Although co-sleeping is nothing new, in recent years there have been some sleeping guidelines to help families bedshare safely. After deciding to co-sleep with our youngest, I wanted to be sure our room was bedsharing friendly. In this guide, I’m sharing our co-sleeping setup along with some tips and hacks so that EVERYONE gets some rest and is comfortable.
If I’m being completely honest, I was terrified of bringing my babies into bed. With my first, I wanted to “follow the rules”… so I had a bedside bassinet and eventually, we transitioned her to her own room at 7 months.
I ended up using Taking Cara Babies (you can read why + my review here) because I was desperate for sleep. Like I mentioned earlier, I was scared to co-sleep with my first, but now I know it was only because I didn’t know how to do so safely.
That’s why I wanted to share our Co-Sleeping Setup. I hope that these tips and tricks help you to feel a little more confident.
Before I get into how we re-did our bedroom, I want to say THANK YOU to My Green Mattress. They gifted me our new king-size mattress and I am beyond grateful that they are sponsoring this article.
I reached out to them when we started setting up our room to safely bedshare because I believe their mattress is one of the few on the market that actually meet all the requirements. I’ll share more about why I think this in a bit, but please know that this is just my opinion. It’s important that you do your own research and decide what is safest for your family.
Our Co-Sleeping Setup
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Like I mentioned earlier, doing your own research is the KEY to safely bedsharing. Don’t take my word for it… or any influencer’s opinion and believe it to be the gospel truth.
Technically speaking, according to the AAP, bed sharing increases a baby’s risk of SIDS. The Safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own crib, in the same room as their parents, and on their back. (You can read more about their guidelines here)
How to Co-Sleep Safely
With that being said, many parents co-sleep unintentionally. So even if you don’t plan on it, I think it’s important to understand how to do so safely. I found The Safe Sleep Seven by La Leche League to be incredibly helpful. I HIGHLY recommend reading this before you even begin re-arranging your room.
I also found a lot of information from the following:
I tried my very best to make our entire sleep space co-sleeping friendly…. on a budget! I will share some tips for the beginning months, a little later on!
1. Non-Toxic + Firm Mattress
The mattress was the very first thing that I knew needed to change to make our bed safer. I did so much research on the BEST mattress for co-sleeping, I felt like this article was BEST Mattresses for Bed Sharing with a Baby incredibly helpful.
3 Things to Look for When Choosing a Co-Sleeping Mattress by Cosleepy:
- Firmness (Check Out this Mattress Test)
I ended up being sold on My Green Mattress when I saw Dr. Courney Kahla talking about it (she’s a nervous system-based Chiropractor).
Why I Chose My Green Mattress
Truth be told, I wanted a mattress that was organic, without flame retardants and other toxic chemicals…. but it needed to be affordable. I first discovered it on the Evidence-Based Mommy and felt like it would be the perfect mattress for our family.
It’s firm and non-toxic, which were the most important things for me.
I should note that it is hand-tufted, so it’s not completely smooth (which was one of the requirements on cosleepy). But I felt perfectly comfortable with the My Green Mattress Kiwi model based on its firmness and the fact that it’s GOTs and GOLS organic.
I will be doing a full review on why I LOVE My Green Mattress next week, so keep your eyes open for that.
2. Lightweight Bedding
I’m not sure if it’s just my kids, but they get super hot when they sleep. I always make sure to keep the blankets light, so they don’t overheat.
Here are my bedding favorites for bedsharing:
- Cooling Mattress Cover
- Lightweight Sheets (with Elastic Corner Straps)
- Thin All Seasons Blanket
- Light Quilt/Blanket
Tip: Use the thin all season blanket on baby and use light quilt/blanket folded down around your waist for warmth.
3. Low Bedframe
Ultimately putting your mattress on the floor would be the safest option! But truthfully after trying this, I felt like it was really difficult to get in and out of bed.
In the future, I would put the mattress on the floor for the newborn phase and then bring our bedframe back in after that.
When I was searching for a new bedframe, I looked for a platform bed that didn’t require a box spring and was low to the ground. This leads me to my next tip……
4. Side Bumper Pillows
I was really concerned about our daughter falling off the bed, so I invested in these hypoallergenic ones. They actually go under your fitted sheet, so that way your baby can’t fall out.
I found having a nightstand to be crucial for our bed-sharing space. This gave me a place to put my glasses, phone, and extra binkies, so they didn’t end up in the bed.
I recommend getting one that has a drawer on top, so you can easily put things away when you need to tidy up.
I opted for a simple nightstand though because I found that things were getting tossed and forgotten about in the drawer.
Some moms replace their nightstands with a nursing cart, with all the things that they will need while feeding their little one. This makes waking up in the middle of the night so much easier!
6. Nightlights/ Lamp
These are more important for the newborn phase when you are up throughout the night breastfeeding and changing diapers, but a nightlight or dimmable light will be your best friend!
I highly recommend these on Amazon, they are touch control, dimmable, and small. Which is perfect for your bedside table!
A Few Tips on Bedsharing
After I got over the fear of co-sleeping, I really started to enjoy it! Not only did our family get more sleep, but everyone seemed a little happier. I look forward to our snuggles!!
Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way…. I hope they help you to get more rest and enjoy this sweet season!
1. Get a King Size Bed
At first, we had a queen and eventually my husband slept in our guest room to help him to be more comfortable. But I’ll be honest, this was really hard on our marriage.
I highly recommend getting a king-size bed, so everyone has enough space…. and if you are lucky you can curl up with your husband at night 😉
2. Wear Long Sleeves
In the middle of winter, I found myself getting chilly at night. I highly recommend getting some long sleeve bed shirts, to keep yourself warm at night.
3. Use a Pillow as Back Support
I found that using a soft pillow behind my back, helped me to enjoy the cuddle curl a bit more! I did have to experiment with different sizes, but eventually found one that worked perfectly.
4. Get a Good Mattress Cover
I was surprised at how much milk got on our sheets while we nursed in bed. I was so grateful that we had a good mattress cover.
As Josie got older, I also found that she would get pretty warm at night. I ended up getting a cooling mattress cover and absolutely love it!!
5. Have Extra Sheets Accessible
Middle-of-the-night accidents are bound to happen, so be sure to have an extra set of sheets ready to go!
I’m so excited for you to set up your bed-sharing-friendly room! I hope this will help you to feel more confident and also help you get more sleep.
Try your best to do your own research, pray about it, and make a decision that you feel comfortable with!
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