Cosleeping how-to/recommendations?

Hello! New first time parent here. It’s become pretty apparent to us that our little one does best sleeping next to me (mom) - and honestly, I get more sleep that way. We’re breastfeeding so being close and snuggled most the night is ideal. Currently I’m sleeping in the baby’s room but would like to move back to our big bed (king) soon. Baby is 4.5 months old and we have an older cat (set in his ways) who won’t respect closed doors and also wants to snuggle whenever he gets the chance. Hoping some folks here can share pro tips on how we go about this co-sleeping thing as safely as possible? Recommendations on what co-sleeper set up or products to get? I imagine we’ll need something that is big enough to at least get us to 12mo of age. Thank you so much for your advice! - Mani

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I co-slept with all my kids and side by side nursed. Got more sleep that way, I felt more connected as a working parent (who returned to work when my first was eight weeks), and my spouse never was awakened by a crying baby (though I think he takes this for granted!). I made sure always to keep the baby on my outside- although moms naturally sync up their sleeping rhythms and can be pretty attuned even in sleep my understanding is that a sleeping dad (or non-breastfeeding parent) can very easily overroll a child. For safety on the outside I placed a co-sleeper or other barrier/rail so baby wouldn’t fall out. The biggest scary moments for me involved covers - realizing baby’s head had gotten covered. You’ll want to dramatically reduce bedding and maybe raise temp in the room another way if it bothers you. Also make sure not to push the bed against the wall to create that side barrier - babies have gotten caught in the crack between bed and wall and suffocated. I’m not sure about the cat - I might be worried about the risk of smothering if kitty wanted to cuddle on the same side as the baby - but I’m guessing with a big bed the cat would find another spot, and you’ll be attuned to the baby anyway. Good luck. I loved co-sleeping and wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

I personally do not co-sleep, but if you are going that route, you should follow the safe 7 rules (see for example https://www.llli.org/the-safe-sleep-seven/). Do NOT get anything like a Dock a Tot, as those are very unsafe for sleeping.

I don't know about the cat, but we did co-sleeping with a bassinette next to the bed, and then with the baby in the bed between us, minimal blankets and pillows. It worked for us, and maximized sleep. Other people will need to weigh in on the safety issues as this was quite a while ago.

Hi Mani,

While we don't have a cat, Mom & Dad always loved to sleep in the same king bed. Thus, co-sleeping was difficult, but we felt that it was best for our baby, so we bought a bassinet with an unzippable side panel (which everyone loved using until the baby outgrew it).   The Baby Delight® Beside Me™ Dreamer Bassinet & Bedside Sleeper worked best for us. Link here:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1977174749099150

We started cosleeping half the night about this age too. We separate our pillows so he had a decent space between us where he wasn’t going to hit a pillow and suffocate. 
we have 3 cats that sleep with us and we have them sleeping 1 per edge of the bed and one at our feet.

our son is a year now and still sleeps in the middle well! Eventually we’re ready for him to spend the night in his crib though 😅