting smothered and, as said below, you are just aware. My husband is a much more sound sleeper but I don't worry as he doesn't roll around :) My toddler now sleeps soundly in his own bed approx. 12 hours per night so with a newborn, I get a better sleep while co-sleeping and nursing. He just fits so perfectly curled in beside me, I swear it was meant to be like that :)
My husband and have co-slept with both our kiddos off and on since birth. They sleep better, we sleep better and most importantly we all sleep more. So many cultures co-sleep and have stronger family bonds than we do in the West, and there is a lot data that suggests that co-sleeping eliminates SIDS that it was a no brainer for us. Our babies start out in a bassinette but then move to the bed when it's time to nurse, we have continued the transition to a toddler bed and crib. They start out in Thierry room and then come into ours around 2 am. We have a bed rail on our bed and so I don't worry about them falling out.
People say they worry about rolling on them in the night but think about it, you haven't rolled out of bed in your sleep since you were five, somehow your body knows where the edge of the bed is. I am almost too aware of where my babies are in the bed, I've actually caught my son in my sleep as he falling out of bed one time when we were sleeping at a hotel. I woke up holding his ankles. It was amazing!
In order to truly co-sleep safely, you MUST be in a breastfeeding relationship with your child! There is a unique symbiosis that cannot be duplicated in a formula fed relationship. Keeping the infant on the outside of the bed instead of between the parents is also important. Do not use heavy blankets. It is helpful to have the bed against the wall with a body pillow blocking the crevice between bed and wall, or use a child's bedrail. I love co-sleeping with my children, but realize that it may last longer than appreciated by both parents. I recommend reading any Dr Sears or Elizabeth Pantley books for more specified tips on how to make this work for your family.
Co-sleeping just felt like the right thing to do when my children were born. At first I would just sleep in bed with them. My husdand is a more sound sleeper and we wanted to be as safe as possible. A couple years after cosleeping with my son we found out he had autism. Having that bond with him already has done wonders for his therapy. I truly believe that if we wouldn't of co slept as well as done some other key attachment parenting strategies he would be on a different road. Building trust with your babies brings so much love into that relationship. Like Summer said so many other cultures aready do this safely so why shouldn't we as well. Enjoy co-sleeping with your baby and getting more sleep than those other mommies :)
First, it is important to set apart "co-sleeping" from "bed-sharing". Co-sleeping means having your child in the same room as you and is recommended as a good idea in infancy. Bed-sharing is what people caution all new mommies against and is having the child in the bed with you. With my first baby, I can tell you all that I cried and stressed each night for the first week of being home. My baby screamed and cried each time I put her down in her bassinet. But I was terrified that I would kill her if I let her sleep with us. Then, one night I just laid down with her on my chest after nursing and fell asleep. We had her sleep with us each night for the first three months. And let me tell you, when suddenly, she wanted to sleep in her own crib at four months, I cried again.
With our second, I had her in the bed with me at the hospital. She had breathing irregularities that have since turned to asthma, and the only way I could get her to breath normal was to put her in the bed with me. She is 15 months now and sleeps in her own bed at night.
My kids are both normal and, believe me, they are not anymore dependent than any other kid their ages.
When both my boys were newborns and infants I would only co-sleep once they woke to nurse. Then I would keep my arms wrapped around them. When they were old enough to roll around the bed then I wouldn't put my armaround them anymore all night. By then you are use to them being there. I would also in the beginning put a pillow between dad and baby till he was use to it too. Now we have a family bed. My youngest just recently stop nursing so once he wakes at night I still let him in our bed. My oldest sleeps pretty much all night now. So only when he has bad dreams does get come in anymore.
My daughter co-slept with us till she was 4. Being from India, we naturally gravitate towards co-sleeping because that's what our cultural conditioning is like. We co-slept with our parents (I did till I was 3) and we just find it more natural and infinitely more convenient than putting a child to sleep in a crib in a separate room and then getting up a million times a night and walking from one room to the other.
When she was really small, we were just super aware of her in the bed, even when we were sleeping soundly -- which wasn't too often because we had to get up to feed etc. (The aware thing -- it's how one always wakes up half n hour before the alarm rings?) Your body adjusts to having a small person in the bed and your mind is just more alert without it disturbing your sleep. We just followed some basic precautions like putting two bolsters next to her while she slept, and not keeping folded clothes, blankets on the head-side of the bed because my mom said kids can sometimes pull it over their heads as they sleep.
Make sure that you're breastfeeding, sleeping on a firm mattress, non smokers, no alcohol, drugs etc and make sure that the baby is not covered by a duvet, quilt etc. If you are not comfortable with having the baby in your bed, then you can have a side car cot, or your cot pushed against the bed, co sleeping means having your baby within arms reach and not in another room and it's one of the leading ways to prevent SIDS as is a smoke free environment.
I co-sleep safely with my newborn and my toddler by having wall-to wall beds. My husband and i sleep in a queen size and we have a twin size on his side for our toddler and a crib mattress- elevated to our bed- on my side for our newborn. This works out great and makes breastfeeding so easy but somehow they both end up in bed with us at times. We wouldn't have it any other way :)
I was terrified of my son getting rolled on or tangled under the blankets but from birth he refused to sleep apart from me. He is now 13 months and sleeps all night in his own room. For the 9 months we co-slept we would sleep on our sides facing eachother with his head laying on my outstreched arm. It was the only way I could get any sleep knowing that I could feel him there all night. It gave him access to nursing without waking too much as well. We also tucked our blankets/sheets down really low so they would only come up to our waist. (I learned to wear longsleeves when it got cold.) It was annoying that I had to move the baby everytime I switched sides but amazingly it didn't wake him. Although I fell alsepp quickly, I don't think I ever slept all that soundly.
i co sleep with my new born, i do this safely by not putting him under my duvet. my bed is also kingsize and i dont have a partner either and i sleep one side while my son has the other. he sleeps better this way as he feels separated from me when he sleeps in his basket
a good friend of mine lost her 4 month old son..He was sleeping in the bed with his father and father's new girlfriend, and the father rolled over on him.. This happens more times than not... Having to get up several times in the night and go to your baby is a much better ending, then not being able to hold your baby at all ever again. I have watched the pain and suffering that this family has went through, and urge anyone who has questions about this to go to the following facebook pages and see for yourself.
Both our boys started out in a "co-sleeper" at night for the first 6 months or so. This is basically a basinet that attaches to the side of the bed. Often they would be in bed between me and the co-sleeper, so that if they were to roll, they'd roll right into the co-sleeper rather than off the bed. They napped in their cribs, and sometimes went into their cribs after they nursed for whatever I thought would be the last time of the night. Both my husband and I enjoyed having them close to us at night, and not having to get in and out of bed for feedings (though as a newborn, my oldest pooped almost every time he nursed, so I usually still needed to get up to change him in the beginning). There is something so beautiful about falling asleep with your baby in your arms, or nursing. Those are some of my favorite memories of their infancies. My husband and I got some laughs, though, when a number of times (up to a year after our son was no longer co-sleeping), my husband would wake up in the middle of the night, freaking out that he had lost the baby in the bed, saying "Where's the baby!?!" Strangely enough, this hadn't happened when the baby was actually co-sleeping with us, just after he moved out of our bed...
I think their are things you can do to make bed sharring "safer" just as there are things you can to make crib sleeping safer. I wouldn't use one of those temporpedic mattresses or mattress covers. Or one of those pillows that is the same way. Anything that can form to the baby's face and be hard for them to push them self out of. Also, don't use real heavy blankets over them. Most people would have done this anyways, but If you have a master bath, put a child lock on it so you know that if they wake up and slide out of bed without waking you, they aren't going to get into trouble in the bathroom.
I co-sleep/bed share with both my kids (they are 3 and 18 months) and it works for me and my hubby. Judge away. I breastfed the oldest and still do the youngest, and that's kinda what led to the them staying in bed all night with us. It just worked. It put us both to sleep lol Long story short, I had my daughter in her own crib for most of the night when her brother was born s-section and I could no longer lift her out after my hubby went to work. Since we didn't feel she could be trusted to stay in a big girl bed at the time, we didn't move her to one until she was about 2.5 years old. Now she falls asleep playing with my hair and I move her to her own bed in my room. The little one slept in his own bed just fine until he was six months old and decided mom's arm made a better bed. I don't mind most nights :). You have an awareness... It's hard to discribe.... I always check the pillows to make sure they aren't too close to their heads (especially when they are little) and I am a light sleeper that does not roll much. My hubby has his half and we have ours. We all sleep better knowing we are together :)
I think Co-Sleeping is up to the parents.. Both of my kids were brestfeed and we hardly ever had them in the bed with us... We are big people my Husband is 6'5 and 300 lbs and I am almost 6 foot myself... We felt it was safer for our new born to sleep in a crib next to us... As my son got older we found him in the bed with us more and more... I don't think the breast feeding is the only reason to Co-sleep.. My daughter brestfeed also and she never slept with us she never slept well in the bed with us and to this day if she sleeps with anyone she won't sleep... So to each there own good luck on your journys of parent hood...,
I started with a "co-sleeper" bassinet, but from the first night I learned that if I moved my daughter at all, she would wake up, and that meant for at least 2 hours (which at 2 or 4 am was NOT a good thing!). I then started putting her on the futon I slept on and would just nurse her from beside me (I'm a single mom). When she was rolling over, around 4 months, I made sure she was on the wall side, and I slept on the outside (it was a huge bed, I'm a light sleeper, and I don't move when I sleep). I soon chose to put the futon mattress on the floor, and sleep with her that way, so there was no rolling off the bed problem. It has worked fine for us. She is now 3.5, and sleeping soundly next to me at this moment. She has been in preschool (I'm a preschool teacher, she is not in my class, though) since she was 2 years old, and has no problem going down to sleep for naps on her own. She can go to sleep on her own and in her own bed if she chooses, and she knows that. Sometimes she chooses, that, but usually asks if she can sleep or "snuggle" with me. We have talked about when she might want to be in her own bed, and she says when she is her next number (4), and we'll see. I was an attachment parent, and am very happy with the confident, independent, good-sleeping daughter she is. I think as I begin dating and having more serious relationships it may be interesting to see how dynamics change, but for now, I think the security of us sleeping together works well. I used to sleep with my younger sister (3 years apart) as much as possible when I was little. We had bunk beds in our rooms and would have slumber parties on a pull out couch in the basement. I remember how sad I felt when she moved to her own room when she was 6. We are still close sisters, and I think wanting to co-sleep (or share a family bed, I guess is more accurate) is natural for certain people. My mom, on the other hand, grew up on a farm where she was forced to sleep with her younger brothers and sisters (she was the oldest) and did not want us to suffer the same childhood! She did NOT like the "sibling bed" and so only allowed us to sleep in the "parent" bed if we were ill. You will know for yourself if you are a "co-sleeper/family bed parent or not. Trust yourself and you will be fine, whatever you choose :)
I didn't co-sleep with my first two kids except on occassional naps where we would snuggle up (and still do with them being 6 and 3) and my hubby isn't in the bed. But this time around I had twins and it was almost necessary for them to be that close to me for me to get any sleep as it eliminates the getting up and moving around all night from room to room. My hubby sleeps too hard (he will roll over on me quite often without caring (at least hes not overweight!) So he slept in the basement. I never had any issues about squishing them at all, as the tiniest sigh from the has me alert. I actually slept harder with them there b/c I knew I would here them and it naturally kept me from tossing and turning. they did however get moved to their own room at 3 months when they started sleeping through the night.
We had our firstborn sleep with us til he was 3 months, then he got too mobile and I couldn't sleep so we had him in a pack-n-play in our room. Sometimes I would fall asleep during night feedings, but then wake up when he moved and put him to bed. Our mattress was on the floor so I just put a couple blankets or pillows on the floor in case but he never fell out of bed. He slept in an adjoining room from 6 months until he was almost 2, and we never had a problem with him sleeping in his own space.
With my first daughter I had her sleep on my chest for a while til she got too heavy, then she slept in a bassinet next to our bed. Many nights i fell asleep rocking the bassinet with my foot, she wouldn't sleep without motion. Then a nurse friend realized that she couldn't breathe right lying on her back so I laid her on her side propped with blankets and it did the trick. Again I nursed in bed most nights, and would sleep sometimes a couple hours that way, but eventually i would wake and back in her bed she would go. She stayed in our room until she was 2 (in a pack-n-play after she outgrew the bassinet), and it only took about a week to transition her to her own room. We use child safety gates to keep our children safe in their rooms at night; no closed doors so we can hear if they need us. They sleep on mattresses on the floor to eliminate the problem of falling out of bed. I wish my parents had done that! We have a mattress foundation now, but no frame, and I love the peace of mind that it's not terribly far to the floor! (Also good for sex, BTW!)
This last girl would not sleep any way but on her stomach, no matter where she was. but because i was concerned that she might stop breathing she slept with me much longer. I could hear her breathing and know she was fine. Before she could move too much I kept her in bed with a rolled up comforter which i pinned under my pillow and between my legs, and that worked quite well for both of us, as I required that very comforter/body pillow-like arrangement to sleep during pregnancy! When she outgrew that she was old enough to sleep by herself in a pack-n-play next to our bed! She is 8 months... we will see what happens, but her 2-yr-old sister is begging for her to share her room... I just might take her up on the offer before she changes her mind! LOL
I have co-slept with my son when he was born. I can sometimes get him to go to sleep in his own bed. But he always comes and sleeps with me at 3 am. Sometimes when he wont go to sleep and we have to be up early I will have him sleep with me. I don't know I never rolled over on him but im just glad that i havent. And I never sleep with him drunk because i drink but don't get drunk.
You don't. It's not safe (per several studies) and creates horrible sleeping habits for you, your spouse, and your child. Do you want to create needy and cranky child or an independent, well behaved, person with self confidence. I have yet to see a single exception. It starts with sleep.