Co-Sleeper - What Are Your Options?
There are several co-sleeper accessory options that work with the family bed to keep your baby close while encouraging safe baby sleep. Examine how your baby's sleep style and your space might help make the decision and how the the attachment theory plays a part.
Some options offer safe sleep accessories to use within your bed. If you don't have a king size bed and are feeling cramped you may prefer using a side-car bed that acts as an extension to your own bed and keeps you close.
Following are some of the options:
1 One clever option on the market is a crib-like structure with three rails and one open side that can be locked into place flush beside your bed. The mattress can be adjusted to the exact same level as your bed. This sidecar serves as a safe and roomy extension of your bed.
My daughter is and has always been a very squirmy sleeper. So, with her the family bed is not comfortable - for her or us. She has always slept more soundly close to us but on her own space.
At first we used a bassinet right next to my side of the bed. This was nice and close but required that I get up at night to lift my baby into my bed to nurse her. I was up several times and this was hard on my body. After a couple of months, our daughter slept in her crib within a couple of feet of us.
Our personal best option for my squirmy baby would have been the side car crib. Arm's Reach Mini Co-sleeper would have allowed her space with easy access to me for night-time nursings - I was up a lot!
2 Another option is a small nest-like product that sits on your bed in the middle. With The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper your baby can be beside you and the nest keeps your baby protected from accidental "lay-overs".
3 An alternate option to use with the family bed is a Humanity Family Bed Co Sleeping Pad. It is actually a large blanket that lays under you with a full length bolster attached to it that prevents your baby from falling off the bed.
Sleeping with your baby is said, by experts like Dr. James McKenna, to aid your child's emotional health. In support of the attachment theory baby's who sleep close to their mothers have been found to be secure in their attachments. Research has found such children to be less anxious, with less night time fears and less dependence on soothing devices like pacifiers or blankies.
Using a co-sleeper accessory allows you the peace of mind that comes with safe baby sleep and the attachment and security achieved between you and your baby when you are close.
Knowing that there are options out there for adjusting the family bed to suit your sleep comfort is nice to know. Knowing the importance of bonding and attachment as outlined in the attachment theory makes the availability options even sweeter.
Return from co-sleeper to family bed