Tips On How To Get Co-Sleeping To Work For You.
If you’re thinking of starting to co-sleep, or if you already do, these tips may work for you. They’ve helped me co-sleep with all three of my babies at one time or another.
Try using a wedge.
One of those ones with a little mat baby lies on, with a triangle wedge on either side. I used this with my first baby, and it worked like a charm. He got his own little ‘space’ next to me and the wedge acted like a type of barricade. So did a hairbrush, and a sharp-cornered book. No jokes. Which leads me to my next point..
Try putting something between you and baby.
if you are paranoid you’ll roll onto him. A pile of hard books, a prickly brush. I was paranoid on the odd occasion, but never found myself rolling into these ‘barricades’ ever. But they felt good to have there on the odd occasion I wanted something there.
Try to. Put. Baby. In. His. Cot.
if you’re feeling tireder than the normal new-mom-exhaustion kind of tired. No risks, even if it means getting up out of bed for every feed. There’s no use falling asleep when you’re super tired, with baby on your breast. Or sleeping next to him in that state.
Try feeding with baby in the crook of your arm.
I found this one by accident. My let down was too fast, and I read somewhere that feeding while lying back works against gravity, and may help. So I tried it, and three tricky co-sleep-and-breastfeed babies later I found how to do just that, and easily. I used the wedge under my arm/elbow to elevate my arm, so that baby’s one arm could go down my side without getting squashed.
Baby’s head and body lie on the one side of my body between belly button and side, and baby can drink and sleep comfortably, without risk of you rolling over (you’re comfortably on your back with a wedge on your one side and under your arm) and baby’s head is at an angle, not face down in your breast, so he can breathe easily. Works like a charm, for how long, I’m not sure. I put him back in his own space when he’s sleeping again.
Try sleeping with baby on one side, spouse on the other.
Husbands (I speak for mine, but I’m not alone, right?) have selective hearing, and feeling, especially when it comes to baby crying or feeding or BEING in bed with you. Husbands also tend to sleep like the dead. Keep baby away.
Try using a pillow when feeding.
If you sit up to feed during the night, a pillow on your legs helps not put strain on your neck and back. Sitting with your legs over the side of your bed helps do this too. You want baby’s weight supported by the pillow, not pulling down on your neck, back and arms.
Try sleeping with a jersey on.
Babies can die from overheating, an awful, unimaginable thought, but it is apparently true. So flip the extra blankets back onto your hubby, and keep one lighter one over you, tucked under your arms if you like, and bulk up on clothing if you’re cold.
Try sleeping lower on your bed.
If you’re not keen on more clothing… that way, you can get a bit more blanket over you and it wont go over baby at all.
Try giving baby his own blanket.
Keep him wrapped in his, and you in yours; no sharing. This lowers the risk of your blanket(s) covering his head. Tuck yours under you slightly.
Try turning your pillow 90 degrees.
I get paranoid about my pillow anywhere near baby, so turning it 90 degrees squishes most of it against the wall, but I know it won’t accidentally flop over onto baby next to me. Also, you can fold it in half and turn it 90 degrees if you don’t like it squished against the wall. Whatever works for you.
Try sleeping with a chest of drawers or cot pushed up against the bed.
Especially when baby starts being able to move around more. It puts my mind at ease knowing he wont’ fall off the bed easily if there’s a ‘wall’ next to him. Make sure it’s heavy enough that it can’t easily move; you don’t want it budging slightly even – could risk baby slipping down and getting wedged inbetween.
Try sleeping sober.
Lastly, don’t sleep with baby if you’ve had any alcohol. Sleep deprivation in itself calls for delayed reactions and deep sleep. Mixing with alcohol can’t be good 🙂
Hope these were helpful to you in some way, if you’re considering co-sleeping!
With each baby I have, I do a bit of reading on the miserable topics (SIDS, overheating, sleep safety, co-sleeping), just to make sure I am doing the right thing. Please do some reading of your own, and make sure you’re making safe co-sleeping choices. And then.. ENJOY! 🙂
Read more articles on Kids and Sleeping from my Sister Bloggers:
Tips for Moms with Kids that have Trouble Sleeping by Nicolette from Powerful Mothering