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 Post subject: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:58 am 
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I've read the threads on cosleeping but I don't think this topic has been covered.

How did you set up your bedroom if bed sharing? What safety considerations did you take?
For those who bed share, do you have your mattress on the floor in the middle of the room? A safety rail? How does it work?

I'm trying to decide if I need to get a cosleeping sidecar or if bed sharing is doable.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:08 am 
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I'm interested in the feedback here too. I have a bassinet and am thinking about getting a co-sleeper (arms reach) after seeing JENNAs....

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:12 am 
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We started out with a sidecar co-sleeper thing, because I just couldn't picture how the hell it was going to work out otherwise. I think the Emperor slept in it about five times ever, and never for any worthwhile stretch of time. (An hour here, an hour there.) When I learned how to nurse in bed around 3 weeks after he was born, I hardly ever bothered trying to put him into the co-sleeper anymore because it was so much easier, so much less dramatic and so much less anxiety producing for me to just let him sleep physically touching me. And he and I both slept better.

When he was really little, like maybe up to 1.5 months, he slept on his back on my chest mostly. I have nothing scientific to back this up with, but at the time, it seemed safer to me than putting him down on the mattress where he could potentially be crushed or something. As he got physically larger, I got less worried about squishing him, and somewhere around 1.5 or 2 months he started mostly sleeping right in the crook of my arm. His head would be supported by the crook of my arm, which he seemed to like and which seemed to (mildly) help his incredible reflux, and it felt safe to me. Again, I wasn't scared of forgetting he was there and crushing him because I was physically in contact with him. Though it was winter and cold as hell at this point, he slept with no blanket (fine with pajamas and my body warmth), I slept with the blankets at my waist way far away from him and either froze (subpar) or wore a comfy nursable thermal shirt to bed (once I came up with that brilliant idea).

Our bed was very low to start with-- I think the top of the mattress was 22 inches off the ground when we had it in the frame. Since it was so low, we decided to just leave it until it became a problem. It became a problem when he started crawling around 7 months. (He was never much of a roller, so it wasn't problematic before that.) We just moved the mattress to the floor at that point, and that is where it still is now. If I'd had a higher bed to start with, I'd probably have moved it sooner.

As he's gotten older, our co-sleeping has evolved. He still really likes to sleep in the crook of my arm and that's where he'll be given his choice. We use a blanket now (pulled up to about armpit level for me on the side he's not on, a bit lower on his side so it's armpit level for him) since he's pretty well out of smothering age. I can't sleep on my back much now because it's getting uncomfortable as I get pregnanter, so he often ends up sporking me instead, which is hilarious.

The only thing I'd change if I could go back in time and start co-sleeping all over again is my mattress size. We are still rockin' a queen, which is great when it's just my husband and me. It was fine with him and me and a small baby. It is on beyond crowded with him, me and my rapidly expanding uterus, and our sprawling 2 year old.

I think whether or not bed-sharing is doable is a problem with a lot of factors. Are you a light sleeper? Is your partner a light sleeper? Conversely, are you SUPER deep sleepers or on medications that cause you to be super deep sleepers? And, one you can't answer til you have your kid-- is your baby a restless sleeper? These are potentially problematic issues that might make bed-sharing suck for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:32 pm 
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I didn't plan on cosleeping but ended up doing it on and off. In the very beginning the only way he'd sleep was right on top of my Breast Friend pillow, so I slept sitting up with it on, propped up on pillows. That was pretty much hell and I definitely don't recommend it. Also probably not the safest thing to do. But since he was nursing literally every hour pretty much, and would NOT sleep in his bassinet, that was how we survived. I kept the blankets only over my legs so it wasn't near him. It was winter so to keep warm I would wear a hooded long sleeve tshirt with snaps down the front, or a button down with a hat, and a bathrobe on top. Nope, I don't miss those nights! haha

Thank goodness around 3 months he finally started sleeping in the crib most of the time. Now that he's older I have an air matress on the floor in his bedroom and that's usually where we cosleep when he is waking up too often in the crib. Sometimes I also sleep with him in my regular bed, which is higher off the ground. In that case, I only sleep with him on the inside. (the bed is up against a wall, so there is only 1 side he could crawl off of) He could only crawl off if he got over me 1st, and in that case I'd wake up.

Otherwise, I do everything pretty much like coldandsleepy said. I usually lay on my side, and he sleeps in the crook of my arm. I don't mind it for a little while in the early morning, which is usually when we do it. (like if he wakes up at 3 am and I don't have to get up till 5:30). Sometimes he just doesn't want to go back to sleep in the crib, but he'll fall asleep with me. On the one hand it is nice to cuddle and wake up next to him. However if I have to do it longer than that it drives me crazy. I move around a lot in my sleep and I hate being confined to one position. He also tends to nurse more when he is next to me, since it is basically an open bar. Which then wakes me up every time he does it, and just generally feels weird so I don't really like that either.

One thing I will say is that I have always been a heavy sleeper and I didn't think I'd be able to cosleep without crushing him.That was a needless worry though - I am definitely more aware of him in my sleep then I thought I would be. My sleeping habits have completely changed since having a baby. (from tons to practically none, basically. But I'm nowhere near as tired-feeling as I thought I would be) Still though, for me it is much more comfortable when he sleeps in his crib.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:45 pm 
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We had GG in bed with us for years. Like... 5 years? We had a bed rail, and he slept between us (I think). We didn't take any precautions, except we were careful/concerned/paranoid about covers up too high. I would just snuggle way down so the covers were high enough for me, but not neck-height for him.

Possibly unnecessary disclaimer: I am not up on the latest recommendations concerning safe co-sleeping.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:07 pm 
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My MIL got us one of those baby trays that goes on top of the bed between me and the mr., and we've been using that the last few nights. babyV can already scooch around and flip herself over with surprising success, so sometimes she ends up halfway out of it. We don't have room for an arm's reach type thing. I haven't figured out side-nursing but would like to, and with this in mind the tray thing kind of defeats the purpose of cosleeping. Still looking for a good solution I feel is safe, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Need more BabyV photos! I can't believe how limber she is!

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:52 pm 
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I am wondering about furniture around the bed. I've read that headboards, footboards, and bedside tables can all be risks for the baby to get trapped. Of course I have all of these things and my bedroom is too small to move any of it and I'm not willing to get rid of it.

We are not heavy sleepers, obese, or drug abusers (other risks). I think we will fit on the queen bed. And I don't really imagine being out of it enough for the baby to get anywhere near the headboard, etc.

I do have a spare bed in the baby's room that I could put on the floor. It is just on one of those cheapy metal frames, and I don't mind getting rid of that. My husband wouldn't fit on that with us (it's a full) and he doesn't like the idea of me moving out of the bedroom for an extended amount of time. I'm thinking it would be nice to have a different place to be with the baby so at least one of us could sleep!

Is it really necessary to isolate the bed from furniture and walls? Also, is poop and pee in the bed a problem? Thanks for the all the info so far!


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:57 pm 
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We had leaky diaper issues the first couple of weeks and occasionally after that, and I would definitely advocate getting a waterproof sheet to go under your normal sheets. Our actual bigger issue initially was spit up... The Emperor was constantly regurgitating liquid, including during his in-bed hours, and you don't want that soaking into your mattress.

I don't know about furniture-- I don't have a bedside table and have since pre-baby. (Moved it to put in the cosleeper, never ended up putting it back.)

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:41 pm 
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ooh, I am super interested in your opinions, too. I have not figured out what we'll do with sleeping arrangements. I don't know if I'm ok with the baby in the bed, which I'm sure I'll get a better feel for when the time comes, but the bedside co-sleeper sounds intriguing.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Yes to the waterproof layer.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Butternut wrote:
I am wondering about furniture around the bed. I've read that headboards, footboards, and bedside tables can all be risks for the baby to get trapped. Of course I have all of these things and my bedroom is too small to move any of it and I'm not willing to get rid of it. ...

This was one of the main reasons I didn't sleep with him laying down in bed in the beginning. I have a handmade loft bed, and there is just way too much space he could have slipped into between the mattress and the frame. Now that he's bigger, and I'm more confident about my ability to wake up if he moves, I don't worry about it as much.

I never heard about it being a problem for the mattress to be up against the wall though. Mine is against the wall. I guess I could see how it might be a problem, but as long as you keep it flush I doubt it is that big of a deal. They say with a crib mattress, it is safe as long as you can't fit more than 2 fingers in between the mattress and the crib, so maybe it is the same for a mattress on the floor?

Butternut wrote:
I do have a spare bed in the baby's room that I could put on the floor. It is just on one of those cheapy metal frames, and I don't mind getting rid of that. My husband wouldn't fit on that with us (it's a full) and he doesn't like the idea of me moving out of the bedroom for an extended amount of time. I'm thinking it would be nice to have a different place to be with the baby so at least one of us could sleep!

That's another reason I put the mattress on the floor in his room, so my husband could get some sleep. I figured if I had to be up all night breastfeeding, there was no real reason both of us had to be up. Of course, the deal with that was he had to help me out during the day, changing diapers, making meals and whatnot so I could take naps. It worked out pretty well, except that I ended up sleeping on the air mattress for way longer than I ever thought I would! My partner would sleep on the air mattress with us on weekends when he didn't have to get up for work, but I sure did miss him. I actually finally just started sleeping back in our bed every night abut 2 weeks ago! It is soooooo awesome to be back in my bed.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:50 pm 
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This statement is not meant to suggest that any and all cosleeping arrangements are safe or that there are no legitimate safety concerns:

People have been sleeping in the same bed with babies, infants, and toddlers for a long, long time.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:58 pm 
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We are another family that did not intend to bed share but ended up doing it out of necessity. Sleeping with brand new baby Walter was the only way I could get any sleep; he needed to be touching me at all times. We were pretty much like coldandsleepy: the first 2-3 months Walter and I would fall asleep nursing and sleep on our sides, facing each other, with him in the crook of my arm. This has made him a habitual side sleeper--when he is fussy rolling him up onto his side calms him right down. Now I usually roll over onto my back after he's finished nursing. I have always slept lightly, and I have no fear of rolling over onto him or anything. If he stirs, I wake up. Side nursing is the best thing ever. At first we needed a nightlight so I could get him latched on, but now we are champs and can nurse in total darkness. I wake up halfway, enough to pull my shirt up and unhook my bra, and then I fall right back asleep.

We have a king mattress and a bed frame that is totally not safe. We're going to move the mattress to the floor soon because he's moving around a little. Once we're done cosleeping I think we will have to get a new mattress because my half smells like old milk. So yes, get something waterproof under you.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:45 am 
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Plan ahead much RC? Why yes I do.

Co-sleeping, if my husband is in bed, will not work. He is a very deep sleeper, and has rolled on top of ME at night, and not woken up (though I've woken up and shoved him and extracted by body from under his sleeping form). I am fairly certain he would crush an infant. My friend has this most gigantic foam positioning baby pillow thing that I think would work to keep my husband from crushing a baby, BUT, it would also take up a ton of room in the bed (my friend has a king sized bed, not as much of an issue). Our plan as of now would be to get a side-car co-sleeper and have it on my side of the bed.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:37 am 
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i will be back with my own co-sleeping experiences...too tired right now.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:18 am 
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Thanks everyone for sharing your experience! I really appreciate it. One more question: does anyone like the arms reach cosleeper sidecar? I know c&s didn't use it, but I'm leaning toward this.

I swoon over the Moses baskets, too. They are so cute! I don't know how practical.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:34 pm 
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I have the Girlfriend's Guide to Baby Gear and they don't recommend Moses baskets, bc they feel like they pose a SIDS and strangulation hazard.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:01 pm 
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we also didn't plan to cosleep and ended up doing it for about 6 or 8 months. The waterproof layer is good not just for spitup and diapers, but if you will be BF in bed- sour breastmilk smells just as nasty as sour cowsmilk, and it would suck to have your bed get stinky.

i am a really light sleeper, and got even lighter once Sprog was in bed with us. She did nestle right in the corner of my arm and it was all super easy. Then when my other kid came home from the hospital we put them both in their cribs in their room. There was a lot of crying involved for a bit but nothing as bad as I expected.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:39 pm 
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I just wanted to add that after 8 months of cosleeping, I now cannot sleep without snuggling with Walter. He is like my teddy bear. I move him out of his crib when I go to bed, because otherwise I miss him. What will I do when he eventually wants his own bed?! :(


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:54 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
I just wanted to add that after 8 months of cosleeping, I now cannot sleep without snuggling with Walter. He is like my teddy bear. I move him out of his crib when I go to bed, because otherwise I miss him. What will I do when he eventually wants his own bed?! :(


cute! i know what you mean, i miss tzippy too. sadly, she is awful at sharing a sleeping space... i end up getting kicked in the head all night long and so i figure it's better to miss her a bit and wake up wanting to go get her and hug her than to get up in the morning pissed off cause i had a foot in my mouth all night.

as for safety, i personally (very personal and biased opinion here!) think the risks of cosleeping have been way overblown. your brain changes when you have a baby, no doubt in my mind about it. the old nights of oblivion to your surroundings are over. i knew exactly where in the bed my baby was and what was touching her all night long, even in the middle of sleep. ONCE i woke in a panic not knowing her exact location in the bed and that was because my husband had moved her to her bassinet after she'd nursed and i hadn't heard. but if she was physically near me, i was really amazed at how my primitive "mother" brain kicked into high gear and basically kept track of her and the blankets, pillows and other bodies in the bed. my husband wasn't quite at that level, but he sleeps pretty heavily yet was always able to keep well away from her.

anyway, i think it's great to take a couple precautions and stop sleeping in a swampy mess of dozens of pillows and tangled blankets and sheets, but i don't know that some of the precautions i've seen some of my friends take are entirely necessary. one thing i've read is a correlation between overlaying deaths in adult shared beds and not breastfeeding. the hormone changes while breastfeeding probably do a lot to keep you sleeping more lightly and more aware of the baby. until the baby comes, it's pretty much impossible to know how cosleeping will work. i was all set to cosleep... and we did for a few months until it stopped working and we switched to mostly crib sleeping with some cosleeping nights.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:07 am 
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Butternut wrote:
Thanks everyone for sharing your experience! I really appreciate it. One more question: does anyone like the arms reach cosleeper sidecar? I know c&s didn't use it, but I'm leaning toward this.



We have the smaller of the 2 Arms Reach Cosleepers and I LOVE it. It's right next to my side of the bed and I can just reach over to touch Miles if he is fussing a little. Its so nice not having to get out of bed to check on him. I'm going to miss him being right there when he is too big for it which sadly will be soon since he is a giant.

When he is out of the co sleeper he will most likely then go into the crib in his own room. As much as I would like to move Miles into our bed my husband and I are crazy sleepers. We sleep deep, we toss and turn, steal blankets from one another, I've even pinched him in my sleep. I can't subject Miles to any of that. :)

Friends of our cosleep with their daughter who is now 3 and they have a king size bed, high off the floor, pressed against the wall. Their daughter sleeps between one parent and the wall and the parents take turns each night sleeping next to her so the other parents gets a good nights sleep without getting kicked and punched by her. Once she started crawling they put one of those child railings on the end of the bed so she couldn't crawl off.

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:57 am 
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mittenmacher wrote:
I just wanted to add that after 8 months of cosleeping, I now cannot sleep without snuggling with Walter. He is like my teddy bear. I move him out of his crib when I go to bed, because otherwise I miss him. What will I do when he eventually wants his own bed?! :(


Rest assured, it still might go on for a while if you enjoy it and allow them. Our daughter is seven and if given the choice she is happiest laying down right between my wife and I and sleeping. Most weekends we will have "sleepovers" that consist of us sleeping in the basement and my wife and her falling asleep on the couch and I crash on the floor while watching TV/playing video games. During the school year/weekdays she starts out in her own bed but invariably wakes up in the night and crawls in bed with us.

Some people freak out about cosleeping this late but honestly, we love snuggling with her and I doubt she will be doing this as a teenager... which means any night I get to cuddle with her as she sleeps is one more night until she is too old and too cool for her papi. I will seize those moments when I can!

As for the baby thing - we slept on a futon mattress on the floor and she had a mattress beside us so was only about an inch or two below our mattress. This made it easy for her mother to breastfeed and also made it so if someone rolled over into her space the drop of an inch or two would wake them up.


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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:57 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
I just wanted to add that after 8 months of cosleeping, I now cannot sleep without snuggling with Walter. He is like my teddy bear. I move him out of his crib when I go to bed, because otherwise I miss him. What will I do when he eventually wants his own bed?! :(


Ha ha ha... I hear you so much. I always slept with a stuffed animal before the Emperor but now it's a pale substitute. He is suuuuch a snuggler still too... I'm pretty sure I want him on his own mattress at least by the time newbaby is born because two adults, one toddler, and an infant is just too much for our queen sized bed. I know I should probably start now, but, but...

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 Post subject: Re: Logistics And safety of cosleeping
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:59 pm 
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xmiyux wrote:
Some people freak out about cosleeping this late but honestly, we love snuggling with her and I doubt she will be doing this as a teenager... which means any night I get to cuddle with her as she sleeps is one more night until she is too old and too cool for her papi. I will seize those moments when I can!


You are wise. This is what I say when my mom tells me I'll Never Get Him In His Own Bed. What's the hurry? I have the whole rest of my life to enjoy my personal space.


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