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Converting a crib to cosleeper bed? And safely avoiding cosleeping?

(6 Posts)
RattieOfCatan Tue 21-Jun-16 07:06:44

I'm pregnant with my first and trying to work out arrangements for sleep. I categorically wouldn't be able to cosleep safely due to the way I sleep (wrapped in blankets and I tend to hug a pillow to keep my chest open due to chest problems). I'm fine with that as I know that it just won't work but I want to have baby close to me and accessible and therefore would love a cosleeping crib.

So, I wondered if anybody had converted a normal crib into a cosleeper? From my research on it people say this is very possible and works brilliantly for them. Wedge the crib against the wall and bed against the crib, tie the two together securely and place a rolled towel between the mattresses if they aren't flush. Does this actually work in practice with a newborn though? Would I be better getting a 'proper' cosleeper despite the cost? We also have a duvet that's a size bigger than the bed, could this cause issues? I'm happy to hack a crib so that it still has side bars just lower down so that nothing can get moved onto baby if that is an issue but so that they are still easily accessible,like the zip up side of the cosleeper beds I guess but just using the usual crib side partway up whilst the baby is still small.

I'm also concerned about accidental cosleeping. I reckon that DH would be able to safely cosleep with baby but I worry about myself, especially as it'll likely be me doing the feeding at night (hopefully bf at night!) I know that this is one of the benefits of cosleeping for many women but I'm so worried I would just drop I off during a feed. Would I be better getting out of bed and going to a different room? Or just sitting up in bed?

Leicfox1 Tue 21-Jun-16 10:24:22

My ds is now 12 weeks and my first baby. I really regret not getting a bedside crib. He slept in the normal crib on his first night at home and then not again until this week. For the first 4 weeks, I breastfed, and every time I tried to drop him into the crib asleep he would wake up. After a few days I gave up and fed lying down on the bed, and when he fell asleep while feeding on his side, I would leave him there. After 4 weeks, we got a sleepyhead, and he would sleep in that, placed on the bed with us either side of him.

I tried taking one side off the crib and putting it next to the bed. But my husband tested it just before we put ds in, and the bottom fell through! The bottom is a relatively thin piece of wood that slots into the grooves of the sides, and it needs all 4 sides there to keep it in place. This week we have put the crib next to the bed with all 4 sides, placed the sleepyhead inside, and - touch wood - ds seems fine with it. But it's been 12 long weeks of stress having him in our bed!

I think that the people who convert are talking about full size cots with proper bases rather than a crib? But i might be wrong, there might be cribs out there that have better bases then ours, a swinging crib from John Lewis.

I watched TV or went on my phone to stop myself falling asleep if I was in the chair feeding. I wasnt bothered about falling asleep while feeding lying down, I just put my bottom elbow under my head so that I would lean back rather than forward if I did roll (though it never happened). I watch TV now during the nighttime bottle feed, it doesn't seem to bother ds or stop him from going back to sleep quickly.

MyBreadIsEggy Tue 21-Jun-16 10:31:24

I had the Chicco Next to Me co-sleeper crib for my first baby. It was so worth the money!!
When she was really tiny, and feeding constantly, she was in my bed with me purely because it was easier to just whack a boob out and let her go at it than sit up, pick her up out of the crib, get comfortable to feed her and then settle her back to sleep in the crib again! But as she got a little bit older and was feeding less frequently at night, the crib was great!
Personally I wouldn't bastardise a normal crib to turn it into a co-sleeper because of safety concerns I would have. I got my Chicco crib for £140 brand new, but I've seen lots for sale second hand for much less! smile

RattieOfCatan Tue 21-Jun-16 11:14:06

leic Sorry, I do mean proper cots rather than cribs, I have been thinking about this for days and woke up early this morning so thought I'd post and got my words mixed up blush I do mean a proper, full sized cot that has a side removed and is adapted to fit next to the bed like a cosleeper would be!

My concern with falling asleep whilst feeding is more because of my sleeping habits. I'm concerned that if I were lying down I would end up using baby like a would my chest pillow ("hugging" it!) or that I would pull the blanket back over myself and wrap it round. Both cases I could see happening as even when asleep I wrap myself in covers and if I drop the pillow off of the bed I wake up. I don't mind nodding off on the sofa or sitting up though! But I would likely have my pad next to me so I could use that and play games or MN in the early hours.

I do not think that I can personally cosleep safely, at all, because of my sleeping habits. Which is the only reason why cosleeping is out of the question for us and why I'm looking at having a co sleeper because I do want that closeness even if I can't have them in the bed with me. I have looked at the co-sleeper cribs and did want one at first but I'm a bit put off by their cost, especially if a normal cot would do the job just as well and be for significantly longer. I also would be lacking space so even once baby moves into a normal cot they would be in the same place in our room, probably until their young toddler years! So I'd probably take the side off of a cot at that point anyway.

YokoUhOh Tue 21-Jun-16 11:19:40

I found a normal cot with the side off wasn't very effective for this purpose with DS1. The Chicco Next2Me is worth every penny with DS2 (I've learnt my lesson!).

OP when you're breastfeeding and co-sleeping, you naturally adjust your position so that your 'lower' arm cradles the space around your baby, preventing you from rolling over. This is especially true if you feed in the lying down position.

This is a useful link, and the Kellymom website is useful generally for breastfeeding queries:

Nottalotta Tue 21-Jun-16 11:59:24

You can hire a Bed nest really cheaply. Comes with new mattress and two sheets.

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