19 Co-Sleeping Tips from Moms Who Swear By It

Considering sleeping in the same bed with your baby or child? See how these seasoned moms make it work.

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It doesn't have to be one or the other

"01_Co-sleeping_tips_istock/Yuri_ArcursI like the comfort of co-sleeping but I also want to teach my son independence. To compromise, I put him in his bed at the start of the night. If he wakes up I just move him in bed with us." Morgan D., 35, Moore, Oklahoma

Use a sleep nest

02_Co-sleeping_tips_istock/skynesher"When my daughter was first born I made her a little 'sleep nest' out of a breathable surround sleeper in the middle of the bed my husband and I slept in. It helped me stay in tune with what she needed, especially in those early days." Robyn S., 30, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Got a little bitty one yourself? Read up on these 16 things parents of young children want you to know.)

Forget about age limits

03_Co-sleeping_tips_istock/YakobchukOlena"I co-slept with my son until he was 16 years old and I am really happy about it. Co-sleeping until near adulthood was the norm for most of human history, so as long as your kids wants to do it, let them." Emma S., 42, Stockholm, Sweden (Want more "rules" you can forget? Read these 52 of the worst parenting tips ever.)

Stay aware of your child's health

04_Co-sleeping_tips_istock/Imgorthand"Sometimes it's best for their health to keep them close. We co-slept on and off, but when my daughter was sick she was always in my bed. That way I knew instantly, rather than later, that she was ill and needed help. I could tell right away when she was vomiting. And when she had a terrible cold, co-sleeping helped her get rest in an upright position." Angela S., 35, Las Vegas, Nevada

Learn how to breastfeed while lying down

05_Co-sleeping_tipsistock/parinyabinsuk"We end up co-sleeping every night with our two boys, 3 and 1, and love it. One of the biggest perks is how easy it makes breastfeeding at night. My one-year-old now will put his arm around me while we lay down together. It is amazing to have him in bed with me and saves a lot of sanity. The best part is we all sleep through the night, every night." Marcie M., 28, Orting, Washington. (Check out these 21 other tricks parents wish they'd known before having kids!)

Consider individual bedding

06_Co-sleeping_tipsistock/a40757"My husband and I sleep with two separate twin top sheets and our own twin blankets so the baby can't get tangled up in king sized bedding. We also use smaller pillows too, and just one for each of our heads." Emma P., 40, Kyle, Texas

Or ditch the bedding altogether

07_Co-sleeping_tips_istock/greenp"Eventually I moved to sleeping with my daughter on a mattress on the floor of the nursery. For safety's sake I used one fitted sheet, one pillow and no blankets. I just made sure that both she and I wore warm enough pajamas that we wouldn't need a blanket. The arrangement sounds funny but it helped both of us get so much more sleep and made nighttime breastfeeding a snap." Robyn S., 30, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Here's how to buy the perfect mattress to have every snoozing peacefully.)

Use a co-sleeping attachment for the best of both worlds

08_Co-sleeping_tipsistock/becon"We co-sleep with my 18-month-old and have since day one. We built an adorable co-sleeper attachment that hooks on to the side of our bed but has railings on three sides do prevent him from rolling off. (If you're not up for DIY, you can buy one). It keeps him close but it also feels like we each have our own space." Becky M., 27, Willows, California

Talk to your spouse

09_Co-sleeping_tipsistock/izusek"My husband was totally on board with the idea of co-sleeping from the beginning, but it took some time to work out what was best for our family. When our baby was in the bed with us, my husband felt like he couldn't sleep deeply for fear of rolling over onto the baby. So we moved a mattress to the floor of the nursery where I slept with her. It's true that meant my husband and I weren't sleeping together, but we both knew it was temporary, and because I was getting more sleep I was able to be a better wife and mother. What works for one family won't necessarily work for another; communication is key." Robyn S., 30, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Keep communication lines open with a little humor by sharing one of these hilarious quotes about sleep.)

Offer alternatives

010_Co-sleeping_tipsistock/Weekend-Images-Inc"Our daughter co-slept with us in our bed until she was 2 but at that point we all agreed we needed our own beds. We transitioned her to a toddler bed in her own room but we have a standing agreement that any morning that she wakes up before me, she is welcome to come crawl in bed with me still. That has made the transition so much easier on both of us." Mickela C., 40, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Start the night off right by reading your little guy one of the 10 best children's books for bedtime.)

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