Sleep Considerations

{ Saturday, May 30, 2009 }
I've spent a good deal of time over the last couple months thinking about how we're all going to sleep after this bean arrives. I know it seems strange, since I've been told that new parents don't typically do a lot of sleeping, but still.

When I first got pregnant, there was no doubt in my mind that we'd cosleep. We planned to use a cosleeper, but the more I researched them, the more nervous I got. They aren't safety rated and there have been recalls on some models that posed strangulation hazards. OK, I thought, we'll put the baby in the bed with us. Where should she sleep? Between me and the edge of the bed and we run the risk of her rolling onto the (wood) floor. So I thought we'd get a bed rail which, aside from making it impossible to get in and out of the bed, are not recommended for use with infants. There is something like this which would stop the baby from rolling onto the floor, but isn't it also a suffocation hazard?

OK, how about putting the baby between the two of us? In that case, we run the risk of one of us rolling on top of her. (If you spend any time googling cosleeping, you'll hear so many horrific stories of parents rolling on top of and suffocating their babies, which is the biggest argument against cosleeping that I've found). I've read that this arrangement is not recommended because (apparently) the mother is very aware of the baby, but the father typically has no idea what (or who) he's sleeping on. I'm not sure how this applies to a two mom family, but I'm assuming the boy is the oblivious father in our case.

In all the research I've done, I've read over and over that cosleeping can be safe if the parents do it in a safe manner. However, when I try to find out what this "safe manner" is, all I can find is that you shouldn't smoke or do drugs (including alcohol) before you sleep with your baby and you should remove pillows and blankets from the bed. And how do we keep the little bean in the bed, preferably without an adult body on top of her? I have no clue.

For a while, we thought we'd leave the baby in the bassinet portion of a pack 'n play next to the bed, which seemed like a nice compromise. But then I got nervous because we spent so much time furnishing the bean's room with all wood furniture and we plan to buy an organic mattress with wool used as a fire retardant to minimize any toxic fumes she might be exposed to while sleeping. Then we're going to put her in a big plastic box to sleep for the first couple months? It didn't make sense to me.

Enter a further complication:

This bassinet has been in the boy's family for generations. It has, apparently, been passed around from household to household as each new baby has arrived. The boy's father slept in it, the boy and the boy's brothers slept in it and, most recently, a niece and nephew have both been in it, one of whom is currently under a year old. Its certainly not safety rated. I'm praying that its been repainted at least once since the days of lead paint. Oh yeah, its an odd size, so there were no organic mattresses to be had that would fit. Yet, there it is sitting in our house waiting for the arrival of the little bean. We're not even sure if she'll stay in it, at least at night, because I'm not sure we've completely given up on the idea of having her in the bed. (I'm still attached to the idea of sleeping, or at least lying down, while nursing in the middle of the night.) We're just not sure exactly how its going to work, which might be appropriate since we're not sure how any of this baby stuff is going to work--we're just going to have to wing it.

1 comment:

nutella said...

How about one of these? Doesn't seem to be availabe in an organic, but it would allow you to keep the baby in the bed more safely.