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Co sleeping and feeding advice

(17 Posts)
AzuremystBrandy Tue 05-Jan-16 00:49:12


This is my first post so please bear with me. I'm hoping for some advice re co sleeping - my 10 week old currently sleeps most of the night in her cot with me in the same room but after she wakes for a feed around 4-5am she always wakes up when I put her down in her cot so she ends up sleeping on my chest. She also loves being close to me as I do to her and I've been thinking about co sleeping since she was born but have been put off by midwives etc.

I've had a look at all of the safe co sleeping guidelines and my question is about the fact that only breastfeeding mothers should co sleep. I currently breastfeed and formula feed so I wasn't sure if this would count as safe. DD currently has 2-3 feeds a day from the breast. To maximise safety I would happily breastfeed all night but I don't seem to produce enough milk anymore to do that as my breasts only seem to feel full after at least 6 hours.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated x

PaulDirac Tue 05-Jan-16 00:54:53

I don't know about the safety aspect and formula but I know with breastfeeding in most healthy women the more your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce. It's like supply and demand.

Also when breastfeeding is established you don't always get a full feeling as your body should be good at producing the milk when it is needed. And producing the right amount for your baby. Of course it doesn't always work out like that for everyone but I think it does for most breastfeeding mothers.

AzuremystBrandy Tue 05-Jan-16 01:05:44

Thanks for your reply. I wasn't aware that it would produce on demand, I've noticed that if I bf fairly soon after the last time I've done it she seems to have to work much harder for the milk (which I suppose is to be expected) and get frustrated at times which has led me to believe that I wasn't producing enough for her. I'd love to get back to exclusive bf but it's the whole bf in public that stops me (plus the milk thing)!

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 13:41:59

only breastfeeding mothers should co sleep

Where have you heard that? It is incorrect.

How you feed your bearing has no bearing on if you can safely co-sleep.

The Lullaby Trust is the established source of SIDS risk research used by the NHS.

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 13:42:51


How you feed your bearing baby has no bearing on if you can safely co-sleep

AzuremystBrandy Tue 05-Jan-16 19:53:54

Thanks for the link. It says on
Lots of websites that I have been on and a book that I'm reading that only breastfeeding mothers should co sleep, apparently because breastfeeding mothers naturally put the baby at chest height, are more responsive to the baby and the baby wakes more easily than they do if they're on formula.
At the same time there seems to be a lot of contradicting information out there!

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 20:11:50

Where have you seen that? Do you have a link or a book title?

Many people will contradict on if co-sleeping is a good or bad idea, because that is a thing of opinion. Feeding method has no bearing on co-sleeping whasoever. This isn't a matter of opinion it is just fact and is very widely accepted.

There is indeed a lot of contradicting information out there. When it comes to SIDs risk though, there are no contradicting facts. Just researched based widely accepted recommendations.

Are you sure you are not confusing the fact that co-sleeping can make breastfeeding at night easier. This is true. It does not follow that formula fed parents shouldn't co-sleep though.

Or, are you not in the UK? Maybe other countries have different recommendations to those in the UK? I don't know why they would on this point, but it is possible.

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 20:37:18

I've just been googling and have found a single article from someone called Dr McKenna recommends bedsharing only for breastfeeding mothers. Then various forum threads in parenting websites discussing (and dismissing) this single research paper.

The most telling fact is that the NHS have neither recognised nor commented upon the article and have not changed their co-sleeping recommendations.

On some aspects of baby safety, where an article or research is produced that opposes current NHS advise, there is often an NHS article written in response explaining why they are dismissing the research and are not changing advise. The NHS have not even recognised this particular piece of research.

Suffice to say, you are well within SIDs safety recommendations to co-sleep with your mix fed (or formula fed) baby if you met other safety recommendations and if you want to.

AzuremystBrandy Tue 05-Jan-16 23:49:36


I read it in the no cry sleep solution but I have only read two chapters so far. I will try and find the links online but I can't remember off the top of my head as I have seen it numerous times over the past few months. That being said today is the first time I actually looked on the NHS website and NICE guidelines. I'm not actually sure why I haven't! I'm actually going to have a go breastfeeding tonight and see if it makes for a better rested mum and baby!!! smile

AzuremystBrandy Tue 05-Jan-16 23:50:07

Sorry yes I am in the UK. I may have read from non-UK websites.

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 23:58:13

NCSS is a sleep training method which can be used for breastfeeding babies (with the Pantley Pulloff).

It is not advise on SIDS risk.

Try not to worry. If you want to breastfeed, are not a smoker, have not been drinking or using drugs and your baby was not low birth weight or premature - then you can co-sleep safely.

Read the Lullaby Trust website linked to earlier. And worry less flowers

FATEdestiny Tue 05-Jan-16 23:59:15

Sorry, that should say:

Try not to worry. If you want to cosleep, are not a smoker, have not been drinking or using drugs and your baby was not low birth weight or premature - then you can co-sleep safely

5madthings Wed 06-Jan-16 00:04:01

As long as you follow safe Co sleeping guidelines it's fine.

As an aside Co sleeping and letting baby nurse frequently during night, even if it's just for comfort will help with your supply. Feeding at night stimulates the hormones to trigger milk supply more at night and it's nice for baby to snuggle and feed as well.

AzuremystBrandy Wed 06-Jan-16 01:06:19

Thank you for the replies, I'm going to try and give it a go going forward. In terms of safe sleep guidelines, it says about not using pillows (or pillows near baby). Can anyone offer any advice as to anything else I can rest my head on that would be safe (my arm was very sore this morning. Also I know that I can't use a duvet but is a blanket ok? confused

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 10:45:32

This NHS page on reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):

The Lullaby Trust factsheet on SIDS and bed sharing is useful for more detailed recommendations. The link to download the factsheet is here:

You will not go wrong if you use the Lullaby Trust website and the NHS website as your 'bibles' for what is considered safe and what is not. The NHS site is brief, the Lullaby Trust website more detailed and includes research data. You wont find any contradictions because NHS use the Lullaby Trust to inform their recommendations.

With regards to bedsharing and SIDS risk, it should always be pointed out that: "The Lullaby Trust and the NHS, and many professional and parenting organisations all agree that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own cot or Moses basket in their parents’ bedroom"

Judging SIDS risk for most parents is about making an informed decision based on risk management. You may not eliminate all risk, but you make a judgment according to your own situation and attitude to risk aversion.

FATEdestiny Wed 06-Jan-16 11:00:38

It's about deciding how you will manage risk. The factsheet I mentioned earlier says:

"A high proportion of infants who die as a result of SIDS are found with their head covered by loose bedding. Do not use pillows or duvets and keep sheets and blankets clear of the baby’s head. There should be no items in the bed with you that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat"

So if we start at the beginning, the safest possible place for safe sleep is in a cot/moses basket and not your bed. That said, bedsharing is not advised against, but it does carry and inherent risk.

Further pillows and duvets are not recommended for safety reasons. So you will find some parents who choose to get very warm, fluffy onesie PJs and lie on the bed with no pillow with the baby and bedshare.

You'll also find people who do the above but decide to use a pillow and try to keep baby away from it. They have made that decision knowing it is against recommendations but they decide to manage that risk.

You will find people that continue to use a duvet and also a pillow, but keeping them away from baby. Again this is not recommended, it is considered unsafe. But on the basis of managing risk, some parents chose this as the way forward.

From all of your posts above AzuremystBrandy, you sound quite risk adverse, like you don't want to take any risks whatsoever. In that case, if you choose to co-sleep, you should do so without using a pillow and using only blankets/sheets that you keep clear of the baby and are not left loose (so, for example, wrapped around your body)

Or, like parents do all over the world every day, you can understand the recommendations and make a judgment decision based on knowing the risks involved.

Personally, I co-slept occasionally just on bad nights with baby and when I did, I stayed using my pillow and duvet but tucked the duvet round and under me. Baby stayed further down the bed away from the pillow. Me with no top on and baby positioned to find the nipple easily.

Don't do that on my say-so though. Or anyone else's say-so. The official recommendations are on the Lullaby Trust website. You use that to inform your own decision.

AzuremystBrandy Wed 06-Jan-16 14:27:13

Hi Fate,

Thanks for the detailed post. I do want to eliminate as much risk as possible. I never thought about wearing a onesie, what a good idea! My neck is really sore from no pillow today so I might try using a small cushion or rolled up blanket.

I'm gonna take a look at the Lullaby Trust fact sheet today and I'm also going to take one of the sides of her cot bed down and push my bed up against it so she has a separate sleeping area.

Fingers crossed!

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