Posts Tagged ‘bed-sharing’

Safe Sleeping Habits for Babies and Toddlers

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Karyns phone 174

Another infant has died due to unsafe sleeping habits. The sixth death was recently reported from an infant sleeping in a Nap Nanny Infant Recliner in New Jersey. So as a mom, my questions are: Why are these dangerous to babies? How do I keep my baby safe while sleeping?

Dangers of the Nap Nanny

The Nap Nanny Recliner looks pretty comfortable for baby. It’s made of plush fabric and has a fun shape. However, it is not safe for baby. According to an online source, five of the six deaths were due to the Nap Nanny being placed in a crib and the infant falling or hanging over the side. Two of these infants were secured by a safety belt. The sixth infant died in the Nap Nanny while it was placed on the floor. Suffocation is a huge risk with these products–the baby could become trapped between the Nap Nanny and crib bumpers. Nap Nanny Recliners are no longer being sold in stores.

Other Crib Dangers

Here are some other common dangers moms should be aware of:

  • Cute bumpers My daughter’s crib bedding set came with the cutest, pink monkey bumpers. Sadly, they were never used. Bumpers are recommended to help baby from not getting stuck in the crib slats, but they pose a major suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome risk. Many moms opt for the breathable bumpers, while others stick with nothing.
  • Sleep Positioners These are designed to help baby stay in a certain position while resting. However, they are a huge suffocation risk. Some believe they help aid in acid reflux treatment, but the best thing to do is place baby on their back in their crib and talk to your pediatrician if your baby suffers from acid reflux.
  • Pillows and Blankets It still makes me nervous to put my almost 2-year-old in her toddler bed with a pillow. Pillows and blankets can cause a suffocation risk to infants. Dress your baby in footed pajamas or invest in a cute sleep sack to act as a blanket. Baby doesn’t need a pillow to stay comfortable, unlike mom.

Safe Sleeping

Here are a few tips on how to make sure you are giving your baby the safest sleeping environment possible.

  • Stick with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet only.
  • Ensure nothing is covering baby’s face.
  • Keep baby’s favorite stuffed animals out of the crib during sleeping hours.
  • Keep baby away from areas where smoking has occurred.
  • Keep baby’s room at a temperature that is not too hot or too cold.

While it breaks my heart to hear another precious infant has died, it is important to reeducate ourselves on safe sleep habits for infants. While baby’s crib may not always look super cute during nap time, our priority is taking care of our little ones, not having the cutest nursery all of the time.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way who lives, writes, and sleeps in Northeast Indiana.


5 Tips for Co-Sleeping Families

Thursday, January 19th, 2012


Co-sleeping brothers

There’s plenty of information readily available on how to safely co-sleep, however there is far less information on the practicalities of co-sleeping. Yes, I know it sounds fairly easy and straightforward, however I’ve learned a few tricks over the past five years of co-sleeping. Here’s five simple tips for c0-sleeping families that utilize a family bed:

1. Have a large sleep surface– I know king sized mattresses are a lot more expensive (as is the bedding for a king sized mattress) however if you are a co-sleeping family it is likely to be a wise investment. More bed room means more comfortable sleep for everyone and less likely to result in dad getting booted out of the bed in the middle of the night. One of the benefits of co-sleeping is the deep emotional connection that is formed through close physical proximity. It’s equally important/beneficial for dad to be a part of that experience. We decided during my pregnancy with my first son that we would be a co-sleeping family so rather than spending money to create a nursery we decided to upgrade from a queen mattress to a king mattress. If a new mattress is on the horizon for you in the near future, perhaps consider going with the king sized bed to best accommodate/support your family bed. One thing that helped me swallow the cost was understand that a bed is: 1)something you use every night 2) a very infrequently purchased item and 3) that a good night’s sleep is important to overall health and wellness. Another option to purchasing a king mattress would be to have two queens pushed together.

2. Put your mattress(es) on the floor – Once baby is able to roll, I find it’s easiest to have the mattress on the floor. That way we don’t have to worry about baby falling off the bed during the night or at nap time (typically a common concern among bed-sharing families). Also from a very young age we ‘teach’ baby how to scoot backwards off the bed. This not only helps ensure baby’s safety it also foster some independence.

3. Make a ‘birth bed’ – In preparation for my home births, my midwife suggested I make my bed so that it would be easy to strip off dirty/soiled sheets to uncover a clean set of sheets underneath. I soon realized this was a great way to make the bed all the times because co-sleeping can occasionally result in extra fluids; babies spit up, diapers leak/ have blowouts, breasts leak milk, etc. It’s nice in the middle of the night to not have to find a clean set of sheets and make the bed when messes happen. I call it the ‘birth bed’ since it started with the home birth of my son. I have a water proof mattress cover on the bottom layer, then a clean fitted sheet, then a regular mattress cover, and then another fitted sheet. If a mess occurs I can easily remove the top two layers and then go right back to sleep.

4. Use a sleep sack – If you are concerned about use of blankets and such with baby, consider using a sleep sack to keep baby warm. Keep in mind that with co-sleeping extra body heat will help keep baby cozy warm too so a lot of extra layers are typically not necessary.

5. Ignore Negativity – There might be people in your life who do not support your choice to co-sleep or even make inappropriate comments to you about it. While that can create hurt feelings, confusion, and/or conflict try to shield yourself from the negativity of others. If you have chosen co-sleeping because you feel it is beneficial to your family and best meets everyone’s night time needs, frequently remind yourself of that. There is no need to convince anyone else of your co-sleeping beliefs…as long as it is working well for your family that is what counts.

What c0-sleeping tips do you have to share? Would love to hear from YOU! 🙂

Sweet dreams all! – Sarah