Co-sleeping is a personal choice for families, and it has gray areas just like any other aspect of parenting. One family's version of co-sleeping may not mirror another's and it's often called modified co-sleeping when you take different aspects of the lifestyle and make it fit for your family. So how do you do modified co-sleeping? Does it require some DIY work or is sliding your child's crib into a corner of your room enough?
It's all about how you want to tackled modified co-sleeping. Dr. Craig Canapari, director of the Yale Pediatric Sleep Center, wrote on his website that co-sleeping basically means sleeping with your child. Whether that means bed-sharing, where a child snuggles right there with you in your own bed, or room-sharing, where your child has their own separate bed or crib in the same room as you is your choice. That's what constitutes as modified co-sleeping — you modify sleeping with your child to fit you and your family's needs.
Still not sure how to do it? Determine what you and your baby need. Canapari insisted on his website that there are a few guidelines to follow when determining if co-sleeping works for you — it's all about good enough sleep. Are you sleeping well? Is your child sleeping well? Are either of you disturbed at night? Is everyone wake up well-rested in the morning? Is there enough space? Then co-sleeping sounds like it works. But if you notice that sharing the bed with your child in a traditional co-sleeping environment doesn't yield positive results, then look into modified co-sleeping. These five ways to do modified co-sleeping can help ensure that everyone gets good enough sleep for the night while still having a co-sleeping relationship.
1You Can Side-Car A Crib
Some couples want to co-sleep with their baby, but they don't want to share a bed with their little one. There are tons of tutorials out there about how to side-car a crib, including this crib co-sleeping hack from IKEA Hackers. You definitely want to make sure however you're doing it is a safe choice, but this is a great way to try modified co-sleeping. You're right by your baby, but you don't have to give up your space or worry about blankets and pillows getting in the way.
2You Can Use A Co-Sleeper
If you don't want to try to DIY your own co-sleeping crib, you can use one like the Arm's Reach co-sleeper bassinet ($191). It has a few different options like lowering one side so you can access the baby from your bed or using it as a traditional bassinet.
3Combine Mattresses On The Floor
If you're worried about your baby falling out of bed, some parents take modified co-sleeping to an even safer level by putting mattresses directly on the floor. The blog Mama & Baby Love shared a post about a parents' bed mattress being on the floor so that a baby could slide in and out of the bed. Some parents like to keep the crib mattress nearby as well so that their child has their own space, but is still safe and co-sleeping.
Want your baby in their own space, just in your room? Room sharing is a great way to tackle modified co-sleeping. Simply pull your baby's crib or cot into your room and you can sleep in your own bed. You're still getting the same benefits of co-sleeping, but you don't have to worry about tiny feet in your back or having too many blankets on the bed.
Want to try the typical co-sleeping idea? You can bed share with your little one as long as you're both sleeping well. There are plenty of tips about co-sleeping safely like Hobo Mama's suggestions of sleeping with your pillow tucked behind you and no blankets.