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Sleeping options with a newborn

Attleboro, MA
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Sleeping options with a newborn

Looking for relatively cheap and safe ways to sleep with my newborn, who won’t sleep on her own. Our current best sleeping arrangement is me on the couch with baby sleeping on my chest, pillows on both sides of me in case she rolls off (which she’s never done so far). I am aware this is less than safe, but it seems to be the only way for now that she’ll let me get any rest, and I seem to be hyper-aware of her, meaning I’d hopefully notice if she fell off me and onto a pillow and was in danger of suffocating. I’m looking for alternatives, though. One I’ve considered is buying a cheapish moses basket and keeping it in the bed or in the pack-and-play next to the bed. The hope here is that the smaller space of the moses basket will allow her to sleep more comfortably. Option two is an old twin mattress we have from my husband’s bachelor days which I could put on the floor and cosleep with her on it. Cosleeping in our regular bed seems dangerous to me. It’s a king-sized foam bed, and the depression I make in it seems to make her roll towards me (as I found when doing lying down breastfeeding). The room is also not configured in such a way that we could put one side of the bed against a wall, and I haven’t found any mesh bedrails that will fit on a king bed. The twin mattress I’d be using on the floor is very firm, but I’m not sure I’d be able to get it up against a wall without a baseboard radiator in the way. Would there be a problem if I actually had the baby sleep on the floor (on a play mat, perhaps) and I slept beside her on the mattress, maybe with a hand on her for comfort? She’s really not very mobile at this point. These would all be temporary until she’s comfortable sleeping in her pack-n-play on her own. (Not interested in cosleeping for very long.)

Comments

  1. Hi Nicole, so sorry sleep is few and far between for you these days! I promise it WILL get better, but it never feels that way when you are in the midst of it. I think you are doing a great job of trying to find a practical and safe sleep solution for your daughter. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to avoid the sleeping on the couch arrangement as you mentioned- this really is a huge SIDS risk and despite many moms thinking they are aware, when you are exhausted and finally fall into a deep sleep, suffocation and SIDS can result. Moses baskets with firm bottoms can be great (and portable!). It sounds like you already are aware that co-sleeping with your mattress especially is not a safe option, given how not firm it is. Have you considered a co-sleeper such as this?:
    https://www.armsreach.com/

    They make a bunch (including smaller ones) and are great in that they are a safe sleep environment that are at the height of your bed – great for nighttime feedings! Whatever you choose doesn’t have to be expensive either – just safe! I love what moms do in Finland regarding where their babies sleep, too – check out this box idea! http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415

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  2. I agree with everything Dr Lincoln has recommended!

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  3. Thanks for the advice! I purchased an in-bed cosleeper that my husband will be picking up from the store tomorrow. For the moment, I’ve been sleeping with her on that firm twin mattress on the floor. Also not ideal, I know, but better for both of us than the couch. When I get the cosleeper I’ll probably first try it out on that same mattress, and if it works well, move to our king bed. And if THAT works I might try putting it in her pack-n-play next to the bed to try to transition her to sleeping in just the pack-n-play.

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