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Cot death and bedsharing.

(131 Posts)
pie Fri 16-Jan-04 08:41:00

Hmm...well it seems I can't do anything right. Will this report make a difference to you when you baby is less then 8 weeks old? And can anyone tell me, is it supposed to increase the risk overall, or for the duration of the bedsharing under 8 weeks? I can't tell from the article. Cot death is my worst fear, and I mean I'm terrified, I feel sick right now.

M2T Fri 16-Jan-04 08:54:53

Pie - I read this in the Newspaper this morning. Only 2 yrs ago I was told that co-sleeping actually REDUCED the risk of Cot Death as your rythmic breathing on the babies face stimulated the baby to keep breathing. Contradictory advice is always coming out. You just don't know where you are with it all.

I am also terrified of cot death and was quite neurotic about ds (still am!). I constantly checked he was breathing... I couldn't watch the whole of Eastenders without rushing over to the moses basket to watch his little chest go up and down.

I think the by far the best advice is to sleep them on their back and to put them in a good fitting sleeping bag, or a cosy sleepsuit with no covers at all. And definitely NO SMOKING near the baby! This seems to be the only advice that has remained in the long term and seems to have dramatically reduced the occurances. The other snippets of research seem to be contradicted regularly, with parents left wondering which advice to follow next!

WideWebWitch Fri 16-Jan-04 09:08:37

OMG, 7 babies A WEEK die in the UK? That's a bit of a scary statistic isn't it? (mind you, it probably isn't if you show it as a percentage - can anyone do the maths? I mean is it a one in a ten thousand chance or one in a million or what?) We've done a bit of both with dd (who is now 7 weeks) although she is mostly in her cot rather than in with us. Pie, I really wouldn't worry, I'm sure the risk is increased for the duration of the bed sharing rather than overall as a result of the bed sharing. The bottom line is that no-one really knows what causes cot death so all we can all do is take care and follow the FSIDs advice as far as possible. And if the advice changed today then none of us could possibly have altered our behaviour yesterday! IKWYM, it is scary but try not to worry, we can all only do our best to avoid it and I'm sure you are.

Mum2Ela Fri 16-Jan-04 09:10:41

I always get confused with the cot death issue.

It is that by bed-sharing you increase cot eath because you may roll onto them, is that cot death? Or is it that it increase chance of SIDS? Rolling onto a baby and sufforcating them is different to SIDS, isn't it?

I saw a news report a couple of years ago about a woman who was breastfeeding her baby on the sofa and fell asleep, to wake to find the baby dead
After that I wouldn't sleep with my baby in bed with me or elsewhere.

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:11:51

Pie, feeling sick right there with you. Saw Telegraph this morning and all the fears came to the surface (The TImes has it on page 7 rather than 1) and I also feel that whatever I do seems wrong. I know logically that usually, if one survey comes out another will contradict it soon after (and have 2 lines on page 33) but still...

Also, when I was 81/2 months pregnant on the last weekend in August the paper 'helpfully' printed an article entitled 'August Babies have Future Mental Health Problems'... and, whilst I knew that it was just another article, I still spent most of the day in tears.

My logical self tells me to continue with my gut feeling, to co-sleep, but still feel sick.

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:13:37

Mum2Ela, as far as I know, sleeping on a sofa with baby is much more dangerous than in bed since the baby can get trapped between the cushions, fall off etc.

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:20:55

I saw this on TV too - my dh's comment was 'Not another thing - what are they trying to do to poor mums with PND?'

I too panicked like mad about cot death as most of you do - it is natural to worry as our babies are so precious to us.

Does anyone know exactly where the reseach has come from so that people can go to 'the horses mouth' so to speak?

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:25:21

The Telegraph says they were published in The Lancet.

Popsycal, your dh sounds spot on, whatever you do, there seems to be a survey telling you how wrong you are

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:27:02

oh - and nice to hear that my august baby will have mental health problems too!

FairyMum Fri 16-Jan-04 09:27:31

I have co-slept with both my babies, but taken all the necessary precautions. If I ever have another baby I think I will continue to co-sleep. It sounds so arrogant to say you don't believe the research, but I do think there are so many variables you have to allow for......To me it makes sense to have my baby close to me rather than getting no sleep because you are running back and forth to the cot to check baby's breathing.

I think I once heard that 1 in 60,000 babies die in cot death. The risk is tiny if you do all you can to reduce the risks, but I think it's every parent's greatest fear. Now my DS is 2, my greatest fear is meningities

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:27:38

The Times refers to it as a 'European Study', apparently, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took part.

They are advocting the use of a sleeping bag yet when I was pregnant with dd, the ante-natal classes I attended said that the use of sleeping bags was likely to *cause* cot death...

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:28:31

You have to subscribe to the lancet to read whole artivcle but here is the summary

The Lancet January 17, 2004


Sudden infant death Results of a study by Robert Carpenter and colleagues highlight how basic child-care strategies--such as preventing babies from sleeping face-down, using appropriate bedding, and discouraging bed-sharing with mothers who smoke--could reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The authors conclude that many SIDS cases could have been prevented if the infants had been put to bed supine and with light bedding that they could not get over their head

Again - the papers take it out of context

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:28:49

Sorry popsycal, didn't mean to offend. It was just a load of old b*llocks anyway. Now I feel even worse...

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:29:10

isn't that the information that was already in the public domain.....?
nothing new?

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:29:56

Oh dont panoic about the august babies thing!!!!!!!!!
i am not worried!!!
was said tongue in cheek...hard to show that on a message board

WideWebWitch Fri 16-Jan-04 09:32:06

Thanks for that popsycal. There you go pie, it really isn't as bad as the story makes out!

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:32:22

This whole thing reminds me of when the 'pill scare' happened and I was convinced I would die of DVT before the day was out. My GP at the time tried to get me to change the pill to another sort, I didn't, a subsequent GP congratulated me on not changing! It's all so confusing...

dh is a dr and would be very calming and dismissive of newspaper scare stories if he were here but is on a 24 hour shift

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:38:52

btw don't know whether you know....or whether it makes any difference....
Robert Carpenter (the author) was the person involved in the ANgela CAnning baby deaths case....giving evidence on cot death
From what I have read, the advice is still the same.....bed sharing with a parent who smokes, is under the influence of drink or drugs has always been *one* of the factors that increase risk
been in public domain for ages - since advice first began
PIE - nothing has changed

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:39:40

btw - i thikn this is the key.....


The authors conclude that many SIDS cases could have been prevented if the infants had been put to bed supine and with light bedding that they could not get over their head

lydialemon Fri 16-Jan-04 09:40:28

Pie, don't worry, you know mums will never win! Theres been something new with each of mine. DD co-slept with us from birth to 7 weeks, I only put her in the moses basket at Christmas as she was sleeping so well, otherwise she'd still be in there all night.

The advice does seem to change every 5 minutes, try not to worry Pie(easier said than done )

Epigirl Fri 16-Jan-04 09:41:58

Popsycal/Pie/Fairymum/www, big cyber thanks. Popsycal, I didn't know that, suddenly puts things into a different context.

Maybe it's just a slow news day today and they fancied spicing up the front page? Bit like the August Bank holiday week..?

Hulababy Fri 16-Jan-04 09:53:13

I co-slept with DD from birth to about 8 weeks, then again from 16 weeks on and off until recently. I think you just have to follow your own instincts and do what is right for you. We did follow certain guidelines though and I do think that helps:

DD was never put on a pillow
She was never put under the duvet
She slept at the side of me, with the crib right up to the side so she couldn't fall out
At first she slept on top of the duvet with a blanket covering her
Once she was the right size (no newborn bags then) she was in a sleeping bag
She slept either on her back or in my arms
DH and me don't smoke
We didn't drink with her there either

BTW, you can but some special material things for creating the baby's own space in your bed. Makes a safe environment for them. Can't remember where I saw it but will hunt it out.

I think Popsycal's DH probably has the right thoughts with all this.

Heavens knows what the advice will be by the time our children are having their own.

popsycal Fri 16-Jan-04 09:56:31

Just wanted to add the exact same thing as hula!!

pie Fri 16-Jan-04 10:00:22

THANK YOU everyone for the reassurance. I still co-sleep with DD1 and the new one. My mum did with all of us, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins everyone in my family has, maybe its a cultural thing. But I was nearly in tears (maybe the Depression) at the thought I was doing something very wrong. Thanks for the info popsie too, sometimes I could scream at the media, as it would seem that its been taken out of context. Even if it hasn't been though I don't think that getting up every 45 minutes with the Depression would do any of us any good either.

Your right though LL, mums, or just parents, can never win.

Oh and for the record...I'm an August baby

pie Fri 16-Jan-04 10:01:15

WWW - 7 babies a week is so sad

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