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to post this as a precautionary tale - co-sleeping

(149 Posts)
SylvanianFamilies Fri 29-Jul-11 14:46:26

Baby dies in father's bed

Disclaimer - I've never been against co-sleeping, but have never managed to do it (just can't sleep when baby is in bed even if I try) - but in a recent conversation with a friend she admitted she would never do it for fear of suffocating the baby. I thought she was being over-anxious until I read this today.

Pootles2010 Fri 29-Jul-11 14:49:41

<passes hard hat>

HopeForTheBest Fri 29-Jul-11 14:54:44

That is very sad but I don't understand how the baby's death has anything at all to do with co-sleeping.

BertyBurlington Fri 29-Jul-11 14:56:24

it wouldnt be for me, but shrugs, some people have different views

lovelyredwine Fri 29-Jul-11 14:56:37

In my job I have the misfortune to deal with baby deaths (not all resulting from co-sleeping I might add); as a result of this I would never co-sleep with my DD. I am fully aware that it is very very rare for a baby to die whilst co-sleeping particularly if the parents have not been drinking/taking drugs, but I would be so paranoid after seeing the heart wrenching grief of the parents. My parenting style has definitely been affected by my job though so I would not expect others to be so paranoid.

BertyBurlington Fri 29-Jul-11 14:58:03

i just wouldnt sleep properly. sometimes the cat gets on the bed and it makes me sleep fitfully, so god knows what having a baby in the bed would be like

HopeForTheBest Fri 29-Jul-11 14:59:32

Can someone please explain how the co-sleeping is relevant in this case? It doesn't mention any drink/drunk, or that the baby had been squashed or suffocated.
Surely if it had been in its own cot (in this case), the same would have happened? Am I missing something?

I actually would have thought that if you were in the same bed and your baby was having difficulties of some sort, you'd be more likely to notice and do something about it.

SylvanianFamilies Fri 29-Jul-11 15:02:58

Sorry, I should have said, I name-changed for this post. Didn't want to be identifed blush

I agree that if the baby was in its own cot, the same might have happened. But the parents are always going to blame themselves, aren't they? sad

midori1999 Fri 29-Jul-11 15:03:12

I think one of the recomendations for safe co-sleeping is that the baby is not placed next to the Father as a Mother's instinct is more naturally protective.

Odd that they quote that FSIDS say co-sleeping isn't safe if the parents have consumed alcohol, but doesn't state their position on co-sleeping if alcohol hasn't been consumed, particularly as the article doesn't suggest the parents had been drinking alcohol.

It's extremely sad all round, but it wouldn't stop me co-sleeping, I'm alrady7 aware of the risks. I also use a sling despite the fact that babies have very sadly died in them.

Thumbwitch Fri 29-Jul-11 15:03:54

I wouldn't say that it was a balanced view given in that article. Co-sleeping is fine if managed properly.
I, for e.g., found that it had to be just me and DS in the bed, there was no room for DH. There was no way that DS was going to be "manoeuvred onto his face" by me in the bed - if I was that restless a sleeper, I wouldn't have even considered co-sleeping. There was no chance of me rolling onto him as I slept with my arm out above his head - I'd have had to break my shoulder to roll onto him. There was no chance of him falling out of the bed - he had obstructions behind him. I had no duvet anywhere near him so no chance of him suffocating from that. No pillow, no chance of that falling on his face.

It is unutterably tragic when this happens - but it doesn't mean co-sleeping is inherently dangerous, just that people need to follow guidelines to do it properly.

EverythingsNotRosie Fri 29-Jul-11 15:05:13

It says the baby was found face down when too young to roll over- so parental movement must have caused the baby to roll, thus causing death. That's how I read it anyway.

Thumbwitch Fri 29-Jul-11 15:05:23

Hope, I think the suggestion is in the ruling - that the father may somehow have caused the baby to roll onto his face, by his own shifting position in the bed. Don't quite see how myself but that seems to be what they're saying.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 29-Jul-11 15:06:57

Hopeforthebest - the baby was found face down and the Coronor said that a small baby can't turn itself over so must have been turned accidentally by adults moving in the bed. The father placed the baby on his back to sleep.

choceyes Fri 29-Jul-11 15:07:47

I remember reading that 50% of SIDS happened during co-sleeping. Within that 50%, almost all of the deaths were on a sofa with a parent inadvertantly falling asleep (as this is also classed as co-sleeping). The few babies that died in a bed, the parents had been drinking or taking drugs. It is very rare for a baby to die in a bed when this is not the case.

On the other hand, 50% of SIDS happens in a cot. But nobody tells you not to put the baby to sleep in a cot do they?

RitaMorgan Fri 29-Jul-11 15:09:14

This is the exact reason that you shouldn't co-sleep if you are bottlefeeding and the baby should only sleep next to it's mother.

I think that it is fair to highlight that there are safe and unsafe ways to co-sleep, just as there are safe and unsafe ways to put a baby to sleep in a cot.

changeforthebetter Fri 29-Jul-11 15:10:08

Tragic for the poor baby and his family sad

I think these things are best handled with good evidence-based information from reliable sources and not via journalists and personal opinions/anecdotes.

This guide for Breastfeeding Mothers sets out what is and isn't safe. Breastfeeding is said to offer protection against SIDS. Babies who are not breastfed shouldn't be in their parents bed really (although, I know full well that many are).

soverylucky Fri 29-Jul-11 15:11:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choceyes Fri 29-Jul-11 15:18:00

Yes I wouldn't let a young baby sleep next to father. And I have co-slept with DD from birth, and DS from 6 months.

I found the article where I read the stats I posted above, and it is from good sound evidence based research from Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology in Bristol.
here is full article:

Thumbwitch Fri 29-Jul-11 15:18:33

Choceyes - SIDS is from unexplained sudden death - the deaths from co-sleeping should never be included in those stats, even though I know they have been because I have read a paper where they were. Babies suffocating from being at the bottom of the bed, from being found under parents, or dying from falling out of the bed do not qualify as SIDS.

RitaMorgan Fri 29-Jul-11 15:20:23

Whenever ds was alone in bed with his dad (if I had gone out and/or was drinking so didn't want to share a bed with the baby) we made sure ds was in the bedside cot rather than actually in the bed, and dp got up out of bed to feed him.

choceyes Fri 29-Jul-11 15:21:28

Thumbwitch - OK I wasn't aware of that. Makes sense really now i think of it.

hellymelly Fri 29-Jul-11 15:23:45

I agree with thumbwitch.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 29-Jul-11 15:27:17

Why shouldn't you co-sleep if you bottlefeed? confused

When I started co-sleeping with DD, DH got kicked out of the bed and went to the spare room.

RitaMorgan Fri 29-Jul-11 15:30:01

Formula fed babies are at a higher risk of SIDS anyway, and breastfeeding mothers naturally take a protective curled position around the baby and sleep less deeply so are more aware of the baby's position iirc.

thefirstMrsDeVere Fri 29-Jul-11 15:30:04

I had a neice who died from overlaying (I dont know if the term is still used but it used to be a common cause of infant death). There were many, many risk factors involved. It was so sad and of course mum will never get over what happened.

All my babies have slept with me for some of the time (apart from DC3 who we were fostering when he was a baby). I breast feed so I am not sure how you would avoid it. If you are feeding in the night doesnt everyone fall asleep at some point?

I admit that by the time I got to DCs 4 & 5 I was more wary. I didnt put them under the covers, they were on top with their own little cover.

TBH wherever or however a child dies the parents are pretty much going to carry that guilt anyway.

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