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Story about co-sleeping in yesterday's Observer

(85 Posts)
RoRoMommy Sun 14-Sep-08 22:10:51

I thought it was a really nice story, but so full of apologies! I can relate to the author's feeling that co-sleeping makes her feel closer to her daughter because she's away at work all day, but she calls it a "controversial" thought!

Anyone read it?

policywonk Sun 14-Sep-08 22:16:32

Yes. I hadn't realised that HCPs were so anti-co-sleeping - they weren't in Brighton (where I had my DSs). I even had them both in bed with me in hospital after the birth, and no-one said anything.

It's a shame that the no-smoking/drinking/prescription-or-illegal-drugs message becomes inflated into 'co-sleepin is dangerous', when it's plainly not.

Upwind Mon 15-Sep-08 15:03:12

policywonk - I read that as you had your HCPs in bed with you

I am sure the official info I've been given by the NHS advises against co-sleeping. We intend to do it anyway but are unsure about revealing this information to HCPs!

policywonk Mon 15-Sep-08 19:36:30

That's another thread altogether, upwind!

I'm sure you're right about NHS advice in general. Brighton tends to be a parallel universe where these things are concerned. At my NHS antenatal classes, I asked the midwife about those who say that you shouldn't sleep with very young babies, and she practically accused me of scaremongering.

What you absolutely cannot do in Brighton is carry your baby anywhere on the postnatal ward. You must wheel it about in a plastic trolley as though it were a cheese. If you attempt to carry it in your arms like a normal human, teams of midwives wrestle you to the ground in an instant. Perhaps they have channelled all their neuroses into this particular obsession and have no time for any other 'elf and safety issues?

georgimama Mon 15-Sep-08 19:45:10

Same in Bristol PW, I got absolutely rollicked for carrying my 2 hour old DS rather than wheeling him about in the transparent plastic basinet/1970s hostess combo provided. I also swallowed the NHS anti co-sleep drivel, until someone pointed out to me that Japan has the lowest SIDS rate in the world, and the highest rate of co-sleeping amongst developed nations.

I will co-sleep with next baby from birth to aid BFing.

evangelina Mon 15-Sep-08 20:28:56

I co-slept with my two older boys by default from about 4 months to get them to sleep (because I couldn't bear controlled crying), but chose to do so from birth with number 3 partly because the pregnancy was a bit unplanned and I didn't really bond during the pregnancy and thought it might help with bonding post birth. 16 months on, it's been a huge success. I'm so close to the little one and he is such a mummy's boy. He practically sighs with pleasure when I curl up beside him and hug him to sleep. It's a pity more people don't know the stats re Japan or think about how normal co-sleeping must have been for millions of years in the past.

Can anyone link to the Observer article (I'm rubbish with links) but I will probably try and find it anyway.

phdlife Mon 15-Sep-08 20:35:00

yes please if you've got a link. [too lazy to go look at paper copy in next room emoticon]

cherrylips Mon 15-Sep-08 21:01:48

Oh please link someone (too lazy to trawl through huge Observer next door).

Thought I'd read all the interesting articles yesterday!! I co - slept with ds until he was 2.5yrs and I am now doing same with dd (2.5yrs).

Recently read "3 in a Bed". Cant locate book now so don't know authors name. But it was really good and really opened my eyes regarding the advantages of this practice.

evangelina Mon 15-Sep-08 21:21:19

Have read the article now and it's lovely, especially at the end when she says that she just likes co-sleeping. Babies seem to like it too! (with responsible, non drinking/drugs parents obviously).

Upwind Mon 15-Sep-08 21:31:14

Found it grin

hellymelly Mon 15-Sep-08 22:02:07

yes that three in a bed book was really good,mine was destroyed in a flood and I can't track one down now either.I am happily co-sleeping with a 16month old (still bf) and my three and three quarters daughter.Older people are always horrified but even other parents my age can be a bit surprised.There is this wierd pressure to get babies sleeping alone and all night asap.My baby still wakes a lot and I am tired but it is lovely having babies next to you and the most natural thing in the world.Small children are not small for very long,why push them away?

Upwind Mon 15-Sep-08 22:04:45

How does co-sleeping work with a duvet or blankets?

Is it difficult to keep them off the baby?

georgimama Tue 16-Sep-08 08:17:24

"I also feel that as a working mother I am somehow making up for the lost daylight hours by being around her at night."

That is exactly how I feel. What a lovely article.

When DS was tiny her slept more or less on the breast, on top of the covers, now he is 18 months so he sleeps under them.

We tend to put him to bed in his cot (where he will often spend the whole night) and if/when he wakes, in he comes.

blueshoes Tue 16-Sep-08 09:15:27

I stumbled onto co-sleeping with dd who had health problems, was unsettled and had sleep issues. I love it. I do it with ds 2 as well.

I do think that for working mothers, co-sleeping is extra special. It extends cuddle time by 7-8 hours, which is fab. Coincidentally, I don't suffer from maternal guilt at WOH (but that could just be me) and I never worry my dcs will replace me emotionally with a carer. They love co-sleeping as much as I do. In fact, they will not do without it.

northernrefugee39 Tue 16-Sep-08 10:25:59

Yes- I read it and thought it was a nice articlesmile
We co slept with all three of ours, it just seemed instinctual. Easy when feeding because I just sort of rolled over and dozed.

I think scaremongering by health visitors and midwives is common. Ours were born at St Georges in Tooting, and i slept with them even when the midwives scare mongered, tho' I was only in for a night on each occasion.
Upwind the duvet thing alsways used to bother me. I got into a habit of hauling them high up the bed and having an arangement with the pillow sort of sideways I think.
Three in a Bed great book.

nickytwotimes Tue 16-Sep-08 10:28:39

I read it in the Guardian on Saturday - I assume it is the same article?
I thought it was a bit hmm that someone said her and her dh had to snuggle down with their lo until the lo was asleep then snuck back out to enjoy the rest of their evening.
I am not a co-sleeper, btw, but I would never rule it out!

evangelina Tue 16-Sep-08 10:56:25

Upwind, the duvet thing has never been a problem for me. When very young best avoid, but as they grow bigger and stronger they can be tucked up half way, and I've never felt worried about them crawling under it or me falling asleep on top of them because both of you sort of sense each other.

Co-sleeping just makes bedtime a pleasure because babies never cry and just love to snuggle up with a grown up. My two older boys flit between their own beds and co-sleeping if they want to (which no doubt won't last much longer as they are growing up fast).

I sometimes imagine what it was like in the past when we lived in caves and forests and co-sleeping must have been an essential survival tool for body heat, preventing crying so as to avoid predators etc (better stop now as could go on a bit...)

WinkyWinkola Tue 16-Sep-08 10:59:58

Apparently 80% of the world co-sleeps. It's only western countries that regard it as an oddity and that babies should be 'independent'. Send 'em to Sandhurst then! grin

We co sleep too. DS (3.5 years now) sleeps through so he only pops in in the mornings. DD (18 mos) starts off in her cot, howls at midnight, comes in with us and doesn't stir all night unless she's ill like now and she bfs all night. Which is ok but a bit wearing.

I just don't understand the but what about your sex life queries. There's plenty of 'venues' other than the bed for sex!

TheCrackFox Tue 16-Sep-08 11:01:48

I stumbled upon co-sleeping with DS1 because it was the only way he would go to sleep.

I think co-sleeping is a lot more common in the UK than we are lead to believe.

edam Tue 16-Sep-08 11:05:22

No way I could co-sleep with ds - tried it once or twice and he just thought it was a big game. Had to share a double bed with him at my Mum's once. He was already asleep but spent the whole night trying to kick me out of bed!

Couldn't have done it when he was a baby as I'm on regular medicine which would bring us into the high risk group.

ElenorRigby Tue 16-Sep-08 11:28:59

I found the article was quite annoying, going on about how it made the children secure and that some of the children choose to quit co sleeping at 5, but then went onto say one of kids still came into bed with mum at aged 10 and hoho she's so big now there was no room for dad so he had to go sleep in her bed hmm
One of the mother's at the end admitted "I have finally been able to own up to the truth: I like co-sleeping." ""When she does sleep in her own room," warns my husband, "you'll be sorry." And I will." Sounds like its for the mothers comfort to me.

Personally I would not co sleep and believe it infantilises children. One of the mothers also admitted when she tried to put baby in a cot after co sleeping "We tried baths and bottles and Beethoven, we tried controlled crying and spent one awful night listening to our little baby scream herself physically sick. In the end, it was too much. Rowena left the cot and came back into the big bed." and she's still in bed with them at rising 3 year. I have heard of children still sleeping with the parents at 11 or 12... hmm

StealthPolarBear Tue 16-Sep-08 11:35:37

I think it's definitely for the mother's comfort - the mother herself admits that. And what's so wrong with that? Pinning the child down when she wanted to get into her own cot would be wrong!

Heathcliffscathy Tue 16-Sep-08 11:37:25

'it infantilises children'

come again?

EffiePerine Tue 16-Sep-08 11:37:57

'infantilises children'


what are children if not infants? Martians?

I found that there was a cut-off point where co-sleeping wasn't comfortable for us when DS was something over a year old (not enough space and he was a kicky baby). I'd imagine it depends on the parents and the baby though. Will be starting off c-sleeping with this baby (makes bfing so much easier) and see how it goes

bundle Tue 16-Sep-08 11:38:05

agree with edam, my wriggle-mcsquiggles are not my ideal bedpartners

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