Can anyone explain co sleeping to me?(17 Posts)
Just wondering when people talk about co sleeping from birth how they actually manage to do this safely? The midwives tell you repeatedly not to fall asleep with the baby next to you yet I know people do this. My concerns are smothering the baby if they slip under your duvet or somehow managing to squash them in your sleep.
This is a genuine question not any kind of criticism of co sleeping as I would probably do it if I felt safe to. If you co slept, what age was the baby and how did you do it safely?
I started from birth because ds wouldn't sleep without boob.
I don't want to advise you either way as its your choice.
Midwives etc are not allowed to advocate it.
There are threads on here if you search, many mums do it, also look up in google, you will find lots of advice on how to co sleep safely.
We don't really cosleeping regularly but the first time I did it was night 2 in the hospital after a c section as ds wouldn't settle, I remember vividly using my iPhone to google how to do it. He has never been in with me for a full night but we have started doing it more frequently for naps and early mornings since the 4 month sleep regression. Any port in a storm and all that. It scares me a lot but here is what I remember from the guidelines - no duvet,no pillows, (I put my big dressing gown on and shove duvet to DP and pillows on floor incase ds actually rolls out (not hapened to date and have baby next to you and use your arm as your pillow. Do not do it if anyone in the bed has smoked or had a drink or drowsy medication. Look the guidelines up - when he is in with me I sleep v lightly (vivid dreams) but IRS better tan being totally up for the day at 6am every morning and gives me a bit of a break for naps as ds will actually sleep if I look like I am doing it to.
Hey. If you look on la leche (the breastfeeding support site), NCT and WHO there is advice re safe cosleeping. A lot of people use an attached cot - ie cot with a long side missing. We did this and then from about 5 months we have merged into proper baby sleeping in my arm pit cosleeping. There are tips eg baby is dressed in growbag - no quilt or pillows near baby (I use sleeping bag) - use room thermometer - no alcohol - use bed rail - baby bet bed side and mother. I am glad we managed with a side car cot and dd on her back when she was smaller but now she's older it fits well for us as we all get more sleep and my dd has eczema so I can stop too much scratching. Now we lie on our sides with me curled around her - one arm is my pillow and stops her wriggling upwards - and my thighs are her footrest! I think it's a biologically hardwired in to us position as it feels very natural. I sleep well, its a lighter sleep but restful, but often am a bit stiff as I don't move. Oh, I assumed you're breastfeeding - there's evidence that some sort of hormones make you more aware of monitoring baby and keep your sleep light. I think it's about being informed and so understanding the risks but also knowing how to do it as safely as possible. There's lots on the net about tips etc x
Do search on MN - loads of threads - forgot to say its a beautiful thing - I look forward to snuggling up together and nothing nicer than waking up by a baby batting your face. X
Can't say I adore the baby batting your face bit, especially if it's coupled with hair-pulling
I can't sleep without a duvet and pillows, so I decam
Eh? Never had that happen before on the MN app...anyway, where was I...
I decamp to the spare bedroom with DS so we have loads of room (I'd never co-sleep with DH in the bed as well). I go under the duvet with a pillow under my head. DS goes next to me on top of the duvet with his head level with my boobs, underneath his own blanket - this leaves him well clear of my pillow and no way can he get under the duvet. I put a pillow between him and the side of the bed opposite to mine so he can't roll off. It serves the second purpose of being able to be pulled in so I can bolster him on his side for night feeds (pull duvet down, PJ shirt up, boob in, doze) then pull it away again when he's done. I sleep either on my side facing him or on my back.
I've also heard that BFing gives you a built-in anti-roll-on-baby device, and sure enough, I've never woken up with my back facing him or in any remotely dodgy positions. I was not happy or comfortable co-sleeping until he was over 6 months (he's now 10 months). Don't know how I'd manage it with a newborn. Sleeping on top of a duvet would probably be far too warm for such a tiny baby.
We did it on occasion with DS (DPs choice not mine) to settle him before transfering him to his cot or to get us an extra hour in the morning.
I hated it and didn't rest well - i got too hot, worried DS would suffocate, get kicked, lose his blanket the list goes on
and on and on but DP and DS loved it and have a lovely bond for it.
Don't worry about them becoming bed bugs either DS is now 16 months and has refused to even cuddle in the mornings in bed since 10 months.
It is safe to do as long as you follow the safety guidelines.
Neither you or DP must be a smoker, even if you never smoke in the house.
You need to keep the adult duvet away from the baby - I used to put it around my back and between my legs to keep it lower down than DS. I wore a dressing gown in bed to keep my upper half warm and DS and I shared a cot blanket for my exposed tummy You'll find you naturally form a "C" shape around him similar to being in the recovery position which will prevent him wriggling up (to pillows) or down (under duvet)
On top of the duvet - I know a lot of people do this but it's not a good idea because the baby needs to be on a flat, firm surface which a duvet is not. (See also: waterbeds, airbeds, sofas and bouncy sofabeds/camp beds) Also duvets are designed to reflect body heat so could lead to overheating.
You need to make sure the baby can't fall out (obviously!) - a bed guard, pushing the bed up to a wall or a bedside cot are the best solutions (just make sure in all cases there are no gaps even when people get on/off the bed or move around in bed and check nightly).
IMO the best and easiest way to co-sleep is to get a bedside cot or see if you can convert your cot - most can be converted and it just makes it all much smoother and easier to manage.
I also wouldn't be sure about using a grobag considering they're designed to be used where the baby is sleeping alone in a cot - I know Elizabeth Pantley isn't keen on them (or swaddling) in conjunction with co-sleeping. I did use one once DS was spending most of the night in the bedside cot rather than next to me. I suppose it would be ok if you used a summer one, but I wouldn't use a thick winter one.
In defence of sleeping on top of a duvet, if it's pulled taut over the mattress on the part of the bed baby is sleeping on, I think it fits the 'flat, firm surface' criteria, providing there's only one co-sleeper not moving very much to bunch up the duvet. DS is certainly completely horizontal
except when he decides to use me as a footrest on the bed next to me, probably more so than those whose babies sleep on their arms/snuggled into an armpit. It is definitely an overheating risk, though, which is why only a light covering blanket should be used, and I'd be extremely cautious about doing it with a baby under 6 months.
I don't know, try putting your face down on a mattress and breathing, and then putting your face down on a duvet and doing the same thing. Because the mattress is much firmer, your nose should keep your airways clear on the mattress, hence I think it's a suffocation risk for a baby to sleep on top of a duvet in case they roll to be face down. Same as how it's not advised for them to have a pillow until they're one year old.
This isn't made clear/explicit in the literature but I would think if waterbeds are considered dangerous then a duvet would be too.
A definite down side of co-sleeping for me is now to stop. Anyone got any ideas?? My DD has been sleeping with me on a regular basis. I really needed to get some sleep to deal with the school / nursery / toddler day time routine her siblings create and co-sleeping did help at first. The problem is that now she is six months and I am trying to return her to her cot I have discovered that she still has the sleeping habits of a new born i.e wakes up every two hours for a quick bite to eat. Fine when we were both only waking up for a few minutes each time. Not so good when it results in a 40 minute session of back rubbing and soothing as I try to get her back into her cot when all she wants is to cuddle up with the boob!
It may not be the co-sleeping that's made her that way. I started co-sleeping because DS never stopped waking up every two hours and he was in his cot from day one. I was too knackered to keep getting up and down all night, especially as the weather got colder, so he starts the night in with me, then we relocate when I can't be arsed getting up anymore. Sometimes he'll do longer stretches in his cot
but usually he won't and sometimes I even get to wake up next to DH when the alarm goes off in the morning but usually I don't
That should read, 'He starts the night in his cot' not 'in with me'. Sorry. Don't get much sleep, me.
Baby crock of arm below pillow on outside edge of bed, lightish quilt pulled well down.
BF and SLEEP!
Baby to bedside crib if they are fidgety and have had enough of mummy.
I can't believe how mind bogglingly complicated people make the simplest and most beautiful of things.
Matress on the floor incase she wriggles out, pillow above my arm, and no duvet until 6 months.
Co slept from day one and never had any trouble, with a little baby your arm naturally goes above and leg below making a "C" around your baby when breastfeeding, so you can't roll.
Also the tiniest movement will wake you, I think it is only recommended for mums who are breastfeeding though, as the hormones make you more aware.
Not to say it couldn't work for FF mums, or dads, but personally I would be more wary.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.