Another question about co-sleeping and bedside cots(13 Posts)
I finally managed to get 2mo DS latched on in a side-lying position with no nipple pain. (Any tips on how to consistently get a good latch when lying down?) He has grown out of his moses basket and I find lifting him out of his crib to be hard on my back. So the idea of co-sleeping and bedside cots is back on the table. Your thoughts please:
1: (If I get a bedside cot) the baby's mattress will be at a particular height to match the adult bed. At what age would I expect that the height won't be safe for him? (i.e. if he was in a standard cot, when would I have to lower his mattress below the adult bed's height for safety?) Is this a similar age to when he'd outgrow the crib?
2: If you co-sleep in the family bed, how do you arrange the bedding? E.g. are you under the quilt with your baby on top of the quilt? Does your baby use a sleeping bag? What are the safest options?
1. I've got a normal cot bed with the base raised to the same height as our mattress and one side taken off. You don't need to buy one of those expensive side car cots, mine was a £75 Ikea one. You might have to modify it by cutting down the legs a bit and I would wedge it in between the bed and the wall or tie it on to your bed so you don't get any gaps. I've never had any safety issues where I've felt like I needed to lower the base, your DS will probably just crawl towards you rather than climb out of the end IYSWIM. Not sure how everyone else deals with this, I'd be interested to know. DD1 tends to prefer sleeping like a starfish on the bed anyway.
2. It's too hot for a quilt now but in the winter I have it up to my waist and then a large baby blanket over me and DD2. She's either in a vest or sleepsuit depending on how cold it is. I under-dress her rather than over-dress her because she is cuddling right up to me. DD1 has her own quilt.
Re- feeding lying down. It comes with practice, you'll both get better at it. Once he's got a bit more head control then feeding becomes so much easier in any position.
Latching lying down gets easier as they get bigger iirc. Make sure her mouth is level with the natural position of your nipple whilst lying so that you're not bending the boob or your back/shoulders at an unnatural angle, I found my shoulders and back were in agony otherwise.
1. We have a bedside cot level with our bed for our 13 month old, she hasn't tried to climb out yet, but she can crawl out of the cot on the bed side and get off the bed herself safely. we put our mattress on the floor until about a month ago though.
2. Bedding wise, I used to use a baby sleeping bag for dd (or light blanket/sheet if warm) and my quilt only came up to my waist. Then I wore a cardi or short dressing gown for warmth.
Thanks - if I can just check something about bedside cots, so when the baby can sit or stand up it is still safe to keep their mattress base at the same height as the adult bed (even though in a stand-alone cot the base would normally be lowered by now?), presumably because if the baby moves around in their cot you will wake and make sure they don't go over the top?
Sorry if I'm being dense, it's a combination of sleep-deprivation, first time at all this and not being sure at what age a normal cot's base would usually be lowered anyway.
Well, I wouldn't describe it as safe, but it's what we're doing! In the night, DS2 tends to crawl towards me, and never wakes up enough to attempt to climb out. I would wake and be aware of that happening anyway.
The problem is in the evening, when he is sleeping alone in the bedside cot. He is a light sleeper and wakes 1-2 times per evening. We have a baby monitor despite living in a small flat and sprint to get him if we hear a squeak. This is not ideal (I think sometimes he would self-settle if given a chance) but we haven't come up with a better solution yet!
We have a standard cot with the side taken off wedged up to my side of the bed. The mattresses are level.
When DS wakes I pull him over to feed then he usually stays the rest of the night in with us. I have the duvet down at waist level and make sure the pillows are out of his way (although he normally stays at nipple level!)
I found it was around the 3 month mark when I stopped having to think about latching and he was big enough to simply suck around a bit and find the right place Before then I would have to make sure he was on right or it would rub and eventually hurt.
Yes, once DS could pull himself up to standing, I wouldn't have felt safe leaving him alone in the cot/bed, but I wasn't leaving him alone in it anyway IYSWIM? Not awake in any case. We had a really rustly mattress protector and the monitor picked that up, so if he woke up and started crawling around I heard him. I also taught him to get down from the bed backwards as soon as I could, and I used to have huge piles of clothes by the sides of the bed anyway, so it would have been a soft landing.
You definitely wake up enough to be aware of what they are doing if they move around when you're sleeping next to them, but even if you didn't, they don't tend to try climbing out anyway as they aren't used to that being the route in and out of the cot, they just crawl out of the open side onto the bed and get in and out that way. (And generally what they want is you, not some mythical thing on the other side of the cot side)
I only started feeding lying down at 8 weeks because I couldn't manage it earlier. It gradually gets easier as they get bigger. I always had to lie my daughter's head on my arm to get her to the rght height. We'd sleep like that so I always knew she was safe as I could feel her.
My daughter's cot is between the wall and my bed with the mattress at the same height. She has never slept in it but I put her in it in the morning sometimes while I get ready. I have the side all the way up and there's no way she'd be able to climb out of it yet at 10 months.
I have always had her under the duvet until recently when it's become too warm so it's now just over our legs.
I should have clarified-she can pull herself up to stand and is very mobile, the cot side's just too high to climb over from standing.
Yes DS fell out once or twice - both times when I left him far too close to the wrong side of the bed.
Thanks very much to everyone for your responses. I have become a very light sleeper so I'm confident that I'd wake when DS does. I think that having a cot beside the adult bed will suit us. I had wondered if this would be another short-term option (like the current moses basket), so thanks for the reassurance that DS learning to sit up won't mean the end of side/co-sleeping. We've been lucky enough to have been loaned a moses basket and crib so I want anything I buy to be a longer-term solution that still allows us to sleep in the same room.
Try pulling baby down the bed a bit and into you when latching on to get a good asymmetrical latch with their head tilted back.
DD is now 7mo and when we do co-sleep (we've never done it full time but have co-slept part-time since she was about 2 weeks old) she's in a lightweight grobag and I tuck the duvet round me. In the early days, I wore long-sleeved tops (it was December!) with the divet only over my feet and she had a cellular blanket. It's far less of a worry now as, even in her grobag, she can wriggle round the bed fine - and quite often chases me across the bed when I'm trying to get some peace and she's done sleeping!
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