General Question

Cupcake's avatar

I have a co-sleeping question.

Asked by Cupcake (11511 points ) November 21st, 2012

I have a breastfeeding 10 month old. I put him to bed at 7pm in his crib (in his room) after I have nursed or cuddled him to sleep. When he invariably wakes up, I bring him into bed with me and my husband.

There have been a few nights where I wanted to start off with him sleeping in our bed (he was sick). I can’t think of a way to have him sleep in our bed safely unless I am there with him… and I don’t really want to go to bed for the night at 7pm.

Does anyone have experience here? I don’t know what to do other than lay in bed for hours and try to go to sleep. Can I leave him in our room with the monitor? What would I need to do to secure the sides of our bed?

What do other families do? All go to sleep at the same time? Stay up later? Hang out for the night in the bedroom? Put the mattress on the floor? I can’t really imagine how we would babyproof our whole bedroom… but I suppose we could.

Thoughts? Experiences? Advice?

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18 Answers

tom_g's avatar

We co-slept with all 3 of my kids. Our beds (box + mattress) were on the floor. You have a pretty strong one right now (10 months). You can certainly use a monitor if it eases your mind. What in particular are you concerned about? If it’s falling, then you could throw a bunch of pillows/cushions on the sides of the bed and use a monitor.

janbb's avatar

I would put bolsters – maybe rolled up blankets around him, pillows on the floor and then check on him frequently. Or can you put him back in his crib after he’s fallen asleep?

Seek's avatar

I co-slept with mine. He’s not much of a sleeper, though. If he ever did go to sleep early, we’d justlay him on the bed and surround him with pillows or a rolled up quilt. Always on his back, of course, though he didn’t let that last more than about five minutes. ^_^

Cupcake's avatar

I guess I’m making a bigger deal than there needs to be. It just feels so taboo and “naughty” for me to leave him alone and not in his crib.

I feel like pediatricians/medicine/public health approach co-sleeping with parents like abstinence-only education for teens (and leave me feeling unprepared to make my own decisions). I am far more educated and competent than I feel.

tom_g's avatar

@Cupcake: “I guess I’m making a bigger deal than there needs to be.”

You should be comfortable with your decisions on sleeping, etc. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone. But for those of us who do, we do it for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is certainly that it makes life easier. If you are concerned about safety and can’t seem to work it into your life, it might not make sense for you.

Good luck.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

My apologies, I’m not much of an expertise in regards to co sleeping but I think there are some obvious resolutions. Does he sleep the entire night when in your bed? What are his sleeping patterns?

He’s probably more ataken to the mattress so if you opt for him to sleep on it when you’re gone you need bed railing. What made you decide to co sleep? If it is emulating an environment that has been successful then you might try and make the crib more comfortable. Otherwise you’d have to move night stands and furniture away from the bed, furnish the floor with inch high and several cushion, position the child within the sheets firmly as for them to move slightly but with resistance

It doesn’t seem like you want to co sleep for any reason other than ritually in which case it might not be best. I understand you’re wanting to be apt in in this process, do not feel foolish as professionals only want to make things as clear as possible

janbb's avatar

I think if you think of it as an occasional practical solution to a problem rather than a large philosophical decision, it makes it easier to use as a tool. I think we as new parents sometimes get too hung up in the larger implcations of decisions and lose our common sense.

Seek's avatar

Oh! One trick an old friend told me when I was pregnant that I like to pass on:

When the baby likes to hold you to fall asleep, but won’t stay asleep after you’re gone:

Hold him to sleep, put him down, take off your shirt or bra and lay it next to him. Then he can still smell you when he’s sleeping and will stay asleep! Works a treat. I used to keep rotating my nursing bras: Wear one, keep one in the car for fussy car trips, wash one.

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @Seek_Kolinahr. Many times the baby just misses moms scent. I had a friend who would leave her pjs in the crib.
As for me, my daughter would do the same and as soon as I heard her make fussing noises I would go in and gently pat her. If I waited till she was in full swing crying then I would have to take her in my arms and rock her to sleep again. If she was still half asleep the patting would put her back into a sound sleep again until morning.
After a while, she didn’t need it and would sleep all night long.

newtscamander's avatar

My aunts had this cot (sorry, I can only find it on the german amazon), which makes it possible for the baby to be right next to the parents, and if they weren’t in the bed, they would secure the side facing the bed with a breast-feeding pillow, so that, should the baby roll around in its cot, it wouldn’t be able to reach the mattress and there would be no risk of falling from the bed.

I don’t know if this could solve your problem, the Babybay just came to my mind when I read your post.

augustlan's avatar

You could use a co-sleeping crib. Another solution I’ve seen lately is to use pool noodles under the fitted sheet, as a ‘bed rail’.

Judi's avatar

@augustlan took my answer. My daughter had a co sleeper and loved it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

For a while I fought co-sleeping here & there. It began with our son needing to sleep in the swing. Of course I wanted that in the room with us, to keep an eye on him. After he outgrew the swing, into the crib he went. However, sleep just wasn’t possible for my son without me, so we moved the crib into our room. After a few weeks of sleepless nights, into our bed he went.

As for your specific question: Yes, we left the monitor in our room. I’d put him to sleep, monitor on, and take the handset with me.

I know many families that put the mattresses on the floor. Then to ween the kids out of the family bed, they put the kids mattresses on the floor in their room…then keep weening from there.

hearkat's avatar

21 years ago, there was no such thing as a co-sleeping crib, so I just took the side rail off the regular crib, lowered the mattress to align with the bed, and secured it between the bed and the wall. Darn! Another invention I could have made a mint on!! It didn’t occur to me to design and market it!

Shippy's avatar

It’s really a personal choice. But personally I would prefer the marital bed to remain my partners and mine. I have seen some kids just never move out of the bed. A good book is Dr Spock, he talks a lot about how to get kids to go to sleep and create a routine in terms of this type of thing. I know its an old book, but it works.

sarahsugs's avatar

You can use mesh bed rails to keep your little one safe.

If you do a google search for “cosleeping safety” a lot of information will come up. I don’t think you’re making too big a deal of this at all. When you are assured that he is sleeping safely you will be able to relax and enjoy the rest of your evening without feeling like you have to check on him every 5 minutes!

Cupcake's avatar

Thanks guys. I’m not concerned at all with long term implications, and am not going to purchase another crib/cosleeper nor move his crib into our room. Most nights he goes to sleep in his room just fine. My concern was about having a newly-mobile infant alone on a queen mattress on a frame off the ground on an infrequent basis. He is far too large and mobile for pillows or noodles to be safety measures as he could easily climb over them (and would then be even higher for his eventual fall to the ground). Since my husband would never go for our mattress on the floor, it looks like pillows on the floor or a mesh bedrail are the best options for the infrequent whole-night cosleeping.

Rarebear's avatar

I recommend a book. I’m on my phone so can’t link. Healthy sleep habits, happy child. It became out bible and our daughter was going to bed at 7 pm up until she was 10 years old.

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