Baby

The little guide to co-sleeping

While considered natural and widespread in many parts of the world, co-sleeping has received a bad reputation in the Western World. Here are some tips for you to rediscover this old tradition. 

Safety rules

Co-sleeping is very safe if you have a few safety measures implemented!

A baby cannot sleep with pillows or duvets
Everyone must have their own blanket. You also have to take the pillow away from your baby but, since babies usually sleep around their parents’ torso (especially their mom’s!), it shouldn’t be too hard. This restriction only applies to little babies.

A baby should sleep on a flat and firm surface. 

Use a bed mattress, a sofa-bed mattress or a high-end futon. Avoid large cushions and waterbeds at all costs.

The baby or the infant must not get stuck anywhere.
Between mom and dad, this problem doesn’t exist. If you decide to use a barrier or if the bed is against the wall, test every night to make sure that your baby won’t get stuck.  

House fitting

The most common way of co-sleeping is to install your child between the two of you. However, some families like their space and choose to bring a few beds together or to put the mattresses on the floor so that everyone has a lot of space. 

Emie, mother of two boys

The best investment you can make for a family bed: a king size bed! 

A new baby joined our family bed three months ago. We added more sleeping space by juxtaposing a futon to our mattress. I sleep in the middle of the bed with a child on each side and my husband has all the room he needs on the side mattress. Sometimes, when I have to get up at night with the little one, the eldest joins his father. 

That way of spending our nights ensure everyone’s comfort and meets the needs of our children. Our room is not exactly as trendy as in the magazines but we don’t care much about that!

Another way would be to remove the detachable side of the crib and to fix it to the bed (make sure that it can’t move away). 

Tips to ease your life

When your baby sleeps in your bed, it becomes possible to stay in bed all night. Have on hand diapers or little potty, nursing pads, quilts, and blankets to be able to meet all your needs at night. For most of us, just the fact of not having to leave the bed facilitates sleep. 

Intimacy for parents

This question bothers many. What do we do when our children sleep with us and sometimes for very long? Here, we have a big house so with a little of imagination (after several years of marriage, it’s the best thing to spice things up!), we simply found some new places around the house.

Some parents have other moments when the kids are asleep (if they have their naps in another room for example). Some parents use the guest room, some decide to put their children to sleep in another room and to bring them to bed when the parents go to sleep. Finally, there are as many solutions as there are couples! 

The transition to sleeping alone

Some families will share the bed until the child asks for their own bed. If you want to stop co-sleeping, don’t forget to give a little time to your child. You can, for example, go sleep in your child’s room for a while. Two children can also sleep in the same bed for some time. The child can also have their space but come in your bed or in a special space made for them in your room, if need be. 

The most important thing is to respect your own needs and your child’s pace. 

Reference

Elizabeth Pantly (2002),The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc. ISBN : 978007138139, 14,95 $

Caroline Mayrand

Caroline Mayrand is a childhood educator and certified instructor in infant massages. She is currently completing a Bachelor’s degree in Business administration and manages Doux hérisson , an online store specialized in Quebec-made family products. Her goal is to allow small and large designers from Quebec to be in the spotlight. carolinemayrand@douxherisson.com or 450-939-0659  

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