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Safety Concerns of Co-sleeping

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Sleep > Co-Sleeping > Safety Concerns of Co-sleeping



Co-sleeping - baby alone in our bed?

Nov 2006

Our baby is 6 months old and sleeps with us. Before we come to bed she sleeps in our bed alone for a few hours. She still doesn't roll over but I am starting to be concerned that she will learn and roll off the bed. Because of the construction of our bed frame we cannot use a bed rail. I am thinking of trying to move her into a crib but but she is used to being nursed into sleep. If I nurse her and then lay her down she wakes in the transition. Are the only choices moving her into a crib, putting the bed on the floor or bed rails? I would love to hear what others have done. Thank you jen


Your baby cannot be alone on a big bed. Before they can even roll over they can do that little scoot on the back of the head and fall off. You can use a crib. My baby always nursed to sleep and was hard to put down but it just takes time. Sit there with the sleeping baby an extra 10 minutes and then put her down. Lots of co- sleeping babies have a crib they use only for alone naps. anon
We slept this way with our daughter. We didn't have a regular bed frame, just the box spring and mattress on the floor. I put a pillow on either side of the bed on an incline, figuring if she rolled off, it wouldn't be a clunk. I was worried about exactly this same thing and another mom of 4 kids who co-slept as babies said, ''It's only about 12 inches, she's not going to get hurt if she falls onto the carpet!'' so I relaxed. She never did fall off the bed. hope this helps
You could also try pillows lining the sides of the bed. Not as sure-fire, but it worked for my daughter, who slept in a crib at night but would only nap in the car or in my bed after nursing. If your child moves a bit or is not very cautious (mine was), you might also want to line the floor w/ pads and/or pillows. or get some big bolsters to put on the bed. Bed rails would be safer, and some of them just go between the mattress and the frame, and can fold down easily (first need or something like that brand)
Hi, We have a 6 mo old boy and we do the same thing. We got one of those baby ''Snuggle Nests'' from a second hand store for 15 bucks and we love it. The main reason we are using it is because he will roll towards me at night, smell my milk and want to eat... every hour! So now, he is right there with us, yet contained in his own little space. BUT... he is only about 16 lbs and barely fits in this thing. If you sew, I would recommend making one with foam siding. I think that is what I am going to do soon. Otherwise, a good ol' pillow on each side of her will keep her from rolling when she is alone... that's what my mom did :-) Here is the link for a snuggle nest: http://www.mommysthinkin.com/snuggle_nest.htm nydia

Safety in the family bed - side rails?

Oct 2006

We are wondering what other co-sleeping families do about safety in the family bed. We have put a side rail on our king sized bed, but the other sides can't go next to a wall (there are windows and/or doors in the way). Nighttime seems fine, but now that our 8 month old is pulling herself up on the side rail, I am worried at nap time. And a crib is out because I breastfeed her to sleep during the day. Since I am not always there while she naps, I am afraid she will go right over. (I usually hear her the moment she wakes up, but yesterday I walked by and she was just standing there!) How do other families deal with this issue once the baby starts crawling/pulling herself up and later, walking? Jenny


I co-slept with both my girls but always used a crib too. I would put my babies down to sleep at night initially in the crib and then bring them to the family bed when they woke later. I also exclusively breastfed. I learned to nurse them in my arms and when they were asleep, put them in their crib or our bed for naps. It sounds like your baby won't let you transfer her to another bed after she falls asleep. I would suggest that one thing you could do is buy a twin mattress for her and put it directly on the floor. Nurse her to sleep on that for naps and let her finish her nap there. Put some of the bedding from your bed or your pajamas in the twin bed initially to make it feel (and smell) like your bed. If you also start putting her to sleep there and she learns to like it...it will make it easier to transition her to her own bed when you are ready. My girls co-slept until about 2 and a half, then I switched to sleeping with them in their own twin bed until they fell asleep and then went back to my bed. Course it was a few years before they didn't wake anymore later and call for me...but we all grew out of it slowly. Good luck vic
I struggled with this exact same issue 5 months ago. I did not put a rail on our bed because I never found ones designed specifically for babies and I figured that the slats ought to be (but are not) just as close together as they are for cribs to prevent strangulation. (I wonder if there's a market for a device to turn an adult bed into a safe crib?) Anyway, if we had the room, I would have put a mat down on the floor and nursed my daughter to sleep that way. But we don't and finally I decided I could no longer risk her falling off the bed, so I started nursing her to sleep in the rocking chair and moving her to a crib. For a week she woke up as soon as I moved her and cried and it was aboslutley awful. But she learned and now I nurse her and move her to the crib and she stays asleep. I'm happy I can still nurse her to sleep and even happier that I don't worry about her falling off the bed. Sarah
I don't like to send scare messages, and it sounds like you won't be doing this, but I wanted to caution everyone strongly against putting baby to nap on a bed that is pushed up against a wall. I have a family friend whose 10 month old rolled into a space between the bed and wall and suffocated during naptime. It was devastating christa
We also co-sleep, and had the exact same concerns as you when my daughter started pulling up and crawling. We basically got past it over time, where I would check on her frequently during her naps and at night before I went to bed, just to make sure she was still sleeping safely. When she would wake up and make noise, I ran in there right away to make sure she wasn't trying to get to the bed rail. She never really was, but I see that your baby is doing that. In any case, she seemed to learn that I would come in right after she woke up, so she began to just make a brief noise and then wait for me to come in. She sits there on the bed looking toward the door for me. Even now, she knows how to safely climb off the bed below the bed rail, and she still waits for me to go in and get her. She has heard me tell her many times not to go near the rail, and she listens to me. Hopefully your baby will stop standing at the rail once the novelty of pulling up ends. co-sleeper
Neither of my children slept in their cribs during naptime until they were nine-months old or so. And, like you, I nursed both of my children to sleep at naptime. I stayed in the room with the girls while they slept in the middle of my bed -- but I have a very large bedroom that also includes a substantial sitting/den area where my computer is set up, I have a sofa to read on, etc.

If this is not feasible, then you may want to try nursing your child to sleep and then placing her into a crib or pack and play. This won't last forever. I seem to remember that my girls were around 18-months when they moved back to my bed for naps (I wouldn't be in the room for these) and were able to safely slide off a bed and then come find me. -anon


We have always co-slept with our son who is now two years old. He sleeps between my husband and me at night. We don't have him nap in the bed without us. Instead, we have him sleep in another room on the floor. We fold up a comforter four ways and it makes a comfortable cushion underneath him. We put him next to a wall (sometimes a piece of furniture) and put pillows up against the wall or furniture so he won't hurt himself if he rolls around. Sleeping on the floor is safe as long as the room is baby-proofed. He can't fall! We still do this and we've done this since he was about six months old. Good luck! Andi

Safety Rails for thick king mattress?

June 2004

Does anyone know of a Bedside Safety Rail that will work on a California King size bed with a VERY THICK mattress? Most of the ones we have seen work only up to Queen size mattresses and/or only on mattresses up to 12'' deep. Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks. A co-sleeping parent


One Step Ahead www.onestepahead.com has 17 3/4'' (on sale $24) and 20'' high rails ($40). Christina

Want to co-sleep but wondering about safety

Feb 2004

We want the baby to sleep in our bed with us, but need some ideas about how to do it. We have a queen size bed. If baby sleeps between mom and dad, what are folks doing about the blankets, since it is said that blankets create a major suffocation risk. If baby sleeps on mom's side, what are folks doing about railings or other methods to keep her from falling out. Is it dangerous to put the bed against the wall? not quite parents yet


We are pregnant with our first child and want to co-sleep with our baby. We decided to get an Arm's Reach co-sleeper crib so if we need more space (or more blankets around us) we can put the baby in the crib right next to us. And when we want the baby back next to us, he/she will be right there. We have heard from others that this is a great set up. Read about the co- sleeper here: http://www.armsreach.com/product_orig.asp Andi
Our son has slept in our queen-sized bed since coming home from the hospital. He is 3 months old now and we haven't had problems with it. He sleeps around 10-12 hours at night waking every 3-4 hours now (he woke more when he was younger) to have a diaper change, nurse, and then goes right back to sleep without fussing. I have him on a small flannel receiving blanket that I can use to shift him from side to side depending on which side he is nursing from. That way, I can doze back to sleep while he nurses and I know which side is the next to be nursed when he wakes up for the next feeding. The flannel also catches any ''accidents.'' When he is between us, I fold the comforter down across his mid- chest, and I use a small, down-filled throw blanket to keep my upper body warm. When he is on the outside of the bed, I use the throw-blanket to cover his lower body, tucked under him a bit. This has worked very well, and has been safe for us. I have a co- sleeper on the edge of my side of the bed, and he sometimes sleeps in it, but it seems that the cat spends more time in the co-sleeper than he does. This arrangement has allowed us to get quite a bit of quality sleep. We will have to change things once he starts crawling and scooting, but for now, this works for us. Good luck and enjoy the cuddles with your baby. lou
We have now had our two babies sleep in our bed with us, our son until he was about 2 1/2. Despite varied advice for and against, it just seemed! for us the natural thing to do. An added bonus is that it makes night-time nursing incredibly easy. But, you have to feel safe and comfortable with it, or there's not point. The two things I was always worried about were bed covers and the edge. We try to avoid heavy bed covers by warming the room as much as possible (the dryness we counteract with a humidifier), and dressing the baby warmly, so there isn't any need for heavy bed covers on her. One other thing I notice myself doing is pushing the baby closer to the top of the bed and moving us further toward the foot, so that more of her is sticking out the top of the covers we have. Does that make sense? If the baby is in the middle, make sure there aren't pillows above her, but to the sides. As for the edge, we have pushed the bed to the wall. The main thing to watch - and it's exactly the same principle as for a crib - is that there isn't a gap or anything too soft (ie pillows, covers) that the baby can get their face stuck down into. I don't see why a railing like on a toddler bed wouldn't work as well. At Alta Bates when I had my baby, the beds had those pull-up sides on them for just this purpose. They assume that you'll have the baby in the bed with you then. Hope this helps. I have to say that we have always found the baby-in-the-bed option a wonderful one. Enjoy! Penny
We co-sleep with both of our children. Both slept with us from birth. When our son was born, the pediatricians from our practice were still making home visits in the first week. We had our doctor check out our bed and the comforters and he deemed it safe. He said his main concern is mattresses that are too fluffy. We had bought a firm foam queen mattress and kept the pillows a safe distance ! from the baby. While our babies were very young (under 2or 3 months), they slept between me and a co-sleeper that my husband built. When they got older, I felt secure in letting them sleep between me and my husband. I've read that fathers tend to sleep a lot more soundly than mothers, so I wanted to wait until the babies were a bit more robust and turning themselves over on their own to put them between us. I do still worry a bit about the comforter getting up over the baby's head (#2 is now 6 months), so if it's cold at night, I dress myself as if I'm wearing a fleece sleeper plus a onesie undershirt and keep the comforter down around my chest, which is at the baby's waist. If I'm warm enough, I know the baby is too. On the rare occasion that my husband has had alcohol before going to bed, he does not sleep with us. When it's just me and the baby, the baby is actually fine on either side of me. Either she's between me and the co-sleeper or in the very middle of the bed with me between her and the co-sleeper. I'm very conscious of her all night long and I've never had a problem with either of my kids falling out the bed. Sleeping with babies is so great for you and great for the baby. I hope you can find a way to make it work. Alisa
My ultimate advice is to wait until the baby is born and see what works for you. We wanted to co-sleep initially, but we realized that it wouldn't work with a newborn, I couldn't sleep comfortably with her in my arms and we weren't aware enough of her prescence in the bed when we were sleeping to feel 100% confident that we wouldn't roll into her. So we had her first in a bassinet and then in the crib right next to the bed. We also tried a Snuggle Nest (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005BYE5/102-1579651-5344928?v=glance). We are both large people so it wasn't comfortable for us, but we used it the many nights when she wouldn't go to sleep otherwise. I'd suggest you give it a try. When she was in the snuggle nest, we had her at the top of the bed, so that her body wasn't covered by the blankets. At 8 months, once the baby started rolling over, she moved into our bed. She was much larger AND mobile and we were much more aware of her so we didn't have a problem sleeping with her. I pushed the bed against the wall (the only problem was that I was left without a night table) and we slept with her next to me or in the middle ever since. We now use blankets that cover her, but she rolls all over the place in her sleep often uncovering herself. anon
We had my son on my side with a bedrail. I used one blanket for both of us. Another option is a sleepsack for the baby (and no blanket) if that makes you more comfortable. My son has moved to his own bed now, but co-sleeping worked wonderfully for us. another co-sleeping mom
Both our kids (now 5 and 2 1/2) slept in the bed with us when t! hey were infants. We usually had them between us. The head of our bed was at the wall. Since they usually pushed themselves in that direction, we kept a rolled up baby blanket there for cushion. Our blankets were generally on the lower half of their bodies (if at all), so we tended to dress them warm and not worry about the covers, or, put a small baby blanket over them. I nursed (''on demand'') through the nite, so when we were ready to shift them to the crib, we just put the crib next to my side of the bed and raised the crib mattress to match the height of ours. We took off the side of the crib that lifts up and down so all I had to do was turn over and nurse !!! There was no gap in between our bed and the crib mattress. The other side of the crib was against a wall. GOOD LUCK ! annexmom
Our teeny baby slept with us for the first 4 months. She slept in between my partner and I, and I moved her up next to our heads, so that our blankets only came up to her waist. I'm a light sleeper so any stir she made, I would wake up. I think most mothers are. I think sleeping together is wonderful, and I miss it, so please enjoy and don't worry. Sarah
Congrats on your baby! Both my children slept in our bed. The best part, aside from the snuggles, is that you don't lose as much sleep as other new mothers do. My daughter moved into her own bed at 2 years old, but still jumps in my bed around 6:30 AM for a snuggle. My son moved out at 2 years old too. Safety you can look up on the internet. We did use a comforter with no problems. I would sometimes wake in a panic, but neither of my children's faces were ever under the covers. We also had one of those blue nightlites so I could see my baby if I woke up. My daughter would sleep in my arm pit. My son was a little more independent and just slept next to me. The wall- this is dangerous. You need to move the bed away from the wall. I do know someone with a trageic accident with this senerio. Water beds are also unsafe for babies. My children don't move much while sleeping, but it's not always the case. Some move alot. The exception is while staying in hotels my daughter fell off a few beds. Only once did she really wake up though. You can buy bed rails if you child is a mover. I think the only other saftey concern is for smokers, dru! g users or the severly overweight. a co-sleeper
There are many ways of dealing with the covers. Experiment to find the one that works best for you. Baby can be on top of the covers. This is simple and requires no new purchases nor much change to your own sleeping habits. But it's not the best choice for ease of nursing access, and it can sort of pin the adult down (or cause the adult to 'roll' the baby by lifting or shifting the covers). Parents can use separate covers, with baby uncovered in between. In other words, you put two twin size top sheets and two twin size blankets on your queen or king size bed, so that each parent can cover up separately, and baby is in the gap in the middle. This solves the pinned-down problem, but it can be a hassle to make the bed this way, and you do have to be a bit more careful of keeping the blankets away from the baby. Adults can keep the covers at waist level, with baby's head at chest level. This is probably the most common, as it makes for easy nursing access and doesn't require any changes in how you make the bed. But if either parent isn't comfortable without a comforter tucked under the chin, it may not be easy to keep the covers low enough to be well away from baby's face. It *is* possible to arrange the covers so that they come up higher at your back and around your shoulder, and then get tucked down further in front, but it takes some practice. And the adults can just wear warmer pajama tops if necessary. As for when the baby is between mom and the side of the bed, it's best not to use a bedrail -- small babies can too easily get trapped between the rail and the mattress -- nor to push the bed against the wall -- again, babies can get trapped in between. It's not very likely that a young baby will actually roll out of bed; they simply don't move that far very fast, and mom's arms are probably around the baby anyway. (You will be amazed at how aware you are, even when asleep, of where the baby is when you sleep together.) An older baby can certainly roll or crawl off the edge before mom wakes enough to catch him, but as long as there's a soft surface (put thin pillows on the floor if necessary), a short fall isn't too likely to do any harm. At any rate, it's happened to almost every baby I know, some of them more than once, and none of them have suffered any serious injury. anon
Sleeping with the baby in the bed is a sweet, wonderful and practical experience! I have a two-month old who sleeps in between my husband and I in our bed. We have a king size bed (because we also have a cat who HAS to sleep in bed with us) but could have done it w/a queen size bed. Our son sleeps in a ''snuggle nest'' in his swaddling blankets. This protects him a lot from our blankets and pillows. I was anxious at the beginning but it seems very safe. We sleep with a down comforter but don't pull it up high--because his snuggle nest is at the level of our pillows, it doesn't get on more than his feet. My husband and I are not really deep sleepers, so I don't know if someone else's sleeping patterns might make them pull up blankets real high and thus cover baby. We debated over having him in between ! us, as opposed to just on my side, but I LOVE having him in between. This allows my husband to help out at night with getting the baby back to sleep after feedings--he puts his hand on the baby and sort of jiggles him. He can also help baby keep the pacifier in his mouth. Aside from these practical means, my husband says he loves being able to look at his son at night and in the morning and to occassionally kiss and touch him. It's really sweet having him there. For a couple weeks, the baby slept better cuddled up to me--during this time I had him wedged on his side between the snuggle nest and me. I slept on my side too. This also worked fine for baby--he loved it, but it was harder for me. I didn't sleep too deeply and my arm would fall asleap. But the baby felt safe. Happy co-sleeping! Oh, and of course, it makes night breast feedings so much easier.&! nbsp; No need to get out of bed, I hear the baby start making sounds with his mouth indicating his hunger way before he emits a cry, or really wakes up. It's so much easier than getting out of bed...Happy sleeping ann
We put the mattress on the floor to mitigate fear of falling. When your child is older you can teach her to get off the bed (and go down stairs) on her tummy ,''feet first''. We also pushed the bed against the wall for containment, and we added a single mattress to make a really big bed. cozy co-sleepers
We used a bed rail, with towels stuffed tightly into any gaps. We kept the house fairly warm and used blanket sleepers so lots of blankets were not required. I strongly believe in the safety of the family bed, as long as the parents are not drunk or medicated to sleep extra soundly. The family bed made life so ! much more natural, nurturing and easy for us.
Hi, there, We have co-slept with out son and daughter, 4 and 10 years old, respectively. We continue to sleep with our son (our daughter decided to ''ditch'' us when my son came home from the hospital), and we have had no problems with near suffocation, etc. Both children slept between us, or, on occasion, started out the night, in a crib, open on one side, pushed up against our bed. In asking my pediatrican about the safety of such an arrangement, he had zero qualms and cited the little that he knew about the literature pertaining to family beds. He told us, when my daughter was an infant/ toddler, that scant cases of a baby suffocating had occured around either an exogenously obese parent or inebriated parent suffocating the baby. Neither my husband nor I fell into the foregoing categories. I had read in a parents magazine that co-sleeping with an infant actually provided for a kind of pacemaker effect for the neonate's heart; whether this is anecdotal or not I do not know. Ironically, I am more concerned with my getting a foot or fist to my eye and sustaing a detached retina. Both my children have hit me in the eye while tossing and turning, and I have considered getting raquetball goggles on occasion. Yet another safety precaution we take/took was to make sure that the head of the mattress was flush with the wall so as to obviate the baby's migrating and being trapped between the bed and the wall. Good luck with whatever you decide. Co-sleeper parent(s)
My husband and I slept with our son until he was about 5 months old (when we began sleep training and wanted him to go to bed before we did). It took us until he was about a month old to work up the nerve to do so, as we were scared about the blankets, too, but once we did our sleep improved significantly. I had a bad scare one night when I realized that I had fallen asleep with the baby nursing, and I had let the blanket get up over my shoulders. When I woke up our son was a little sweaty, but there were no other problems. Needless to say, after this I wanted to create a better solution than relying on my own wakefulness to push the baby ''up the bed'' (his head about flush with our heads) so that he would be safely out of the covers. What worked for us from then on was for me to nurse ! on my side, with the arm of the side I was nursing on crooked around the baby (with baby's head resting on my upper arm) and that hand holding down the blankets, between my thumb and fingers. I never had another problem. As to the question of where to place the bed, ours was against the wall at the head, with the baby always between us. Our bed is on rollers, So I bought some of those rubber cups at a hardware store and it never budged (so no worry of a gap between the bed and the wall). Anonymous
My baby has slept with us in our Queen size bed since birth (this is my 2nd child...my first slept with us from 3 months...which is when I decided it was crazy to keep getting up all night to go nurse the baby in the nursery). I have a toddler bed rail on my side of the bed (you can get these at toys r us). It is not supposed to be used for babies because a baby could slip down in the crack between the netting and the mattress, but I solve this problem by putting a couple of rolled up beach towels in the crack. You have to check it every few days to make sure the towels are slipping down. Also, I put a rolled up towel down the center of the bed to help my husband remember that the baby might be there. He said that he always felt the towel and stayed on his side of the bed. My baby sleeps on either side of me...depending on which side we nursed on last. Then I put a flat (not fluffy) pillow at the top of the bed (where your head would go, to make sure the baby can't fall between the bed and the wall at the head of the bed. The baby would sleep in front of this pillow (i.e. her head was below the pillow...not on it). I would use another pillow which I turned lengthwise so that I had some pillow below the other pillow...my head would be level with the baby's head. Then we used only thin blankets (no comforters)...we have a fleece one for warmth and a cotten thermal one too and a couple of others as needed. Since my head was level with the baby's head, I could cover myself with the blankets without them covering the baby's head. Once the baby was bigger (around 5 months), I stopped using the rolled up towel in the middle of the bed. Another thing I do, is always put the baby to bed in her crib in the beginning of the night. I bring her to bed when she wakes up to nurse the first time during the night. This way, my husband and I get some alone time, and as she nurses less at night, she sleeps longer in her crib. With my first, by 14 months, she would spend some nights in her crib all night. However, even after she was weaned, she would still wake up at night sometimes and come sleep with us sometimes. anon
We've been co-sleeping since day one (18 months now). We have a queen size bed with a crib butted up on my side of the bed. The crib is against the wall. we wedged a towel between the crib mattress and ours so that there was no crevices. For quite some time, my husband and I slept with separate blankets so that it didn't go across our baby when he was in between us-- and I actu! ally did not use mine as I was quite cautious about that. Our child has spent minimal time in the crib, itself; he likes it but sleeps more soundly in the big bed. He mainly sleeps in the bed but the crib allows us a bit of flexibility and extra space. As he has gotten more mobile, we have propped pillows to keep him safe. I have always felt that my baby is far safer with me than in his own room-- and nothing beats the snuggling and waking up all together! LogicalMama
We love having two sets of covers (no stealing) and the baby should be bundled up with out covers at all. Our 21 month old is just getting into having some cozy blankets of her own. cozy cozy
Our little guy sleeps between us. Our daughter slept either between us or alongside me with the crib pressed up against the bed. The blankets can be a problem. My daughter slept on top of the big people blanket with her own small person blanket. Our son sleeps way up high in the bed or I just remember to pin part of the blanket under my arm to keep it off of his wee face. I think when the wee ones are really tiny it is probably safer to do the seperate blanket thing. MG

Preventing crawler from falling off bed

Dec 2001

I have a second question regarding safety. Eli is learning crawl and I'm concerned about how to leave him sleeping alone in the bed (for a nap or before I go to bed at night) safely. He usually wakes up when I get up, but I've been able to get up a couple of times recently, and am hoping this will become a pattern. Our mattress is too thick for bedrails (13 inches, and the tallest bedrails we can find are 17 inches). His crib is in a side-car arrangement. If we put our mattress on the floor, we'd lose the extra space provided by the crib. Any suggestions? Thanks, Wende


I don't mean to be facetious but have you thought about putting the baby into a crib? Lots of families out here put the children to bed in their own beds, in their own rooms, for the express purpose of getting them a quiet place to sleep without interruption. You could always try that if your baby is not sleeping well with you. I do love snuggling in the morning when my daughter wakes up and we bring her into bed with us, but I personally do not get a good night's sleep when I am sleeping all night with a baby or child, and probably the reverse is true for the child. And when I don't sleep well, I am not a happy mommy the next day. Another nice thing about a crib is that the baby can't fall off the mattress....
we have a set-up that has worked really well. We have the crib in a sidecar arrangement with the non-sliding side removed. When our daughter is sleeping alone in her crib, we insert the detached side between the crib mattress and our mattress and attach it with string at the top to the crib frame. I moved our mattress slightly off the box spring and slid cardboard under both mattresses to make a bridge to hold the crib side up. Then when we get into bed we just take the crib side off or slide it down toward the foot of the bed (which is nice because it blocks the open side between the foot of the crib and the foot of the bed). This can be done easily and quietly. I usually nurse or pat her down to sleep lying on the bed while she's in the crib, and then once she's fallen asleep I slide the crib side into place. Good luck!
This response is for the question on preventing a soon-to-crawl baby from falling off the bed, and not wanting to lose the extra space provided by a side-car crib by putting the mattress on the floor. How about putting both the crib mattress and your mattress on the floor? We put our queen size mattress on the floor in the corner of our bedroom, and put a twin mattress on the floor next to it. So far the sleeping arrangement has been mom and baby (5 months old) on the queen and dad on the twin. We hope to switch dad and baby once he (baby) stops nursing so frequently at night.

Preventing 8-month-old from falling off king mattress

July 2001

Our 8 month old is still sleeping in our bed (by choice) and we just bought a new headboard, bed frame, etc. that raises our King mattress a good 4-5 feet off the floor. We had a scare recently when she fell off the bed when we were on vacation at our hotel, and that was only a 2 foot drop. I am terrified of the thought of her falling off our new bed. Does anyone have any recommendations on bars, etc. to purchase for a king bed and know where I can find them (so far I have only been able to find the ones to fit a toddler twin bed!) Any other suggestions you may have would be very helpful as well.. thanks so much! --Margie


we put our king size bed in the corner, so that the head end and one side are flush against the wall. it's a little bit of a pain for the person in the middle or on the side, so we take turns. toys r us also sells a mesh-civered railing that you cput in between your mattress & box spring and then sort of flip up, if you don't want to or can't move the bed itself. Jessica
Our baby is only 7 weeks old but it works for her: she sleeps with us in our queen-size bed on the side of the bed (not between us) and we put a bed-rail that we bought at Target for $20 (mesh, made by Safety 1st and you need to have a matress + spring box to use it) it is supposed to be for toddlers 2-5 years old, so I figured if it holds their weight, it will hold a baby's weight. of course this is only useful for a sleeping child - if your child sits up or stands and bends over, it is too low to prevent a fall. hope this helps, Effie.
When our 4 year old was small, she also slept with us. By the time she was 8 months old, though, we had created a "side-car" arrangement with her crib by taking off the drop side altogether, and putting it flush with our queen size bed (this involved a certain amount of supports under the crib to make it high enough to match the bed, and padding between the two.). This meant there was much less room for her to fall out of, since to do that, she'd have to fall over me! OTOH, since you have a King size, you might want to consider a drop bed-rail for both sides of the bed, and possibly the foot if you don't have a footboard. (You can get these many places, including Toys R Us). They slide between the mattress and the boxspring and provide a soft "wall". If your new frame won't allow something to be installed in this location, you might consider putting the bed against a wall, and putting pillow barriers up on all sides, at least until you get into bed with your child. That worked for us for a while, but there will come a point that your child will be able to crawl over them, and then it's back to the drawing board. But maybe your child will be over the worst of falling out of bed by then! Good luck! Dawn
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