Right. Can we get this straight about co-sleeping?

(66 Posts)
OutsideOverThere Fri 01-Mar-13 11:05:25

I've been told twice in the last week not to co-sleep, first by a HV at clinic, then by the GP when I asked her to clarify.

I'm assuming these are government guidelines but have they recently changed?

I co slept with ds1 and ds2 and am now doing so with ds3, who is 8 weeks old. Heck I even had a long quote in the MN book on babies a few years ago, on this very topic <expert> grin but now suddenly I feel rather alone and a bit worried that no one else is doing it, it's all terribly wrong anddangerous and I need to stop now.

I love co sleeping. Ds2 is still in the bed and he's nearly 6. But I wanted to check on here as I've always got the impression from this place that co sleeping is good, and wholesome and best for the baby.

And isn't it the case that babies regulate their breathing better when next to their parent? I'm sure I read this somewhere.

Help sad

gingerbread I didn't mean to be rude, and apologies if my post did read that way, it wasn't intended.

Emotinally it is fine. There is evidence to show that co-sleeping makes children more secure and independent, so actually, long term, it means we can make more time for ourselves. Of course the first few months with any newborn can be hardwork, but I found cosleeping lessened parental guilt, meant I wasn't fighting my instincts to cuddle my child, and that mine and DH's relationship grew stronger. As someone upthread mentioned, more sleep for all of us meant that we were less knackered and could make time for each other too.

pixiegumboot Thu 07-Mar-13 21:22:11

I did with both, still do with one, wouldn't tell anyone 'official ' tho mainly because I can't be arsed with the cats bum face

MrsSham Thu 07-Mar-13 20:57:55

Dd is 7 now and I was told by HV at every visit not to co sleep and it was recorded in dds red book, it actually stopped me taking dd to clinic which was a shame as I was actually in need of advice on feeding. But just couldn't bothered justifying ir being told I must stop co sleeping.

BertieBotts Thu 07-Mar-13 20:37:38

Gingerbread I think we're as bemused as each other grin I don't see how co-sleeping could affect anything emotionally with a partner. No more than any other effect of having a new baby, anyway.

5madthings Thu 07-Mar-13 17:02:38

No one has said they don't nap Aline, my dd has a nap in our bed every afternoon for about two hours. But under 6mths if age no they slept with us around and as they got older they would sleep in our bed, we just settled them to sleep and then left them safe in bed.

5madthings Thu 07-Mar-13 17:00:42

Co-slept with all of ours, youngest is 26mths sand still co-sleeps and you can still have a bedtime routine etc. Ours all went onto their own beds happily at about 3yrs old. Never had a cot!

Relationship wise its fine, its recommended for a baby to sleep in the same room as its parents for days and night sleep for the first 6mths anyway.

You find time for each other, 5 kids and 15yrs later our relationship is fine. Even if you don't co'sleep its hard when they are little but they aren't little for long! And time co-sleeping meant more sleep so we were happier and more able to make time for each other.

Mama1980 Thu 07-Mar-13 16:58:43

I co slept with ds1 and intend too with ds2 both were extremely prem. Before I was discharged first time from hospital my guidelines form the nicu were:
No pillows, use covers towels,
No alcohol or medication
Not if you smoke
Use blankets of possible rather than a duvet and a firmish mattress.

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 07-Mar-13 16:57:28

Ok sorry- I'm overreacting a bit ( and got a child keeps pressing post on my phone)

It's massive point for me and I'm not co-sleeping. I can't be imaginative here

showtunesgirl Thu 07-Mar-13 16:55:38

I don't think anyone was rude. confused

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 07-Mar-13 16:55:25

I'm talking about emotional stuff as much as anything.

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 07-Mar-13 16:54:37

I said genuine question. No need to e rude.

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 07-Mar-13 16:54:00

World gone crazy- im not just talkjng aviut sex! ok, so said child is with mother at all times. Doesn't nap alone.

gingerbread you just need to get imaginative.

Gingerbreadlatte Thu 07-Mar-13 16:22:02

A genuine question not criticism - how does it affect relationships with partners? It wouldn't work for me for that reason. I'd really like to understand this point better?

OhMyNoReally Thu 07-Mar-13 09:15:24

I co-slept for the first month or two and the dc were swaddled. After they slept for around 4 hours between feeds I put them in their cot as it worked for us as a family. I also swaddled for 4 months, just recently stopped as ds wanted his hands for comfort, before they had annoyed him.

I was very suprised this time round to be told not to swaddle I couldn't understand why this age old method of putting baby to sleep was suddenly frowned upon.

Co-sleeping wasn't much of a suprise, as in 2010 with dc3 it was a bit questionable by hv and mw, but had been encouraged with dc1+2. It's so annoying and confusing when the advice keeps changing. No wonder parents get annoyed with hvs.

Selenium Thu 07-Mar-13 09:14:55

I cosleep with my ds, who is 13 weeks and did from day 1 in the hospital (having decided this was the way forward from my experience with dd, where I effectively ended up cosleeping without intending to and panicking too much about it!) I had a cs so was in the hospital for 2 nights and no-one batted an eyelid. One hv gave me a leaflet on safe cosleeping and told me that it wasn't what they recommended but that she understood why I was doing it. For me, it fits really well with breastfeeding at night, if you can feed lying down and meant that I was never sleep deprived even from day 1, as feeding can virtually be done in your sleep. It is LOVELY being cuddled up to your little baby and I feel I can monitor him much better in the night if he is right next to me.

However, my dh is scared he'll roll onto ds in the night and is quite disturbed by all his little grunts and snorts in the night, so he is sleeping in the spare bed for the time being, which makes me a bit sad (miss him!) We have now moved ds's cot bed into our room against our bed and taken one side off so he starts the night in there right next to me. Hoping I can gradually get him to spend more of the night in there, as I don't see myself cosleeping long-term! I am quite encouraged by the stories on here of the transition to the cot/bed eventually being trouble-free.

AlwaysWashing Thu 07-Mar-13 08:35:06

I had the same from our early days Midwife, she practically begged us not to co sleep & told us that she had lost 2 babies due to co sleeping over her 25 year career. I really liked her as she was hugely supportive in every other way but felt a bit cross with her for what felt like scare tactics re co sleeping.
The upshot was that DS2 hated his Moses basket so slept on me for the first few weeks, which worked well with bf and as he got bigger we built his cot, left off one side and used it as a co sleeper (just simply as the specifically made co sleeping cots seemed so over priced) and then gradually got him to sleep in that for longer and longer periods. DS2 is now 14 weeks and is almost there with sleeping through and in the interests of us all getting a good nights sleep what generally happens is that he's put into his cot to settle himself to sleep and then comes in with us at about 2am when he naturally stirs and sleeps until somewhere between 3.30/6.30 when he wakes for a feed.
Bit long winded sorry! I was happy to co sleep and I was surprised to find that DH was too. It was important to me that DS2 could self soothe and settle himself to sleep but co sleeping seems to be working well for us and him.
I think you have to go with what suits you and yours best observing the guidelines as much as you can.
Incidentally DS1 hated being in with us & still does - squirms like a monkey!
Good luck with it all grin

npg1 - I think I've already mentioned that out of my coworkers, the three who coslept had much better sleep than those who didn't cosleep. If you had been minding our 10 children then you would have presumed that cosleeping = good sleep, baby in own room = poor sleep. As we all went back to work when our babies were very tiny (about 14-18 weeks) poor sleep quality would have been a major issue. Thankfully we had the family and friends support for cosleeping.

Sleep routine and quality of sleep has never been an issue for us, and we remain completely pro-co sleeping.

Carolra Wed 06-Mar-13 22:44:56
Carolra Wed 06-Mar-13 22:42:55

I co slept with mine. Loved it and would do it again. There is excellent info on the BabiesKnow website if you want to read some recent studies and safety tips etc.

BertieBotts Wed 06-Mar-13 22:38:41

Yep, my child knows he can sleep with me. 99% of the time he chooses to sleep in his own bed, however. In fact I had to put him in my bed the other night because he had croup and I wouldn't have slept a wink listening to him breathe through the wall, but he wasn't bothered about being with me particularly.

I think it would be very sad if he felt he wasn't allowed to come for a cuddle in the night if he needed one.

FlyingUmbrella Wed 06-Mar-13 22:36:38

We co sleep with 13 month old DS and have done since he was 6 weeks old. I think it made BF at night much easier and possibly safer as I wasnt at risk of falling asleep whilst holding DS whilst trying to stay awake on a chair next to his cot whilst feeding him. We follow all the guidelines.
It works well for us. He now sleeps in his cot until first waking, usually at 11ish but is then in with us. We recently night weaned but he still loves coming into our bed for a cuddle and we love having him there! Quite a few friends think we're mad and ask when he'll sleep by himself all night, I just say he'll do it when he's ready.
I appreciate it isn't for everyone but if it works for you and you follow the guidelines, I fail to see a problem with it.
Anyway, given the option of being alone in a cot or in a cosy bed with loads of cuddles for the night, I know which I'd pick!

I co-slept with all three of mine. We never had any problem with routine. They grew out of it in their own time and we've never had any issues with sleeping in general. It works for some people; for others it doesn't. Follow the guidelines, and don't take any stupid risks and be as safe as you can.

ShowOfHands Wed 06-Mar-13 22:23:24

"They know they can sleep with you! "

So?

BertieBotts Wed 06-Mar-13 22:23:19

It's always been against official advice, I think you've probably been reading very pro-co-sleeping literature. (Which I agree with totally grin)

In fact the official line is that co-sleeping is okay but because there are so many guidelines to follow, it's easier for HVs, GPs etc to advise against it. Research shows that done properly, it is as safe as cot sleeping and some people believe that the awareness mothers have of their babies means that it is safer - this is just a theory though as it has not been proven by research (and never will now as cot death is thankfully so rare).

You sound like you're doing great smile And I used to deal with questions by sidestepping them. "Is he sleeping alright?" "Yes great thank you!" <Most likely we have a wildly different perception of "alright" but never mind!>

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