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Breast feeding Newborn/Co-Sleeping and Cot Death

(16 Posts)
PrisonerZero Wed 22-Jun-11 21:42:46

I have a 10 day old baby and am currently breast feeding, after a painful start it is going well and DS is putting on weight and is generally doing well.

The only problem is, because he is breastfed he is in my arms alot, he feeds every hour and a half or so, but some of this is for comfort I think, I don't mind, he is only tiny for such a short while and I love cuddling him and rocking him to sleep. He will only sleep in my arms and never for more than a minute or two in his moses basket. I have started to take him into my bed for his feed and then we both settle down and try and get some sleep - this way I at least get a little sleep at night.

I am so scared of having him in my bed though, as I am terrified of cot death, of suffocating him, of him falling out, getting stuck under the quilt etc - I don't put the quilt over him but I am worried I will pull it over him in my sleep. I don't see any other way of getting him to sleep though, especially whilst breast feeding as it is so easy to fall asleep whilst feeding him even though I try not too. I know I ought to persevere with his moses basket but I am so exhausted and he does nothing but scream if he is not in my arms.

If you breast feed do you co-sleep? How do you make sure you do it safely? Is it normal to co sleep with a breast fed baby?

All the baby books say not to sleep in the bed or on the sofa with your baby but it is so nice to be close to him and so much easier to feed him and get him back off to sleep. I am scared of losing him though, I adore him.

emsies Wed 22-Jun-11 21:54:28

3 in a bed is a really good book to read.

We were nervous about the douvet (some people swap to blankets) and in the end attached a cot to our bed but with one side removed (if that makes sense) to make the bed wider so she could just feed and sleep.

Bert2e Wed 22-Jun-11 22:02:06

You need to read this UNICEF leaflet!

http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/3/sharingbedleaflet.pdf

Bert2e Wed 22-Jun-11 22:02:37

Try again!

www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Leaflets/3/sharingbedleaflet.pdf

hellymelly Wed 22-Jun-11 22:05:14

I have co-slept with both mine,and still do (they are 4 and 6).With dd1,for the first three weeks she was in a moses basket,but the basket was in the bed,next to me,against the wall so I could touch her and my face was only inches from hers.I'd had a rough time and ten days in hospital and was so exhausted that I worried about crushing her etc.Then we had her in the bed in the middle of DH and I. I found I naturally slept in the "breast-feeding position" where I was curled around her so she couldn't slip down.I would wake as she did,she didn't need to cry,bf her back to sleep and it was fine.With dd2,initially she was in the moses basket again,the other side of me from DD1,but she did sometimes cry and that woke Dd1,so she slept next to DH,in the basket,with him on a sofa bed (we were on a boat so it wasn't really a different room,just about ten feet away)I would wake if she cried and go to feed her,and then after a week or two DD got used to the noise and we had her in the bed in the moses,and then just in the bed.The only reason she was in the basket in the bed at all was that there was a gap between the bed-bunk and the wall,we sorted that out so that she could be out of the basket. No problems.Now we have a mattress on the floor (ina house now)which was in case they fell out,which happened a few times.(We need to buy a bed!) you could try the basket thing for a few weeks and then just have the baby in with you? I agree about three in a bed,its very helpful.

greeneone12 Wed 22-Jun-11 22:05:20

The day I realised I could lay down and feed was an amazing day! After that we co-slept for about 3 months until I got a bit stiff from sleeping on my side. It was a life saver and I know lots of BFing Mum's that did the same.

I wore those all in one adult baby grows you can buy so didn't need the duvet on me. Would then sleep on my side with one arm out and one leg bent up so I physically couldn't roll over.

Alot of people told me I was wrong and that DD would never sleep alone but she does now and I probably wouldn't have fed for so long if I couldn't co-sleep.

There is a really good leaflet of practicing safe co-sleeping but can't remember who by. Will have a think.

japhrimel Wed 22-Jun-11 22:09:53

There's a great Unicef leaflet on safe co-sleeping. Hopefully someone will know the link. I'd also recommend checking out Elizabeth's Pantley's checklist for safe co-sleeping.

For a start, cot death means SIDS. There is an increased risk of SIDS if babies under the age of 6 months sleep in a seperate room to their mothers. So co-sleeping may actually mean a reduced risk of cot-death.

Accidental death from suffocation isn't cot-death/SIDS. It's also extremely rare and is usually linked to alcohol or drug use, sleeping in an unsafe bed (water bed, where a baby can get trapped down the side), falling asleep on a sofa or in a chair, etc, etc.

I was scared of co-sleeping when DD was born but did a lot of research and got set-up (bed guard, grobags for DD, less bedding for me) and then felt comfortable.

japhrimel Wed 22-Jun-11 22:10:14

Cross-posted!

MuthaFunky Wed 22-Jun-11 22:16:22

my DD is now 10 months old, fully BF and we have a bedside cot. When she was a newborn she slept in a carry cot until we went to bed and when she woke for a feed I'd just bring her into bed with us and she'd feed as and when she wanted to through the night.

I know other mums say this and I will fully back it up with over 10 months experience behind me (and that of my BF DS who's now 6!). If you follow the correct guidelines (not co-sleeping when been drinking etc.) then I would say this is fine. I have always had an awareness of her presence, even whilst my conscious mind is fast asleep, call it parental instinct (DH is the same). If you BF her lying down in bed then you naturally curl up around them and it is the most lovely way to enjoy this most precious time with your new baby.

I lost my firstborn daughter to GBS the day she was born so I want to reassure you I'm massively precautious when it comes to not wanting to do anything to jeopardise our babies.

I have never pulled the covers over with either of mine, and now with the weather being warmer it's easier to lose the duvet in favour of something cooler if you're wanting to be over-cautious.

I have the bedside cot now as DD is a big munchkin and I now like to get at least 2 hours SOLID sleep before she needs a night time feed (which is now rare), but if she wakes anytime around dawn I always being her into our bed where she'll take a feed and we'll all go back to sleep and have lovely cuddles and sleep until it's a more sociable hour to be getting up!

May I wish you many congratulations on the safe and happy arrival of your newborn and also to to wish you all the love and luck in your breastfeeding journey together, long may it continue (Lying down is my fave way to feed btw!).

L xx

lilham Wed 22-Jun-11 22:31:30

I really like Elizabeth Pantley's no cry sleep solution, if you want some tips on how to get your baby into the moses basket. Have you tried swaddling? It works for a lot of newborns because they get scared by their flailing limps.

HappyTangerine Wed 22-Jun-11 23:31:34

Co-sleeping was a lifesaver for us and ds would not sleep in a cot. We'd been taught how to co-sleep in hospital but then my hv scared me silly. At one point my dh and I were doing some sort of loony 3 hour shift where one would hold ds while the other went off and got some sleep. The minute you put him down in the cot, he'd wake up and scream. Co sleeping meant we got our lives back. We bought a bed guard for my side and I slept in the UNICEF leaflet recommended position, just wearing a cardi on top and the duvet tucked right under my legs. Just a little cot blanket for ds. It was lovely, we still do it for part of the night now. I bought Three in a Bed nd did a lot of research which I then shared with my health visitor.We only stopped at 10 months because ds waned to sleep sideways and hog all the bed!

Have you seen Kate Evans "The Food of Love" cartoon? We were exactly like that, it still makes me smile!

HappyTangerine Wed 22-Jun-11 23:32:08

wanted not waned, sorry for typos - long day!

chloeb2002 Thu 23-Jun-11 02:35:43

Ive co slept with all three of my bubs.. DH now has been evicted to a second bed pushed up against our bed as he is a very heavy sleeper and i dont want to risk him rolling on dd. .. he is quite happy about the bed to himself ! There was something here ( australia) recently about co sleeping being safer for bubs providing ... you dont drink alcohol.. take drugs... or feel you are a very heavy sleeper.
At the mo its wineter here and we have no heating.. so dd has a thin growbag on and my doona over the top. she is now 5 months and can roll and wriggle well... she wakes up cool still so i have no concern she is too hot!
it works for us.. and i couldnt imagine my bubs being in there own room before at least 6 months.. i love to hear the breath, coo and gurgle.. dd has yet to cry for a feed overnight, she just gurgles and im awake...

VeronicaCake Thu 23-Jun-11 08:10:33

Congratulations on your baby, you are dead right to enjoy the snuggles whilst you can, it goes so fast (sniff).

I found I slept totally differently when co-sleeping with DD. I am normally a very deep sleeper and generally quite active in the night, I move around and wriggle into odd positions and wake up with my arms in peculiar places. This never happened whilst I was sleeping with DD. I would drop off lying on my side with an arm curled round her and wake up in the same position.

Unfortunately DD has inherited my sleep traits which means co-sleeping is no longer an option, two people turning cartwheels in a bed all night does not work.

I found the easiest way to feel safe with DD was to sleep with her on a futon so she couldn't fall out of bed, and to wear a warm dressing gown myself so that I only needed the duvet to be pulled up over my legs.

PrisonerZero Thu 23-Jun-11 09:43:32

Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I read the link (thank you) and will try and follow the tips on there - one of the things it mentions is smoking, it says never to share a bed with your baby if you or your partner smoke (DP does, only outside though. I put DS on my side so DP doesn't breathe on him etc)

MuthaFunka - I am so sorry about the loss of your daughter.

japhrimel Thu 23-Jun-11 09:50:23

Not really for co-sleeping, but generally it is supposed to help if a smoking parent always showers, cleans their teeth and changes their clothes after smoking before holding or sleeping near the baby. In terms of co-sleeping, I would insist on him showering before bed. Otherwise there will be some fumes in your bedroom.

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