Monday, January 24, 2011

Co-Sleeping Update

Our co-sleeper

Our baby's Montessori floor bed is ready to go (not pictured above). Initially, we bought a quasi-eco-friendly mattress from Costco, but it was approximately five inches off the ground. We decided to return it (which has been the story of this whole nursery process!) and instead purchase a simple foam mattress from IKEA, which is only three inches off the ground. We covered the mattress with a quilted waterproof pad and a simple sheet from Dwell Studios. We have a second set of both the pad and the sheet, so when we need to wash them, we can simply slip the next set on without delay.

At this point, we imagine that we will co-sleep with the baby for approximately the first three months and then transition him to his own room. I say "imagine" because we really have no way of knowing what will feel right at the time. I subscribe to several of the attachment parenting essential understandings, such as the importance of meeting your baby's needs without fear of "spoiling." I believe that infants who just emerged from the womb are going through a huge transition, and it's important for them to feel safe and secure about getting their needs met.

However, I don't want to be the attachment parents who are still sleeping with a two year-old. I absolutely respect families who make that choice for themselves, but, at this point, I think I will want space, and I think it will be healthier for my partnership with Matt. (Editor's Note: I reserve the right to change my mind at any point! I'm just explaining how I feel now.)

Matt and I decided to find a co-sleeper to put next to our bed because we already have enough trouble sharing a queen-sized bed with the two of us. We finally decided on the Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper (thanks to Katie R.'s suggestion!). Here's what I like about it:
  1. With the legs on, we can set it next to our low platform bed, and it's pretty easy to reach the baby.
  2. We can also put it on the bed between us, if we decide there's room.
  3. The sides are mesh, so it feels safe and we can see the baby.
  4. The sides are pretty high, so the risk of the comforter covering the baby seems low.
  5. The colors are very neutral, which I appreciate in the world of over-stimulating baby products!

The product didn't come with any type of sheets to cover the little mattress, so I decided to make some out of some sheets I picked up at Target on clearance (a whole lot of fabric for a very low price!). I also wanted to cover the mattress with a waterproof pad in case of leaky diapers. I attached some elastic to a waterproof pad we already had, so it would stretch across the little mattress and wrap around the edges. Then I cut out the fabric for the sheet by essentially following the shape of the mattress and added several extra inches around the outside. I hemmed all the way around the edge to create a tube that I could thread elastic through (just like a fitted sheet). It was a huge pain in the butt, but in the end, it worked out really well. I made two sets of sheets, so one can be in the wash while the other one is in use.

I'll definitely give you another update later, once our co-sleeper is filled with our baby!

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Sarah said...

Sounds like a great plan! I'm thinking of a very similar plan when our baby arrives. I'll be curious to hear how it goes. We're thinking of using a "pack n play" or port-a-crib as the initial sleeper so that it will later function as the baby's travel sleeping spot, or go to my parents' house for grandparent use. Thanks for the updates!

Latrice said...

having a co sleeper is a great idea, I'm glad that you were able to work out something that fit the bed. I have 3 children and I used a bassinet for the 2 younger childeren to sleep in beside the bed, with my oldest he slept in the bed with me until he was one. I was 17 when I had him and still lived with my mom, there was no room for him to have his own bed so I let him sleep with me, when I moved out of my mom's house and gave him a bed it was hard to break him from getting in ours (his father moved with us at this point). It took a while but we got him to sleep in his own bed after a while. When my second child was born I was determined not to go through the same situation and so we bought a pack and play with the bassinet attachment and it workedd out great. I feel it is because the bassinet was close enough to me that I could hear every sound, gesture and movement, I could reach out and touch my baby and I could breastfeed without having to wake all the way up and walk across the room (the best thing when my oldest was sleeping in the bed with me, I didn't really have to wake up at all since he could pretty much find the breast himself! LOL bad habit, dont start it!). Plus it gave my little one his own space and he knew that he could be away from me and I would still respond promptly if he needed me to. When it came time to transition him into his crib (at 3 months because he was sleeping though the night) it was an extremely easy transition. And I repeated the process with my third child and again it was an easy transition. s/n: all my children began sleeping through the night at 3 months old, I am told that is not typical but if you establish a routine early in your babies life you will probably be ready to put him in his own bed at about 3 months. If he isn't sleeping through the night by then, you will probably want to keep him close to you until he is.

Sophie said...

I know this is going to sound harsh and I apologize before I even start. But I have noticed that families who practice attachment parenting have a stay-at-home parent. How will you conciliate being an attachment parents while putting your son in daycare at the age of 3 months, thus making him spend the bulk of his awake time in the care of strangers?

Katie B. said...

At the risk of sounding harsh, I think you know very well that the reason your question sounded harsh was the implied judgement against parents (particularly mothers, right?) who work outside the home. I know many peopl who attachment parent in some way within two-income households. Also, your assertion that childcare providers are "strangers" is rather absurd and false. There are many ways to have consistent non-parental caregivers. I, for example, stayed with my grandmother until I was 6 while my mother worked. Then I had the same nanny until I was 15 and didn't need a nanny anymore. The point is that people can and do make it work--what doesn't help is people who make the assumptions that you do.

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