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Safe co sleeping

(12 Posts)
lem31 Fri 16-Aug-13 04:35:54

I hate the idea of co sleeping, but 10 weeks in and if I get 2-3 hours broken sleep I'm doing well as ds will not go in crib, no matter how often I put him in (all night every night I place him in, he wakes, pick him up and he sleeps, back in, awake etc etc). May go down for a couple if hours but thats it.
We are both exhausted though.
He is reflux so won't keep next to me in bed in traditional co sleeping, but wants to sleep on me, chest to chest.
Any safe ways of doing this?? I need sleep! I was thinking my ergo baby carrier may be safer as it will hold him onto me and stop him sliding off. Uncomfortable for me, but uncomfortable sleep better than no sleep, right? I know many relux mums will had this issue so hoping for some advice. Will speak to hv but shes away this week and I am EXHAUSTED now.
Thanks in advance. X

IsThatTrue Fri 16-Aug-13 04:50:10

I don't think it's safe for you to wear the ergo while sleeping tbh (but others may have more clue than I do) ds2 only slept chest to chest for a while. Tbh I slept do lightly at that point that he never slipped off.

Do you have a do you could alternate with so you get some sleep? It's hard when they never sleep but it does get better honest.

<posting with snoozing ds2 (8mo) about to go back in his cot after his first wake up of the night amazing!> grin

Sunnysummer Fri 16-Aug-13 05:03:26

Similar reflux story here - am feeling your pain! hmm When I eventually went into the doctor and said that surely te risk to DS from was smaller than the current reality of a mother getting hallucinations from sleep deprivation, he said that chest on chest is quite risky, especially as you're already so tired that you may not notice if he rolls off. Instead he suggested using a soft sling (like my moby) with head out or a baby bjorn and sleeping propped up on pillows / a recliner.

The moby worked for a few weeks (i didnt use my ergo, as was worried he'd get tangled in straps) and then he got a little better and was able to sleep on his side with his head propped up on my arm. Not ideal, and I really miss having lots of pillows and my big snuggle duvet, but the sleep is worth it!

Sunnysummer Fri 16-Aug-13 05:10:34

Also, DS is 4 months now and still only sleeps in the day in a sling and at night on his side... But do take heart that the 12 week mark really is a big milestone! We kept disbelieving people who said things would improve, but from 12-14 weeks he changed markedly, to the point where we are now often able to have him sleep on his side without me for 3 hours of an evening, and he sleeps from 7-7 (still with 4 night wakings, but they are brief and he feeds right back to sleep!).

Our HV was great and said not to listen to people with 'rod for your own back' type advice or who tell you how their angel baby sleeps 12 hours.. Just do whatever it takes to get the three of you through this part happily, you can fix things down the track - 2 weeks of broken nights while you wean off cosleeping in a few months (or later) is still going to be a lot easier than coping with a newborn with no sleep right now.

Lucyadams184 Wed 28-Aug-13 10:29:29

I always thought co sleeping was a no no my kids are 6 and 4. We have a lodger who has just had a baby thank goodness it is a downstairs bedroom but when she said she was co sleeping I freaked out a bit whilst biting my tongue.

I know advice always changes but do midwives encourage it or just not say anything? I was given leaflets about how dangerous it is. I understand sometimes you can only get sleep this way so please don't shoot me down in flames I'm just concerned about how safe it is for the baby.

Clargo55 Wed 28-Aug-13 11:08:12

Lucy most study's lump all data together, including cot death of baby's co-sleeping with parents who have consumed alcohol and medication. Data from suffocation is also usually included.

This makes it very difficult to tell the actual risk from co-sleeping with no suffocation risks such as pillows/duvets and parents who have consumed no substances.

It is easier to for health professionals to say not to co-sleep at all than to get some parents to eliminate the known risks.

Sunnysummer Wed 28-Aug-13 11:23:56

It is not officially recommended under SIDS guidelines, but the evidence is not clear cut, unlike the risk of stomach sleeping. The best research in the UK suggests that without smoking, alcohol consumption or sofa-sleeping there is no increased risk (links below). The other big danger is if the child is brought into an unsafe environment in the shared bed - there should be no fluffy pillows/duvets/toppers, no gaps between bed and wall etc. All of these can be sorted out if cosleeping is planned, but much more of a risk if people just get exhausted and bring an infant into their unprepared bed.

For more information and safety guidelines based in research it's worth going to Isis (more objective) at or the university of Notre Dame research in the US (fairly partisan, but respectable!) at

Early cosleeping has been linked with greater self reliance and autonomy at school age - although this is a smallish study and quite possibly rife with potential correlation/causation issues, it does at least suggest no negative outcomes!

Also interesting - in Japan cosleeping is the norm, but SIDS risk is extremely low. Children even stay in shared family bedrooms until they start school or beyond.

It's not for everyone, but it can be a huge sleep saver - I wish I'd known earlier instead of persisting with miserable nights of DS having 45 minute naps in the bassinet out of misplaced (for us) fear of sharing a bed. Hope you all get some rest!

Lucyadams184 Wed 28-Aug-13 18:57:06

Thankyou for your replies. The bed is up against the wall which did concern me in case the baby moved and got stuck, he is only a week and a half. I think I may try and get a leaflet for my lodger to read with obviously no judgement on what she is doing as at the end of the day it is her choice.

Sunnysummer Wed 28-Aug-13 20:00:43

Tight up against the wall is safe - it's any gaps that can be risky and need to be filled with rolled up towels or similar. If she is open about cosleeping, perhaps she is already aware of this? Perhaps there is a way of chatting about it first before passing on a leaflet and maybe making her feel very uncomfortable?

Andcake Wed 28-Aug-13 20:48:06

At 6 mo (I know) we started cosleeping out of desperation. But it saved sanity and probably our relationship. I was v paranoid before hand but had a mw talk me through safe positions. Avoiding duvets and pillows seems to be the main thing. I slept on my side with ds on side curled into me nr breast. In winter I would wear a cardi and have duvet just covering legs. Ds in a gro bag. Over heating s also a risk factor so make sure there I good air flow.
I found/ find it easier when in a double bed without DP. There are safe guidelines out there if you google.
I didn't plan to do it but its a life saver for me - and I love the closeness - feels like the most natural thing in the world.

Gratuitous Wed 28-Aug-13 20:53:22

I did co sleep with baby in a stretchy wrap, would feed, put him in the sling upright with head free and sleep reclined in a chair! There was no where for either of us to move, it felt safe and helped sleep though obviously isn't conventional or recommended....

cogitosum Thu 29-Aug-13 16:42:56

You've probably thought of this but have you considered tilting the crib. Ds is the same and only sleeps in sling but will settle in his crib now we've tilted it. We've got the bed nest which has this function but I know others who've put something under the mattress.

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