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Co sleeping and SIDS leaflet at doctors

(281 Posts)
Rowanhart Thu 18-Oct-12 19:10:51

I was planning in co sleeping when our DD is born in three weeks.

I was at docs today waiting for whooping cough jab when saw a leaflet called Risks of co sleeping.

In it said that infant mortality due to co sleeping is high the area we live in and we should never co sleep.

Also had quotes from two mums whose babies had died due to co sleeping,

I thought it was recommended? Confused now but thinking co sleeping is a big no no...

joanofarchitrave Thu 18-Oct-12 19:16:24

As I understand it, actual co-sleeping as in having the baby in bed with you is not recommended (though lots of people do it), but having the baby in the same room as you is actively recommended - such as in a cot with the side taken/cut off next to your bed. More knowledgeable people will be along shortly.

BionicEmu Thu 18-Oct-12 19:22:50

I get confused as well. I worked in paediatric pathology for a few years, and as such would never co-sleep in a million years. In fact, when I showed the safe co-sleeping leaflet that I got last pregnancy to one of the pathologists he got rather mad.

But, I'm aware that lots of people do. As long as they're fully aware of the risks then that's their choice.

Personally, I just have the cot in my room for the first 6 months.

spicandspan Thu 18-Oct-12 19:26:03

I thought it was only risky if you smoke or drink, have a soft mattress, premmy baby etc?

Rowanhart Thu 18-Oct-12 19:30:02

It says in no circumstances should you co-sleep.

BigW Thu 18-Oct-12 19:30:20

I think it increases the risk of SIDS up to a certain age (6 months??) and after that time it decreases the risk.

kekouan Thu 18-Oct-12 19:30:33

How about a bedside cot?

spicandspan Thu 18-Oct-12 19:33:30

Gosh, I thought the research was less cut and dried. I will look into it...

kellykettle Thu 18-Oct-12 19:35:57

Read three in a bed. It links to research which shows bed sharing reduces SIDS but it has to be safe (firm mattress, baby not by father, breastfeeding, baby not on its front, no pillows, baby any has own blankets not sharing duvets etc).

About 50% of SIDS cases happen in cots but no one advocates against baby's sleeping in them.

Sofa sleeping, cosleeping after alcohol or taking drugs are lumped in with cosleeping stats which skews the outputs somewhat.

Consider a sidecar cot if that's less worrying.

kellestar Thu 18-Oct-12 19:38:38

Co-sleeping is a marmite subject. Personally, I never expected to do it, as I'd heard lots of horror stories. However we did it when I was having a rough time with BF and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I didn't do it consistently in lieu of a crib/cot, but part of the night DD was in with us. She started the night off in her crib. She moved into a cot in her own room at 6 months and at about 9 months dropped the night feed. She'd come in with me when DH left for work until she was 16 months and dropped BF all together. She only comes in with us if she is feeling a bit under the weather and wants to be close to us, but she is a real wriggler and we often evict her once she's asleep.

IMO it helps if you don't drink alcohol, are not smokers, don't take medication that causes drowsiness, not overly tired, not someone prone to tossing and turning and one I think helps is being a light sleeper.

A friend wanted to do it, but it just didn't work for her, she was gutted, but she had a co-sleeping cot, that attached to the side of the bed and created a safe nest for the baby, allowing access to boob, but keeping them safe from being rolled on.

There are often posts in the parenting section, though I can't see any on the first page. There are some pro co-sleepers over there who can give you good advice if it's something that interests you.

MW's and HV's say do it at your own risk, but try to reduce the risks as much as possible.

JimbosJetSet Thu 18-Oct-12 19:44:35

Whatever you decide now, whilst pregnant, may well change when the baby arrives regardless of the advice or recommendations you are given... I was definitely never ever going to co sleep. But I did, from when both DCs were a very early age, because otherwise I'd have had no sleep whatsoever. You may find your need for sleep overrides anything and everything else too!

spicandspan Thu 18-Oct-12 19:45:58

There are 2 risks here. The risk of rolling on your baby and squashing them is v v low (unless drunk / on drugs etc), and especially low if u are a bfeeding mother.
SIDS is a different risk. That is your baby dying for no obvious reason (ie not rolled on). I am surprised that the risk of SIDS is higher for cosleeping than cot sleeping.

thunksheadontable Thu 18-Oct-12 20:07:11

I really didn't want to do it this time but I really can't get ds2 to sleep in his cot. He will roar for hours and he is too little to be allowed cry like that. Under no circumstances seems a bit ridiculous when a) the risk of SIDS is low in general; b) Babies also die in cots, car seats, prams and slings and c) no one actually truly knows the cause of SIDS to be able to say that baby wouldn't have died at that exact same moment in a different sleep environment. I haven't read of convincing conclusive research and know in Bradford the risk of SIDS is lower in the cosleeping Asian community than in the cot using white community.

Doraemon Thu 18-Oct-12 20:23:16

Co-sleeping 'advice' is often confusing because research sometimes equates parents who fall asleep with baby on the sofa (v. dangerous) with parents who plan to share their bed with their baby and make sure it is a safe place to sleep. There is a good overview here by Helen Ball who does actual research into baby sleep:

thunksheadontable Thu 18-Oct-12 20:23:26

I think this makes interesting reading

Orenishii Thu 18-Oct-12 20:24:38

I second reading Three In A Bed - a very good book.

SIDS is not suffocation and to say that co-sleeping causes SIDS is incredibly disingenuous. As I understand it, the act of you breathing over your baby while you sleep "reminds" your baby to draw a breath, which is what can happen with SIDS - the baby not drawing a breath. The NHS also tells you to have your baby in your room with you for the first six months - so aside from worries about suffocation, I'm not sure where they're coming from with this increasing the risks of SIDS?

Of course there are common sense tactics to employ - as has been mentioned such as no drink, drugs, smoking or couch sleeping. But as documented in the book mentioned, in the countries that routinely co-sleep, either out of cultural norms or because everyone is crammed into the bed out of economical necessities, those countries don't even have a word for SIDS it's so rare!

Sometimes it seems like the NHS is so scarily inaccurate. There was a report published years ago that supported the theory that co-sleeping caused SIDS - it was research on a Maori tribe that co-slept as part of its culture. However, the researchers failed to take into account that this particular tribe had been influenced by outsiders so most of them smoked and the researchers even refuted their own claims - and republished the report to say in tribes with non-smokers, there was no connection! But the damage was done.

I think it's closer to the truth to say they don't know what causes SIDS and that's fine, but they're putting out stupid, mixed messages that are inaccurate.

thunksheadontable Thu 18-Oct-12 20:31:23

And that haunt the families who experience this tragedy when actually no one knows...

Orenishii Thu 18-Oct-12 20:42:23

Yes thunk sad I think it's human nature to want to be able to prevent something, and if we don't know, it becomes unbearable. I'm very sorry if you've suffered through that, thunk.

fishandlilacs Thu 18-Oct-12 20:51:37

this link is useful

18wksplus Thu 18-Oct-12 20:58:54

It's kind of like the message about alcohol isn't it: really not trusting parents to make mature decisions for themselves and pandering to the lowest common denominator (ooh - if we say you can drink a glass of wine a week, women will drink a bottle a night so best say nothing / - if we say sharing a bed is fine, women will do so when steaming drunk, exhausted and having just smoked a whole packet of cigarettes, so best say not...).

Little rant there but you get my drift...

SamSmalaidh Thu 18-Oct-12 21:03:42

Agree, it's something that can be done safely - baby only sleeps next to their breastfeeding mother, no one in the bed smokes, has drunk alcohol or taken drugs, baby can't fall out of bed or get pillows/duvets over their head.

But "co-sleeping" gets mixed up with stories of parents who are drunk or on drugs rolling on their babies or squashing them on the sofa.

mamij Thu 18-Oct-12 21:05:00

We co-slept with DD1 from about 5 months (worrying about cot death), but did it in the end as it was so tiring bf every few hours and getting up to settle her etc. Best thing we did as we all got a good nights sleep (milk on tap as I was bf). DD2 started co-sleeping with us from about 4 weeks! And still does now at almost 12 months! We are well rested all round.

SamSmalaidh Thu 18-Oct-12 21:07:28

Wow, this is the scariest bit from the study in the Guardian article:
The study showed that sleeping with the baby on a sofa really is a risk. Yet seven of the parents whose baby died say they had gone to the sofa to feed, aware that bedsharing is said to be dangerous, and had fallen asleep.

Asmywhimsytakesme Thu 18-Oct-12 21:08:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jakeyblueblue Thu 18-Oct-12 22:05:22

I co sleep with ds 15 months and have done since he was about three days old. I am currently ttc number 2 and will be co sleeping again. It's everybody's personal choice but I really think its the natural way we are supposed to sleep. You don't see apes putting their babies down to sleep at the opposite end of the branch? They sleep with their mother so they can have access to nurse etc.
I think that leaflet is very misleading. SIDS is very different from suffocation. As long as you are bf, don't smoke etc its perfectly safe IMO.
Have a look at this article.
Put me off ever putting a baby in a cot. smile

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