DW asleep in bed with newborn

(45 Posts)
Commodore Wed 14-Nov-12 12:08:02

My DW and I have a beautiful 6 week old son, born prematurely at 34 weeks, so he's pretty much term now.

My problem is that DW gets very tired and has had DS in bed with her while she is sleeping. I am very much against this from a point of general safety as well as the heightened risk of SIDS.

I have seen DW asleep with him in bed four times now:

~ Properly asleep on one side of the bed with DS on the other. He was uncovered, but - in my view - could easily have been should DW had rolled over with the duvet.
~ Found that DW had fallen asleep while breastfeeding him lying down - they were both facing each other, with DW's breast in front of DS's face, which could have smothered him if she has rolled.
~ Found that DW had fallen asleep while sat up in bed with DS asleep on her chest - DW did not have hold of him and he could have rolled off into duvet or off bed and onto the floor.
~ Watched DW fall asleep sat up in bed while DS slept on her lap - he could have rolled off into duvet, or had his head pushed into chin.

DW doesn't see the problem and says she is comfortable with co-sleeping, saying people have done it for centuries and it's important for bonding. She says it is safe, and that she would hear/feel/sense that something was wrong with DS if he stirred. I don't disagree that it is an old practice and good for bonding, but what if DS is not in the position to shout out - for example if DW had rolled slightly while asleep after breastfeeding, as his face would have been covered. Also on two of the above occasions I have moved DS back into his cot and DW has remained completely oblivious to this.

I am worried sick and having regular night terrors whereby I wake up thinking DS is in bed and has died somewhere amongst the covers. sad I make sure I remain awake during all the night feeds (I'm up anyway to change him) until I know DS has been put back into the moses basket, which I know DW is not impressed with.

Advice and experience please. Am I worrying unduly?

MamaBlue4 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:06:00

We used something similar to this: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3977276

smile

MamaBlue4 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:00:53

We used a co-sleeper for the first 6 months that can be put in the middle of between dh and I, maybe you'd find that situation a little safer and easier on your worries. I never fell asleep with dc unless my dh was there as I never trusted myself because who knows how you could react in sleep.

I think you should both talk and come up with a compromise that eases your worries but doesn't make her feel like you disapprove of what she's doing(not saying you do smile )

One the 2 occasions you mentioned, did she wake up instantly, or ask when the baby was moved. I'd freak if someone moved my baby and I didn't realise.

Oh, congrats on your ds smile

runawaysimba Sun 17-Feb-13 22:53:52

Did your baby spend any time in SCBU/NICU after birth? We were warned explicitly that co-sleeping isn't recommended for premature babies - we're not in the UK, but I see NCT guidelines say the same. www.nct.org.uk/parenting/sleeping-safely-your-baby

redwellybluewelly Sun 17-Feb-13 22:51:57

I'm a long term co sleeper, read the leaflets, checked the risks and proceedrd however there are certain things which do make the risk of issues higher.

The fact mum is very overtired, nobody could have moved my baby and me not woken. Ever.

The fact that she has a duvet, I addded extra layers like a cardigan and put a single duvet width ways

No pillows on the bed

And lastly that baby was prem. For that reason alone id get a cosleeper cot, NCT hire them out.

My dd is 2.6, she fed every 45min until she was five months, she didn't sleep more than three hours until she was 18months. I was past exhausted and was at work after six months maternity leave. We didn't feel we had an option. On one occasion dd had a fever seizure, I was awake instantly, another time I was delirious due to mastitis and dh took her as I couldn't maintain her safety.

Now she is older she can move on and off pillow but when she was too big for the crib and still voraciously feeding I put her in sleeping bag on top of my covers so I could stay warm and yet feed and she didnt overheat.

sunnyday123 Sun 17-Feb-13 22:38:49

I'm surprised people are saying its safe as every medical friend I have said its risky as all the midwife/doctor/ national guidlines & advice I got after my two kids said the same?!

glyders Sun 17-Feb-13 22:29:09

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheDuckSaysMoo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:47:48

Falling asleep lying down wouldn't have bothered me but sitting up would have as he could roll somewhere dangerous. I used a bedside cot and this made a world of difference as I new he couldn't fall off the bed.

Your DW is likely to be exhausted and it is possible that no matter how nicely you bring up your concerns she may be snippy. Try to remember it is her lack of sleep and general stress causing this rather than a change in your relationship. This was certainly the case for me and dh.

I found sleeping during the day really hard and hardly ever managed it. The best way for me to get some extra sleep was for dh to take the baby after our dinner for as long as possible (until next feed). This usually gave me 2-3 hours unbroken sleep and made the world of difference. If your baby is an early waker then doing the same in the morning is great too.

You sound really supportive by the way smile. Try to relax as much as possible - both of you.

Losingexcessweight Wed 23-Jan-13 11:43:49

I dont believe co-sleeping is safe, but i do believe its safe if the baby has a little seperate bed attached to the parents bed.

I understand there are people who have done extensive reasearch on co sleeping and believe its perfectly safe, however depending on your area, heath visitors (in my area) are very against co sleeping.

Your dw sounds very overtired which is resulting in her falling asleep with the baby in her arms.

I started falling asleep when feeding my dd when she was born. So i bought a nursing chair for the babys room and during nightfeeds i would feed my baby in there. With the light on, and sat fully upright.

This stopped me from falling asleep

CatsRule Mon 19-Nov-12 11:55:11

I bf ds on the couch while slightly lying down. I do this early evening when dh is around and we are watching tv. This so that I can feed and have a shut eye while he can watch for any problems...there hasn't been any. Maybe that would be one option for your wife to get a small sleep...it doesn't solve your cosleeping issues but it may help her not be so tired.

It is hard bf all the time and I never find it easy to sleep when the baby sleeps. It is good you are supporting her and I understand your cosleeping worries. I feel the same although we are cosleeping just now so that we get some sleep. My dh used to not like ds in bed as was scared he would roll over but we have both become used to it.

My ds is also a bit of a velcro baby so any opportunity to get sleep is used.

Maybe you could talk to dw about hpw she can get more sleep, when you are around, and agree on some safe sleeping positions. You also need your sleep too!

BelleDameSousMistletoe Wed 14-Nov-12 17:01:02

Hmmm... I formula fed and would suggest that it made no difference to my awareness of the baby when sleeping. I suspect that "sleep state" is common to many mothers (maybe even parents?) regardless of breast or formula feeding. Based on nothing but my own experience and therefore completely without scientific proof.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 16:59:43

from NCT
and unicef

i hope these are of some help fishy

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 16:56:02

Actually, this page provides some good arguments.

I'm struggling to find a good page that explains the cosleeping/breastfeeding link. Lots of pages say, cosleeping is only safe if you are breastfeeding. For example this one.

Breastfeeding mothers (or mixed-feeding mothers) have a special sleep state that other human's don't - they are both asleep and aware of their baby.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:56

(btw, when i used the word risky, it made it sound like it was a much higher risk - it's not that much higher than BFing. the biggest dangers are the drinking, smoking and drug factors. most other factors are pretty much okay)

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 16:49:55

fishy - i will try to find it - I was told that information this time last year, so I might not be able to find it again.

fishybits Wed 14-Nov-12 16:20:04

Nickel can you link to your source of information please? I'm interested to find out more.

beatofthedrum Wed 14-Nov-12 15:10:33

My sleep is changed forever since being a parent. I was on my feet on my way to them almost before I was awake when mine were tiny. Sleep very very lightly even now (youngest is nearly 2) as your responses to them remain instinctive in your sleep. Somehow you adjust! Takes a while...
(first time on Dadsnet, new territory for me smile)

kdiddy Wed 14-Nov-12 14:37:14

commodore the night terrors thing is normal. I often wake up panicking DS is in bed and has been smothered in the covers, and he's not even in our room. I think being a new parent makes you hyper vigilant even in your sleep!!

Commodore Wed 14-Nov-12 14:32:41

Thanks all, I feel a bit more normal now. smile

My dh regularly woke up terrified that ds had fallen asleep on him and then fallen out of bed and we weren't co sleeping. I think that part is a normal reaction to sleep deprivation and newborn. Can't really comment on the co sleeping as we didn't do it but I woke at the slightest snuffle from ds and still do

Co sleeping when all the rules are followed is as safe or safer than sleeping in a cot, and safer than baby sleeping in a separate room.

When sleeping with a baby, a breastfeeding mother automatically behaves in a way to keep the baby safe (if lying down, sitting up is not safe). She generally sleeps on her side, with the baby next to the breast in between her legs and her upper arm, keeping the baby safe from working under the covers or up into the cushion.

When I cosleep with a baby I put an extra layer on my top half and keep the duvet tucked at my waist, so baby cant get underneath.

Why not get a cosleeper cot to make it safer and easier for your wife and baby to sleep safely? We bought an ikea cot for about £80 which did the job well, an was then a normal cot later on.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 14:13:33

Commodore - once you and your DW get into a pattern, and you are more reassured with her co-sleeping, and her sleeping patterns, you will sleep better.
My DH spent most of the first 4 weeks not sleeping at all, but after a while he got used to it and now it's a job to blimmin' wake the lazy thing! wink

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Wed 14-Nov-12 14:06:46

redadmiral - i wonder if it's because she could tell he'd been removed, and it's a different sensation from rolling over or the baby suffering - like she knew he was safe.

fishy - it's all down to statistics. because when you're breastfeeding your hormones and body is involved, whereas with formula feeding, your hormones don't play a part. it is just as risky for a man to co-sleep as it is for a woman who is FFing to co-sleep.

fishybits Wed 14-Nov-12 13:26:44

FreckledLeopard Why is it dangerous to co sleep if the baby is formula fed?

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