COSLEEPY

Cosleeping Must-Haves: How to Cosleep Like a Pro

Snag Something From Madewell To Beautify June at Home

January 2, 2021

I’m Tiffany.
I'm a safe cosleeping educator and mom of two little boys.
TOp categories
Get My Free Cuddle Curl Pillow Guide 
Gimme that
Disclaimer: If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Don’t just cosleep. If you’re going to do it, do it right! Here are some tools that have made cosleeping easier and more delightful for our family.

Pick and choose some of the following items, or just use them as a jumping-off point.

For Your Family Bed

Firm mattress — A non-toxic latex mattress is my go-to choice for safe bedsharing. It’s firm, and it won’t warm up underneath your body heat (like memory foam does).

Mattress protector — Every bedsharing parent needs a mattress protector to defend their family bed from diaper leaks, bacteria, dust mites, and more fun stuff that lives on their mattress.

Corner straps — These fasteners will keep your fitted sheet nice and tight, and help avoid the lethal rebreathing of carbon dioxide.

Bed rail — If you bedshare up on a bed frame, you may need to install a bed rail as soon as your infant becomes mobile.

Note: There are always risks with bed rails. First, be aware that your child may climb over it and fall to the ground head first. Secondly, there is a risk of entrapment in the gap between the rail and the mattress. Pack the crack, and never let a child younger than 24 months old sleep near a bed rail unsupervised.

Bed bumper — If you bedshare down on a floor bed, you may want to place a bumper underneath a tight fitted sheet to keep your infant from rolling off the mattress.

Bed slats — If you’ve placed your mattress directly on the floor, you may want to place bed slats underneath. This highly-rated version can help firm up your mattress while preventing mold from growing underneath. (Here’s a more affordable option.)

Cotton blanket — To stay warm, layer thin, breathable blankets instead of one heavier blanket. Keep it below your waist, far away from baby. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways you can stay warm all night, even without your cozy duvet!

Consider this blanket or this one if you’re especially worried about your bedding accidentally covering baby’s face. These have little holes throughout and are especially porous!

Pillows — Invest in a few absolutely fantastic pillows you can use to prop yourself up so baby can sleep safely on your chest or to support your body in the cuddle curl. You’ll thank me later!

For my full list of pillows that help reduce cuddle curl pain, see the “Pain Prevention” chapter in my How to: Stay Comfy in the Cuddle Curl mini-course.

Here are three pillows I’m using on any given night:

  • Molded latex pillow — This firm, non-toxic pillow is molded from a charcoal-infused latex core and holds its shape evenly. It regulates temperature, too, which is always a plus when you’ve got a baby absorbing your body heat.
  • Toddler pillow — Simply remove and replace this thin knee pillow each time you switch sides throughout the night. Bonus: You can give it to your toddler once they’re old enough for their own!
  • Adjustable pillow — We have three of these pillows in our house! We love how you can add or remove filling to create a perfectly-tailored fit. (Here’s a more affordable option.)

For Travel

Travel bed bumper — This is an inflatable bumper that you can pack in a suitcase or throw in the trunk of the car before a road trip! It could be a lifesaver if you need to put the hotel mattress directly on the floor.

Bunkie board — If you arrive and realize the mattress is too soft for safe bedsharing, you could order a firm board to place underneath to help firm it up. (You could also bring one along with you, just in case, if your vehicle is large enough.)

Travel crib — A travel crib can keep baby safe for naps and the first stretch of the night, when sleep pressure is strong and transferring is easier. Look for a travel crib that unzips, so you can nurse baby to sleep in the side-lying position then sneak out. (Here’s another popular version!)

Thick, cork yoga mat — In a worst-case scenario if you do not have access to a firm mattress, place a yoga mat under the fitted sheet where your baby will be sleeping beside you. A thick, cork mat will stay in place better than the standard yoga mat.

Note: This is not an ideal bedsharing situation, so make sure to sleep in the cuddle curl position so you can monitor baby throughout the night.

FOR YOUR FAMILY BEDROOM

Cushy bumpers — These foam bumpers are a game-changer for parents who have a toddler sleeping on a floor bed! Stick bumpers on any hard edge (e.g. nightstand, bookcase, etc.) as you safety-proof the entire room.

Red nightlight — Every family bedroom needs a reliable nightlight! Choose a red one, as red light helps produce melatonin — the hormone that makes you feel drowsy. Here are two popular options:

  • Tabletop nightlight — Your toddler will love this fun strawberry design that they can turn on all by themself, as part of their nighttime routine.
  • Outlet nightlight — This nightlight turns on/off automatically, as the sun sets and rises. Make sure it’s plugged into an outlet out of your toddler’s reach!

Toddler-safe nightlight — If your child is sleeping on a floor bed, you’ll need a nightlight that’s cordless, cool, and/or out of reach. This post links 50+ options!

For You, Mama!

Button-up cardigan — Every breastsleeping mother should sleep in a button-up sweater to stay warm and facilitate nursing on demand throughout the night. Do you have an old cardigan in your closet? There’s an easy hack to turn it into the perfect bedsharing top!

How-to books — Boy, there are a lot of books out there for the new parent! Here are two that have increased my confidence as a bedsharing mama:

  • I recommend this book to everyone, every time, as it was written by the world’s leading authority on mother-infant cosleeping.
  • La Leche League International’s foundational book guides the cosleeping family through nighttime and naptime strategies (and so much more).

Rocking chair glider For the love of contact naps! Enjoy all the cuddles while you can in a comfy glider. Set up a station with water, snacks, a magazine or book, and a phone charger on the table beside you.

For Your Infant

Overnight diapers — After much trial and error, these disposable overnight diapers worked the best for us. Here’s a thorough blog post on avoiding diaper leaks in the middle of the night.

Summer foot-less sleep sack — You know how when you’re in bed and you realize you’re too hot, all you have to do is stick a foot outside of the blanket and you instantly feel cooler?

A foot-less sleep sack does the same thing for your baby. And how important is this!, as overheating is a risk factor for SIDS.

Winter sleep sack — Look for a breathable, cotton sleep bag to keep baby warm during the cold months. This one has a two-way zipper for easy-breezy diaper changes.

Baby carrier — Keep a baby carrier handy for the times contact naps need to be mobile. Here are two popular options:

  • Wrap baby carrier — This soft wrap is perfect for walking your squishy infant to sleep.
  • Ergonomic baby carrier — Find a carrier that has lumbar support, like this one, for extra back comfort as baby grows.

For Your Toddler

Night-weaning book — We used this beautiful picture book to gently night-wean our 18-month-old. Read about our experience here.

Soft photo album — Fill one of these plush albums with photos that will comfort your toddler when you leave them with a caregiver. Keep it on the family bed with your toddler’s favorite stuffie.

FOR YOUR PARTNER

Vibrating wristwatch — If your partner needs to wake up early for work, a vibrating wristwatch can help them sneak away without waking you or baby!

For Your DOG

Baby prep book — As soon as we found out we were expecting, we used this short, practical book to prepare our pup for baby’s arrival.

Dog bed — She’d slept on our bed for the previous five years, and it was not an easy transition to get her off. After going through a few options, we found this plush, cozy dog bed that finally turned things around.

She loves it because it comes with a soft, velvet hood that she can snuggle underneath. It probably reminds her of the good ol’ days up on our bed!

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments
Reply...

Browse By Category

Lifestyle

Home

Beauty + Style

tips
tricks

Signature Offering

How to Bedshare In Real Life

Have you been skipping dinner because you’ve been going to bed with baby at 6 p.m.? I knew it. There is a better way! Let me walk you through your evening tonight and show you how to make this new bedsharing lifestyle easy and enjoyable for everybody in the family.

SHOW ME THE WAYS
WORK WITH me

Book a Consult

Want to meet up for coffee and actually talk about all this? Book a virtual safe cosleeping consultation with me to examine your setup to make sure it's safe and working for everybody in the family.

LET'S TALK

TOP RESOURCES

The best cosleeping-related products I’ve found so far. I’m talkin’ mattresses, bed rails, bedding, and so much more!

TOP RESOURCES

Welcome to Cuddle Curl 101! This is everything you need to know to prevent and relieve cuddle curl pain.

Get On The List

I know firsthand that this season of life can feel so lonely (especially at 3 a.m. as you stare at the wall in yet another nursing sesh).

Sign up here for occasional emails from me, usually to educate or entertain.

Always to encourage.

@cosleepy

Connect and commiserate with the largest community of cosleeping parents on the web

Instagram