Worried about co-sleeping with my prem baby

(12 Posts)
bytheseaside Fri 07-Dec-12 21:15:22

we have been cosleeping out of desperation really since coming home from hospital as my lo won't settle in her bedside crib (or anywhere else other than on me / in sling), and wakes quickly if transferred there when sleeping. Part of me loves cosleeping as she clearly does, it makes sense with breast feeding, and we are following guidelines for doing it safely. We now actually get some sleep! However I've been reading up and am worried about the raised risk of sids, especially as she usually will only sleep on her side. Born at 33 weeks, now +11 actual, +4 adjusted, no known medical probs other than low birth weight and prematurity. Any advice / experiences?

LeBFG Sat 08-Dec-12 13:33:39

I'm not giving any advice. However, you also asked for experiences. I know the SIDS risk is much higher with our little premmies. I was in exactly the same position as you, never had breathing issues etc. I chose to co-sleep. We did so frequently until DS was about 4/5 mo (boys and first borns are also more at risk). I also put DS onto his tum sometimes like they did at hosptial because he slept/digested much better. I know the risks. I did it anyway. This time around I'm going to try and fix the cot onto the side of the bed as this is probably the safest option. Taking risks is such a personal thing.

RosinaCopper Sat 08-Dec-12 13:50:09

Also not giving advice - because as LeBFG said it's a very personal decision. But, I had prem twins (34 + 4) and as soon as I got them home we were co sleeping, almost by accident, as I'd feed lying down and whoever was in with me fell asleep with me and would stay there until I got woken by their twin woke up, when I'd put baby 1 back in the cot and get baby 2 in with me and so it went on. One of them was under 4lb at birth, and low birthweight is supposed to also be a risk factor.

I do remember feeling a bit hmm at my SIL who had a baby a few weeks older then mine and who basically said she thought I was mad for taking the risk and how I'd never forgive myself if something happened (on that bit she's right). Same SIL had her newborn in a separate room from birth as she didn't like getting her sleep disturbed! (I couldn't be bothered to point out that experts also reckon that to reduce the risk of SIDS a baby should sleep in the same room as its parents until 6 months!)

HDee Sat 08-Dec-12 13:52:12

By a Respisense monitor. They are worth every single penny and work amazingly well. Piece of mind and a better night's sleep

bytheseaside Sat 08-Dec-12 18:40:44

Thanks so much for your views. We have a bedside cot, but our baby won't sleep in it... I like the closeness of co-sleeping, and sge clearly does as well, but I worry too much to be completely happy with the situation. HDee does the respisense work with bedsharing, when you are cuddled up / have a hand on your baby? otherwise, looks like a great idea - have you used one?

HDee Sat 08-Dec-12 18:52:36

Yes we used these with our twins til they eight months or so. They would work fine with a hand on baby and can be worn at all times eg in carseat etc.

minipie Tue 11-Dec-12 15:14:39

Seaside we seem to have the same baby! Mine has been sleeping on my chest for the past week as she wakes v quickly anywhere else. I think it's tummy trouble (wind/poo) which wakes her, and i guess she doesn't feel it as much if she's on my chest because she is on her front/side and her tummy is warmed by my body. But it's hard for me to sleep propped up. Can I ask, what position do you and your DD cosleep in, and what do you do about blankets?

bytheseaside Tue 11-Dec-12 19:45:01

Hi minipie, she does actually now sleep flat on my bed, either on her back or side (sometimes she just won't go on her back), kind of snuggled up in the c shape made by my arm, body and knees as I sleep on my side, or turned towards me as I sleep on my back - we seem to end up that way after feeding, and i've read that its an instinctive position. Its safer to have baby on outside rather than between me and partner, as we have bedside cot on other side so she can't fall out. I never could figure out the sleeping sitting propped up thing, although I know others do. Ive been reading 'three i a bed' which made me feel better, but I'm still worrying about the risks for prems so we are going to try operation sleep-in-bedside-cot this week sad

minipie Tue 11-Dec-12 20:32:31

Ah to sleep flat! Might try her sleeping next to me tonight rather than on me. Not sure what to do about blankets though, she is too small for sleeping bags and I need my duvet... Good luck with the bedside cot, that might be our next stage if I can get her to sleep next to rather than on me.

Anyone know why prems are meant to be more at risk from co sleeping? Something to do with apnoea I guess?

Doraemon Tue 11-Dec-12 20:56:52

I co-slept with both my preemies, DS1 (32 weeks, 3lb 9, came home weighing 4lb) because he would not be put down and I was shattered, DS2 (34 weeks, 5lb 8) because I'd become convinced that babies evolved to be next to their mother's boobs and it worked for us. DS2 turned out to have silent reflux which caused him to stop breathing in the middle of the night when he was just past his due date - I don't want to think about what would have happened if he hadn't been next to me. I'm expected DC3 who will probably be prem too, we have the bed side cot set up but I'm sure she'll end up sleeping in the crook of my arm like the other two did.
I don't know why co-sleeping is suppposedly higher risk for preemies, especially given that there are theories that co-sleeping actually helps regulate baby's breathing and would therefore reduce the risk of apnoea..... Could it be that rather than being proven more dangerous is just not actually proven safe because preemies would be discounted from a lot of research into baby sleep because they complicate the statistics?

bytheseaside Tue 11-Dec-12 21:00:49

sorry forgot your blanket question. duvets can be dangerous i think, so i keep our duvet down by my waist so that it can't flop over her, and wear a cardigan on chilly nights! she's in her own cotton cot blanket, but its not ideal as she kicks it off ... we're also waiting to grow into grobags, not long now! I've been looking at medical articles (you can scare yourself on google scholar if you have the nerve ...) and haven't found any thing yet which is clear about why there is a risk, just that stats show there is one - rates of apnoea and cld seem likely to me, but I really don't know. must do some more reading

BertieBotts Tue 11-Dec-12 21:07:57

Firstly I'm not a scientist or medically qualified, so I have no idea if this is correct, but just musing...

Premature babies might be a higher risk category for SIDS in general, but all the research that we have shows that bedsharing is no higher risk than cot sleeping as long as safety guidelines are adhered to. As LeBFG says, boys are also higher risk from SIDS, but there is no differentation in advice for boys and girls regarding co-sleeping.

As far as I know there is no research that says premature babies are more at risk when co-sleeping, other than the research which says premature babies are more at risk overall. But in my mind unless co-sleeping presents an extra risk, whether you co-sleep or not isn't going to affect the risk of SIDS to your baby. Something which we know adds a risk, like parental smoking, it would make sense to say "Don't smoke especially if your baby is premature" - because that's two risks in one if that makes sense?

Plus add to the fact that kangaroo care, where the baby gets as much skin to skin contact as possible, is shown to be extremely beneficial to premature babies and I think I personally would feel that any "risk" of co-sleeping was minimal and balanced out by the benefits of it.

The only thing that I can think of is if your baby is so small that he/she does not have normal newborn responses/reflexes and whether that poses any extra risk or not. I think I would be cautious in that case.

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