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..

catwoman101 Thu 03-Jan-13 05:17:31

You will get lots of different opinions and lots of people do co sleep. I personally wouldn't as I am a heavy sleeper and would worry about squashing dd. I also feel it promotes snacking style breastfeeding which is difficult to stop when you co sleep.

That aside, my dd also used to wake up when put down for the first 2 weeks. We found that tightly swaddling her helped as she still felt the pressure when put down. Also did it very slowly Nd cuddles her in Moses basket. Not sure if that's possible in a hammock, sorry.

It was awful for 2 weeks but I would catnap in the day. Now at 12 weeks she likes to nap being held during the day in my arms, but at night happily goes in the cot and only wakes once to fed. (Until Christmas broke her routine that is, up for second time tonight!)

Saying all that, you will get many replies promoting co sleeping and it isn't forbidden by the foundation for the study of infant deaths, and they talk about ways of making it safer, so if you decide to go down this route, don't let your midwife bully you.

Good luck, try shift sleeping with do for a few hours to feel human again.

KnockedUpMell Thu 03-Jan-13 05:26:00

I co sleep with both mine from newborn (intended to) and still do- DS is 21m and dd is 2m. It's lovely and I wouldn't have it any other way. But it's important to do it safely, depends on how heavy a sleeper you are. I found that without them in bed I would sleep heavily, but with them in bed I'd hear every grunt they make. Dd still won't sleep by herself in bed / cot but will not sleep in her hammock for naps. We have a co sleeper cot for DS, and dd in between me and DH. Dd and I share a summer duvet that only comes up to her waist and my arm is over her head and around her so she can't wriggle away. With DS we were more cautious (pfb) and were too scared to share duvets so he was in a sleeping bag and he slept between the wall and me.

KnockedUpMell Thu 03-Jan-13 05:26:35

That's will sleep in hammock!

needsadviceplease Thu 03-Jan-13 05:40:26

Another planned bedsharer from birth here. DS sleeps actually in my arm (as in, head resting on top of my arm) and has done since birth. We share a single duvet and I hold the corner of it so it's at his waist level iyswim. I also wear a top (normally sleep naked) to reassure myself I won't feel cold and try to pull duvet up in my sleep. I sleep right at the edge of the pillow so there is none anywhere near him. I'm very, very aware of him and wake before he whimpers! It's not for everyone but it is one of my favourite things about having a baby.

needsadviceplease Thu 03-Jan-13 05:42:31

Ps. I don't believe it's possible to create bad habits in a newborn.

whatsoever Thu 03-Jan-13 06:09:21

From everything I've heard from others, co-sleeping us great if it's what you want and you intend to do it, but miserable if you do it when you don't choose it.

MaMaPo Thu 03-Jan-13 06:23:33

I co slept for one night - it is not for me! Had the duvet at my waist, and completely froze - ended up in pjs, dressing gown and then a knitted beanie. I barely got any sleep. We have a warm room - I never realised what a cold fish I am!

barbiecollector Thu 03-Jan-13 06:27:11

I would not co-sleep. The risks are just too great, IMO.

Thumbwitch Thu 03-Jan-13 06:35:45

I co-slept with DS1, despite not ever intending to prior to him being born; and am now co-sleeping with DS2. I have never had "3 in a bed" though - DH shipped out to the spare bed as soon as the baby came home; so it's just me and the baby, giving us enough space.

If you follow the guidelines, don't smoke or drink, don't take heavy medications that affect sleep, keep the duvet off the baby, keep baby away from pillows and other dense materials, sleep with your arm positioned above the baby so that you can't roll onto him/her, and make sure that they can't fall out of bed (which, at 9d, they won't unless you push them) - then you should be ok.

But if baby is a noisy or restless sleeper, it won't help you much - a friend of mine intended to co-sleep but couldn't because her baby was so noisy!

Also, are you breastfeeding or formula? it's safer if you're breastfeeding, apparently

Good luck!

Thumbwitch Thu 03-Jan-13 06:38:55

Should add that we don't have any "snacking" problems - DS2 feeds and goes to sleep, and is now, at 11wo, missing out his ~3am feed more nights than he's waking for it, so we're getting around 6h straight sleep now (Which is apparently the definition of "sleeping through")

PurplePidjChickIsNotTheMessiah Thu 03-Jan-13 06:43:44

There's not a total blanket ban on it - I've been advised by both MW and HV teams about co-sleeping safely, they even have a leaflet!

I figure its safer to co-sleep than fall asleep at the wheel from sleep deprivation hmm

ChristmasKnackers Thu 03-Jan-13 06:46:58

Mine would not sleep when put down, so we swaddled him. He loved it and slept fantastically! Recommend swaddleme, so you don't faf around with blankets.

Thumbwitch Thu 03-Jan-13 06:47:34

This is one NHS leaflet on co-sleeping

It helps to be aware that many of the so-called SIDS cases due to co-sleeping are not in fact SIDS at all, but are due to known factors. Most of these cases occur where the safety aspects are not adhered to (usually alcohol, from what I remember reading)

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Thu 03-Jan-13 06:54:21

Another one here who was too scared to co-sleep especially as DH is a very deep sleeper.

We swaddled DS but when DD was born the midwives said that swaddling wasn't advised anymore hmm it definitely helped to soothe DS though.

squidgeberry Thu 03-Jan-13 06:56:52

I always found deliberately co-sleeping and feeding lying down safer for me than sitting up to feed then falling asleep by accident. After I dozed off a couple of times whilst still sitting, we started co-sleeping (bed-sharing). After a few weeks, we got a co-sleeper cot so I could slide dd over into her own space fairly easily.

sleepybump Thu 03-Jan-13 06:58:53

I never intended to cosleep but did first night with dc2 ( it felt right to). My midwife ws of the opinion that if i chose to cosleep to take the safety advice - and those were words she left me with after ds was born.

Personally i prefer to have baby in a crib against the side of my bed, but i struggled like you with this 5min-yoyo-ing for a longtime with dc1 until i eventually read up about baby sleep cycles/patterns which helped me so much and made a huge difference (well except during growth spurts when sometimes it seems Nothing can settle them!). With dc2 (now 6 days old) I gave myself somevrefresher reading and its helped tremedously... Went from (again) 5min-back up routine to hourly, and now rvarious between 1hourish-2.5/3hourish sleep chunks with sometimes 0.5-1.5hours in between etc as he's becomming more wakeful between (this is much easier for me and i know will be less time between blocks of sleep as he ' learns' about night/day etc.)

I can't remember what i read with dc1, but this is what i read just a few days ago with this little guy: (i recommend you read he whole thimg rather than skimming tobits you think are relevant, its quite a short read)

http://www.parentingscience.com/newborn-sleep.html

mathanxiety Thu 03-Jan-13 07:05:38

I did it for the first time with DD2 (DC3) and it was the best decision I made. The whole thing was forced on me as DD1 and DS and exH had all come down with a horrible D&V bug the day I got home from the hospital with little DD2 and I kept her and myself away from them all by closing the bedroom door and letting them get on with it. I was amazed at how well it worked out and I co-slept with DD3 and DD4 when they arrived.

Dragging myself out to the cot and sitting up in a chair to breastfeed the others, then back to bed where I couldn't fall back asleep again due to either exH snoring like a mother bear or the dawn racket of the birds had nearly killed me the previous two times.

Make sure you are doing it in a safe way. If you think you wouldn't get much rest with a baby actually in the bed with you there are tandem cots that clip to the side of your bed that would work just as well, keep the baby very close, ensure you are not up and falling over things several times a night, stepping on lego, stumping your toes on rugs, and turning into a zombie, and everyone has their own sleeping space.

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

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

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...

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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....

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.

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).

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).

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

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

Ps the sleeping bags also worked for us

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!)

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

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.

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.

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

Hey Manthanxiety - thanks for that link x

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.

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.

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..

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