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Co-Sleeping Safely

Many of us have shared (or still share) beds with our little babes, and making sure they slumber safely is key.  Asks Sarah:

We are cosleeping with an active crawling about 7 month-old. I usually put him to sleep in our bed/co-sleeper (has really short sides, pretty much just adds some extra space to our bed) and we join him later. Tonight I went in to check on him after he stirred and found him about to crawl off the edge of the bed. I'm looking for creative options. What have other mama's and papa's found to work?


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I had that same problem a when my DD started crawling... here is a few options for you that we used:

Put your mattress on the floor and durring naptime or bed time if you are not in there with him put pillows on the floor around the edge to soften the bump if he wants to crawl off. The learn to be more cauious of the edge.

We also tried to baracade her in with pillows and fluffy blankets but that only worked for like a week until she could crawl right over them.

Have naptime and the first part of the night be in a crib until you are ready for bed yourself, then transfer him or wait till he wakes up again and then transfer him to your bed. This works well if you have a crib- we still use this method occasionally.

I strongly suggest the mattress onthe floor w/ pillow method. That has worked really well for us for the past few months. That is if you dont mind him crawling off the bed and out the bedroom door when/if he wakes up. My DD will wake up crawl to the edge, wiggle her way onto the pillows that surround the bed and crawl directly for the light shining under the door. I'm usually pretty good about catching her before she cries but sometimes she'll cry to get our attention if I dont hear her on the monitor, and we come in and put her back to sleep.

I guess just make sure your bedroom is baby proofed in case you babe is a quiet waker like mine and dosent mind playing for a bit alone.

I hope I was able to help :) Good luck!

We have been dealing with the same problem in our bed these days. I have found my 13 month old on the floor a few times and it freaked me out to no end. We have started doing our nightly routine and just when she is falling asleep I transfer her into a pack and play next to the bed. She we go up to sleep for the night I usually mover her into bed between us. The transition has gone shockingly smoothly for us, but I know it would not work for all families.

Its a rocky transition, new mobility to the baby learning skills to get off the bed safely. We have a king platform bed, so its not too high, plus its placed in a corner, which is where our little guy sleeps. I did the pillow thing for a few weeks and was hyper-vigilant with the baby monitor. We also tried the pack and play, but he never slept very well in it. For a while, I'd put our baby on my older son's floor futon for naps. We've also focused *a lot* on teaching him to scoot around backwards to get off the bed. At about 10-11 months, he had it down, and I now I feel pretty comfortable with him sleeping in the bed without us there. I still listen closely for his wake up, but he's gotten to where he either stays put until I get there, or climbs down safely by himself.

That 6-10 month window is definately the time when I wish/wonder whether we should have a crib .... So far, though, we've gotten past it sucessfully with two babes ... Good luck!

I share a bed with my baby, and never had any fall-out incidents except once when my mama was watching him. I used lots of pillows, and Asher learned "edge!" nearly before any other words. He loved it. As soon as he got close he would say "edge! edge!" and wait for me to come get him.

I guess that's not really advice... but I thought I'd share. Also, I recall at least a few times catching him about to crawl off, so maybe a big part of it is also that mama-instinct and just pure luck.

Just to comment on the musings of Jennie, after cosleeping with my daughter until she was around 6 months (and loving it), we decided that it was best for all of us to move her to the crib. It was the safety issue that truly brought it to be. I never was comfortable leaving her on our bed (upstairs) with the potential for her to fall. We placed the crib in our bedroom until 12 months at which time we moved her down the hall to her own space.

I encourage cosleeping (just did the other day with my friend who is expecting her first any day), but I do think that transitioning to the crib has been important too, for all of us. My husband and I have gotten the best sleep in the past two months as my daughter now sleeps 9-10 hours. I feel like I am in heaven!

We too are experiencing the amazing crawler. Our 8 mo son is now learning to plop (always head first) off the bed. We've been sleeping with the mattress on the floor for a few months now. We also do the pillows around the bed bit. So far,so good. He's getting more mobile by the day so we shall see.

Not sure anyone will read this far down....But worth it anyway!

We have co slept with all four kids and just had our mattress boxsprings on the ground. They all fell off at one time or another, just as they all fell out of the high chair, a much worse owie in my estimation. I could tell you many a horror safety story but I won't.
IF you have the mattress on the floor not only is it a small distance, but usually they don't even wake up. You need to have the Protective Barrier of Laundry around your bed, as we do. Also, no junk or dustbunnies can get UNDER the bed, saving you loads of cleaning you won't have time to get to b/c you have a baby ANYWAY!
Seriously, unless your bed is MT Everest high (and I know lots of them ARE these days)....they aren't going to be injured from falling off a bed. Babies are bouncy for a reason...;)
However, the benefits of cosleeping are MANY and while I would NEVER say safety isn't more important than connection, there are so many ways to make this work b/c for all of time families have been co sleeping totally safely.

Both are required for physical and mental activity to create energy. A good night’s sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and in rejuvenating the body, mind and soul. So it makes a lot of sense to invest in a good mattress and pillow to improve your comfort and overall health. Improving you r sleep quality can be as simple as sleeping on a better mattress and pillow.

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