Co-sleepers & Snuggle Nests
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Co-sleepers & Snuggle Nests
I am due to have a baby at the end of next month and am trying
to get all the necessary gear, which can be a confusing
process. For reasons of space and because we have heard
positive things about it, my husband and I think we want to try
cosleeping. My question is, what do we really need to
successfully cosleep with a newborn? I know some people who
loved the Arm's Reach co-sleeper that attaches to the bed and
some who said it was a waste of money and they never really used
it since the baby slept in the main bed. Is the Snuggle Nest
type thing that goes in the bed between parents useful? Are
bumber rails good? Any advice would be appreciated!
We got an arm's reach co-sleeper (original style) and it works
fine for us. My wife sometimes puts the baby in bed on her side,
but having the co-sleeper is nice for those other times and
because you don't have to worry about the baby falling out of
bed. A lot also depends on how big the parents are relative to
the bed. If there's little space already, squeezing in the baby
might be uncomfortable.
If you're the kind of person who worries about kicking or rolling
over on or otherwise smothering the baby, and baby sleeps in bed
with you, you'd probably benefit from some sort of barrier like
the snuggle nest. I know I'm nervous sleeping next to the baby!
Of course, if you can find a local shop that sells these you
could always buy it after the baby is born and only if the need
arises (or delegate a friend or family member to buy it for you).
Then you won't end up with yet another well-intentioned but
unused baby product.
As for barriers, before shelling out $$$ you could improvise with
the back of a dresser or bookshelf. Just be sure it is completely
stable (think earthquake) and that the baby's face can't get
trapped in the corner.
I had my baby in bed with us for a long time. At first we
pushed the bed against the wall and put her over there, me
in the middle, then him at the edge. Sometimes she would
be in the middle when he wanted to cuddle her. It all
depended how we felt. I don't think you NEED anything,
except if you have a hot baby, then you might want to have
her/him by the wall with a seperate blanket. It gets hot with
everyone sleeping together. A family bed makes nighttime
nursing MUCH easier, and if you have a little one who's
nocturnal it's easier for her/him to be awake and not feel
alone and cry, and you to doze. When my daughter got older
we got a futon for th! e floor in our room and she would start
out there and then migrate in the night to our bed. Whatever
people say about independance and sleeping alone,
children will become that when it's time. I don't think
sleeping down the hall is going to help. In fact, my theory is
that staying closer makes a more confident, happy baby
who will take off at the right time and come back when they
need you, knowing that you are there!
Have fun with your new baby!
The success of co-sleeping really depends on the individual
family, in my opinion. Our baby would not sleep in our bed.
When she was really tiny, we were afraid to have her in the bed
with us. You can't use bumpers or railings because babies can
get caught under the bumpers. Those are for toddlers. I was
too nervous to put our bed against the wall . . . it makes a
slight downhill and the bed can move and create a gap and so
on. I am more of a nervous nelly than many moms. We liked a
bassinet next to the bed the best. We used that for about 4
months. We bought the Snuggle Nest and found it to be
completely useless. We had a wriggly baby who wriggled out of
the bottom of it. Also, my partner and I could not be called
petite and it didn't quite fit in our queen-sized bed with us.
After 4 months, we tried moving her into our bed. The darling
child who previously awoke every 2-3 hours started waking up
every hour and wanting to play with her mommies. She would then
be awake for up to 3 hours marveling at the excitement of
finding herself with her two favorite playmates. So off to her
crib she went, at about 4.5 months. Teaching her to sleep in
her crib is a whole other story, but she certainly slept more
there than she would in our bed! She now (14 months) sleeps
through the night in her bed, then joins us in our bed for a
half-hour of nursing every morning. It's lovely. Good luck;
it's trial and error, I think.
We had an Arm's Reach co-sleeper and almost never used it -- but
it was a great bedside table! The little ''lip'' between the
co-sleeper and our bed meant that I couldn't j! ust roll my baby
over into the co-sleeper after nursing (or flop an arm over, etc.
) so it didn't really work for us. Plus as soon as your child is
old enough to move around a bit there's a danger they can get
over the edge and fall on the floor because the other sides are
so low. So we ended up taking a side off the crib and strapping
it to the bed with bungee cords. Worked great, like a little
sidecar on the bed where we could roll him over to have a little
room at night. The nice high sides felt very safe and secure.
At the time I thought we'd transition him to the crib (with all
sides on, in his own room) eventually since he was so familiar
with it, but he ended up moving fairly smoothly to a mattress of
his own. In retrospect, we really never needed the co-sleeper.
And I miss all that snuggling now that he's ''big''. g
Sleep Happy Mom
For us, the Snuggle Nest was a complete waste of money
(especially since it took up 1/3 of a queen sized bed), and the
Arms Reach co-sleeper was mainly used for storing blankets or
clean laundry, occassionally for my son to sleep in. We found
it much easier for him to sleep in between us. One thing that
was helpful is that we happen to use foam pillows, so there was
a definite space in between him to sleep in between. When he
was really little we would move him up to the top of the bed,
and move our pillows down a bit so that we could cover
ourselves but not worry about smothering him. We used a baby
blanket to cover him. I believe the Sears book recommends that
the baby sleeps in between Mom and a bedrail.
Call me old-school, but we just put the baby between us, without
any special gear. This lasted from birth till about 3-4 months,
when he moved to the crib.! A friend who was also co-sleeping
and loving it gave me the book ''Good Nights'' by Maria Goodavage
& Jay Gordon, which gave a lot of practical advice about making
co-sleeping safe and comfy for everyone, and allayed a lot of
the fears I had about it initially. IMHO, that book is a more
useful investment than a Snuggle Nest or other device.
Bah! You don't need anything at all as long as your own bed
is firm enough. I always liked my kids (3) to have their
own blanket so I didn't accidentlally pull it off them or over them.
As they baby grows, you may find you want a bigger
bed. We eventually moved up to king size!
I did not use a co-sleeper for either child...I just got a
toddler bed rail for my side of our queen size bed. These are
designed to prevent toddlers from falling out of bed so there i! s
a large gap where a baby could slip between the rail and the bed.
To solve this problem, I took 2 beach towels and rolled them up
tight and stuffed them into the gap. I checked it daily to make
sure the rail was tight against the bed and the towels had not
I would sleep with the baby between me and the rail or the baby
between me and my husband. When the baby was very small, I
rolled up another beach towel and put it between me and my
husband so that if he rolled over at night, he would feel the
towel and not encroach on mine and the baby's side of the bed.
Also, I put a firm, flat, pillow at the head of the bed and had
the baby lie below this pillow (not on it). I used another
pillow turned lengthwise for my head so I could sleep lower down
in the bed so my blankets would not go over the baby's head.
Our 2 year old daughter has been co-sleeping since birth. I
did not plan to do it but found the experience so wonderful in
the hospital that I couldn't imagine any other way.
We used a co-sleeper and that worked well but we also liked
having her right in bed with us. In that case we used the
Snuggle Nest and I really liked it. I would get both because
you never know what your baby may like. They are both
expensive so if you can find them used it would be good.
You may also want to think about having a crib. At 9 months or
so my daughter started to be very restless in our bed and that
kept us from sleeping well. Also it took up to an hour and a
half for her to fall asleep with me laying next to her. I was
reluctant to leave her in the bed by herself because she would
fall off. She seemed to be agitated by my staying with her.
We started putting her in the crib for naps and night time.
She adjusted quite well. When she would wake up at night we
put her back in the bed. This is still our routine at two
years. She falls asleep on her own in the crib.
As they get older it helps to talk about what is appropriate
behavior in bed. Kicking and squirming is not ok. Nursing non
stop is not ok. Having your child in the bed will increase
night time nursing. That can be a problem if it interferes
with their sleep. I have noticed my daughter has naturally
night weaned as she has gotten older and with some talk about
You might want to think about how you will handle the
transition to their own bed. Do you want to do it at a year or
when the child is ready? Also you may find that co-sleeping
just is not the right thing for you because your baby is a
restless sleeper or your moving in bed disturbs them.
In general co-sleeping has been wonderful for our family. My
husband was skeptical at first but now he loves it. Please
don't believe people who tell you co-sleeping creates clingy,
needy children. My daughter is extremely outgoing and
independent. I think that is her personality. She would be
that way no matter how she sleeps.
Good Luck and cherish those first weeks of sleep!
We've coslept with our two sons, and what we needed was NOTHING.
The bed is big enough for three people. The baby slept between
us. No cosleeper, no fancy pillows to keep the baby from moving,
none of that stuff---it just wasn't necessary. There's so much
gear marketed to new parents, and I think this is a prime
example of stuff you just don't need. Good luck.
Re the snugglenest - It helped us (especially my husband) to feel
more comfortable with the babe in the bed at first, and may have
helped in transitioning to spending part of the night in the crib
when our son was a few months old, but I didn't save ours for
future babes. Our son just wants to cuddle up close, and more
often than not did not last long in the snuggle nest before
complaining to be closer to me! (and my breasts)! J
My husband and I cosleep with our daughter, who is now 3.5 months
old. We bought the Arm's Reach Mini Co-sleeper before she was
born, because the original would not fit next to our bed. We have
loved the mini. It's a good bassinet size, our baby is
comfortable in it, and it's easy to see how she's doing during
the night without moving much. It's not super-easy to get her in
and out; I have to sit up or at least prop up on my elbows. But
that really hasn't bothered me since my C-section incision
healed. We wanted the cosleeper instead of just having her in the
bed all the time because if she wasn't actually in with us, we
wouldn't need to worry as much about where our many pillows were,
or whether the blankets might smother her, or about being
uncomfortable because of having to sleep in certain positions.
She d! oes sleep in our bed sometimes -- we're just more careful
when she does.
Now about that C-section. Sitting up was almost impossible for
the first couple of weeks, and I just couldn't see scooting down
toward the foot of the bed every time I needed to get out (the
main downside of having the cosleeper attached to your side of
the bed) while that pain was going on. So for the first 3 or 4
weeks, we used the Snuggle Nest. (My daughter was breech, so I
bought it beforehand, knowing a C-section was highly likely, and
kept it packaged up with the receipt so we could return it if we
got lucky and had a vaginal birth. No dice.) I loved it. Caveat:
we have a Cal King size bed, so there's plenty of room. In a
queen bed, it's a much tighter squeeze. And the Snuggle Nest
isn't as helpful once the baby is able to wiggle around, because
they wiggle right out the bottom. (The deluxe version comes with
a sleep positioner to help with this; we didn't use it because
she wasn't wiggly yet when we switched to the coslee! per.) But
during that initial recovery period, it was a lifesaver for me,
and I didn't have to worry about pillows suffocating the baby!
(It also made it easy for my husband to take part in nighttime
care, which is harder with the cosleeper alongside -- but now
that he's back at work, I do almost all nighttime duty anyway.
Your mileage may vary.) I Fedexed the Snuggle Nest to my
sister-in-law when she had an unexpected C-section, and she's
loving it too.
Deborah in Alameda
I would love to hear from other parents who have tried the
Snuggle-Nest co-sleeper. My main question: How helpful is it
for night nursing? My interest in this product is related to
some research I keep seeing in the mainstream baby magazines,
citing research showing that co-sleeping is associated with
SIDS. I am hesitant to believe this (I believe in Sears'
argument that co-sleeping actually is preventative), but also
want to err on the safe side until I can be convinced otherwise.
We used the Snuggle Nest for the first couple months of my son's
life. My thinking was this: I knew I wanted him in the bed, but
I was nervous about him sinking in to our very soft bed or
getting caught in the blankets or one of us rolling on him. It
worked well in this sense: I slept more deeply because I knew he
was protected in there. It probably also helped him sleep more
deeply because he was protected from our movements, which could
have awakened him. As best as I can recall, I couldn't actually
nurse him while he was in the nest (the edges are hard under the
padding and they're too high up to make the connection, at least
in my case). I think I pulled him out, nursed him side-lying in
the bed, and then put him back in when he was tanked up. This
transfer might not work for a more sensitive-type baby. We
stopped using it pretty early on, probably before he was two
months old. At that point he was heartier and less vulnerable
and we slept with him in our bed, on and off, until--well, at
two he still spends some parts of some night each week with us.
By the way, a friend of ours bought a cat bed at Costco, put
nice fabric on it, and used it in the same way. Good luck.
I have not used the Snuggle Nest, but I co-sleep with my infant
(and did with her older sister as well). I would be hesitant to
believe information in mainstream magazines about co-sleeping.
They rely on too much money from companies who sell cribs etc who
stand to lose money if people started to sleep with their
Since I am fairly short, I have found that I can keep my child
free of the blankets by doing the following. I use 2 pillows.
The first is fairly flat and stiff. I put my child below the
level of the first pillow (which is on the bed in the usual way,
next to my husband's pillow). Then I turn my 2nd pillow vertical
so that the top half is on the right or left side of the first
pillow and the bottom half is below the first pillow. I scoot
down so that my head on the lower half of the 2nd pillow. My
head is lower than my husband's head and more level with the
baby's head. Then I am able to use the covers (which come to my
shoulder) with the baby between myself and my husband. We don't
use any fluffy comforters on the bed (only several thin blankets.
The baby does not need to be under any of your covers if you
dress her in a warm sleeper.
When I need to nurse the baby, I scoot up a bit on the 2 pillows.
When we are done, I scoot down and get back under the covers
again. The only problem is I sometimes get cold while nursing
since I'm not fully under the covers...I started wearing a long
sleeve thermal shirt to deal with this problem.
I also use a toddler bed rail on my side of the bed. I stuff a
couple of rolled up towels next to it to make sure the baby
cannot roll into the crevice between it and the bed.
And I put a rolled up towel vertical between my pillows and my
husband's (like that imaginary line siblings use to deliniate
which side of the bed belongs to them). My husband says that he
always feels it if he rolls over and it helps him to stay on his
side and not roll over to the side of the bed where the baby is.
This probably makes no sense to you...but rest assured that you
do not need to have special equipment to be safe in bed with your
baby. Research the dangers...there is good information on
parentsplace.net on co-sleeping. Then be careful and be creative.
We got a snuggle nest for the same reasons you outline.
We used it for a week and then threw it under the bed for the
remainder of the time our baby slept with us. It's a great
idea, but the sides are hard (that's the point I guess) and in
our queen bed, there just wasn't enough room for two adults
and the snuggle nest for everyone to be comfortable. Also,
because the sides are hard, everytime my daughter needed
to nurse I had to pick her up - clearly one of the benefits of
co-sleeping is being able to roll over and nurse. In our
case, we ended up with her sleeping in a bassinet after a
few weeks (I never slept well when she was in the bed with
us) but it had nothing to do with being afraid for her safety at
So, with all that said, I wouldn't bother getting the snuggle
nest - either have your baby co-sleep with you sans snuggle
nest, or get a bassinet (or if you can afford it the bassinet
that attaches to your bed is great!)
This is such a personal decision that I hesitate to put in my
two cents, but I will, given that with my first I was torn by
all the warnings of SIDS and finding that my babe loved to sleep
on her tummy (wouldn't sleep on her back) and that all the night
nursing resulted in lots of co-sleeping. I'm not sure what
the ''Snuggle-Nest'' is (in the bed or next to the bed?) We did
use a ''Bird's Nest'' which were two foam forms that wedged her in
position for sleeping on her side which was our compromise if
whe wasn't sleeping on us (on her belly she would sleep on our
chests) then she would sleep on her own on her side. With our
second we had a co-sleeper next to our bed but really he hardly
ever went in it and like our first child slept next to us or on
our chests for the early months. My best advice is that you
will find what works best for you and your newborn. Personally
I find the statistics that that are used to estimate SIDS deaths
highly suspicious (any unexplained death is attributed to SIDS
which is pretty unscientific).
happy I co-slept
I bought the snuggle nest while pregnant (along with special
nursing tops, boppy pillows, and many other things that never
got used). We slept with our son from day one. He mostly laid on
our chests or curled on his side nursing. Once we pulled out
the snuggle nest to try and use it. That lasted about 5 minutes
because I was hovered in the thing trying to cuddle my baby
while the ''protective edge'' kept jabbing my ribs. Needless to
say, we sold ours on Ebay the next day. There are many new ones
to be found on Ebay, wonder why! Just follow your heart. When
you finally do have a sweet baby to snuggle with I doubt you'll
want a snuggle nest between you.
I, too, agree with Sears and am inclined to think that
cosleeping is preventative when it comes to SIDS. That said,
though, we have a queen-sized bed, and my husband moves around
enough, that even though we had a Snuggle Nest, we ended up
using the bed-side cosleeper, which worked great. She would
sleep in that, and then when she'd wake up, I'd pull her into
bed with me to nurse. Once in awhile, I'd keep her in bed with
us for the rest of the night, but invariably then I wouldn't
sleep well - I think both being worried about her, and she
seemed to wake up, or at least stir a lot and want to nurse a
lot more when she was in bed with us. Once she got old enough
to know how to wake me up (pull my hair, pinch, etc.), we moved
her into her own room.. and we all seem to sleep better... but I
really loved the co-sleeper when she was tiny.
My husband and I purchased a snuggle nest in anticipation of
sleeping with our newborn daughter a couple of years ago. We
thought that the snuggle nest would prevent us from rolling over
her while we slept. The snuggle nest worked well for this but
took up too much space in our queen-size bed. We weren't able
to sleep that well with it and ended up placing our newborn in
the snuggle nest in her crib. She liked the cosiness of it for
her first month but otherwise it seems too big for anything but
a king-size mattress.
I can't tell you about the Snuggle-Nest and night nursing,
because we bottle fed, but we did buy it and use it a little bit
when our baby was very little and we were afraid we might roll
onto her. The main problem we had with it is that both my
husband and I are big people and the snuggle-nest took too much
space in the bed (we have a queen), it was uncomfortable for us
to sleep with the thing in the middle.
What worked better for me was to buy a crib and put it between
the wall and my side of the bed (with a long pillow covering the
crevice between the two). That way the baby was right next to
us, and I could night feed her and night comfort her very easily,
but we still had our whole bed for ourselves. This stopped
working once she was able to roll over the pillow and into our
bed (at around 8 months or so), but by then she was big enough
that we felt comfortable co-sleeping.
A comment about the studies you mention showing co-sleeping has
higher SIDS rates (while you don't seem to really believe that).
These are purely observational studies which typically suffer
from confounding factors. You obviously cannot do a controlled
experiment with parents and baby's sleeping behavious, let alone
Newer research tries to address these issues. For example, a
recent study showed that babies are safer in their parents bed
then elsewhere, conditioned on the parents not smoking. Makes
sense, because the cigarette chemicals may interfer with the
baby's breathing. Other factors are bed safety, alcohol,
obesity, socio-economic conditions, and many more to yet
discover. I don't remember all the details and references, but,
for example, Mothering magazine (www.mothering.com) has a number
of carefully researched articles about this.
Even harder to study quantitatively would be all the interaction
between bedsharing and breastfeeding. Bedsharing promotes
breastfeeding which, in turn, is considered to have lower SIDS
rates. Or is it the other way round, breastfed babies are more
likely to bedshare and therefore have lower SIDS rates? Or is it
all driven by some other condition? Who knows, it's a pretty
complex thing to study.
At the end, we may be given a scientific proof that doing
something as traditional as bedsharing is the safest.
Remember that formula was seen as scientifically superior to
breastmilk by some people in the 60s, not a small number of these
people even happened to be pediatricians.
It would be nice to just advice to ''follow our instincts'' as many
natural parenting advocates do, and drop all this research
business. However, now that the society that shaped us has
already gone down this road for a couple of generations, and has
interfered with our instincts, it is hard to reverse.
I wasn't sure what I would do until my baby was born. I had a
cradle which was meant to be next to our bed, maybe to function
as a cosleeper with one side removed. We put our futon on the
floor because we didn't get around bying barriers. Then our baby
was there, she joint our futon, and I didn't worry any second.
I both have a Snuggle nest and recently wrote to the editor of
Parents magazine to complain about their anti-co-sleeping
articles they have been publishing recently, so here's my take
on this. The American Pediatrics Association (or whatever the
society's proper name is) recently recommended against co-
sleeping with an infant in an adult bed. I personally feel this
is because no one trusts the American public to be smart about
anything, much less co-sleeping, and they just assume that
people are too stupid to be responsible. It can be dangerous
under some situations to co-sleep, of course, just as having a
baby sleep in a crib can be dangerous if you aren't educated
about what to look out for and avoid. I personally believe that
most of the recent studies incriminating co-sleeping for an
increase in SIDS is because they did not remove people who were
under the influence of alcohol and drugs (even over-the-counter
drugs) or are severely overweight from their sample before
coming to this conclusion. [Moreover, even as Parents magazine
suggests, it's still a very small increase in SIDS risk in any
case!] That said, I still bought a Snuggle Nest two years ago
when my baby was about 6 weeks old. I was a bit worried about
my husband rolling over on him, and the nest provides some
protection (at least enough that I know my husband would wake up
if he felt the sides of the nest). I also found it great to
travel with -- the little one has his same little bed in your
bed wherever you go ! And it was still very easy to night
nurse. I'm glad I have one now, as I would use it from day 1 at
home if we have another baby.
As for Parents Magazine: I asked them (more politely than I am
sounding here) to please do an article on co-sleeping -- the
benefits AND the dangers. Why, for example, has the number of
co-sleeping babies gone up to 13% from only 5% 10 years ago but
SIDS deaths have gone down and not up (yes, I know about back-
sleeping, but ....). Also, surely the number of co-sleeping
babies in the Bay Area is much greater than the national average
of 13%. Do more babies die of SIDS here then ? I hope someone
will do these studies.
I have a snuggle nest and tried to use it with our newborn (she is now 10
months) I found that it took up too much space in our queen size bed and that
the sides were too hard. When we had her in our bed I wanted her closer to me,
I actually felt safer with her nearer to my body. As for night nursing...one
piece of advice- it sounds a hole lot easier than it is. When the baby gets a bit
bigger it is much easier to nurse side lying in bed but, for me at least, nursing was
a challenge at first and my doula and lactation consultant said- get up, get
yourself situated and well supported in a seated position i.e in a rocker with
a boppy or whatever. It is much easier to establish good latch on nursing skills
when you are upright. I continued to try to night nurse in bed due to total
exhaustion but it didn't do my nipples any good- ouch. Once our baby was a
bit bigger and was fully skilled in nursing he side lying night and early
morning nursing worked great. Again, I didn't find the snuggle nest to be helpful
except for maybe when travelling.
We are having our second child I was thinking about using an arm's
reach co sleeper instead of the bed this time (our 2 year old is in our bed
lots of times too and it is getting pretty squeezy. Has anyone used this
and is there a place in the bay area that I can look at them before
buying. I have been only able to find them on line.
I haven't used one but I've seen them for sale at Babies R Us
(there is one in Pleasanton and one in Union City that I know
What I use and you may consider is a crib which I've placed next
to my bed. I took off the side railing and put a long pillow
covering the crevice between the bed and the crib. The advantage
of doing this is that it works just like a co-sleeper but you
don't have to buy one.
We planned on using the co-sleeper all the time, but in the end
we only use it for naps. We've been happy with it, though.
The one downside is that it's BIG. For the play yard feature
(which we have yet to use) that's great, but for the co-sleeper
it's a bit of a pain. Some people would probably have a tough
time fitting it in their bedroom (make sure you have an extra
few feet between your bed and the wall on the side you plan to
set it up on.)
I've seen them new at Baby World on Piedmont Ave, and you can
often pick one up used (check craigslist and the marketplace
I was very pleased with the Arms Reach co-sleeper. Great to have
our son so close by without sacrificing room in our queen size
bed. My son slept in it until he was about 7 months old (until
he could sit up and potentially climb over the sides). Since
then we've used it as a portacrib. I bought mine at Lullabye
Lane, where they had a floor model set up. I think Rockridge
Kids sells them, too. Be sure to measure the height of your bed
-- if it's higher than normal you may need to purchase leg
extensions for the co-sleeper.
Baby World on Piedmont Ave in Oakland has them, both the
full size ones and the mini-cosleepers. I just got a mini
co-sleeper myself, but I'm still waiting for the baby to arrive...
Hi - We bought an arm's reach co-sleeper before our daughter was
born. We liked the idea of having the baby so close, but weren't
ready for the full ''family bed'' experience. In the end we set it
up but never used it! It made a great diaper / pillow /
blanket / baby stuff holder, but we found ourselves quite
comfortable with the baby in the bed and so we never tried it
out!! If you are interested, we'd be interested in selling it.
I used a co-sleeper with my son after about 12 weeks. Before
then he slept in our bed but after that he kicked and thrashed
around so much that it really got in the way of a good nights
sleep. He slept in the co-sleeper until 6 months and I loved
it because I didn't even have to sit up in bed to grab him and
nurse him when he woke up. We only transitioned him out of it
to a crib because he was waking up and wanting to play when he
saw me. I think they are really wonderful ways to sleep close
to your baby but have your own space especially as they get
bigger. Also we had a queen bed so it saved us from getting a
king size bed. The nice thing is you can use it longer than
most bassinets too which have a 15 lb weight limit. They sell
them at Baby World in Oakland if you want to see them but I
bought mine on EBAY used for quite cheap.
a formerly happy co-sleeping mama
We bought an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper before our son was born and
as my midwife predicted, it became the World's Largest Bedside
Table. The little ''lip'' between the bed and the co-sleeper ended
up being kind of a drag for me -- it wasn't easy to either roll
over and scoop of my baby or lay him down easily, so he ended up
just sleeping in our bed (and all manner of baby and nighttime
paraphenalia ended up in the Co-Sleeper). What wound up working
better for us was to take one side off of the crib and attach it
to the bed w/ bungee cords -- voila! We now had a real
''side-car'' for our bed and he could snuggle over when he
wanted/needed to. After nursing it was very easy to just
roll/scoot him into ''his'' part of the bed Plus the sides of the
crib are much higher than the co-sleeper, so we were able to use
this arrangement right up until he started sleeping on a twin bed
-- and we all had lots of room. The cat was even welcome in the
That said, I have a fabulous Co-Sleeper in near mint condition
(in the ''hard to find'' Cappuccino color), if anyone is
Leonard's Tot Shop in Pleasant Hill has them on the floor.
Their sales staff are also very knowledgeable.
Check them out at BabyWorld on Piedmont Ave. I know they carry
them. Good luck.
We got ours at Babies R us (either Pleasanton or Union City). I
found it to be a little awkward (though I loved the idea of it)
and wound up just having my son sleep with me. Now that he's
crawling I took the tray out and use it more like a playpen
(for those early mornings- when he decides 4am is a good time
to wake up- I put him in there with his toys and he'll play
until ready to snuggle again.
We used the arms length co-sleeper for our twins and thought it
was great. We started out with both babies sleeping next to our
bed in the co-sleeper. When one twin was ready to transition to
a crib and the other wasn't, we used it for one. When both
babies transitioned to cribs, we used it for a playpen (the bed
part moves to the floor level). I would recommend it. Last
time I went to Baby World on Piedmont Avenue, they had one set
up so you could check it out. Good luck!
We borrowed a co-sleeper for no. 2, and for the last 4 months it
seems to be a big improvement on the family bed that we did with
no. 1. No. 1 wanted to nurse constantly and his proximity turned
me into a light sleeper. No. 2 has been sleeping much more
soundly, and after I got used to it and stopped waking to check if
she was still breathing, I too am much better rested.
Baby World on Piedmont Ave stocks them and has them on the shop
Re: Infant sleep question (Aug 2000)
without reading the archives I'll throw in my two cents.
My daughter is almost five months and slept in the bed with
us until about six weeks when she got a little too active.
Then we moved her over to an Arms Reach co-sleeper, which has
worked out really well (about $150 at Babies R Us in Pleasanton,
a little more at local stores). The only draw back is the co-sleeper
makes it harder for me to get out of bed - a real hassle in
the early weeks of postpartum recovery, but no big deal now.
My daughter is still very active some nights, but I can sleep
through more (not all) of it now that she's about 12 inches away.
She still spends some time in bed with us (say, after at 6 a.m.
feeding until we get up), which is very cozy. Or sometimes we
both doze off after a feeding and I wake up later and move her
back to the co-sleeper. A few other tips if the baby is active,
it will kick off it's covers and might get cold. Sleeping sacks
or pile jumpers end up working better than blankets. I keep a
small flashlight by the bed. when I wake up and hear her fussing
I can now see whether she's actually awake and perhaps hungry,
or just sleeping loudly. Finally, sleeping through the night is
not something babies achieve and stick with. Of about a dozen
new mothers I know, all have had their babies sleep through
the night, only to stop later.
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