Co-sleeping needs(4 Posts)
Apologies if this is in the wrong place or has been done before - not had much luck in finding the info I seek.
I'm almost 39 weeks pregnant with my first, and plan on co-sleeping from the start. I've read many books and articles, and am very happy that this is the right thing for me and DH. What I'm having trouble finding is a really practical list of what we need. I think what we've decided to do is for me and and the baby to sleep in our bed (very, very good quality pocket sprung mattress) while DH sleeps in the spare room initially. That way I can sleep towards the middle of the bed and have the baby next to me in danger of falling out. DH and I are both fine with this, and he'll move back in once we're confident we won't push the baby out.
My questions are more about clothing and bedding. What should I cover myself and the baby with? I've read that a newborn shouldn't be under a duvet with its mother - should I have a duvet for me and a baby blanket for the baby? I don't use any synthetic bedding at all - everything is 100% organic cotton or bamboo. I sleep naked and plan on breastfeeding on demand throughout the night. But then how does this work if the baby is under its own covering rather than mine?
What does the baby wear? I guess it will need less clothing than a baby sleeping in a moses basket, as it will have my warmth as well. But what should it wear? As it is due any day now the nights are neither warm nor cold. I sleep with my window open, and we haven't had a need for the heating yet. So my room always has ventilation but is not terribly warm. Should I dress the baby in a long-sleeved sleepsuit? Does it need a hat? Or just a short-sleeved sleepsuit? With long or short legs?
You can see I feel woefully underprepared! I just want to do what's best for the baby (hence being very keen on co-sleeping) but have found it hard to find practical advice as it seems to be against 'official' protocol to promote co-sleeping. Any advice from co-sleeping veterans muchly appreciated.
To start with I would buy a bed guard or two bed guards in case you need to get up during the night and your LO is at the stage of rolling around. I would stuff the gap between the bed and the bedguard (yes, there will be a tiny gap) with a towel so the LO can't get stuck in anyway. We had dd in a vest and nappy and I wore breastfeeding nightie and we slept under a cotton sheet (not too high, so well away from my dd's face. Initially no pillows at all (can suffocate in pillows) and we kept the room at a comfortable temperature. When it got colder I bought a large cotton bed spread from John Lewis. You may also put a mattress protector on in case the nappy shifts or if you want to keep nappy off if she has nappy rash. TBH dd emitted lots of heat and kept me kind of warm (I feel usually cold). She loved co-sleeping and it helped us to get a reasonable amount of sleep. We usually lay curled up facing each other, she folded her legs above my knees, laying her lower legs against me, very close together. The oddest thing was, that no matter how tired I felt, I always woke up just before she woke up. We co-slept without any problems for quite a while. So good luck, it can work really well.
It all depends how your baby behaves tbh, I ended up sleeping on my back propped up on a couple of pillows with the baby on my chest most nights for the first few weeks because he wouldn't stay asleep if I put him down. Now he's a bit bigger he is much happier on his own patch of bed next to me so I have a bedspread up to my waist and a long sleeved top/nursing bra to keep my top half warm and catch the leaks, and he has a nappy + vest +/- long sleeved sleepsuit +/- baby sleeping bag depending on the temperature (the sleeping bags quite often come with a guide on room temperature and what clothing is appropriate), so he doesn't need any bedding per se. He sleeps with his head at the level of my chest so my pillows are nowhere near his face.
Hats are not recommended indoors because it can lead to baby overheating.
You will find your own way, just use your common sense to make sure your little one will be safe They say that it is better to have them slightly cool than too hot btw - it is normal for hands/arms to be cool, but if you feel the tummy or between the shoulder blades it gives you a better idea - if baby is too hot or sweaty then just remove a layer of clothing.
Oh and PS. I definitely agree with dikkertjedap about getting a mattress protector/waterproof sheet!! HTH
There's no firm evidence to show that duvets are more dangerous than other bedding for your baby - if you breastfeed you will find you curl round your baby so their body isn't completely surrounded by the duvet anyway. It is important to make sure their head doesn't get completely covered, whatever you use. I was searching for a picture of how this works, and funnily this came up - sweet, and a dad in the classic co-sleeping 'pose'! If you're bf baby will be a bit lower down, facing you and so further away from the pillows.
The general rule re clothing is not more than you - I always slept naked tho, and often I'd find my winter baby got uncovered, so she usually had a vest on.
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