We went through countless sleeping arrangements with my first son, Jack. I knew he slept better when he was near me, but I feared bed-sharing. Once I learned more about co-sleeping, the benefits for both mom and baby, the protection against SIDS and the breastfeeding support, I was open to trying more things.
1. If I napped on the couch I made sure he was safe in a bassinet. I also pulled it to the bedroom to sleep in my bed at night. My son never slept well in the bassinet. 2. We decided to share a bed so we made a sidecar crib. 3. Once he started to crawl I was afraid he would fall out of the bed so we placed our mattresses on the floor. 4. The only person who ever slept in the crib was me! So we decided to simply get a twin mattress and make a giant family bed.
Bed-sharing became the right option for us, but only after tons of trial and error. Bed-sharing may or may not be right for you and you might be wondering what your options are! There are tons of options for sharing a sleep space with your baby. Once you know what the guidelines are for keeping the space safe then you can set up your own sleeping arrangement that fits your unique needs. Review the safe co-sleeping guidelines before setting up your own space.
A quick reminder of ways to keep the space safe.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t drink or use drugs.
- Use a firm mattress and no fluffy blankets or pillows with babies.
- Never sleep with your baby on a couch or chair.
- No space between the walls where baby can slip.
- Babies should not sleep with older siblings.
- Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep.
- All adults should be comfortable with the decision to bed share.
I have found that as my family grew my children got older the options were really endless. Our family bed is one of our favorite things about parenting. Here are some real life photos of families co-sleeping with their children!
The Co-Sleeper: You can purchase sleepers to go directly next to the bed for easy access.
The Sidecar: You can push your crib with the front side removed against your bed. (Secure against a wall or you can stretch bungee cord under the crib to the bed frame to avoid open spaces where baby can slip). You can also place your mattress and crib mattress on the floor.
Toddler beds near adult bed:
Brandi sleeps on a mattress next to the toddler bed to help with transition.
Toddler bed and mattress on the floor for options. -Chaela
King and twin mattress with bed rail. -Liza
Fit as many as you want. -Dena
Skin to skin for all ages. -Monica
Even for tandem nursing. Use lots of pillows to support your arms! -Patricia
Don’t expect any respect. -Shanda
You can also look here for more photos of safe co-sleeping!