Co-sleeping for dummies - a few logistical questions

(17 Posts)
MadAngryGnome Mon 08-Jun-15 08:29:21

Hadn't planned to co-sleep at all but after 4 week old DS refusing to sleep for more than 20mins in his bedside cot, DH and I have relented and brought him in with us at night. However...

1) I am currently sleeping with duvet up to my waist and tucked under knees so not near DS. Trouble is, my top half gets cold so I am rugged up in long sleeved layers to stay warm. How are you meant to feed at night lying down without being topless and freezing - short of cranking up the heating but then breaking SIDS guidelines of not having the room too hot?

2) HOW do you feed on the other breast without fully waking up and manoeuvring round the bed to get into position? Would like to know the secret of sleepy easy night feeding on both sides.

3) However I position him, DS nearly always ends up sleeping on his side facing me with his head either close up against my breast or in my armpit. Is this a problem? I do want him to have a bit of breathing room!

Answers to any of these questions very much appreciated smile

BlackCatGirl Mon 08-Jun-15 08:56:51

We have a bedside cot too, my DD sleeps ok in it. However, once she wakes up for a feed I have started feeding her lying down and we usually both end up falling asleep. She usually stays in bed with me until morning.

I do exactly the same as you and tuck the duvet underneath me, I always get a bit worried that I might wake up and pull the duvet over us if I get cold.

Re feeding from other breast, try lying almost on your front with your DS on their back. You should be able to angle it that you don't need to move them to the other side. If that makes sense ?!?

purplemunkey Mon 08-Jun-15 09:06:03

My DD was born in November and we did lots of co-sleeping as she took a long time to take to her bedside cot too. Being winter it was bloody freezing breastfeeding at night, I did the same as you with duvet pushed down. I wore a vest top under a t-shirt and a zip down hoodie to keep me warm! Feeding meant pulling down zip, pulling up t-shirt and popping a boob out of the vest. Bit off a faff but meant I kept warm smile

PomeralLights Mon 08-Jun-15 09:06:48

Im afraid the wanting to feed from both sides thing is the straw that kicked my DH out of our bed.
Now I pick dd up and put her on another side for every feed. Also means I get some element of 'tossing and turning' I was never good at sleeping in one position all night.
However if you want to stay on one side, I know some people put a pillow under baby to raise them to feed from 'top boob', or you can kind of roll away from baby and manhandle your bottom boob in if its big enough (is it top boob or bottom boob that is the issue?).
Sadly with a 4 week old trying to get into position can be difficult, it does get easier as they get older.
Oh and dd always ends up on her side with a nose full of boob! Their noses are flared to allow them to still breathe when lightly pressed against flesh so I try not to worry too much.

PomeralLights Mon 08-Jun-15 09:08:54

And regards to clothing I have bought a cheaply roll neck jumper and cut it across above the nipple line and combo that with a deep v neck stretchy top. Boobs are easy access and my neck is warm (apparently I used to pull duvet right up to my ears!)

Gunpowder Mon 08-Jun-15 09:14:22

I wear a vest and a long sleeved top and pull vest down/top up to feed. If it's really cold I wear a cashmere cardigan as well. I usually have the room at 19-20 degrees, so a bit warmer than one should, but am careful not to overdress/layer DD.

I feed on bottom breast and then lean over so I am dangling my top breast into DD's mouth, I am 3/4 on my front if that makes sense? Dont know if this would work for everyone though.

AFAIK it's completely normal for them to want to sleep right next to your boob, and you are in a protective c shape around them. I think this positioning was found to be safer than typical positioning for non-breastfed babies, where they are often placed at head height and at risk from pillows etc.

TychosNose Mon 08-Jun-15 09:15:02

Keeping warm - I used to wear a vest that I could easily pull down, and over the top I wore a polo neck that I cut up the middle so I could get my boob out but still be quite cosy.

Never managed to master the feeding from both sides without rolling over though. I used to put ds in the middle of the bed then hop over him when he woke up. So I switched sides all night and he just turned slightly.

FitzChivalry Mon 08-Jun-15 09:15:32

I've got thermal pyjama tops which are long sleeved and have a button v neck. They are from sainsburys. Perfect for co sleeping. And for feeding it is a bit difficulty at first but I do it as black cat described it

ThumbWitchesAbroad Mon 08-Jun-15 09:17:36

This is what I did - Ds1 was born in the UK in December.
• First off, I did have the heating on all the time, pretty much, but set at about 20 deg, so not too hot.
• Next, I had a sheet and blanket on the bed, so I could pull these up over my shoulders but folded them diagonally over me to keep them away from Ds1. Duvet only went up to my waist. DS1 had his own blanket that I could wrap around him to make sure he didn't get cold, but in fact he was often too warm, so I often had to dispense with that.
• DH slept in the spare bed as there really wasn't enough room for all of us in the double bed, and I wanted to keep DS1 safe, plus DH "couldn't sleep" (poor man! hmm) so he went elsewhere.
• I would sleep with my arm out above Ds1's head, so I couldn't possibly roll onto him in the night without breaking my shoulder (I don't move much in my sleep anyway, tbh, but just in case)
• When he was still pretty newborn, if he woke to feed, I'd roll him over me to the other side; as he got bigger and heavier, I put him in the middle of the bed and would change sides around him (can only do this if no DH in the bed). He never started feeding while I was still asleep, but I did sometimes fall asleep while he was still going. Not often though, I'd usually just be in some kind of limbic doze. Still got more sleep this way though than any other option.
• I had bed bumpers both sides of the bed to stop us falling out, but not all the way down the bed, just the top end.

Hope some of that helps. smile

MadAngryGnome Mon 08-Jun-15 10:17:31

Wow thanks all, I feel like I'm getting my head round this a bit better.

I think I also need to fashion some kind of roll-neck-easy-access-boob garment, I do love sleeping with covers up to my neck.

How are these people doing it with babies that latch on by themselves in the night? This sounds like the holy grail of bfing/cosleeping but surely you'd need to be norks fully out all the time?

Going to try this almost front lying and top breast dangling position tonight, thank you for the explanations. I really like the idea of DS in the middle of the bed and me flipping about but DH is too attached to sleeping with the both us of us for me to kick him out to the spare room!

Any more tips gratefully received!

fivepies Mon 08-Jun-15 10:27:12

It all gets much easier as your baby gets older as they can reach further and can help with getting in the right position. I fed from both boobs without swapping sides by leaning over the baby to feed. This gets easier as the baby gets bigger. Also, they will start to try to help themselves to a feed. You'll wake up enough to get you boobs out from under clothes and go back to sleep while your baby is feeding. After a while I had no idea how many feeds my DDs had had because I'd not woken up enough.
Like you, we had a cot refuser (actually 2 of them!) so co-sleeping was wonderful and we got loads more sleep as a result. Plus we loved it!!
I am so used to not having covers on my arms that I now choose not to now my DDs are in their own beds.

beela Tue 09-Jun-15 15:05:17

Yes, I had DD in the middle, me jumping over the top of her to change sides, and DH in the spare room. For 8 months!! But we all got some sleep, and that was the main priority at that point.

Though I've got a friend who had a nighttime boob and a daytime boob and that seemed to work for her grin she also slept topless so her DS could access at any time, but that was a step too far for me.

Acorncat Tue 09-Jun-15 20:54:02

Over winter I wore a strappy top under boobs to keep belly warm, unzipped fleece and a thick onesie unzipped to the waist. I just left boobs out all night, mostly so I didn't have to dislodge him to cover up. I rolled over with him to change sides, never managed the top boob thing. He would sleep cuddled up next to me when he was smaller but now does his own version of hug and roll. He would latch on himself if he fell asleep with boob within an inch of his face.

There's a lot of boobs in this post, sorry blush

FreeButtonBee Tue 09-Jun-15 21:02:31

I sat up for first feed and did from noon that would have been the 'top' boob then popped back in cot - that meant that next feed could be from lower boob plus any additional top ups. At least that way, other boob didn't get explodey!

catalani Tue 09-Jun-15 21:35:39

Not read all posts but you've asked the three qs I always struggled with!
I have a November baby and I froze a lot until recently!
I now basically sleep with PJ top pulled up and boob out and he latches on by himself. I wake and just shift if I need to be.
I used to move him from side to side but now we've bought a bed guard for my side (he's 7mo) and I tend to feed from one side and compensate for it by feeding from other side during the day/at bedtime.
He spends most of night curled up in my armpit/boob but occasionally I shift away a bit. In fact the rare times he sleeps in his cot now he turns onto his side smile

catalani Tue 09-Jun-15 21:41:55

Meant to add that we bought bed guys so DP could come back from spare room into our bed...! So no ore baby in middle and me hopping from side to side wink

catalani Tue 09-Jun-15 21:42:32

Bed guard...

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