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I Dont understand how co-sleeping works

(27 Posts)
SleepDeprivedGrumpyBum Fri 26-Nov-10 17:40:10

Apologies if i'm being really dense here but i honestly can't get my head round how co - sleeping works. I know it invloves letting LO sleep in bed with me and DP but......

1) where do you put them in the bed? - how do you and DP manage to sleep without being terrified of rolling and squashing LO?

2) what about duvets? how do you know if the duvet goes over LO's head, or if its too hot for them? i like a big snuggly thick duvet wrapped around me but from personal experience my DS gets very hot very easily so prob wouldn't like a duvet

I'm not judging anyone who does co-sleep/ bed share, just genuinely curious as to how it works in RL for people and how they avoid the above problems, if they are indeed problems or is it me overthinking it?

ChocolateMoose Fri 26-Nov-10 17:42:25

Another question for co-sleepers (hijacks thread) - is there not a really short gap between the bit where they're tiny and you lie rigid, terrified of squashing them and the bit where they're big enough to roll round and kick you in the face (personal experience of occasional bedsharing)?

SleepDeprivedGrumpyBum Fri 26-Nov-10 17:44:38

Ooh good one, i didn't think of that. Hijack away grin

ib Fri 26-Nov-10 17:49:04

Ds2 sleeps between me and a bed barrier, in his sleeping bag over the duvet. I never move at night and am a very light sleeper, so no risk of moving and squashing.

Neither of my dc rolled around and kicked me in the face but they do take up a disproportionate amount of space!

TBH I am a bit o a reluctant co-sleeper - it's a case of co-sleep or no-sleep here so I choose the former and have to cope with the rest!

sweetkitty Fri 26-Nov-10 17:56:00

Have coslept with 4 babies all until over a year, we have a bedside cot against one side so he either sleeps in that or in the middle of us. Now he is bigger he is under the duvet with us, tucked under his arms, we sleep face to face so if the duvet was over him it would be over me.

Have never rolled on any of them or hit any of them, you know they are there all the time, same as sleeping with your DH you know they are there as well.

PlanetEarth Fri 26-Nov-10 18:03:29

When ours were babies we used to wrap them in baby blankets and put them on top of the duvet, in between me and DH. Helps to avoid both the squashing, and getting too hot under the duvet. Yes, when they were older they did roll round and kick us ...

curlyredhead Fri 26-Nov-10 18:06:26

We had a bedside cot for dd1 - she would start off in there and work over towards me through the night. With all of them, I used a sheet and blanket for me and them at first, only used a duvet once they were bigger, and only ever a thin one - it was quuite warm enough. With dd1, I slept between her and dh - with dds 2 and 3 that wasn't poss (cosleeping twins), but he had lots of cosleeping practice by then.

It took a bit of time to get used to cosleeping, but once the dts stopped, a few months back, it took me a month or so to get used to sleeping without a child next to me, had been nearly 5.5 years by then.

None of mine particularly kicked or wriggled unless they weren't well - they snuggled in but I like sleeping snuggled up to my children, so don't find it disruptive.

If you don't fall out of bed reguarly then you aren't likely to roll onto your babies either, your body knows where you are even when you are asleep.

mustdash Fri 26-Nov-10 18:06:46

DD went on top of the duvet, just in a babygrow.

RockinRobinBird Fri 26-Nov-10 18:10:35

DD went in top of the duvet in a grobag. Now at nearly 3 hmm she sleeps under the duvet with me. I tend to lie w but further down towards the foot of the bed so that I can pull the duvet up round my shoulders without suffocating her. And she kicks and scratches like buggery.

Woodlands Fri 26-Nov-10 22:15:44

We have a bedside cot which DS mostly sleeps in which solves most of these problems, but I used to sleep with the duvet tucked under my boobs with DS in a grobag next to me. I didn't have a bed guard as he was only tiny at the time and I couldn't get one to fit the bed. That was in the summer - I wouldn't fancy not having the duvet over my shoulders in the current weather. Now in the mornings, especially at weekends, we sometimes bring him into bed between us, under the duvet (naughty I know), with his head up in a gap between the pillows (we pull the pillows to the sides to leave a big gap for his head) so that we can't accidentally pull the duvet over his head.

The one time I did accidentally get a blanket over his head, when he was quite tiny, he cried and woke me up.

organiccarrotcake Sun 28-Nov-10 17:42:38

DS has always cried when the duvet accidentally went over his head.

Have co-slept from birth - now rising 5 months. Unplanned but DS2 wouldn't have it any other way so we go with it.

SummerRain Sun 28-Nov-10 17:59:59

Have co-slept with all three of mine. I wouldn't have considered it in a million year before having a baby but he nurses in hospital with dd were very encouraging of it and listed heaps of benefits, i was still unwilling but after 3 night at home where dd simply wouldn't sleep i had no choice but to bring her into the bed with us... co-sleep or no-sleep as ib mentioned above!

It worked so well for us though i wouldn't have considered anything else with the boys, ds1 was in my bed from 2 hours after he was born and ds2 as soon as he exited SCBU.

I've never rolled on any of them, you sleep differently when they're there and are still vaguely aware of them even when you're asleep. You tend to adopt a particular position anyway, one arm over the babies head and one leg tucked up underneath them and the other arm across their bodies and that ensures they can't go far without waking you.

I had mine in sleeping bags or blankets of their own until i judged they were old enough to share the duvet.

It's invaluable when bf-ing, especially if like all three of mine the baby is demand fed and demands feeding quite regularly.

Until 3/4 months mine all stayed downstairs with us and were brought straight to bed, or dropped in their crib if they were already asleep. Once they were older they started off in their cot/crib and came in with us the first time they woke after we went to bed. They gradually stay in their own bed longer and longer until suddenly one day you find you're having to go into their room to wake them.

SUMARIE Sun 28-Nov-10 22:30:35

SummerRain, can I ask aprox how long till your dc slept in their own cot/beds? our first child, DD is 7 mos, co-slept from birth and I am bfeeding (all happened intuitively and we sleep just like you mentioned). DD will nap in cot or on daybed during day and for first half of evening in cot (from around 7pm till we go to bed at midnight or I have to get up for 3am) I'm in the process of sleep training with pupdcc method but finding it hard. However I know dd will continue sleeping without dreamfeed as in some cases my dh has occasionally soothed her back to sleep on his shoulder (she won't take a bottle/dummy-another issue!) I would love for her to sleep in her cot after midnight thru to 6 but not sure how to help her learn to self soothe.

llareggub Sun 28-Nov-10 22:39:58

I co-slept with DS2 from around 8 weeks when I realised he'd feed without waking me up. I moved him at around 12 months into his own bed. However, he is now 19 months and back in with us.

He slept in our bed, and I had a bed guard at the side to stop him rolling out. He used to sleep in a grobag but now sleeps in a babygro on top of our duvet, even in this weather! He throws off any blankets etc.

With DS1 I used to worry about falling asleep with him in bed and vividly remembering tearing off the duvet cover as I was convinced he was inside the duvet. With DS2 I am far more relaxed, so I think you need to be mentally up for co-sleeping!

I also ensure that his head is between our pillows so that he can't get buried underneath them and because of this he is very high up the bed too. He sleeps between us but this is because these days he usually ends up lying over my head or my DH's head, which is annoying but hey, he's sleeping.

I'm a big fan of co-sleeping. It helps that we have a big bed, I think.

elvislives Sun 28-Nov-10 22:54:22

We didn't intend to co-sleep but I had a CS and realised the first time I tried to get into bed holding DD that I just couldn't do it.

When she was very tiny she slept in the middle of the bed with her head up almost against the headboard, covered with her own pram blankets.

I had to banish DH from the bed during that first week because he isn't aware of anyone else when he's asleep and tends to thrash about.

Someone else has mentioned the position you end up in, with one arm over their head. It really isn't comfortable at all. But some sleep is better than none, and they don't actually cry.

As they get a little bigger (weeks, not months) you find you can sleep and just let them get on with it. I woke up once to find DD attached through my nightie grin

DD is now 3.8 and still co-sleeping. We have moved house 3 times in the last 14 months, so we haven't been in any hurry to shove her out. She still sleeps in the middle but tends to creep closer and closer to me during the night. I often wake up on the edge. It is funny to watch her snuggling up to DH when she thinks he's me and she isn't quite awake.

It does help that our bed is 6ft wide. When we've slept in ordinary 4ft 6 beds on holiday it's been a squeeze.

toomanychristmaslights Sun 28-Nov-10 23:04:31

While our babies slept in our bed we swapped to only 1 pillow each and a summer tog duvet I think it was 4.5. Dh and I both wore warmer PJ's when necessary

They slept in the middle or between me and a cot side. I Rolled them over me when I rolled over so that I was always facing baby.

They have done research which shows that when you breastfeed and co sleep you wrap yourself around baby in a protective way

Never got kicked, but when dc were over 1 they ended up sleeping cross ways between us - H shape, so I sometimes ended up in cot bed we had once they were older next to our bed

sfxmum Sun 28-Nov-10 23:11:55

for us we knew co sleeping would be happening, we bought a very wide bed and a bedside cotbed

for the first couple of months she was in our bed by my side, she was a summer baby born in a heat wave so no big challenge regarding duvets

later we used grobags I was careful how to position my pillow
on her side of the bed there was the bedside cot bed, from about 10-12wks she would start the night there sometimes stay there sometimes not

when she was older she would come and sleep between us and we both got a good kicking once in a while, amazing how they go sideways

these days (5) she rarely goes on our bed except to wake us up in the morning at weekends

RobynLou Sun 28-Nov-10 23:21:59

the best way I found not to get cold (I like being wrapped up tight in a huge duvet too) is to wear a dressing gown in bed - v warm and big and snuggly, but also easy access for feeding.

SummerRain Mon 29-Nov-10 11:23:13

SUMARIE all three of mine differed, with dd we did sleep training at 12 months as she was incapable of settling herself so she was going down in the evening and wasn't allowed in with us until most of the way through the night, however ds1 was born when she was 18 months and she was srill coming in at 4/5 am... once ds1 was born she didn't like the crowd in the bed though and stopped within a few days of his birth.

With ds1 we also ended up doing sleep training for the evenings at 12 months as he just wouldn't settle but again we let him come into the bed half way through the night... i can't remember what age exactly he stopped as he's 4 and will still climb in in the morning for a cuddle but it definitely stopped being night time and became a morning cuddle sometime before he was 2.

ds2 is 21 months and has just recently started waking up in his own cot, he goes through bad patches when he's ill or teething and comes in with us but the rest of the time he prefers staying in his own bed, he slept til 9/10 am in his cot almost every day last week.


SummerRain Mon 29-Nov-10 11:26:42

Oh, agree with the poster above who mentions bed size btw.

we bought a superking bed last year and it's made a huge differance to our comfort levels with a wriggly, sideways sleeping toddler bedsharing with us. it also makes 5 in the bed early morning cuddles workable and means if one of the older two is sick i can pull them into the bed with us and baby without dp or i falling off the sides!

ReshapeWhileDamp Mon 29-Nov-10 23:29:32

SummerRain - glad to have found this thread - and the whole topic! - as we're about to try co-sleeping properly with the next baby. DS has suddenly 'regressed' at 2.10 and decided he needs to be in with us for some of the night. We deliberately bought a new kingsize bed for the new baby and now I'm kicking myself for not getting a superking, because DS manages to get himself horizontally between us and force both of us out of bed, at times! (He must be 3', and that leaves one foot of space for DH and myself each. I have a huge bump. Do the math. wink)

cherrysodalover Tue 30-Nov-10 00:52:42

I don't know how people manage not co sleeping but suspect it often goes hand in hand with breast feeding. We have had little sleep deprivation due to it and it is a joy to wake p next to our son, but some days you miss having the bed just between you-i tried 2 weeks of all that getting up in the night to feed- i cannot understand why people do it. Then i read a book which raved about how good it is for babies to co sleep so now i am a convert.

cheesebaby Tue 30-Nov-10 01:01:56

Some good advice here!

The usual advice I give is:

DO breastfeed (if you want/possible)!

DON'T drink (lots of) alcohol; take drugs or consciousness-altering medication; co-sleep on a sofa.

There's also no way I would sleep with a baby on top of the duvet - it goes against all the natural mechanisms you have for protecting your baby.

cheesebaby Tue 30-Nov-10 01:07:52

Also, check out the vast amount of info here - if you trawl through the presentations you'll find talks given on this subject by Helen Ball and her team (who also did a great webchat on MN this summer) smile

SUMARIE Tue 30-Nov-10 13:40:28

SummerRain thanks. sooooo knackered this am (and have cold) last night we tried to persevere with the sleep training, I bfed but returned dd to cot @ midnight, didn't have to bfeed when she woke 130/430am but getting up to sshh and pupd is exhausting. but now reading your post and cheesebaby links I know what I am choosing! I couldn't bear the controlled crying and gave up, but the pupd does work.
I'm going back to what we instinctively did, put her in cot and then co-sleep after midnight. May even ask Santa for a Superking so I can co sleep and pupd in one bed.
Cheesebaby, great link for MN webchat with Helen Ball: "combination bedsharing' where a baby starts the night in one sleep location and ends the night usually in bed with mum. This was the most common kind of bed-sharing we discovered, a third to a half of all breastfeeding mums do this. I know of no evidence that indicates this pattern of cosleeping prevents children from falling asleep by themselves as they get older."- That's the reassurance I needed and will hopefully get more rest doing pupd in our own bed as clearly my greedy gubbins of a dd doesn't need to bfeed to go to sleep.

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