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safe co-sleeping?

(12 Posts)
salbysea Sun 21-Jun-09 20:57:40

hi, would just like to chat to a few experienced co-sleepers

DS (9 weeks) settles well in his cot and we like having the bed to ourselves so we can sleep deeply without having to stay partially aware of the small person next to me, but I do like to co-sleep sometimes (eg if he's very unsettled, or has a cold, after his jabs, or just sometimes during a daytime nap to feel close to him) but I lack confidence about how safely I am doing it

We're not smokers and rarely drink (wouldn't co sleep if we did)

mattress is not the best so has a mattress protector so we dont feel the springs as much which makes it a bit spongy - it is fairly firm.

he always sleeps between me and the wall. never between us as DH is a slightly fitful sleeper.

I've read not to do it if you're very tired! isn't every new parent very tired? I worry that I sleep too deeply to co-sleep.

do all you co-sleepers replace your duvets with sheets and blankets?

where do you position the baby (in line with your head? in line with your chest?)

do you go without pillows?

exactly how do you position the blankets so that you stay warm but its safe for LO?

flamingobingo Sun 21-Jun-09 21:01:56


Quick response:

Between you and wall is not the safest place to be - babies have got wedged there in the past. Better for you and DH to swap sides, have baby by the edge, and stick duvet/single mattress on the floor incase he falls out.

Tired? Are you bfing? It makes you sleep lighter, but more IYSWIM. Should be fine.

Duvets? We swapped for our PFB but not for DD2, 3 or 4 - just to a lighter tog duvet. It's not advised to use a duvet though.

Baby's head should be in bfing position - boob height. NOT on the pillow. You should cuddle round him - bottom arm above his head to stop him wriggling up under the pillow, legs curled underneath him to stop him wriggling down, top arm over top of him to stop covers going on him. Don't worry too much though - it's a pretty natural sleeping position.

No - have pillows, but don't put the baby on them.

Blankets - pull up on your shoulder then pull round and under your hand IYSWIM.

fishie Sun 21-Jun-09 21:04:36

are you breastfeeding? it makes a difference physiologically i think.

you sleep on side / back with arm nearest to baby curved around him as a sort of encircling dome.

is the space between the bed and the wall really ok? i'd put the baby between you if possible, or chuck dh out of bed if you don't trust him. the extra sleep you get from co-sleeping is invaluable.

salbysea Sun 21-Jun-09 21:10:09

I am BFing - It knocks me out! makes me feel like I've been plugged into the mains to power the whole building and I sleep like a log straight afterwards (and sometimes during blush - OH has to stay awake to supervise. Its usually my OH who hears the baby crying first and gets him out of the cot and then wakes me to feed him - I used to be a light sleeper and wake at the slightest change in noise, since having him I'd sleep though anything - not ideal at all! I put it down to how draining I find feeding. It does worry me! I should wake when my own baby cries for me sad - I do most times but not every time

salbysea Sun 21-Jun-09 21:11:13

there's no gap at all between the mattress and the wall

BelleWatling Sun 21-Jun-09 21:25:04

A lot of people round here recommend 'Three in a Bed' by Deborah (sp?) Jackson. I haven't read it but mean to... I believe there is research that shows that sleeping & breastfeeding mothers and their babies have different sleep patterns and heightened awareness of each others movements and breathing.

I sleep in the middle with DH on one side, baby on other and the cot (he spends most of the night in there anyway) acting as a barrier on one side to prevent the baby falling off - but as we sleep in the position mentioned by flamingo and fishie this should not happen. We sleep on top of the quilt, me in a blanket and baby in a gro-bag.

Yeah, I don't know why they say 'if you are very tired' - odd. I mean I assume it's if you are on sleeping tablets or something. There are lots of animated and interesting discussions on the threads here about co-sleeping. Good luck.

flamingobingo Sun 21-Jun-09 21:47:05

No gap is even more dangerous. Seriously, don't put baby on that side. Also, bed guard things are dangerous too for babies - safer for them to fall out IYSWIM.

Get a bedside cot if you can!

fishie Sun 21-Jun-09 21:59:16

"if you are very tired" is a euphemism for being dead drunk or otherwise incapacitated.

i took the side off the cot and tied it to the bed, put a sheet which goes over the join and voila. although that wasn't till about 9months. go with as much bed as you can sal.

Pyrocanthus Sun 21-Jun-09 22:00:24

Now the weather's warm you might find you can push the duvet down the bed anyway, or just use a sheet.

salbysea Sun 21-Jun-09 22:02:13

why so? the hospital MWs told me to have him either on the wall side or on the other side with with some furniture or a cot side when the talked about co-sleeping - I got a cot side to use in the spare room for day time co-sleeping, thought I was doing the right thing safety wise sad feel bad and even less confident now.

very narrow room so cant have a bed side cot - wish I could

HullabaLuLu Tue 23-Jun-09 18:01:23

Sal we co-sleep and it has changed my life in terms of getting enough sleep. I found that kicking dh out of the bed gave me and dd more room.

DD sleeps in the middle of the bed and if I need to switch sides (e.g. if I have a dead arm) then I move. You can bf from the same side though - search the archives for the Mawbroon roll.

The MWs were wrong, its definately not safe to have you dc between you and a wall or between you and dh. Your dh is less likely to be aware of where you dc is and it is easy for a baby to get trapped in any gap by the wall. I notice you say there is no gap but perhaps your dc could get their fingers caught as the mattress moves? Its obviously your call but I personally wouldn't risk it.

I second the recommendation for 3 in a bed by Deborah Jackson (your library might have it?), it explains a lot and gave me confidence to bedshare safely.

Good luck!

HullabaLuLu Tue 23-Jun-09 18:02:26

this might also help

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