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To chuck DH out for co-sleeping on the sofa?

(73 Posts)
StuntNun Tue 12-Mar-13 00:48:37

Okay I'm probably not actually going to LTB but I just found DH co-sleeping with our 16-week-old son on the sofa and I'm furious. He pooh-poohed my saying it's a risk for SIDS and reckons he wouldn't have let the baby fall on to the floor.

chipmonkey Wed 13-Mar-13 00:42:17

Startail, new babies DO equal tired parents, exhausted parents, parents who can barely keep their eyes open. And that is exactly when co-sleeping is dangerous. The night before the morning she died in our bed, I had been up twice to express and then feed her. I also fed her one more time without expressing. She was also very cranky and woke up much more often than usual for her feeds and was unsettled.
My exhaustion partly led to her death. I think that had I been more alert, I might have realised that she wasn't breathing as she lay beside me and it certainly was the reason I fell asleep myself.

As for screaming hysterically, well unfortunately losing a child has that effect.hmm When your child IS the victim of those "tiny odds" the fact that they were tiny odds is no comfort at all as you stand at your baby's grave.

I co-slept with all my boys. Out of exhaustion. They're still here, my daughter isn't. I can't have another baby but if I could, there is no way I would allow myself to fall asleep on a couch, bed or anywhere else with a small baby.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 13-Mar-13 00:59:02

Why is a bed safer to co sleep than a couch?

Lueji Wed 13-Mar-13 01:04:44

Google the risks and show it to him.

Catch, a couch is too narrow. The baby might fall or be pushed.
Plus there's the back, and the baby might suffocate on that side.

On a bed, the baby is safely on the bed, and the parent usually adopts a protective position.

Lueji Wed 13-Mar-13 01:08:30

Chipmonkey, hugs.

However, there's probably no way that your baby could be saved, or that you could have noticed her not breathing if she was in a cot.
Being in the same room as the parents is considered to be protective of SIDS.
Please don't beat yourself. sad

wannaBe Wed 13-Mar-13 01:19:42

FSID advice is that the safest place for a baby is in their cot in a parent's room. co sleeping, even in a bed is not advised. The only reason why there is guidance on the safest way to do it is because the knowledge is there that parents will do it anyway because of exhaustion/to facilitate easier bf etc. It makes me angry when people on here advocate co sleeping as being adviseable because it is not. especially when those same people come down hard on anyone who, for instance, decides to wean earlier than the magic six months, a practice which carries far lesser risks.

What people also fail to acknowledge is the fact that babies who die as a result of being smothered while co sleeping are not considered to have died from sids as their death (suffocation) is explained whereas sids is not. Therefore babies dying as a result of co sleeping are not counted in those statistics which causes the perceived risk factor to be lower.

Nobody should be advocating co sleeping on here in any way shape or form as doing so is dangerous advice.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 13-Mar-13 01:38:14

This contains stuff the Op's dh may find useful

LittleEdie Wed 13-Mar-13 01:43:47

Was he drunk or on drugs? If not I don't think it's something to go mad about.

zippey Wed 13-Mar-13 01:53:44

Co sleeping is fine as long as parents are sober, and is a great way to bond with your baby. There is evidence to suggest it actually lowers SIDS rather than increase it.

FutTheShuckUp Wed 13-Mar-13 07:46:12

Why are people so hellbent on insisting its 'fine'?
We have had people on this thread who have experienced this tragedy first hand and yet people still insist its safe?
I wish people would stop being so ignorant on advice which is actually given for the safety and wellbeing of people's children. A typical case of 'it wont happen to me'

StuntNun Wed 13-Mar-13 07:57:08

Thank you Sock.

zippey Wed 13-Mar-13 08:26:34

To FutTheShuckUp and wannBe
I think you have been misinformed or you have read different literature to me regarding co-sleeping. Here are a few links which categorically say its fine to co-sleep, and some which say it actually decreases SIDS.

As a parent you also have to weigh up the benefits and risks of co-sleeping/cot-sleeping and make up your own mind. I am not going to demonise parent who allow their babys to sleep in a cot.

I think the main thing to get out of this is that co-sleeping is fine as long as:

- its not on the sofa
- co-sleeping parent does not have drugs or alchohol in their system.

Like I say, co-sleeping is a great way to bond with your baby, and is prevelant in both the western world and also in places where cots/cribs are much less prevelant.

honeytea Wed 13-Mar-13 09:21:37

I was very worried about co-sleeping but my DS was in hospital for 5 days when he was 5 weeks old and the nurses strongly encouraged me to co-sleep with my DS. I live in Sweden and said to them that in the UK the advice is not to co-sleep and they said it is safer to co-sleep. DS was having breathing difficulties due to bronchiolitus and the nurses said I was much more likely to wake up if I was was co-sleeping if he stopped brething in his sleep (a possible side effect of bronchiolitus in small babies.)

I am torn, the sids rate in sweden is much much lower than in the UK but most people do co-sleep with their babies. We use a sidecar cot and I bring DS into bed with me once DP goes to work which feels right for us.

ChairmanWow Wed 13-Mar-13 10:05:11

chip and monty I'm so sorry for your losses. It just shows that something as innocuous as a quick doze can have devastating consequences. I fell asleep with my son on my chest a couple of times when he was tiny. My baby is due on Friday, and after reading your stories I'll make damn sure I don't do it again.

OP if it's just a one off, while I can understand your reaction try not to flame him. Most people will become indignant. Literature is a good way of showing him, but also stories like Chip and Monty's to show these aren't just faceless statistics but real people who live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Monty27 Wed 13-Mar-13 23:49:55

Thank you for the sympathy from posters who have recognised my posts. (and I'm sure Chip appreciates it too).

I really don't want to scaremonger, because it was 21 years ago, and cot death was just being brought into the media, there was just a new awareness (Ann Diamond lost her son just before me).

I still thought, that co-sleeping was ok, and especiallyy as it was because dd was being bf there would be nor worries, but I fell asleep.

A few days before we were at a 'mummy and baby' group and they showed a video of how to resucitate. I was a wee bit perturbed that the group runners had done so. The morning I woke up and dd was lying across me instead of on the breast, I knew exactly what to do, however it was too late.

It's rarer and rarer now, thanks to SIDS there's much awareness, just please don't take a risk.

Lueji Thu 14-Mar-13 00:22:25

Personally, I found that I was much more awake co-sleeping than with DS in the cot, even if next to my bed.
I have co-slept through bronchiolitis and croup and D&V, although to be true I hardly slept.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 14-Mar-13 00:47:07

No matter what research you look at no matter what your viewpoint on co sleeping in a bed is,

It is never safe to do so on a sofa, not one pro co sleeping info resource claims that sofa sleeping is ok.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 00:58:59

No one says it's safe but blowing your top at people who know they are in thew wrong never ends well.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 01:01:52

Also DH dying in a car accident from lack of sleep isn't advisable, therefore co sleeping was definitely the way to go. Our house is not big enough for anyone to sleep through a crying baby.

MrRected Fri 15-Mar-13 01:11:16

I think that everybody has forgotten that this is your DP's child too. He has every right to make choices for his child - despite the fact that you don't like them OP.

I agree that the SIDS dangers are an issue, but you have no right, whatsoever to "chuck him out". What would that help, anyway. He'd just have the baby overnight at his house and do his own thing anyway.

What you need to do, is to come up with a way to respectfully work out the things you jointly consider as "non-negotiables" then work around the rest.

This whole - "I am the mother, so I know everything" attitude really bugs me. Women wonder why men have been so disempowered when it comes to raising children - it's a rod many women have created for their own backs IMO.

You just need to read the threads on here to see how many fathers are disinterested, not involved, or just plain absent to see this to be true.

StuntNun Fri 15-Mar-13 01:24:47

MrRected in this case the choice to co-sleep on the sofa was made in ignorance of the risks. I haven't lost my temper with my DH about it, after my initial reaction at the time, I have shown him a leaflet on safe co-sleeping. I do think he should have known better or had the common sense not to sleep with the baby in a position where he might fall on to the floor.

MrRected Fri 15-Mar-13 02:01:33

That all sounds very sensible Stuntnun. My comments were based on the OP - so forgive me if I haven't kept up :-).

Hope your DH has taken the literature seriously.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 15-Mar-13 02:05:10

You don't get to chose to endanger your children just because you are a parent.

Stuff that's considered to be such a dangerous risk that info on the risks are practically rammed down your throat at every opportunity like co sleeping on a sofa,are not just a slight difference of parenting.

That's a bit like saying if your child is stood behind a parents car whilst reversing you can't yell stop then get cross at the lack of attention paid whilst driving because the driver is the parent and they can run there child over by accident because its not the other parents place to stop it happening.

If something bad had happened to the op's baby do you think it would make it easier to come to terms with knowing that the baby's dad intentionally decided to do something dangerous because he's a parent he's got rights.

Course it wouldn't.

ayahushca Fri 15-Mar-13 06:18:40

Assuming he loves and cares about his child, which you seems convinced of:

Use scare tactics, definitely. To the full extent, whatever it takes to inform him fully on the risk he took. The documentation is widespread, this is incontrovertible stuff. When he is presented with hard evidence, then he will surely be scared straight. Give him evidence from sources that aren't you. Give him a leaflet to read, don't read it to him. Because he can't feel a leaflet may be overmothering or cosseting the baby to his exclusion, and if he feels you have any history of doing these things, whether rightly or wrongly, then it is very easy and almost natural to react to this by lumping this situation in with those other instances, no matter how authoritively and convincingly you speak on the subject of SIDS. Because the alternative, the horrible truth, that he endangered his precious child unknowingly, is too unbearable to face up to.

But once he's absolutely got the message and tells you he will never do this again (which he must, and will) don't be too mad at him. Be vigilant for other urgent blind spots there may be in his parenting (as subtly as you can do so whilst fully satisfying your concerns). But don't be too mad once the danger is gone. While it is incontrovertible that SIDS was possible from what he did, it is not intuitive to a person lying peacefully with their baby on the sofa feeling like cuddling up for a nap. He didn't think he was putting your DC at risk. Be mad a tiny little bit for his thinking you were exaggerating the dangers or over worrying. And also at that blokey self-assurance that means he must never admit he doesn't know what he's doing, (irritating at refusing-to-ask-for-directions level, potentially lethal here). But let these angers be ultimately overwhelmed by the knowledge his actions, however horrifying, were not in the slightest bit malicious, but came from the same love you have for your DC.

Fathers can sometimes feel that the mother is overprotective of her child and institutes all these needless strict regulations and regimes for them which prevent him from bonding with the child and make him feel like a bit of a nuisance. He may resent the mother for portraying him as a danger to his child, when he doesn't believe he could ever possibly do anything to hurt something he loves so much. Your DH may be feeling left out and hurt in a way he can't quite articulate, and this is what is causing his over-defensiveness and selfishness. Be sympathetic to this, reassure him of his status. Don't apologise for his feeling like this (unless you are a generally overprotective mother, I've no way of knowing, and while your post does nothing to imply you are like that, it can happen)

Share with him your own fears for ever harming your baby through a careless, exhausted moment. Don't make him feel like you think you have all the answers and are training him as an incompetent subordinate, but instead are just sharing a piece of vital information as two people in love on a hazardous journey will naturally together. Praise him on his strengths as a father. Ask him to keep a watchful eye on your alertness if ever you seem drowsy when with the baby on the sofa. Remind him that no parent can ever really know what they're doing, and co-operating and helping each other is vital to your success. Tell him you need him, as a loving partner and responsible father but also as somebody to be scared with.

If I am excusing him partly "because he's a dad", then it's because it's entirely natural and unavoidable that the bloke is going to feel like a bit of a third wheel to some kind of deep bond between a baby and the woman who gestates, and as someone else said, it's something that mums are more likely to know about in most instances due to the extra exposure to warning posters etc.

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