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To have co slept with my 6wo niece?

(644 Posts)
Piggyleroux Sat 06-Aug-11 16:15:26

I am really upset at what happened this morning and my bil and sil house (dh's brother) but suspect iabu so thoughts would be appreciated.

I posted in the breast and bottle feeding section last week about my sil 6 wo dd having a pretty severe lactose intolerance. Sil decided not to bf and the medics eventually found a formula that she could just about tolerate. She is slowly gaining weight and is not nearly as pukey as she was so all good there.

However, night times are still horrendous for them with dd up most of the night screaming. Bil called my dh yesterday morning to ask if we would come and spend the night to give them a break as they were shattered and couldn't face another sleepless night.

When we got there (they live a good hour away) I was shocked to see how awful they looked. Really sleep deprived. Bil has a really high powered job that he has to be on the ball for and I really felt sorry for them both. Sil gave me instructions on making up feeds and said that dd is in her own room and once she has settled I can put her in there.

Anyway, they went to bed about 9 and dh and ds (16 mo) went up about 10. I am still bfing ds so gave him a quick feed and he settled and went to sleep. Dn was getting really grizzly so I gave her a bottle and she went to sleep. I put her in her cot and left the room as instructed by sil. She then started screaming. I picked her up and she fell asleep. I tried to put her down and started screaming. Anyway, this went on for a good hour so I went into the spare room which has a double bed in it and lay down with her. She turned her head toward me and went to sleep. And stayed asleep. Until 4am. I slept really lightly and any sniffles she made I woke up.

I gave her another feed at 4am and after that we went back to sleep. I woke up at 8am with dn still sleeping beside me. I could hear sil asking where she was. BIl came into the spare bedroom and shouted down that we were still in bed. Sil came in the room and went ballistic. She told me I was fucking irresponsible for cosleeping, didn't I know that her dd could have died? She said that she doesnt want her dd getting used to cosleeping amd wants her to be independent. I explained to her that I have been cosleeping with ds since he was born but she wouldn't listen. She was really ranting and we ended up leaving in a hurry.

On the way home, told dh that I think the baby screams because she simply needs human contact and needs to sleep near someone. They haven't had more than two hours unbroken sleep since they brought her home and truly think this is because she wakes up and panics because she is on her own.

Wibu to cosleep with her? I feel really hurt and upset by what was said.

Mitmoo Sat 06-Aug-11 16:18:55

I think you should have checked with the Mum first.

worraliberty Sat 06-Aug-11 16:19:03


She's not your child to co sleep with. If you're going to help the parents, you need to respect their wishes.

MrsPlesWearsAFez Sat 06-Aug-11 16:19:41

I think YWBU

It just wasn't your decision to make, and in offering to help out you should have been prepared for a sleepless night of following their routine.

I co-slept with dd so I know how you must have felt, but still - it's not your child.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 06-Aug-11 16:20:38

I really detest the 'co-sleeping' term, hate it.

I guess that IF you'd been a heavier sleeper or might have turned over, the outcome could have been different, but just as easily not.

Did you not put the baby down at 4am when she was fast asleep?

It's something that could happen to anyone and I think your SIL is just sleep-deprived and overreacting. I would speak to her about it and say that whilst you accept that she was worried, you don't deserve to be spoken to like that. I wouldn't offer again either, if you are asked.

Northernlurker Sat 06-Aug-11 16:22:29

Well this is a tough one. I think we have to make allowances for your sil being very tired. However you were doing them a huge favour and you found something which worked (that will have really annoyed sil!). Their practice of putting their 6 week old baby in another room isn't working and isn't in line with safety recommendations either.
I would ring sil, apologise for upsetting her but very firmply say that as a mother you think this could help them and leave it at that. If they offer abuse for that suggestion then just walk away.

Piggyleroux Sat 06-Aug-11 16:22:46

Fair enough. I am going to phone her later to apologise.

nickelbabe Sat 06-Aug-11 16:23:47

I actually don't think YABU.

in hindsight, it wasn't the best decision, mainly because your SIL wasn't happy with it, but I think I would have had the instinct to do the same thing - the baby's crying and won't settle when you put her down, you're used to co-sleeping, so it's an automatic thing for you to do.

I also think your SIL is overreacting, but I do see her point.

but the baby had a good night's sleep, and no harm has been done.

I should imagine that your SIL is very worried about SIDS, and is being cautious.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 06-Aug-11 16:23:54

Does your DN sleep in her own room then normally?

YABU for co-sleeping without asking first, I'd have strung you up if you were my sister. I'm not against co-sleeping for other people but it just isn't for me.

Have you suggested to your sister that she put her baby in a cot right next to her bed, so close enough to not feel like she's on her own, but 'safe' in her own cot, as it were?

nickelbabe Sat 06-Aug-11 16:24:49

that's true lurker - the SIDS guidelines do say that the baby should be in a cot in thesame room as the parents until 6months old.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 06-Aug-11 16:25:16

Sorry, misread, thought she was your sister for some reason

Piggyleroux Sat 06-Aug-11 16:26:02

Sil has maintained that she wants ddto be in her own room so she gets used to it. Maybe iwbu to co sleep but I think they abu to have a go at me when they asked us for help.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 06-Aug-11 16:27:07

I think YWBU, not your baby. However, I would have done exactly the same. Problem is you and your SIL obviously have very different views on baby's needs.

valiumredhead Sat 06-Aug-11 16:27:33

I don't think you were BU at all. If I left my ds with anyone overnight I would trust them to look after him in the way they deemed best - which is exactly what you did.

VelvetSnow Sat 06-Aug-11 16:27:38

Sorry OP, but I also think YWBU.

Although it is evident that you were trying to help, you should've followed SILs routine.

Do they really put the 6wo in her own room to sleep? Personally, I find that rather odd.

If you ever get the chance, why not suggest to SIL to bring the cot/crib/moses basket into the bedroom with them - not exactly co sleeping but at least the baby will be soothed by hearing her parents breathing...

worraliberty Sat 06-Aug-11 16:28:07

They did ask for your help, but at the same time there's a fine line between helping and 'taking over'.

The decision to co sleep wasn't yours to make I'm afraid.

YWBU I'm afraid, as it wasn't your baby and if something had happened, how would they ever have been able to forgive you? People can be so precious over their own parenting methods and if you are helping someone out, you really ought to do it their way or else confuse things for the baby. For what it is worth, I sometimes co-slept so know how lightly a woman sleeps, waking at the slightest movement from baby. But maybe your SIL doesn't think you would have that response, as it wasn't your child?

annieversaire Sat 06-Aug-11 16:28:25

Oh God. I'm so sorry for you. No one warned you NOT to do this, you just followed your instincts - I'd have done EXACTLY the same. Got her to sleep by whatever means possible!!!

Sorry you are feeling so awful. I'd not have anticipated such a mad reaction from your SIL and sure you didn't expect it either.

You did them a favour imo, but I can see if she is funny about routines and separating from her dd this early then it would upset her and of course it's best to respect that (however nuts it might seem -and to me it does but I know there are reasons for it, not my'your child etc etc)

They asked you to help
You did your best
She yelled at you

I think she's fecking ungrateful actually. I'm very sorry for you and think you may have inadvertently upset her BUT you never intended to. I repeat I'd have done exactly the same.

VelvetSnow Sat 06-Aug-11 16:29:05

x post

diddl Sat 06-Aug-11 16:29:13

TBH, if they are so desperate for sleep that that are asking others over to do night time feeds, then I think that they should take the help & be bloody grateful.

valiumredhead Sat 06-Aug-11 16:29:54

annieversaire I agree. It's not like the SIL explicitly told OP NOT to co sleep and she went against it.

TidyDancer Sat 06-Aug-11 16:30:46

YWBU, but the reaction from SIL was terrible. You owe each other apologies.

MoominsAreScary Sat 06-Aug-11 16:31:01

Of course you shouldn't of co slept, your sil obviously doesn't want to do it as she told you to put the baby in a cot in her own room, I choose not to co sleep as I don't feel it's safe so would also have been fuming. When your ds was younger you probably wouldn't have wanted someone to give him formula knowing that you bf, when you look after someone else's baby you have to do it their way

HildaOgden Sat 06-Aug-11 16:32:06

You should have checked with the parents first,they weren't a million miles away ,they were in the same house.

While it was good of you to go there to help,your sister-in- law may well feel that you were being domineering to do things 'your' way.You both obviously have totally different ideas on areas of child-rearing....from feeding to I think you should have respected her wishes and done things her way.She probably feels that you were acting as if you knew better than her.Which is an incredibly irritating thing for a sleep deprived mother of a new-born to tolerate.

Do you believe that you are a 'better' mother than your sister-in-law?Because if that's the vibe she's getting from you,then that's the reason she exploded.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 06-Aug-11 16:32:20

Your SIL seems to be overly worried about co-sleeping causing SIDS, but isn't concerned about her baby being in it's own room at 6wo?


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