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Really High Beds, Co-Sleeping Safely, and the Humanity Family Sleeper

Welcome to the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival hosted by Monkey Butt Junction . Our bloggers have written on so many different aspects of cosleeping. Please read to
the end to find a list of links to the other carnival
participants.

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Before Tiny was born, Rasta Daddy and I researched and researched and researched before making the decision to invest in the Arm’s Reach Cocoon. This product seemed like a wonderful way to share our room with Tiny, making sleep and breastfeeding easier on all of us. Tiny would have her own space next to my bed and the idea was that I would be able to easily reach her when she woke at night. The Cocoon had a high safety rating and seemed like a great product which would allow Tiny to self soothe a bit.

Since Rasta Daddy and I were convinced that she would sleep peacefully through the night by the time she was three months old, we had a crib at the ready all decked out with jungle print sheets. Never in our wildest imaginations did we see ourselves sharing our actual bed with our little bundle of joy. After all, Rasta Daddy is a rather rambunctious sleeper and by that I mean that he takes up the entire spread of the bed whilst thrashing about all night long. So there was a safety issue for Tiny.

Yeah, well, all of that got turned on its head.

As many of you know, Tiny came into this world via cesarean section, not at all something I wanted. And as anyone who has had a cesarean knows, recovery is rather awful. My recovery was particularly brutal and I was basically stuck in bed for the better part of 14 weeks post-partum. Getting in and out of bed those first few weeks was beyond painful. Plus, Tiny slept on my chest every single second we were in the hospital and I could not imagine putting her teeny little self into the Cocoon, all alone.

So, we bed-shared. It was just Tiny and I in bed as my husband slept on the couch. For safety reasons of course. ;)

I felt pretty safe bed-sharing without any special contraptions or barricades those first few weeks. Tiny didn’t move much and I made sure to keep her towards the center of the bed. However, after about a month, I started to worry about what might happen if she decided to start rolling over in the middle of the night. We have a really high bed…like 3 feet off the floor high. That is a long fall for a baby. Sheesh – that is a long fall for an adult.

My doula had become my go-to mama so I asked her opinion, knowing she had bed-shared. She recommended that I check out the Humanity Family Sleeper. I did an internet search and found them quickly. However, before I even read anything about the product, I immediately balked at the price tag. I could not imagine that something that helps keeps a child in a bed would be so expensive. Instead of reading further, I ordered a bed rail online. Huge mistake!

Rasta Daddy installed the bedrail that I had ordered. It was designed for extra high beds however, it was pretty crappy.  There was an 8 inch wide and 12 inch deep gap between the mattress and the bedrail. Tiny could have easily rolled into that gap and suffocated. In addition, it only came up 2 inches above the top of our mattress. For me, this rally did not add any safety. A baby is capable of rolling up and over something that is only 2 inches high and less than 1 inch wide.

Panicked as Tiny was started to wiggle around more, I revisited the Humanity Family Sleeper. I gave the entire website a careful read, found some independent reviews, and decided to order it. BEST INVESTMENT EVER! I would not lie!

You can visit the Humanity Organics’ website to learn more about the Family Sleeper but let me share a few of the highlights:

Safety - When connected to the pad, the full length body pillow offers a stable 5 ft. long roll-off protection for your baby. There’s no need to push your bed against a wall (a known crevice hazard) or ‘hurdle’ a bed rail to get in or out of bed, and forget bulky pillows along the bedside taking up valuable sleeping space or allowing baby to fall to the floor. The bolster takes up less than a foot of space and be can be placed to the very edge of the bed without worry of it falling.

And just because the new baby is coming doesn’t mean you have to stop sleeping with your toddler or older child.  If you share your bed with more than one child the Humanity Family Sleeper is a must. Mama and baby can sleep safely on our absorbent pad and big brother or sister can sleep on the other side of mom. 

Comfort - The bolster can be used before baby arrives! The pregnancy body pillow gives the mother to be a great night’s sleep before baby is even born. The extra large sleeping pad is made of 4 thick, luxurious layers of 100% organic cotton flannel. Mom and baby get a super soft, super absorbent sleeping surface. The pad readily absorbs leaked breast milk from night time breastfeeding as well as mishaps from baby. The Humanity Family Sleeper makes sleep time more comfortable while protecting your sheets and mattress at the same time.

Convenience - The Humanity Family Sleeper was designed with extended breastfeeding in mind. Research shows that a main reason moms stop breastfeeding is because of the lack of sleep they experience.  Night time nursing is a breeze when you’re sleeping next to your baby.  Bed sharing also gives working moms extra time to reconnect with their babies.

Other reasons why I love our Humanity Family Sleeper and could not imagine sleeping without it:

  • It keeps you warm in the cool months and cool in the warm months. The way this organic cotton flannel adjusts to your temperature is amazing!
  • It is perfect for travel. We have gone on two trips with it and I can rest easy knowing that Tiny is safe in our temporary bed. No pillow or parent barricades resulting in restless sleep. No worrying about leaking milk or diaper leaks finding their way onto the in-laws bed.
  • It NEVER retains odors. I have leaked copious amounts of milk onto the Sleeper and never has it smelled of mama milk. Similarly, leaky diapers do not present an odor issue. Although I will wash it after a diaper leak, I have gotten lazy once or twice and let it ride for a few days. Why? Because it did not have any pee pee odors!
  • It is impossible to stain this amazing fabric. I have had many nosebleeds (thanks to Tiny’s penchant for head butting my face in her sleep) and blood has gotten all over that pad. I do nothing special other than wash it with my usual detergent (from The Peaceful Housewife). Soaked in blood has come right out!
  • I will be able to use this in Tiny’s bed, should she decide on her own that she is ready to sleep in her room without me and is still in need of some sleeping safety.
  • When we no longer need to use the Family Sleeper, I can take the 5 foot long pillow and turn it into a body pillow! Whoo hoo!

When it comes to safely bed-sharing with Tiny, I could not imagine not having the Humanity Family Sleeper. This is definitely an item that I can whole heartedly recommend to anyone wanting to bed share. I feel confident that Tiny is safe and I can relax and enjoy sleep along with her.

P.S. I am in no way, shape, or form being compensated for writing about the Humanity Family Sleeper. This is a product that we have used, loved, and that I feel good about endorsing. This Carnival gave me the perfect opportunity.

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Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival

Thanks for reading a post in the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival. On Carnival day, please follow along on Twitter using the #CosleepCar hashtag.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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  • Emotive Co-Sleeping Campaign – Miriam at Diary of an Unconscious Mother talks about her feelings on Milwaukee’s anti-cosleeping crusade and its latest advertising campaign.
  • Why Cosleeping has Always been the Right Choice for My Family – Patti at Jazzy Mama shares how lucky she feels to have the privilege of sleeping with her four children.
  • Cosleeping is a safe, natural and healthy solution parents need to feel good about. – See how Tilly at Silly Blatherings set up a side-car crib configuration to meet her and her families’ needs.
  • Black and White: Race and the Cosleeping Wars – Moorea at Mama Lady: Adventures in Queer Parenting points out the problem of race, class and health when addressing co-sleeping deaths and calls to action better sleep education and breastfeeding support in underprivileged communities.
  • Reflections on Cosleeping – Jenny at I’m a Full Time Mummy shares her thoughts on cosleeping and pictures of her cosleeping beauties.
  • Cosleeping and Transitioning to Own Bed – Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine shares her experiences in moving beyond the family bed.
  • What Works for One FamilyMomma Jorje shares why cosleeping is for her and why she feels it is the natural way to go. She also discusses the actual dangers and explores why it may not be for everyone.
  • Really High Beds, Co-Sleeping Safely, and the Humanity Family Sleeper – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama gives a quick view of Jennifer’s bed-sharing journey and highlights the Humanity Family Sleeper, something Jennifer could not imagine bed-sharing without.
  • Crying in Our Family Bed – With such a sweet newborn, why has adding Ailia to the family bed made Dionna at Code Name: Mama cry?
  • Dear Mama: – Zoie at TouchstoneZ shares a letter from the viewpoint of her youngest son about cosleeping.
  • Cuddle up, Buttercup! – Nada of The MiniMOMist and her husband Michael have enjoyed cosleeping with their daughter Naomi almost since birth. Nada shares why the phrase “Cuddle up, Buttercup!” has such special significance to her.
  • Co-Sleeping With A Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler – Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how co-sleeping calls us to trust our inner maternal wisdom and embrace the safety and comfort of the family bed.
  • Fear instead of Facts: An Opportunity Squandered in Milwaukee – Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction discusses Milwaukee’s missed opportunity to educate on safe cosleeping.
  • Cosleeping: A Mini-rant and a Lovely Picture – Siobhan at Res Ipsa Loquitor discusses her conversion to cosleeping and rants a little bit about the Milwaukee Health Department anti-cosleeping campaign.
  • Our Cosleeping Story – Adrienne at Mommying My Way shares her cosleeping story and the many bonus side effects of bedsharing.
  • Cosleeping can be safe and rewarding Christy at Mommy Outnumbered shares how her cosleeping experiences have been good for her family.
  • Adding one more to the family bed Lauren at Hobo Mama discusses the safety logistics of bed sharing with a new baby and a preschooler.
  • The Truth About Bedsharing – Dr. Sarah at Parenting Myths and Facts discusses the research into bedsharing and risk – and explains why it is so often misrepresented.
  • Cosleeping as a parenting survival tool – Melissa V. at Mothers of Change describes how she discovered cosleeping when her first baby was born. Melissa is the editor and a board member for the Canadian birth advocacy group, Mothers of Change.
  • Dear Delilah – Joella at Fine and Fair writes about her family bed and the process of finding the cosleeping arrangements that work best for her family.
  • CoSleeping ROCKS! – Melissa at White Noise talks about the evolution of cosleeping in her family.
  • Safe Sleep is a Choice – Tamara at Pea Wee Baby talks about safe sleep guidelines.
  • 3 Babies Later: The Evolution of our Family Bed – Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about how her family’s cosleeping arrangements evolved as her family grew.
  • Tender MomentsThe Accidental Natural Mama discusses tender cosleeping moments.
  • Cosleeping Experiences – Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure describes how she ended up co-sleeping with her daughter through necessity, despite having no knowledge of the risks involved and how to minimise them, and wishes more information were made available to help parents co-sleep safely.
  • The early days of bedsharing – Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares her early memories of bedsharing with her then new born and gets excited as she plans including their new arrival into their sleeping arrangements.
  • The Joys of Cosleeping in Pictures – Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares pictures of some of her favorite cosleeping moments.
  • Symbiotic Sleep – Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children discusses how the symbiotic cosleeping relationship benefits not only children but also parents.
  • Co-sleeping Barriers: What’s Stopping You? – Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she was almost prevented from gaining the benefits of co-sleeping her family currently enjoys.
  • Co-Sleeping with the Family Humanity Sleeper – Erica at ChildOrganics shares a way to make co-sleeping safe, comfortable and more convenient. Check out her post featuring the Humanity Organic Family Sleeper.
  • Why We CosleepThat Mama Gretchen’s husband chimes in on why cosleeping is a benefit to their family.
  • Adding to the Family Bed – Darah at A Girl Named Gus writes about her co-sleeping journey and what happens when a second child comes along.

A big thank you to all of the Safe Cosleeping Blog Carnival participants!

Comments

  1. I looked at this product when our daughter was born,too. Yet we were living in a furnished house so wasn’t good for us but I am glad it worked wonders for you :)

  2. I made one using a body pillow, and an old sheet, I just sewed a large “pocket” in the sheet and shoved the body pillow down inside. Also made it awesome and easy to wsh when baby spit up on it. But yes, they do work great and cosleeping was absolutley my favorite part of having a small baby! (Well that and breastfeeding) Nothing like snuggling all night with the best cuddler ever!

  3. Thank you for this! Baby Z may be able to roll over the blanket I roll up next to us… So I put lots of pillows on the floor Just In Case he were to fall, but in my mind I’ve been trying to figure out what to do… I need to save for this wonderful product! And quickly… :) xxLL

  4. Cool, that’s something I could easily make with the pregnancy pillow I already own. Gotta find some fabric and then I’m on it!

  5. That cosleeper pillow is AWESOME!! I agree with mamapoekie that a body pillow/pregnancy pillow could easily be converted into that. I may consider that if we have another, Sariah is pretty content in the center of the bed.
    Witht he other 3 we always just had the mattress on the floor so falling was never a concern haha.

  6. I used the Humanity Bed when my 3rd daughter was born. I used it keep my 2-year-old from falling out of bed, and I had the newborn sleep between me and the 5-year-old. We were all in one king-size bed, while my Partner-Guy slept in his own room. (Note that his location did not negatively affect our relationship, as we went on to have a 4th babe!)

    I love the Humanity Bed and I bought it off Craigslist for just $100. It was a great investment.

  7. This sounds like a fantastic cosleeping product! We ended up taking the minimalist approach, got rid of our bedframe and put the mattress on the floor, but I love the idea of this pillow barrier for higher beds! Thanks for sharing.

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  8. After reading your post and Erica’s, I really think I need to get this before baby #2 gets here – thanks!

  9. Jen!
    You just know exactly what to talk to me about don’t you? This is perfect. I think I need to change my wish list for Santa. Ever since Pistachio was born, Peanut has small meltdowns at bedtime if I have sister with us because she can’t snuggle with me anymore.
    Like I said…this is perfect.
    I just told hubby about it and showed it to him.
    We’ll see if it’s under the tree. :D

  10. I love to see people find exactly what they need to make bed sharing work! For us, it was as simple as a toddler bed rail attached to our Queen mattress. I used one with my now-13yo-daughter before transferring her to a toddler bed butted up against our mattress / box springs on the floor (the PERFECT matching height for us!). I used one again with my 3yo daughter. I’ve just had my husband and a friend reinstall it today as we’re expecting our son any time now!

  11. We’re still working out the logistics of our cosleeping arrangement, but if we move full speed ahead you’ve sold me on the family sleeper. It really is a versatile piece of a equipment and more cozy then a guard rail.

    Also – thank you for the plug on your Facebook and your kind words! Such an awesome surprise!

  12. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says:

    I never even knew about this before Kieran, but now I wish I had – it looks amazing!
    We actually have our changing table butted up to the bed – the second level of it is the same height as our mattress, so if the babe happens to roll over, she’ll just roll onto the changing table. Kieran never did – I’m guessing Ailia won’t either.

  13. I’m so glad you shared about this! I definitely need to save up for one!

  14. This is one of the best bedding ideas for people who have limited room space. Bunk bed singapore are big in size then it is better for the big rooms. It is ideal for those living in dormitories, small apartments, RVs and boats. It is also good choice for parents who have kids.

  15. What a lovely piece. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ll have to get my sister to save up. She could do with an excuse to get hubby to sleep on the sofa! (Joking, dear, if you’re reading!)

  16. Nice! I have so wanted that and, like you, balked at the price tag. Sounds like it’s worth another look! Thanks for your thorough review.

  17. That is an amazing product. This would be very helpful especially to those who have kids. This will definitely improve their sleep.

  18. cribs for twins says:

    Cool, that’s something I could easily make with the pregnancy pillow I already own!

  19. TheDerocheFamily says:

    Does anyone know of a bigger size mattresses available? We have a king size, my oldest sleeps in.his own toddler bed (4yrs) next to our bed and our youngest co-sleeps with us (2yrs) but my husband is very tall and has a body like a football player LOL! So its him our two year old and me in our king size! Plus we are thinking of having another baby! So the bed is feeling smaller!!!
    Are there bigger beds put there?

Trackbacks

  1. Natural Baby Care Resources says:

    [...] and get tips for co-sleeping and nursing at Diary of a First Child. Hybrid Rasta Mama also offers a product recommendation for bedsharing as well as tons of links at the bottom of the post on co-sleeping. Another nice resource for [...]

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