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Co-sleeping and breast feeding....do you get any 'sleep'?

(31 Posts)
PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 14:16:47

For those of you who are (or have) both been breast feeding and co-sleeping, do you get enough sleep? Do you just fall back off to sleep whilst LO is feeding, or do you stay awake?

FYI I'm not b/feeding/co-sleeping yet we are TTC#2 but knowing how terrible to first few weeks are with sleep anyway, was wondering how it would work.

CMOTdibbler Wed 10-Jun-09 14:19:09

Yes, I would roll over, get DS from crib, roll back, latch him on and fall asleep. At some point I'd put him back in the crib. It was really easy tbh, and I didn't feel sleep deprived

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 14:30:55

I just can't imagine falling back to sleep with a little one there. With DD she was FF and I can remember sitting up in bed for what felt like hours at a time, I felt like a zombie every day. Obviously a certain amount of tiredness is to be expected, but Im not sure how I could have functioned if I'd have had another one and work too.

Just hoping that next time I will be able to get a little more sleep, and not feel like absolute crap. smile

Jennylee Wed 10-Jun-09 14:51:59

but when you are doing it you do actually fall asleep and it is wonderful for getting more sleep.

TheProvincialLady Wed 10-Jun-09 14:57:52

I am doing it now, it is brilliant! I already have a 2 year old so getting up in the night is Not A Good Thing. DS2 feeds anything between 0 and 5 times in the night, depending on whether he is teething. When he was only a couple of weeks old I sat up to feed him at night and it was so exhausting. As soon as I felt I could do it safely I learned to feed lying down and we both went straight back to sleep.

My DS2 is now 5 and a half months and I get more than enough sleep. Can't believe I am saying that but it is truegrin

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 15:19:48

So what about rolling over? I sleep with DD sometimes now, if she wakes up in the night, but she is 2 and I know that I wouldn't/couldn't roll on her. But when she was tiny, I dropped her out of the bed, because we had both fallen back to sleep blush blush!!

When she was a little bigger, she would only get in with us, if she had woken and couldnt go back to sleep, but I always had her ontop of my arm with a pillow underneath her, to raise her up, and stop me from rolling. How would you do this whilst BF? And what if my DD woke up and wanted to get in too? How do you deal with that?

Sorry for 101 questions, I just would love to do it, but know that I would actually sleep better when LO was in a crib, not in the bed, but then that would mean being awake in the night whilst feeding. Oh dear...Im getting my knickers in a twist here!

I think what Im asking for is a miracle to happen where I can feed through the night, with someone constantly watching incase I roll on LO, so that I can get plenty of rest zzzzzzzzzzzzzz grin [hopeful emotion]

TheProvincialLady Wed 10-Jun-09 15:31:47

Did you BF your DD? There is apparently a hormone (or something - dead scientific, me!) that means you sleep differently with your baby if you are. BF mums sleep in safe positions with their babies whereas FF mums may not. I have never for a moment worried about rolling onto DS2. I just know that it could not happen. If you sleep with your arm above the baby, over the top of their head, it is pretty much impossible to roll over anyway. I will admit that you do wake up with a dead armgrin

I'll tell you what we do - we have a cot with one side taken off and shoved up against our bed. DH adjusted it so that the mattress is the same height as our mattress. DS2 starts off the night in there but sooner or later ends up in my part of the bed, but always on my side IYSWIM. To begin with I would shove my boob onto his side of the cot and then move back once he was done - all done pretty much asleep BTW - but now he is older I just let him get on with it and he helps himself, then moves back when he is ready. I honestly barely notice. I don't think either of us wakes up really.

Regarding older siblings wanting to get into bed, I have a strict rule that this is not allowed at night. DH sorts DS1 out, I deal with DS2. I just would not feel safe with DS1 in the bed too, and apart from anything else he would wake up DS2.

You can borrow books on bed sharing from your local La Leche League library. There are safer ways to do it and you should ideally read up on it beforehand rather than just bringing your new baby into bed out of desperation in the middle of the night.

booyhoo Wed 10-Jun-09 16:51:57

i bf and co-slept with ds1 and am currently bfing ds2 and co-sleeping. i got a chat from hosp midwife, community midwife and health visitor on safe bedsharing. the only rule that i have broken is that ds1 has slept in the bed with us once on the other side of the bed. i find that i tend to put my underneath arm around the top of ds2's head and bring my knees up to his feet so that theres no chance of him sliding away down the bed and ive never rolled on either of them. if you are worried about baby falling out of bed you could always get one of those toddler bed rails for your bed or put the bed up against the wall if thats possible. and i do get more sleep lying down than when i sat up with ds1. definitely nowhere near as shattered as 1st time. in fact, not tired at all, just normal. might change when i go back to work but for now im good and rested. hth

PacificDogwood Wed 10-Jun-09 16:59:37

Co-sleeping was the only way I got any sleep at all, LOL.
I would latch baby on lying on my side and usually go back to sleep to wake up a bit later with Ds having fallen off the boob like a full leech, me still exposed - and COLD; inconsiderate so-and-so!
I have never rolled over any of my 3. I think there is some study out there showing that mothers are safer to co-sleep than even fathers due to some inate instinct of being aware of the baby beside them. Personally, I would say I probably did not sleep as deeply as usually, but at least I slept smile.

sweetkitty Wed 10-Jun-09 17:02:49

I have coslept and BF with 3 of them, currently with an 11 month old. We have a bedside cot same height as "my" side of the bed so one side is safe, dependig on which side she feeds from she is either beside me but cot side or in the middle and my bum is in the cot.

I either fall back asleep with her latched on or she latches herself off turns away and falls back asleep.

I have never rolled on her, you do know she is there at all times, DP also says I push him away in my sleep if I think he is too close, we sleep with her at boob height, blanket under her arms head in the crook of one arms other arm cradeled around her, legs up against her feet, sounds complicated but is natural.

Even though she is still up a few times in the night, it is for minutes and we are both back to sleep.

hanaflower Wed 10-Jun-09 17:03:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Umlellala Wed 10-Jun-09 17:16:27

I do. Occasionally doze while 10mth ds feeds but mostly he feeds a bit next to me/on me, then he sleeps by my side. I sleep a million times better not having to get out of bed. I LOVE having my babies next to me and sleep soooo much better. I did co-sleep with dd too (she was bottlefed from 3 weeks) and slept same way with her (cradled next to me, arm over her head). Very like sweetkitty's experiences.

Tbh if ds wasn't getting up at 5am, I'd be fine sleep-wise... grin

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 17:18:15

Thanks for all the feedback.

hanaflower do you know what research?

I FF my DD, because I had a lack of support and was very ill after having her. I think that is why I was soooo tired too (and probably why she fell out of bed, it's never happened since shock) but I was severly aneamic, so needed lots of sleep, and couldn't really 'control' my sleep either IYKWIM!

I really want to BF if I am lucky enough to have another, and like the idea of baby being vlose, but just terrified that if I am as tired as last time that I could not cope with either not sleeping properly (deeply) due to baby being in bed, or having to be up in the night for a few hours at a time.

Although if in that situation again I probably wouldn't refuse a blood transfusion, now knowing how ill I would be!

quirkychick Wed 10-Jun-09 17:18:26

Co-sleeping definitely gives you more sleep, if you breastfeed you have a hormone that stops you from going into deep sleep and so rolling over baby. After a while mother and baby develop similar cycles of sleep, also helps them to know night/day differences.

Some more information here also, Three in a Bed is a fab book about co-sleeping. Would definitely do it again.

No Cry Sleep Solution for when you want to get them into their own room.

BeehiveBaby Wed 10-Jun-09 17:21:19

Oh god yeah, loads of sleep in the first few months, was fine smile. Also great to teach baby night from day IMHO, with DD2 we both slept pretty solidly from about 8pm until 8am for quite a while.

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 17:37:33

But if it stops you going into a deep sleep, do you actually rest properly? Feel like you've had a whole nights sleep? (this sounds like heaven!)

That information looks good, I can't read it yet, but will definitely be reading it when DD goes to sleep later.

What is No Cry Sleep Solution?

It's so good to hear that there is a possiblilty of having a newborn AND not being completely exhausted.

DD has always been a fairly good sleeper. She was sleeping 9-5 at about 7weeks and now sleeps from 8.30-7.00 (not too bad) and will only get in wioth us in the night if she is ill, or can't settle back to sleep. I think it was more me being ill, and also I'm one of those people who just NEEDS sleep, otherwise I feel like crap. So it's good to know that other people do it, and it does work. smile

Pinkbump3 Wed 10-Jun-09 21:26:44

My dd is 7 weeks and i have a great nights sleep with her! She is a great sleeper to start off with anyway, she starts off in her cot, i put her down around 8.30pm and thats her till 3am sometimes 4 (depending on how good she has fed before she falls asleep) in her cot!yes honestly she sleeps that long! then she wakes and i take her into bed latch her on and fall right back to sleep and she nuzzles into me i feel like i have a great sleep i never worry about rolling onto her as i just seem to lie in the same position, one arm over her head and other arm around her and i instinctly push dp away if he is too close.

Try it with a teddy something to get the idea of the position. I love it i feel like i get a whole nights sleep and she is pretty much in my sleep pattern which is great!

Poledra Wed 10-Jun-09 21:35:47

PlantaSeed, I don't think I got as good a night's sleep with the baby in, but it was a damn sight better than getting up every time she needed fed! I used to get up with DD1 (had a nightmare establishing bfeeding, couldn't master feeding lying down, was also afraid of co-sleeping). With DD2, she came in with us sometimes and it was OK. DD3 has co-slept from day 1, and it has been much better than the other two - much more sleep which is just as well, as there is no opportunity to sleep through the day! DD3 slept in between DH and I and the only problem, as someone else said, is the dead arm you wake up with, and DH got good at shoulder/neck massages to loosen it all up.

DD3 is now 10 months old, and starts the night in her own cot in our room. On a few occasions, she has slept through to 6am shock but mostly she comes into our bed sometime through the night.

bohemianbint Wed 10-Jun-09 21:38:05

Well, I'm going to piss on your chips then, because DS2 is 10 months old and am so knackered I actually want to die most days.

In the beginning it was great, got some good sleep for the first couple of months. But then it began with the feeding all the damn time, kicking, twisting, scratching, not sleeping, spinning around and sleeping length ways, hogging the bed, kicking me in the head, having to go to bed at 6pm...

We have a co-sleeper but he only agreed to sleep in it a couple of months ago. That helped a bit. Also he has started to go down by himself at 7 until half 10pm ish. We are generally up and down to him in that time though. Now I feed him at half 10pm, then maybe another 2-3 times between midnight and 6am. Currently he wakes at 3am and will not settle in the bed or out of it. I want to cut down on the feeding. I want more than two hours sleep. I don't know how to get it, it's desolate.

But it was good in the early days, and I did/do like the feeling of sleeping next to him, (when he bloody sleeps) and waking up and seeing him. And obviously it works for other people, so maybe it's just our DS2 that isn't compatible with it.

bohemianbint Wed 10-Jun-09 21:39:51

Oh, and my left shoulder and back is still screwed from sleeping curled around him for so long. sad

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 21:48:42

Sorry to hear that bohemian sad but it's good to get both sides to be well informed. Wouldn't want to do it thinking 'this will work' when infact it might not.

What is a co-sleeper? Or am I being stupid?

I think once you've experienced the insomnia and lack of sleep for so long, I want to try other ways, because I know how it can make you feel. I love the idea of having baby close, just don't like the idea that I might squash LO! But I'm going to read up on some of this research about BF and co-sleeping.

BeehiveBaby Wed 10-Jun-09 21:54:41

Sorry, I should have said that quite quickly (er, 6-8weeks) I started settling DDs in their cots and bringing them in with me from the first feed. This was vital for me in establishing that first longer period of sleep for LO and me.

bohemianbint Wed 10-Jun-09 22:06:04

co-sleeper. It was little more than a bedside table extension until recently, but made me feel safer about him not falling out of the bed.

Seriously, am I the only person who has found co-sleeping hard?!

PlantASeedWatchItGrow Wed 10-Jun-09 22:35:17

Wow! That co-sleeper looks great! Am I the only one who has never seen one before? I have a little crib but it has sides on it, so have to get up to get baby out. That looks like it would make me feel happier about co-sleeping, I could shove put LO back into it!

So glad I asked all you MN girls! grin

hanaflower Wed 10-Jun-09 22:44:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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