To chuck DH out for co-sleeping on the sofa?

(73 Posts)
StuntNun Tue 12-Mar-13 00:48:37

Okay I'm probably not actually going to LTB but I just found DH co-sleeping with our 16-week-old son on the sofa and I'm furious. He pooh-poohed my saying it's a risk for SIDS and reckons he wouldn't have let the baby fall on to the floor.

WorraLiberty Tue 12-Mar-13 00:51:14

I did exactly the same thing when my kids were small

I took sleep where I could grab it.

EMUZ Tue 12-Mar-13 00:53:16

Sorry but I would go mad. Having heard someone trying to resuscitate their month old child after doing just that. Never ever ever

dadinthehat Tue 12-Mar-13 00:53:47

It's lovely to doze on the sofa with your little one. You have every right to voice your concerns, but its lovely that your DH was able to spend that snugly time with your DS.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Mar-13 00:55:36

Have you told him why its a risk?

I could be wrong but it is my understanding that its due to the suffocation risk.and its more dangerous than many of the other things listed as SIDS risks.

Tell him that's is all fine and well rubbishing the risks until your child becomes a statistic.( harsh I know but may work)

Don't LTB that is probably an over reaction but do take the baby up to bed with you when you go

NatashaBee Tue 12-Mar-13 00:55:49

YANBU. Safe co-sleeping in a bed, fine - but sleeping with a baby on the sofa is very dangerous.

BrittaPerry Tue 12-Mar-13 00:56:28

Tell him to co sleep in a bed like a normal person. I'm shocked that he thinks the main risk is dropping the child.

WickWackThurso Tue 12-Mar-13 00:56:57

Yabu - did he mean to do it. Does he know how unsafe it is? Yes, it's a well documented SIDS risk, but surely something you can discuss rationally (ds is ok this time, but please don't do it again)? Unless there are other relationship issues, or concerns about you dh's ability to care for your child, I would be tempted to advise you not to over react.

TheDetective Tue 12-Mar-13 01:18:12

Stunt he is being an arse. Yasnbu.

I'd go with scare tactics. Show him the stories, for there are many out there, of babies dying from sleeping with someone on the sofa.

It's just not worth the risk. If he thinks it's okay, fine. But you do not, and he needs to listen to you and not do something you consider dangerous. I'm sure if he thought you were doing something to put his son at risk he would want you to stop, yes? So it works two ways.

Baby comes first. He isn't putting him first by taking big risks.

Can your mum tell him? Or will he not listen to her either?

chipmonkey Tue 12-Mar-13 01:24:01

As someone who lost a baby to SIDS, tell him from me that co-sleeping on a sofa is statistically a higher risk than sleeping with a baby in a bed. My dd died after I nodded off while she was in bed with me. She was prem and I had never intended to co-sleep with her even though I had done it with all my boys.
I have to live with the what-ifs and the grief every day for the rest of my life. She should be nineteen months old now. She's the first thing I think of every morning when I wake up and I'll never get over losing her.

Monty27 Tue 12-Mar-13 01:30:02

Chip me too, in bed while bfing sad

Mine would have been 21 last year. I still find it difficult, every single day.

IsThatTrue Tue 12-Mar-13 01:34:30

chipmonkey I'm so so sorry that you lost your little girl. sad

Op YANBU safe co sleeping in bed, ok. But on a sofa, no no no. Will facts and figures stop your DH poo poohing your feelings about this?

honeytea Tue 12-Mar-13 02:53:26

Chip and Monty I am so sorry for the loss of your babies sad

Op I had exactly the same problem with my dp recently, my initial reaction was to take the baby, tell him he could never be alone with ds. Dp was defensive until he looked up the reasons and statistics himself.

Now when dp gets up with ds in the mornings he sits on a hard chair with no blanket, also he makes Breakfast/cup of tea and watches tv so he is much less likely to fall asleep.

Kytti Tue 12-Mar-13 03:03:22

It's hard, isn't it? I never co-slept but am guilty of falling asleep on the reclining sofa with a dt on my chest and dh with the other. We were simply, utterly exhausted all the time in the early stages. It's not something that should be done though. Sadly, it's not always alright.

runningforme Tue 12-Mar-13 03:22:50

Sorry for your losses chipmonkey and monty

I co-slept with all my 3 DC's, both in bed and on the sofa. Maybe some would think me careless. I did what felt most natural to me - co sleeping is far more common in cultures all over the globe than not. If you are uncomfortable with it though, then he should respect that

StuntNun Tue 12-Mar-13 04:48:20

I'm so sorry for your losses Chipmonkey and Monty. It brings it home that with SIDS you may never know the cause so if something did happen to our LO we would find it hard not to blame ourselves. Thank you for replying.

I don't think my DH is aware of the risks so I have sent him a leaflet to read. Hopefully my reaction (utter shock and telling him you can't sleep on the sofa with a baby) will have given him pause for thought. We have a perfectly good cot with a movement monitor in. I think he thought it would be easier to settle the baby like that but it set off alarm bells for me. It makes me wonder how many times he has done it before. And apart from the SIDS risk, DH had a few glasses of wine last night plus hasn't slept well for the last, oh about 16 weeks, so I would say the risk of him dropping our baby was pretty high too.

I'm so cross right now. I don't think I should have to protect my son from his daddy.

Beamur Tue 12-Mar-13 05:02:17

It is incredibly dangerous - a relative of mine (male) did this with his baby and the child was smothered and died. He had been drinking too.
Without being too dramatic, your DH really must not do this again.
I co-slept with my DD and done 'right' it is safe - but an intoxicated, tired, non bf parent on a sofa is not.
My heart goes out to you monty & chipmunk.

zippey Tue 12-Mar-13 05:31:28

I wouldnt go on about it, I think your dissaproval after this incident is enough. He wasnt aware of the risks, he has now been educated, so you should trust hm to do the correct thing.

He also should not cosleep with alchohol in his system.

thistlelicker Tue 12-Mar-13 06:06:19

Co sleeping increases the risk of SIDS no matter where u sleep! Why do people
Do it ??? If u tell me it's to increase sleep hours, then why have children? I don't think it's warranted to chuck him out but certainly a word spoken to him and information around SIDS!

BerthaKitt Tue 12-Mar-13 06:32:55

thistlelicker you are wrong. There is no link between planned co-sleeping in a safely set up bed with a sober parent, and SIDS. In our case DS wouldn't sleep unless I was holding him and I can't survive on no sleep at all so co-sleeping was infinitely safer than me accidentally falling asleep while sitting up holding him.

But what the OP's DH did is very dangerous, with at least three risk factors - on the sofa, having consumed alcohol, and not being a bf mother. He needs to acknowledge this OP.

KatieLily12 Tue 12-Mar-13 06:36:10

No thistlelicker it does not increase the risk as long as golden rules are observed, the same as they must be for a cot.

People do it to support attachment and breast feeding, not just get more sleep.

On a sofa is a big no no. In fact one of the unhelpful side effects of insisting co sleeping is dangerous is tired parents 'just resting' on the sofa because they think the bed is a risk. Making the bed safe and planning for it just in case is far safer.

Jaynebxl Tue 12-Mar-13 06:52:10

I actually think YABU. Not to belittle the concerns about co-sleeping on a sofa but because of how you reacted to DH. You are supposed to be partners working on the same side in the parenting game. Firstly it is lovely that he is so hands on, and wanted to sleep with baby. Secondly I would guess he didn't have your extensive wisdom on the subject so it would have been much kinder to go in saying sweetheart, it is lovely you want to sleep cuddling baby but actually it is really dangerous. It isn't like he was setting out to commit child abuse so while I would say YANBU in terms of your concerns, YABU in your reaction to DH. If your parenting partnership is going to work you really need to be on the same side as each other.

Jaynebxl Tue 12-Mar-13 06:54:07

"with at least three risk factors - on the sofa, having consumed alcohol, and not being a bf mother"

Bertha I'm not sure the last one counts ... Does this mean dads can never co-sleep?

The baby isn't meant to be beside them Jaynebxl. So mum, dad and baby can co sleep with mum between them, but no, dad shouldn't co sleep alone with baby.

I forget properly why, but is something to do with bf mothers hormones making them sleep more lightly, staying aware of baby whilst asleep.

378 Tue 12-Mar-13 07:21:07

I think the 'bf mother' is correct and considered safer than non bf mothers and fathers because bf mothers are - I believe, can't remember what research I read - proven to be more responsive and more aware of where the baby is in relation to their bodies. Overweight and large breasted mums though are considered a greater co sleeping risk as harder to get that same sense - I didn't cosleep as knew my giant boobs would increase the risk!

AThingInYourLife Tue 12-Mar-13 07:25:22

"reckons he wouldn't have let the baby fall on to the floor."


Yeah, because all the parents whose babies die because they are smothered on sofas intended to drop them on the floor.

If he'd been drinking wine he shouldn't have been co-sleeping at all.

What a complete idiot.

TheFallenNinja Tue 12-Mar-13 07:28:15

Did he co sleep of just fall asleep? I've fallen asleep with dd a couple of times when she was tiny as has DP.

honeytea Tue 12-Mar-13 07:40:30

I think the problem is that some dads just havn't read the info about the dangers of sofa sleeping. When my DP fell asleep on the sofa with ds he said "but you sleep with ds in the bed when I get up to go to work in the morning" I do sometimes snooze/breastfeed ds when I am alone in bed but I do it carefully with the pillows off the bed and my arm above ds and knees up so I can't roll onto ds.

When my ds and dp were sleeping on the sofa I was asleep in the bedroom and jolted awake paniking, I ran into the living room and dp was under a duvet with ds in his baby sleepingbag, dp's duvet was also on ds right up to his chin sad I somehow knew that ds wasn't ok, dp said that the duvet started off at his waist and must have rode up. I was in another room and still had the connection with my baby to know he was at risk, I am not sure if that is because I breastfeed or because I am a mum or because of a coincidence but dp didn't have the instinct that there was a problem even though he was holding ds.

Weissdorn Tue 12-Mar-13 07:50:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ENormaSnob Tue 12-Mar-13 07:51:13


He is fucking stupid.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Mar-13 08:02:59

Oh come on,he's a dad so he must not know its not a safe thing to do?

He should be just as capable of either reading some of the info available as a mum or if he can't read asking.

SIDS info is some of the most advertised stuff in hospital,HV's and midwifes always talk about it and they all highlight the larger risk of sofa s.

Just because he has a cock does not mean he is not also responsible for seeking out important info.

People who collude with the ohhh he's a man he didn't know,do more to set back equal parenting than the blokes they excuse for not doing it.

Weissdorn Tue 12-Mar-13 08:05:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CaptainMartinCrieff Tue 12-Mar-13 08:10:39

Let him read these replies. He fell asleep, thankfully everything is okay, he cannot let it happen again.

INeedThatForkOff Tue 12-Mar-13 08:16:02

I'm ashamed to say I didn't know sofa co-sleeping increased the risk (though our sofa isn't big enough so we don't do it).

Startail Tue 12-Mar-13 08:21:51

New babies equal very very tired parents.

I'm sorry for people's losses, but we need a sense of perspective.

Dad shouldn't have slept with DC on the sofa, but 1000's of us have, pre the latest research, by accident, ignorance or out of shear exhaustion.

Explain the research yes, scream hysterically no.

As for co-sleeping in bed, that is just the most beautiful part of parenthood and that tiny odds prevent people co-sleeping and stress parents out if all proportion, makes me angry.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Mar-13 08:27:20

Planned co sleeping in a safe bed with a bf mother between the other adult and no other children has no higher risk than a baby in a cot.

StuntNun Tue 12-Mar-13 08:35:05

Jayne I don't think I did overreact at the time. I walked into the room to see DH asleep on the sofa with our baby in an awkward position with his head much lower than his feet so I grabbed him up to check he was okay, told DH that it's a SIDS risk to sleep on the sofa with a baby, then put the baby in his cot to sleep. Then I e-mailed a link to a SIDS info leaflet to DH for him to read today. I am shocked at him though because this is our third child and I really think he should have known better. It would be different if he had fallen asleep by accident.

Anyway it was definitely better to post on here than start a row with DH in the wee hours. Thank you for all your responses.

Mother2many Tue 12-Mar-13 15:33:50

My x MIL feel asleep on the couch with her baby, and ended up smothering him. The child then lived with severe mental retardation. I couldn't imagine having to live with that for the rest of my life...

However, I also co-sleep with all 4 of my children... bed/couch/chair, etc.

Some people are more aware of their surroundings when they are sleeping. Some aren't.

EasilyBored Tue 12-Mar-13 15:43:14

Off topic, but at what age is it OK to sleep on the sofa with you baby? DS is 14 months and walking, he's poorly today sospent all day asleep on my lap. Is it still really risky if I doze off too? We have a big sofa and he's on my chest (crushing me!)?

Anyway, I think the OP is right to be angry, especially if he's ignoring the SIDS advice. The midwife put the fear of God into us about Co-sleeping on the sofa, but was quite positive about Co-sleeping safely in a bed.

cantspel Tue 12-Mar-13 15:44:19

was he actually co sleeping or was he so knackered he feel asleep?

BearFrills Tue 12-Mar-13 17:20:14

Were you there with him? Like in the same room?

When the DCs were that age DH and I often used to nap on the sofa at the same time as the baby was having a nap but the other of us would stay awake so there was an awake adult in the room keeping an eye out IYSWIM? Never overnight and never when home alone/in the room alone.

They're now 18mo and 3yo. Sometimes when 18mo DD has a sofa nap I cuddle up with her and when DS was 18mo I was pregnant with DD so used to do it with him too. I used to put my toddler on the outside so they wouldn't got stuck between me and the back of the sofa and then sleep with my arm tucked under them in a way that meant I couldn't physically roll over onto them without dislocating my shoulder.

World of difference though between a 16wo and an 18mo so YANBU. Perhaps a quick reminder of the guidance? He'll probably feel awful now he's aware of it.

StuntNun Tue 12-Mar-13 18:47:52

It was intentional on his part, I was already in bed. I'm not sure what prompted me to go and check on him but I'm glad I did.

iliketea Tue 12-Mar-13 19:02:32

YANBU being annoyed at his reaction of dismissing your concerns, but you need to look at whether he did it on purpose or fell asleep accidentally. Ok, the risk doesn't change, but the thought process behind it changes the appropriate reaction. DH came home from work and found me at least once asleep on the sofa with dd asleep on my chest- it wasn't that I was unaware of the risk, it's that I was so exhausted I fell asleep without even being aware of it - should he have shouted at me / sent me leaflets / threatened to leave because I fell asleep.

Imagine this was a post by a man about his wife - I reckon a lot of the YANBU posts would have been a bit more gentle.

By all means, you need to discuss it (calmly) and come up with strategies for you both to manage your tiredness and how to prevent it the situation happening again, but not over react.

midastouch Tue 12-Mar-13 19:18:43

YANBU to be annoyed but did he do it on purpose, i have fallen asleep with my DCs on me on the sofa mroe times that id like to admit, completly unintentionally it is very hard to stay awake when you are shattererd.
My DP has bathed DCs only once DS was 3.5 and DD was 8 months and in one of those sittingup bath seat things , when i came upstairs he was out of the bathroom! I went mad!! He hasnt bathed them since!

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 12-Mar-13 19:36:22

Co-sleeping properly on a flat bed = fine. Co-sleeping on a sofa where the baby can get wedged between you and the back of the sofa and suffocate = obviously very bad. I would be pissed, as well. Over 50% of deaths classified as cot deaths are from adults smothering babies on sofas in just this situation.

It's not an insignificant risk. YANBU.

FutTheShuckUp Tue 12-Mar-13 19:42:25

I know of a child (professionally) who died very recently from co-sleeping on the settee. Its not a scare tactic, it happens and its fucking heartbreaking when it does

riskit4abiskit Tue 12-Mar-13 19:59:04

can I ask a question please?

am currently pregnant with our first, so a little clueless.

a) is it safe to be sat on the couch with baby in a sling, as opposed to walking around?
(if this seems silly I haven't seen a baby in a sling in real life - yes really!)

b) would it be dangerous if you then fell asleep sitting on couch with baby in the sling?

sorry to hijack the thread

honeytea Tue 12-Mar-13 20:07:48

Riskit I use a sling inside with my DS, I do check on him often and make sure he is not too hot.

I don't think it would be safe to sleep on a sofa (or a anywhere) whilst wearing a sling.


riskit4abiskit Tue 12-Mar-13 20:29:17

ok, thanks

TSSDNCOP Tue 12-Mar-13 21:46:41

Do you know, I'm sitting here thinking, and I can say I read and digested every pamphlet and poster on SIDS during my pregnancy.

But I cannot, hand on heart, say I ever gave them to DH to read. I'm not saying fathers can't get this information themselves, but I reckon if I'd asked DH when DS was a baby to tell me how to avoid possible SIDS he wouldn't have known beyond having the baby in our room and sleeping on his back.

Oh and the room temperature recalls sodding Grobag thermometer God

chipmonkey Wed 13-Mar-13 00:42:17

Startail, new babies DO equal tired parents, exhausted parents, parents who can barely keep their eyes open. And that is exactly when co-sleeping is dangerous. The night before the morning she died in our bed, I had been up twice to express and then feed her. I also fed her one more time without expressing. She was also very cranky and woke up much more often than usual for her feeds and was unsettled.
My exhaustion partly led to her death. I think that had I been more alert, I might have realised that she wasn't breathing as she lay beside me and it certainly was the reason I fell asleep myself.

As for screaming hysterically, well unfortunately losing a child has that effect.hmm When your child IS the victim of those "tiny odds" the fact that they were tiny odds is no comfort at all as you stand at your baby's grave.

I co-slept with all my boys. Out of exhaustion. They're still here, my daughter isn't. I can't have another baby but if I could, there is no way I would allow myself to fall asleep on a couch, bed or anywhere else with a small baby.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 13-Mar-13 00:59:02

Why is a bed safer to co sleep than a couch?

Lueji Wed 13-Mar-13 01:04:44

Google the risks and show it to him.

Catch, a couch is too narrow. The baby might fall or be pushed.
Plus there's the back, and the baby might suffocate on that side.

On a bed, the baby is safely on the bed, and the parent usually adopts a protective position.

Lueji Wed 13-Mar-13 01:08:30

Chipmonkey, hugs.

However, there's probably no way that your baby could be saved, or that you could have noticed her not breathing if she was in a cot.
Being in the same room as the parents is considered to be protective of SIDS.
Please don't beat yourself. sad

wannaBe Wed 13-Mar-13 01:19:42

FSID advice is that the safest place for a baby is in their cot in a parent's room. co sleeping, even in a bed is not advised. The only reason why there is guidance on the safest way to do it is because the knowledge is there that parents will do it anyway because of exhaustion/to facilitate easier bf etc. It makes me angry when people on here advocate co sleeping as being adviseable because it is not. especially when those same people come down hard on anyone who, for instance, decides to wean earlier than the magic six months, a practice which carries far lesser risks.

What people also fail to acknowledge is the fact that babies who die as a result of being smothered while co sleeping are not considered to have died from sids as their death (suffocation) is explained whereas sids is not. Therefore babies dying as a result of co sleeping are not counted in those statistics which causes the perceived risk factor to be lower.

Nobody should be advocating co sleeping on here in any way shape or form as doing so is dangerous advice.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Mar-13 01:38:14

This contains stuff the Op's dh may find useful

LittleEdie Wed 13-Mar-13 01:43:47

Was he drunk or on drugs? If not I don't think it's something to go mad about.

zippey Wed 13-Mar-13 01:53:44

Co sleeping is fine as long as parents are sober, and is a great way to bond with your baby. There is evidence to suggest it actually lowers SIDS rather than increase it.

FutTheShuckUp Wed 13-Mar-13 07:46:12

Why are people so hellbent on insisting its 'fine'?
We have had people on this thread who have experienced this tragedy first hand and yet people still insist its safe?
I wish people would stop being so ignorant on advice which is actually given for the safety and wellbeing of people's children. A typical case of 'it wont happen to me'

StuntNun Wed 13-Mar-13 07:57:08

Thank you Sock.

zippey Wed 13-Mar-13 08:26:34

To FutTheShuckUp and wannBe
I think you have been misinformed or you have read different literature to me regarding co-sleeping. Here are a few links which categorically say its fine to co-sleep, and some which say it actually decreases SIDS.

As a parent you also have to weigh up the benefits and risks of co-sleeping/cot-sleeping and make up your own mind. I am not going to demonise parent who allow their babys to sleep in a cot.

I think the main thing to get out of this is that co-sleeping is fine as long as:

- its not on the sofa
- co-sleeping parent does not have drugs or alchohol in their system.

Like I say, co-sleeping is a great way to bond with your baby, and is prevelant in both the western world and also in places where cots/cribs are much less prevelant.

honeytea Wed 13-Mar-13 09:21:37

I was very worried about co-sleeping but my DS was in hospital for 5 days when he was 5 weeks old and the nurses strongly encouraged me to co-sleep with my DS. I live in Sweden and said to them that in the UK the advice is not to co-sleep and they said it is safer to co-sleep. DS was having breathing difficulties due to bronchiolitus and the nurses said I was much more likely to wake up if I was was co-sleeping if he stopped brething in his sleep (a possible side effect of bronchiolitus in small babies.)

I am torn, the sids rate in sweden is much much lower than in the UK but most people do co-sleep with their babies. We use a sidecar cot and I bring DS into bed with me once DP goes to work which feels right for us.

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Mar-13 10:05:11

chip and monty I'm so sorry for your losses. It just shows that something as innocuous as a quick doze can have devastating consequences. I fell asleep with my son on my chest a couple of times when he was tiny. My baby is due on Friday, and after reading your stories I'll make damn sure I don't do it again.

OP if it's just a one off, while I can understand your reaction try not to flame him. Most people will become indignant. Literature is a good way of showing him, but also stories like Chip and Monty's to show these aren't just faceless statistics but real people who live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Monty27 Wed 13-Mar-13 23:49:55

Thank you for the sympathy from posters who have recognised my posts. (and I'm sure Chip appreciates it too).

I really don't want to scaremonger, because it was 21 years ago, and cot death was just being brought into the media, there was just a new awareness (Ann Diamond lost her son just before me).

I still thought, that co-sleeping was ok, and especiallyy as it was because dd was being bf there would be nor worries, but I fell asleep.

A few days before we were at a 'mummy and baby' group and they showed a video of how to resucitate. I was a wee bit perturbed that the group runners had done so. The morning I woke up and dd was lying across me instead of on the breast, I knew exactly what to do, however it was too late.

It's rarer and rarer now, thanks to SIDS there's much awareness, just please don't take a risk.

Lueji Thu 14-Mar-13 00:22:25

Personally, I found that I was much more awake co-sleeping than with DS in the cot, even if next to my bed.
I have co-slept through bronchiolitis and croup and D&V, although to be true I hardly slept.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 14-Mar-13 00:47:07

No matter what research you look at no matter what your viewpoint on co sleeping in a bed is,

It is never safe to do so on a sofa, not one pro co sleeping info resource claims that sofa sleeping is ok.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 00:58:59

No one says it's safe but blowing your top at people who know they are in thew wrong never ends well.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 01:01:52

Also DH dying in a car accident from lack of sleep isn't advisable, therefore co sleeping was definitely the way to go. Our house is not big enough for anyone to sleep through a crying baby.

MrRected Fri 15-Mar-13 01:11:16

I think that everybody has forgotten that this is your DP's child too. He has every right to make choices for his child - despite the fact that you don't like them OP.

I agree that the SIDS dangers are an issue, but you have no right, whatsoever to "chuck him out". What would that help, anyway. He'd just have the baby overnight at his house and do his own thing anyway.

What you need to do, is to come up with a way to respectfully work out the things you jointly consider as "non-negotiables" then work around the rest.

This whole - "I am the mother, so I know everything" attitude really bugs me. Women wonder why men have been so disempowered when it comes to raising children - it's a rod many women have created for their own backs IMO.

You just need to read the threads on here to see how many fathers are disinterested, not involved, or just plain absent to see this to be true.

StuntNun Fri 15-Mar-13 01:24:47

MrRected in this case the choice to co-sleep on the sofa was made in ignorance of the risks. I haven't lost my temper with my DH about it, after my initial reaction at the time, I have shown him a leaflet on safe co-sleeping. I do think he should have known better or had the common sense not to sleep with the baby in a position where he might fall on to the floor.

MrRected Fri 15-Mar-13 02:01:33

That all sounds very sensible Stuntnun. My comments were based on the OP - so forgive me if I haven't kept up :-).

Hope your DH has taken the literature seriously.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 15-Mar-13 02:05:10

You don't get to chose to endanger your children just because you are a parent.

Stuff that's considered to be such a dangerous risk that info on the risks are practically rammed down your throat at every opportunity like co sleeping on a sofa,are not just a slight difference of parenting.

That's a bit like saying if your child is stood behind a parents car whilst reversing you can't yell stop then get cross at the lack of attention paid whilst driving because the driver is the parent and they can run there child over by accident because its not the other parents place to stop it happening.

If something bad had happened to the op's baby do you think it would make it easier to come to terms with knowing that the baby's dad intentionally decided to do something dangerous because he's a parent he's got rights.

Course it wouldn't.

ayahushca Fri 15-Mar-13 06:18:40

Assuming he loves and cares about his child, which you seems convinced of:

Use scare tactics, definitely. To the full extent, whatever it takes to inform him fully on the risk he took. The documentation is widespread, this is incontrovertible stuff. When he is presented with hard evidence, then he will surely be scared straight. Give him evidence from sources that aren't you. Give him a leaflet to read, don't read it to him. Because he can't feel a leaflet may be overmothering or cosseting the baby to his exclusion, and if he feels you have any history of doing these things, whether rightly or wrongly, then it is very easy and almost natural to react to this by lumping this situation in with those other instances, no matter how authoritively and convincingly you speak on the subject of SIDS. Because the alternative, the horrible truth, that he endangered his precious child unknowingly, is too unbearable to face up to.

But once he's absolutely got the message and tells you he will never do this again (which he must, and will) don't be too mad at him. Be vigilant for other urgent blind spots there may be in his parenting (as subtly as you can do so whilst fully satisfying your concerns). But don't be too mad once the danger is gone. While it is incontrovertible that SIDS was possible from what he did, it is not intuitive to a person lying peacefully with their baby on the sofa feeling like cuddling up for a nap. He didn't think he was putting your DC at risk. Be mad a tiny little bit for his thinking you were exaggerating the dangers or over worrying. And also at that blokey self-assurance that means he must never admit he doesn't know what he's doing, (irritating at refusing-to-ask-for-directions level, potentially lethal here). But let these angers be ultimately overwhelmed by the knowledge his actions, however horrifying, were not in the slightest bit malicious, but came from the same love you have for your DC.

Fathers can sometimes feel that the mother is overprotective of her child and institutes all these needless strict regulations and regimes for them which prevent him from bonding with the child and make him feel like a bit of a nuisance. He may resent the mother for portraying him as a danger to his child, when he doesn't believe he could ever possibly do anything to hurt something he loves so much. Your DH may be feeling left out and hurt in a way he can't quite articulate, and this is what is causing his over-defensiveness and selfishness. Be sympathetic to this, reassure him of his status. Don't apologise for his feeling like this (unless you are a generally overprotective mother, I've no way of knowing, and while your post does nothing to imply you are like that, it can happen)

Share with him your own fears for ever harming your baby through a careless, exhausted moment. Don't make him feel like you think you have all the answers and are training him as an incompetent subordinate, but instead are just sharing a piece of vital information as two people in love on a hazardous journey will naturally together. Praise him on his strengths as a father. Ask him to keep a watchful eye on your alertness if ever you seem drowsy when with the baby on the sofa. Remind him that no parent can ever really know what they're doing, and co-operating and helping each other is vital to your success. Tell him you need him, as a loving partner and responsible father but also as somebody to be scared with.

If I am excusing him partly "because he's a dad", then it's because it's entirely natural and unavoidable that the bloke is going to feel like a bit of a third wheel to some kind of deep bond between a baby and the woman who gestates, and as someone else said, it's something that mums are more likely to know about in most instances due to the extra exposure to warning posters etc.

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