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Confused about how to achieve advice to lie baby on back if co-sleeping

(8 Posts)
lilysma Sun 31-Jul-11 20:47:41

I'm sure this has been done to death, but I am struggling a bit with how to get DS (6 days old) to lie on his back to sleep whilst co-sleeping with me. All the co-sleeping literature goes on about how the nice thing is you can just lie down and BF and drift off to sleep, which I agree is the big benefit, but I find that DS will then only happily go off to sleep if he can lie facing me on his side with one arm tucked under his head. He resists being turned away from me and wants to latch back on and we go through the whole feed to sleep cycle again and again! Since he can't easily roll onto his front and would actually just roll into me if he moved (I'm sure I would wake up if he did this, as I seem to be in a light sleep and very sensitive to his movement), this seems safe, but even the co-sleeping literature sternly warns it is safest for baby to be on their back. Does anyone actually achieve this whilst co-sleeping and if so how??!

I co-slept with DD (now 4.5) from when she was about 3 months, and just used to turn my back to her when finished unless I actually fell asleep whilst she was latched on. I wasn't so worried about her position as she was older and felt much more robust.

Also, how do you cover little ones and ensure they can't wriggle under? DS is not quite 8 pounds so not big enough for a baby sleeping bag yet. I am just tucking a light blanket under him given the hot weather, and obviously keeping my duvet well away from him, but does anyone have any other tips?

Any thoughts appreciated!

Babieseverywhere Sun 31-Jul-11 21:42:23

It is safest to not have a pillow or duvet at all with a very young baby.

That said I use a memory foam hard pillow well out the baby's way. I bought a couple of king sized cotten cellulose blankets with a sheet which a cosleeping baby can share with you.

I try/tried my best with the sleeping on the back thing by gently rolling baby onto his/her back whenever they fell asleep. This stage doesn't last long before they are moving on their own and sleeping foot in your nose or bum in the air as you know from your DD.

The safest position for cosleeping is baby on back and mother curled around baby, feet and arm around baby creating a nest the baby sleeps in. I haven't heard of cosleeping with back to young baby ? Of course it is differentwhen they are robost toddlers.

Babieseverywhere Sun 31-Jul-11 21:43:33

We also use sleepsacks a lot, help keep baby sleeping on their backs.

Sam100 Sun 31-Jul-11 21:48:22

We used to use baby sleeping bags and put baby on top of the duvet - me underneath. I found when I was co-sleeping that I tended to sleep curled on one side with my arm around the top of the baby and would wake up in the same position. They tended to fall asleep when feeding and I would just lay them down on their back then.

lilysma Mon 01-Aug-11 11:40:21

Thanks everyone.

Funnily enough he did seem happy enough on his back last night once he had finished feeding - let's hope it lasts...

I do curl myself round him as you suggest babieseverywhere and Sam100 and agree this is how you wake (with a sore back grin)- I wouldn't turn my back on a baby this young. With DD when she was older I would move right away from her to do that - it seemed to be the only way to prevent her from wanting to be latched on all night, which I couldn't cope with!

Are sleepsacks the same as grobags? I don't think they're recommended until they reach 10lb are they?

I do have a pillow (can't sleep without them) but it is well out of his reach as he is at breast level IYSWIM.

I tuck the duvet under my body on the baby' side so don't think he could wriggle under but am more concerned about how to cover him safely - surely sharing a cover makes it more likely for them to wriggle under/get covered up because you can't tuck it under IYSWIM?

Sorry for all the questions...

Albrecht Mon 01-Aug-11 11:58:30

Cellulose blankets have holes in them (like a string vest) so are less of a suffocation risk if they did go over the head.

We didn't use grobags until he was older as it was really warm when ds was born but I thought they were ok from birth as long as your baby isn't very premature. Basically do up the extra poppers under the arm and make sure they can't slide down into it.

If you have your lower arm around their head then I think pillow is less of a danger but they are not recommnded in the usual safe co-sleeping advice. When ds was a lot older he managed to pull (or something) a pillow onto his head, was very scary, even though he was loudly protesting so I knew he was ok!

If you read the FSIDS literature side sleeping is less of a clear risk than front sleeping (although as it could lead to front sleeping it is obviously risky to some extent), as far as I recall. I tried to stay awake long enough to roll him onto his back once he was in a deep sleep but honestly I didn't always manage to.

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 12:08:56

My ds was born last August and I just had him in a vest and nightie at night - it was always about 23/24 degrees in my bedroom despite all the windows being open so he didn't need a blanket as well.

I would roll him onto his back if I was awake at the end of the feed, or if I woke up later, but often we'd fall asleep on our sides facing each other (though actually this was a bit later as it took me a few weeks to master feeding lying down.

I had a small cushion rather than a pillow so it was just big enough for my head and there wasn't any extra width that could cover the baby iyswim. I also tucked the end of the duvet under the bottom of the mattress so it only came up to my waist and couldn't be accidentally pulled over the baby at all.

lilysma Tue 02-Aug-11 20:24:53

Thanks everyone - sorry for the late response - I did start typing a message and then the inevitable happened! I've dug out a light cotton cellular blanket but DS slept in just a vest and babygro last night as it was so hot. He stayed on his back all last night again, so hopefully that will carry on...

I do have my head right on the edge of the pillow that is nearest to him IYSWIM so hopefully there is no way he could get under it/pull it down as my head is on it. Tucking in duvet at bottom of mattress seems a good plan.

Right, better get on with it...

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