When it comes to co-sleeping and bed-sharing we’ve covered an awful lot — but never have we listed practical tips for families who are introducing the practices into their lives.
From reusable waterproof pads for the bed to ditching your comforter for a duvet, I’ve compiled the top five most helpful bits of information I ever received for co-sleeping, and I’d love to know yours!
Get a few reusable waterproof pads for the bed
These are the best. They’re also $20, but there are all kinds of options out there (like these for $9). We bought three when our son was a baby, and in between diaper spills and toilet training accidents, they’ve saved our mattress from a whole lot of drama.
Store extra PJs (for everyone) close to the bed
We have always kept our son’s pajamas in his “area” of the room or, as he got older, in his own room. While accidents are few and far between now, back in the day the only thing more frustrating then being woken up because at least one of you is covered in pee is then groping around in the dark looking for a towel and pajamas.
Pro tip: I found the entire waking up in the middle of the night disgruntled experience became easier when I focused on making sure I was mellow, reassuring, and calm. As he got older, my son was very upset when he had accidents and just needed me to keep my cool and make sure he knew it was ok — not freaking out and moaning about being covered in kid pee. Does it suck? Yes. But does your kid need to know that? Nah.
Get your pets their own beds, at least at first
Our dogs have since migrated back into our bed, but when my son was an infant we totally kicked them out. I felt bad at the time, but we were a little paranoid an animal might trample our kid in the night, and also didn’t want to have to share our space with extra non-humans. Now one of our dogs prefers the bean bag chair we got her, and only snuggles with us on cold nights.
Use a duvet instead of a comforter and sheets
One of my favorite things we have on our bed is our duvet. You can find really awesome covers for them everywhere (Ikea, Target, locally, and so on). I grew up with a a sheet and a blanket on my bed at all times, so at first this totally tripped my world out. However, the duvet-only arrangement is great for bed-sharing because it eliminates the possibility of your kiddo getting wrapped up in a sheet.
DIY a double-sided sheet for the heat
My husband’s grandmother sewed two sheets together to make this really wonderful double-sided sheet that he’s since snagged for our household. It’s perfect for hot summer nights when it’s too hot for the duvet, but we want to be covered by something out of habit. If you don’t have A/C, I also hiiiighly recommend getting a box fan or two and putting them in the windows at night.
What practical advice do you have for families interested in bed-sharing and co-sleeping?