co sleeping with newborns?

(43 Posts)
yuletopian99 Thu 03-Jan-13 04:31:33

Hope this is the right place to ask.. We've been told by midwives absolutely don't co sleep due to risks, and from a getting stuck with it point of view i don't want an older child in mine and DH's bed for obvious reasons, however 6 day old ds will not fall asleep in his hammock (bought instead of moses basket due to great reviews re sleeping through the night.) if i feed him in bed, let him fall asleep, then transfer him,.9 times out of ten he wakes up again 5 minutes later, and I'm too scared to sleep beside him in our bed in case of something awful.

This means at the moment very little sleep for me or DH regardless of whether the LO is asleep.

Does anyone have a solution?? At my wits' end..

yuletopian99 Sun 06-Jan-13 06:15:26

He feel.asleep on me to floppy stage last night and managed the transfer fine, dh and i had some lovely time snuggled together but then i remembered he still had his fleece wrap on which is a big nono for sleeping and by the time we'd not very stealthily removed it, he was of course wide awake! curses

Put him.in with us for a feed and sleep and he went from 2.30-5.30! (yay!) i know he's only just over a week but i still.can't help worrying about habit forming. I love him ferociously but i also love snuggles with dh and want our bed for us at some point..

curiousuze Sat 05-Jan-13 04:41:54

I have a 4 week old and had exactly this problem the first week! I don't know if its anything I did but by the 2nd week he'd sleep in his Moses basket. He hates being swaddled so that didn't help, but method is currently feed, then cuddles on chest till he's snoring (and I can lift his arm and it's floppy!) then transfer to basket - which I've warmed with a hot water bottle - and tucked in firmly with a cellular or loose knit blanket. Sometimes it doesn't 'take' and I have to repeat the cuddle bit! But if you decide to co-sleep go for it, I know so many people who did in the early days.

mathanxiety Sat 05-Jan-13 04:29:54

Helen Ball's Mumsnet chat (from the Sleep Lab at Durham University, mentioned upthread by AngelDog).

Most welcome, Squidgers.

SquidgersMummy Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:22

Hey Manthanxiety - thanks for that link x

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 13:59:18

I co sleep (13 days old)

Baby is up at pillow level - pillows sideways nowhere near baby.

Duvet just on baby's feet.

I curl around and BF on my side when he wakes.

Countries like Japan where co sleeping is the norm suffer almost no cot deaths - someone told me thebJapanese don't even Have a word for it.

The risks of not co-sleeping are higher imo only.

rrreow Fri 04-Jan-13 13:54:37

I didn't plan to with DS, we had a crib and tried putting him in, but like yours he just wouldn't sleep in it. So we co-slept and it really worked for us. I felt hyperalert, I would sleep, but any movement would wake me up (not in a 'it's disturbing my sleep'-way, but more in a reassuring way). I'm not a very heavy sleeper anyway. I remember around 6-8 weeks old he was doing stretches of 8 hours sleep! Didn't last for long though hehe when sleep regression/growth spurts hit.

For our next DC we're not even getting a crib, we're just going to co-sleep from the start.

Also if you do want to try it, don't worry about creating a rod for your own back. Just solve each problem in the present, rather than worrying about what it's going to be like in the future. We transitioned DS to his own cot by about 12 months (although with new baby we'll probably try it a bit sooner, like 8 months) and although it took a few weeks of persistence and determination it wasn't a problem in the end.

PurplePidjChickIsNotTheMessiah Fri 04-Jan-13 06:46:57

Just fyi, Utopian... Ds, at the grand old age of 6 1/2 weeks, slept 10-2:30, 3:30-5:40 and 6:15-??? In his crib. Sometimes, they just need Mummy for a few weeks - and you know what's going on with me right now so you know this is sheer fluke!

Now, do i drink my coffee or snuggle down again?! brew

yuletopian99 Fri 04-Jan-13 04:48:49

Thanks again guys! We were given some hand-me-down sleeping bags but think they might be a tiny bit too large for now...will look into some newborn ones.

Have had the LO in with us for 1-4.30, after feeding at 1ish, and have had a decent snooze at last! May now try the hammock transfer. lane81, what hammock do you have and how do you handle bedtime now at 7wks then? (ours is a Miyo one but assume the general principle is the same for all hammocks!)

Lane81 Fri 04-Jan-13 04:21:32

Ps the sleeping bags also worked for us

Lane81 Fri 04-Jan-13 04:18:36

I wouldn't co-sleep either, if be terrified as we're both heavy sleepers

I also bought a hammock for the same reasons, and it will eventually work, my LO wouldn't transfer from me to it, but I was consistently doing it and by the end of 2nd wk she will go down every time. She'd now at 7 wks and does long stretches-usually just one feed around 4am, which is good to maintain bf supply, and has done a few all nighters. In the first 2 wks I was despairing and really thought it would never happen, but then it just did. Keep trying!! smile

PeppaPrig Fri 04-Jan-13 03:40:06

Lovely midwife in hospital helped me to get into a safe co-sleeping position with DS and reassured me about my fears of rolling onto him. She did say 'ssh, lets be naughty' first, which implies hospital policy wasn't to encourage co-sleeping.
We have a bedside cot attached to the bed. DC1 slept in it from day one, DC2 just won't. I love the midnight snuggles, but do wish I could get him into the cot (many reasons).

mathanxiety Fri 04-Jan-13 02:58:06

This is true, Startail. They put phrases like 'greater risk' or 'less risk' in the baby books but they don't tell you what the actual numbers involved are.

Some interesting articles on babies' sleep, breastfeeding and mothers' sleep here from Dr. James McKenna of the behavioural sleep lab, University of Notre Dame (US).

Startail Fri 04-Jan-13 01:38:17

Oh for christ sake stick the child in bed with you stop worrying and get some sleep!

Sorry this topic pisses me off, risks are tiny relative to the insane amount of worry and stress this advice causes new parents.

Snuggle up and enjoy your baby.

CoolaYuleA Fri 04-Jan-13 00:56:20

meant to say This meant as I put her down she was already warm in her sleeping bag so didn't feel the cold bed....

CoolaYuleA Fri 04-Jan-13 00:54:33

We were told never to co-sleep because of the potential risks, and as an at risk family we just wouldn't do it. Whilst FSID don't categorically say NOT to do it, they do say the safest place for a baby to sleep is on a flat firm surface in the same room as the parents, thereby implying that other methods, whilst not necessarily deemed unsafe, aren't as safe.

DD slept in a crib right next to our bed, as we have a kingsize bed and DH is an edge clinger she was actually closer to me than he was grin. I didn't have to get out of bed to feed her, I could pick her up and put her down from the bed, or touch/pat her if she was restless.

At six months she went into her cot, but this was only a foot away from my side of the bed, so she knew where I was, and she wasn't having night feeds so the change didn't make any difference to us.

We used sleeping bags from very early, and I would give the last feed with DD in hers and she would fall asleep. This meant that when I put her down she was already warm - putting a warm snuggly sleeping baby into a cold bed can wake them up screaming in displeasure - as it would me!

Both cribs and co-sleeper cots offer firm, flat surfaces, and whist I personally would always use a crib, if you would prefer to co sleep a co sleeper cot is a safer alternative to having them in your bed, as they have their own space and covers, plus it may help in moving them to a normal cot later.

3smellysocks Fri 04-Jan-13 00:00:09

We also used a grobag for warmth while co-sleeping. Great solution.

3smellysocks Thu 03-Jan-13 23:58:57

I was too scared too initially. With my first one I put him in the moses basket and placed the moses basket on the bed. We could then sleep holding hands and he could sense I was there.

However with my more recent children, we co-slept in a double bed just us two. My MW actually recommended it knowing we don't smoke/drink etc. HV seemed less keen but then was generally very old school in her approach.

I intended to cosleep from the outset as I thought I would fall asleep with her on the sofa if I didn't and that would be much more dangerous. Planned cosleeping seems much safer than accidental cosleeping. The night after DD was born, a hospital MW put DD on my chest to sleep and tucked the sheet in so that she would not fall out of bed, so not all MW are anti cosleeping. We started off with sheets and blankets and a bed guard on my side of the bed. We moved on to a co sleeper cot with DD in a grobag and me with my duvet. She often slept with her head on my arm/shoulder so I couldn't roll onto her or in her cot. We stopped at 6 mo when she started to turn and kick me. It was easy to put the side on her cot and then move it to her bedroom.

AngelDog Thu 03-Jan-13 23:34:10

Helen Ball at the Sleep Lab at Durham University has done some very interesting research on co-sleeping, including its correlation with successful bf'ing.

I reluctantly started co-sleeping with DS1 at 4 months when I hurt my wrist so badly I couldn't pick him up. With DS2 I started from birth. With DS1 I nearly fell asleep feeding him in the chair on quite a lot of occasions, which scares/d me witless. With 11 w.o. DS2 I don't need to worry about that, and I stay asleep through most of his night feeds.

He sleeps in a sleeping bag on top of the covers (sheets & cellular blankets, no duvet). My pillow is folded in half and safety pinned so it's only the size of my head (ie if I'm on it, it can't get in his way) and we sleep on a mattress on the floor so if he falls off it's no big deal.

You'll work out what suits you & your baby at each time. Co-sleeping has worked well for us, both with DS1 who age 3 y.o. rarely sleeps through, and with DS2 who has only averaged 1 night feed since about 6 weeks old.

SquidgersMummy Thu 03-Jan-13 23:02:39

We have ikea cot assembled minus long side and attached to bed - lean into cot: feed baby to sleep: roll away: it's that simple honestly! Best of both worlds! X

Justaoneoff Thu 03-Jan-13 11:02:07

Every baby is different, and they all seem to go through different phases. My DS would not sleep in a moses basket by the bed and like your DS woke as soon as I put him in it even if he had been asleep. Nothing worked, not putting in an item of my clothing, swaddling, warming it up first, adding a second mattress to make it softer, nothing. He just hated that moses basket. I spent the first 12 weeks with him sleeping on my chest, which is far from ideal, but at least we all got a bit of sleep. I then put him in a cot, and he slept really well, and still does. He is now 15 months.

My DD on the other hand is now 3. Always starts the night in her own bed, but most nights ends up in with us.

There is no formula. You just end up trying different things, until finally you find something that works for you.

Mitsouko Thu 03-Jan-13 10:36:48

My DH and I use several different sleeping set-ups during the night. We usually start the night off in bed together, with DD in her cot beside our bed. We don't usually get much time to actually sleep, as DD wakes for a feed around midnight, but it's nice to rest and cuddle a bit. I can usually get her back down by 1am, and at that point I decamp to our spare room where we have a small single bed, to get some uninterrupted sleep before DD wakes for another feed between 4-5. During that time, DH stays in the bedroom and will get up to settle her with a cuddle and some water if necessary. DD and I co-sleep from about 4am-5am until 7:30. It's just us in the bed - DH goes to the spare room to get a few quiet hours himself at that point.

Our DD is 9 months and generally wakes every 2-3 hours. She has struggled with sleep from birth, despite having a really good daytime routine, good naps, and a set bedtime. On rare occasions she will do a 4-5 hour stretch in the evening, but that doesn't happen much! Her restlessness has not been caused by co-sleeping - we didn't do that until she was 4 months or so. Prior to then we did as you did OP and tried, without luck, to get her to sleep independently. It wasn't safe or good for her as we were up all night, every night. Co-sleeping has been a total life saver for our family. She's actually been a much better sleeper since co-sleeping part of the night. She's been going longer between feeds, napping better, self-settling a bit, and is happier during the day.

Unfortunately the studies don't differentiate between people who bed share safely and those who don't. Safe co-sleeping has many benefits and is thought to actually reduce the risk of SIDS. Co-sleeping and bed sharing are cultural norms in Japan and they have the lowest incidence of SIDS in the entire world, and one of the highest rates of breast feeding success.

yuletopian99 Thu 03-Jan-13 08:35:51

Current system could definitely do with improvement. Really interesting to read opinions and what people do. My goal is definitely to have our bed back for just us but if a bit of careful co sleeping between two of the early night sessions gets me a bit more sleep i might try it, following the safety guidelines. Neither of us smoke and since he's arrived DH has had one beer, to my knowledge...

you will get both sides of co sleeping here.

I did co sleep with DD but it was just me and her in a 6 foot bed!

I started off with her pram (which converted to a mosses basket) next to the bed and would always put her down in there at bed time, night feeds sometimes she would go back into pram some times into bed with me. Then into cot, then into my bed, then slipt the beds into two singles then into her own room. DD is now four and I will sometime get into bed with her still. The only issue I have is that in nearly 5 years DP has never got up in the night with her, he claims to never hear her, despite the fact she has been in her own for 2 years. Anyway!

You have to do what feels RIGHT to YOU.

Maybe look at a co sleeping cot,

May only comment is every mum is different and every aby is different. What feels right to you and works for your DC maybe totally different to what feels right for someone else. But is sounds like your "current system" is not working!

Congratulations and good luck

sleepybump Thu 03-Jan-13 07:10:04

I should add , i let him comlete his first active sleep phase on my lap/pillow he was feeding on etc. before moving him to the crib initially, then its either an hour or 2.5hours (sometimes as with tonight, 3 hours) before he wakes again... The length of time is getting longer each night but i dont expect it to get past 3hrs and IIRC from dc1 will have alot of shorter/very restless sleep chunks to come during that 2.5/3wk growth spurt (which was a 5day marathon with dc1!!).

Hope something of this helps x

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