BF at night(18 Posts)
I just read a bit of a thread about co-sleeping. I've been too scared doing it with DD. I am now expecting my DS and am just wondering about some practicalities.
Lots of people say that their DCs could just latch on at night and they wouldn't even be woken. So do you all sleep naked? I always leaked so much milk, I had to wear a bra at night with pads to stop the leaking, so in the nuddies wouldn't be an option for me.
How do you cover yourself? I assume the baby mustn't be under the duvet, so how do you avoid the duvet touching him?
How do you actually sleep peacefully? Whenever DD slept on my chest, I would lie stiff and sore trying not to move so she wouldn't wake.
BTW I'm happy to be guided towards some website that has info about safe co-sleeping. Everybody always says, read up on it, but so far I couldn't find any good/helpful websites with actual practical tips. The ones I found just say, it's brilliant for bf and it's scaremongering if people advise against it, but not so much about it working out.
Thanks in advance for your help.
The Dr Sears website has some great info about co-sleeping here. Practical tips as well as scientific data.
I've always co-slept with my DDs, they are both still in our room although DD1 is in a sidecar cot now. I don't sleep in the nude because I like the bedroom to be quite cold. I wear a T shirt and I always wake up for night feeds. I say 'wake up' but it's only half awake really, just enough to roll over a bit and pull my T shirt up. Some mums put a towel under the sheet or use a rubber sheet underneath a normal sheet if they are really leaky.
It took me a couple of nights of co-sleeping to get used to it. You are actually very aware of your baby even if you are asleep. I find it tough to sleep now on my own
Bedclothes-wise, we have a sheet and a large cellular blanket over the two of us and DH has the duvet. Duvets are a no-no for small babies. You can get king size cellular blankets on Amazon I think.
X posts with Joyful, I sleep in the same position too curled around DD2, or at least I did until she grew so much that her feet are the same level as my knees.
We've been cosleeping with our baby, she's 4 months old now. I have a flat sheet under the duvet so that it can cover me, but DH can still have the duvet over him (baby is never between us). I leak a lot so have a towel under baby and I, and have to wear a bra and pads. The bra wearing is the most uncomfortable thing. I find I can get a bit cold so wear a pyjama top that buttons up, but wear it unbuttoned.
I now unclip bra and feed baby, sometimes falling back to sleep with her on the boob, other times still half awake enough to put bra back. Most nights I have no idea how many times she has fed in the night. She's a greedy guts so it's around 4 or 5 times. If I wasn't cosleeping I'd be a mess!
I never move about and have my arm above her head so can't fall onto her.
Enjoy preparing for your DS!
Thanks very much everyone for your replies. I will check out those links now.
So a bedside rail might be an answer then, cos I was never quite sure about having baby between us but would be too worried about him falling out if on the other side...
A towel is a good idea as well. I'll have to wait and see how he turns out first of all. Me and DD never got the hang of feeding lying down properly so if baby boy is the same, co-sleeping might not help that much anyway.
But it's good to check out the options now, so I don't have to do it once he's here.
Thanks again all.
I was also nervous about this and never thought i'd cosleep, but it's saved my sanity! LO starts the night in his bedside cot, but invariably ends up next to me after one of his many, many night feeds. I thought i'd hate it, but i secretly love it - so nice waking up cuddling him!
In terms of practicality, we also have a sheet under the duvet for me & LO and I tuck the bottom of the duvet into the end of the bed at my side so it comes just above my waist & couldn't move up over LO. LO sleeps in a gro bag (so it comes with him when he moves into bed with me) This does mean I get cold so I sleep in a t-shirt (&sometimes a fleece!) that I just kind of pull up when he needs feeding. I always know when LO is feeding, but am hoping as he gets older he'll be able to latch on himself without waking me.
I used to use a waterproof sheet but DP described it as 'the crisp packet' (crinkled every time one of us moved!) so we got rid of it & now I just have a towel under the bottom sheet on my side.
Good luck! I hope you find a way that works for you.
Baby isn't going to roll out until baby learns to roll... so you don't have to go out and buy a bed rail straight away. We do co-sleep but not all the time. You don't really sleep the same when you have a baby in bed with you. A part of you is still awake. Useful at the start when otherwise you wouldn't sleep but I still prefer my own space.
As far as practicalities go - I always wear PJs to bed but my top is often a vest top that I can pull down for easy access. I have the duvet up to my waist and curl up around DD in the same way others described (although not so much anymore since DD's legs get in the way). I then had DD cot blanket covering my top half and her in her sleeping bag. Thought behind this was that she couldn't accidently get covered by the duvet this way. At the start when I leaked a lot I found it easiest to sleep on a towel and a muslin cloth (softer than towel for DD), wearing a sleep bra and pads or on days when I felt particularly tender just a folded muslin cloth across my boobs.
Co-sleeping was something I was only going to do over my dead body. We started in desperation at 4 months (I injured my arm & couldn't lift DS for night feeds) and we're still doing it at 22 months because it gets everyone more sleep, and I actually love it.
Unicef have a leaflet on safe bed sharing.
My DS has never been an automatic latcher - I've always had to do it for him. That's fine - I wear a saggy vest, a buttoned PJ top with the top half undone and a zip-up cardigan. It's easy to undo in the dark. I used to doze or go straight back to sleep after I'd latched him on, although now I'm usually awake.
I've usually slept in the 'classic' position on the leaflet above, which is very safe. I have slept with him on my chest (I still do sometimes even though he weighs 2.5 stone!) but that's when he needs to be rocked to go back to sleep. I never thought I'd be able to sleep on my back alone, let alone with a big weight on my chest, but after a few attempts my body got the hang of it pretty well.
We have a sheet and 3 fleece type blankets. We actually use 2 single mattresses side by side on the floor. When DS was little, he and I shared one; now he has one of his own as he likes his own space nowadays. When we used just one, he'd lie on top of the covers in a sleeping bag.
Do bear in mind that there are also halfway options if you decide that full time bed sharing isn't for you.
DD2 has her own cot, where she starts the night. Depending on how I'm feeling she normally comes into bed on her first or second feed. I don't have problems with leaking, so I just sleep in the sort of pi's with buttons down the front and leave the top couple undone. Then when she comes into bed, I tuck the duvet between my legs at the knees, so it is kept below my waist.
To start with a kept a little tiny maglight under my pillow to help see what I was doing when latching (DS2 had an undiagnosed tongue tie and a bad latch meant terrible damage really quickly). Eventually this improved and usually what happens now if he feeds overnight is I half wake when he latches (I pull him into position), and then I go straight back to sleep.
If possible you might put the bed against the wall - provided there's no bed frame which would leave a gap. We use toddler rails (mesh bed guards) which are not supposed to be suitable for babies but we check that they're tucked in really tight. We do have a cot to the side, too, but he only goes in it in the morning to play with the toys in there! So we have - next to my side - one bed rail and then the cot, that protects one side, then two bed guards at the bottom. Got them cheap at the NCT nearly new sale He can climb off the bed now so they're not really necessary.
I fought tooth and nail against bed sharing because I really didn't feel happy with it. SD1 was very happy in his cot from 2 weeks old (was in moses before then) so I didn't expect a problem. DS2 had different ideas though. He would not, could not sleep without us. We had 6 weeks of hell, then went camping for a week in a very busy camp site. We had the carrycot with us but he screamed every time we tried to put him down so in desperation (because of the tent neighbours) I popped him in the sleeping bag with me.. and he slept better than he had since birth (as did I). We started doing some research when we got home and found that most of the world bed shares, and it's biologically normal to do so. The risks of overlaying are virtually nil and the protective effects against SIDS far outweigh them. As has been mentioned, Dr Sears' website has all the science, and the book "Three in a Bed" by Deborah Jackson was my conversion as it really explained the benefits. It discusses the reasons why bed sharing gets a bad rap, such as studies of where babies have died include babies who died in totally unsafe situations, such as being overlaid by a drunk parent, or where a parent has fallen asleep on the sofa - all known risks and ones to avoid no matter how and where your baby normally sleeps.
It took me a few weeks to get used to it and to stop worrying about rolling on him (it just doesn't happen). He very quickly became a side sleeper which I was worried about (because it wasn't on his back) but it turns out that's really common for co-sleeping babies, and is fine. I wear a warm pj top with easy boob access so I don't need to pull the duvet right up (although I often pulled him higher than me so I could snuggle down). It didn't take long for him to learn to manage the duvet himself anyway. Duvets are classed as something to avoid but we didn't.
I have a really good bed protector from here: www.hippychick.com/index.cfm/categories/mattress-protectors-131 which would work better than a towel. It's totally comfortable under the sheet and is fully waterproof. You could put a towe on the top as well to minimise washing, and for extra comfort, but this would protect the mattress from leak-throughs.
Hope you find your own path
Oh, I forgot to mention... we have a cot where one side comes right down, so that is right against our bed (like an extension!) this means LO can start the night in his own bed (and go back when he gets grumpy, he likes his own space sometimes) and I don't have to worry about him falling out when he's next to me (he'd just end up in his own cot)
Thanks again all for taking the time to help me. I really appreciate that.
In the winter I would end up wearing pj bottoms and a baggy t-shirt plus a warm cardigan to bed, and would then have our duvet up to my waist, with ds in his gro-bag.
In summer it was much easier, we all just slept under a sheet.
In the early leeky days I had a muslin under my boob area.
I always had to pull ds into position and then would generally fall back to sleep. But I would also roll onto my back when he was done, as I prefer sleeping like that (although maybe I only did this when ds was older, I'm not sure).
What everyone else said.
Also, you might well find that you're much less leaky this time round. I was super abundant with dc1 and everything calmed down with dc2.
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