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PRACTICAL CO SLEEPING ADVICE ( but please, no pissy judgemental replies needed)

(44 Posts)
CeeCee00 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:35:12

My DD is 5 months old and is currently sleeping in a sidecar arrangement in a grobag. I'm EBF with no plans to stop. She was full term, healthy and I don't drink or smoke. I'm well researched on the dangers as well as the benefits of co-sleeping and will follow the rules to a T. I instinctively feel that the best place for her is next to me.

She's getting too big for her Next to Me crib and I'm either going to convert a cot and attach it to my side of the bed or just bring her onto my side of the bed which will be flush to the wall.

Whilst I know all of rules available...I'm still a little unsure of practicalities such as bedding, clothing etc...

Can I keep her in a grobag or will she be too hot with my body heat?

How am I supposed to stay warm if I'm only half under covers?

Blankets or duvet pushed right down?

Do you sleep with a nightlight on?

I'm looking to fill in the gaps of how to do this sensibly and safely. I'd love to hear your positive experiences and tips please? smile

Also - and this is the only but I'm unsure of - is it really unsafe for her if my husband who is on the other side to me has had a few drinks? Not taking about steaming drunk, but a couple of bottles of beer with dinner for instance. He doesn't smoke.

Liara Mon 13-Jun-16 20:40:27

I coslept with both of mine from birth (no choice, it was the only way they would sleep at all).

I just had mine in their growbags on top of the duvet. I didn't push it right down. I had one of those barrier things on the side of the bed. Didn't sleep with a night light on.

The risk of sids diminishes very, very significantly after 6 months, btw.

JE678 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:45:18

I bought an adult sized cellular blanket and put it under him. I didn't use any pillows because I knew I'd move them in my sleep. It was ok once I got used to it. Get a decent mattress protector for your bed. Sleep with your bottom arm out in front of you so that you can't roll. A bed guard may still be needed if there is even a small gap or you may get away with a rolled up towel. Enjoy!

KittyandTeal Mon 13-Jun-16 20:48:20

We bolted dds cot to the side of our bed(with the side off obviously)

She slept in her grow bag and I got to have a full duvet for the first time in months. She slept with us that way until she was just over 2 when she decided (with a bit of encouragement) to go in to her own room.

Once she got a bit older my dh started having a glass of wine in the evening and she slept with me between them fine.

We slept with all the lights off, dd has always done the same until recently (almost 4) when she now wants the landing light on.

When she was in bed with us rather than the cot next to us, I used to sleep with a fleecy jumper on (she was a winter baby so it was bloody freezing)

Tbh, as she got bigger, 18 months on, I ended up often sleeping at the bottom of the bed with her in a starfish position in the middle. She bf until 18 months though. She was definitely ready to move at2 and we did a big new duvet cover and pjs for her new bed. Since then she's slept through (didn't move her until she was sleeping through at just after 2yo) without fuss and is perfectly happy in her own room. She's only been back in our bed once when she was poorly.

We decided on cosleeping as dd had a traumatic birth and couldn't lie on her back for weeks so she started sleeping propped up on me. She used to feed lying down while we both slept but she was waking every 2-3 hours until almost 2. It was definitely a good decision for us.

pinkstarsarefalling Mon 13-Jun-16 20:49:52

This is an excellent resource with good advice on cosleeping from Durham university infant sleep rears have lab (Unfortunately named now).

Regarding a night light, that could be useful for when you want to put it on but aim for it to have a red / orange glow if poss, good to not have blue light at night. (More for you than babe) .

I've found a really good waterproof pad invaluable (Aqua Solaris? I think) bit pricey but worth it.

CeeCee00 Mon 13-Jun-16 20:50:52

Thank you Liara

My daughters similar I guess...she's never been able to fall asleep without being held, rocked and now fed to sleep and I have tried! She's been napping on my lap during the day and at night I feed her to sleep and then lie her down next to me. Today we started cosleeping for naps as I worry she's not getting enough quality sleep otherwise.

I have to admit that I am an anxious type and the SIDS risk frightened the bejesus out of me. Regulation of breathing is one reason why cosleeping makes so much sense. It's great to reminded that we're nearly out the other side.

Did you ever worry that you'd pull the duvet and roll/flip your children?! grin

Joskar Mon 13-Jun-16 20:52:09

We co sleep. King size bed with baby (9 months) in the middle of us. We just shift the pillows out the way of her head. Her feet are covered by our duvet and we've never had to fuss about not being covered ourselves because it's such a big bed the duvet dips in the middle so it's easy to keep her head clear. She's always slept in with us. It's nice having a small in beside you. Plus so, so much easier to bf at night. I wouldn't have a bag though. Too hot and too restrictive. I like her to be able to move.

When she was really wee if Dh had a drink I had her on my side with a side car cot. Now she's pretty robust we don't bother. I have a drink too sometimes. I know that's not advised but I don't get steamboats or anything. We coslept with dd1 til she was 18 months with no problems. She sleeps through in her own bed no bother so it never ruined her or anything!

Dh and I both coslept with our parents when we were wee. They just called it sleeping though. It's really not a big deal I don't think. I have no idea why people hand wring about it. If it suits you just do it. No apologies or justification needed.

3littlebadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 20:57:30

When I was doing my research on it prior to the birth of ds I read that the natural position for bfing baby whilst ting down actually prevents you from rolling onto them. Picture baby at breast level, your knees tucked up under their legs and your arm straight out in front of you either over their head or cradling it, so that your body makes a c around your baby. There is no way in that position you could roll onto them. The evidence suggested that the problem comes when babies are put at head height

Liara Mon 13-Jun-16 20:57:41

You really don't want to hear the sorry tale of all I worried about! I had a brother who died of sids, so was beyond paranoid. Also mine both did apneas, so effectively I barely slept for the first year!

However, all was fine and they are now strapping 6 and 9 year olds!

venys Mon 13-Jun-16 20:58:22

We just had a bed guard and I just cleared a space for baby (he has always more or less co slept and he is now 3.5). He ran hot so just slept in his pyjamas on top of the sheets and I just had a standard mattress topper on (hardly ever get leaks with our nappies). The easiest thing was that OH slept in the downstairs bed due to his shifts so we had space to spread out safely.

LuckyBuddha Mon 13-Jun-16 21:02:07

I send this message laid in bed next to my 12 month old son. I have co-slept with both my children and have and still am EBF... Top tips from me are, sleep on your side facing your baby with you arm extended beneath you to stop you rolling over, sleep with covers only half over you, wear warm pjs, put your bubba in a grobag on top of duvet, place baby's head in line with your bust so they are away from pillow... Either push bed up against wall so no gap or push their cot, which they may sometimes go in right up next to the bed. My partner always slept behind me not next to the baby as we felt this was safer and better for everyone, he did sometimes have a few beers... I never tell anyone I co -sleep as some people get all bossy about it! But it works for me. I think if you are breastfeeding sleeping next to your baby makes absolute sense both practically and emotionally. That said my baby does sleep in his cot, it's just mainly if he wakes in the night he comes Into our bed and doesn't go back. But when he was little he was in all the time as like most baby's he just wanted to be close.

00alwaysbusymum Mon 13-Jun-16 21:04:09

I used a grow bag with my eldest and slept wearing my fleecy dressing gown to keep me warm. Biggest worry was when they start rolling so we took mattress of the bed and slept on the floor. Worked with eldest as we had s spare room to out the base of the bed on. Eldest co slept for 16 mths and had been the best sleeper!

Like other poster if oh had a drink or too he would sleep with us other wise he wouldn't
Second child didn't like co sleeping he slept in his cot!

Third child was also worried about the rolling so when they were about 5 mths moved to a futon mattress on the floor which worked well.

My advice is if it works for you enjoy it as they grow so fast. My eldest never sleeps with us, unlike my second who didn't co sleep always comes in to our bed at night.

YokoWakarimasen Mon 13-Jun-16 21:08:30

I too wouldn't use grobag,as overheating is dangerous, and would have baby in bed, in middle or between wall and mum.

My top tip is to have baby sleep on a towel so if nappy leaks you change the towel and not the whole bed.

MaddyHatter Mon 13-Jun-16 21:10:39

i co slept with my dd from about 6mo.

I tied a cot side to the side of the bed

evicted DH into the spare room

I slept on his side of the bed, DD had my side of the bed to herself, so she was between me and the cot bars!

She slept in a gro bag and i kept the duvet down at my waist and just wore warm tops. She always slept touching me, and i learned not to move around in the bed, but i was hyper aware of her.

We co-slept until she was 2.5, and to be honest, i still didn't want to stop, she's 7 now and still comes into my bed whenever she's sick or scared.

For me it was just more practical. My older DS has autism, and while at the time we didn't know, he DID NOT SLEEP, he awoke so many times a night, DD slept soundly in my bed, and even if i had to leave for DS, she knew i would be back and would always re-settle, and any night wakings from her were kept to a minimum because i was right there with her.

If i'd had both of them keeping me awake, i'd have gone crazy.

PropertyBefuddlement Mon 13-Jun-16 21:12:35

I used a next to me crib and graduated onto an Ikea Gulliver cot at 6 months, really cheap £55, but one side is removable, so we removed the side and cut down the legs slightly so it was the exact height of our bed, then tied it to the bed frame. DS would lie next to me if he wanted a feed, and then roll over into the cot if he wanted more room to spread out.I would have felt bad about massacring an expensive cot in this way, but a cheapy no problem.

Personally, I worried more about duvets pillows etc at this point as he moved around a lot more than when he was tiny and I worried he might roll over in the night and get entangled. What I did is, DH had the duvet over his side and down onto the floor only, I had a couple of thick blankets on my to my waist, tucked in so I was lying on the ends iyswim, and a thick cardi to keep my arms and back warm but open at the front so DS could latch on, and I used a couple of cushions from the living room as pillows, so they were only really the width of my head. This meant however DS rolled, he couldn't really come into contact with a duvet or pillow.

I also always, always slept on my left side with my left arm extending out onto the cot beside the bed, which meant if I rolled over in my sleep I couldn't roll over the baby, as you can't roll onto your arm. Took me a couple of nights to get used to it, but then did it automatically.

With co-sleeping it was a suffocation risk rather than sids that worried me, but I feel with these precautions it was totally safe.

Pastaagain78 Mon 13-Jun-16 21:14:30

Fleece cardigan for me, single duvet tucked around waist and legs. DS own little blanket on his legs.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Mon 13-Jun-16 21:15:35

DD was born in December so we did things whilst in the grip of icy hell (I get cold easily).

Can I keep her in a grobag or will she be too hot with my body heat?
My DD always went into her sidecar in grobag and blankets, then whenever she was woken came into bed next to me with her grobag. She never got hot, flushed, sweaty etc

How am I supposed to stay warm if I'm only half under covers?
I had my covers over me! blush but then kind of shucked them down so they only went over her legs. Tbh I was more worried about her being cold than overheating.
Although when I BF her I made sure I had a long sleeve pj top on, and just kind of had to bear it. Sometimes I scooped the duvet around her body and brought the rest up behind her, to cover my arm.

Blankets or duvet pushed right down?
Yeah, I did it all wrong and possibly endangered her but I had my duvet (and blankets!) up near me and then made sure they couldn't get anywhere near her face.
Tbf our feeding position meant that my legs were bent at 90o at the hip and again at the knee so my thighs were kind of a barrier to her moving down the bed, iykwim. And my arm was around her, so I could feel if she moved an inch.

Do you sleep with a nightlight on?
We didn't, although we used Ewan when she was trying to go to sleep so the little red light was there. Then we went for months without a night light and now we use a string of fairy lights near her cot, started using them around 13-14mo.

Now, she's 18mo (but this has been since about 6mo) she goes to sleep in her own cot in her own room, we go to sleep in another room, and if she wakes in the night before around 11 we try and get her back to sleep in the cot but if it isn't working she comes into a double bed I have in her room, and we still co sleep then. If she wakes up after about 12 I just take her straight into that bed. I then turn the night light off. She always sleeps through til at least 6 when in bed with me.

We have varying success with her sleeping through, in her own cot, without needing us once in the night. I think in the last month it's been about 4-5 times that this has happened. This is progress for us blush

And fwiw I have drunk a glass or two of wine with dinner and then gone on to feed her and co sleep with her.
I have never got so drunk that I wouldn't drive (in the early days, I have, now three times, and the last time was the first time since stopping BFing so I got DH to go and lie with her when she woke, at 5am).
I know it's not the best practise but I personally thought having once glass of wine with a meal would not impede me so much that I would endanger her. I totally respect any one else's choice otherwise.

CeeCee00 Mon 13-Jun-16 21:19:21

This is all so helpful and reassuring. I always knew I wanted to but it's taken me a bit of courage just to put her directly into our bed.

Thanks for the link pinkstars we're sleeping with a red night light atm as we had a ton of BF problems, she couldn't get a good latch so I need the light to feed. Hoping it's on the way out though!

We're happy for her to stay with us for the foreseeable future.

00alwaysbusymum you're exactly right, they're only little for such a short time and I love having her sleep closely.

Nice to hear I'm not the only mum in bed right now too.

CatsCantFlyFast Mon 13-Jun-16 21:20:11

The official advice is never to have baby between you and your partner and never to have baby between you and a wall

We converted an Asda cot into a sidecar when DD grew out of the babybay. When you convert a cot you need to wedge the cot mattress right up against your mattress tightly - fill the gap on the other side of the mattress in the cot with something to stop it moving (we used pool noodle under the fitted sheet of the cot. She had a blanket - we had the duvet but only up to my waist and mostly away from the side of me closest to her, I just wore more in bed to stay warm. I didn't use pillows.
I got more relaxed as I got older but I found when she was small I preferred to stick with all of the cosleeping advice

CatsCantFlyFast Mon 13-Jun-16 21:20:38

Also - remember their head should be level with your chest, not higher up the bed where you sleep

Jenijena Mon 13-Jun-16 21:25:26

Once DS was in his own bed but prone to wandering and not as big as he is now where he basically starfishes across the whole bed I used to put him horizontally in my pillow space, and then shuffle down the bed. Handy middle of the night offuckitletsputhiminhereandhopehesleeps position. Helps if you're not very tall and in a king sized bed.

No judging here.

superwormissuperstrong Mon 13-Jun-16 21:39:15

Really loved our bedside cot - felt like all the benefits of co sleeping without the danger points regarding duvets, rolling onto them and DH happily could have a drink. Never intended it but DD stayed there till about 2 years 9 months!

fluffikins Mon 13-Jun-16 22:24:29

My room isn't big enough for a cot bed side car so when I took dd out of side car I just put up a bed guard on my side. When she's in with me (she starts the night off in her cot) I take away my pillow and make sure the duvet is on me. I often remove her gro bag if it's hot as I sleep on memory foam which is quite hot too. To keep warm in the winter I found onesies v useful

fluffikins Mon 13-Jun-16 22:27:07

That should read I make sure the duvet isn't on me above the waist

dinodiva Tue 14-Jun-16 06:41:30

I kicked DH out and put his pillows along the edge of his side of the bed and then DD lay on the duvet on his side in her grobag. I slept on my side as usual, sometimes I even faced the other way. She went through a bloody annoying stage of wanting to sleep holding hands. I don't accidentally roll onto my DH in the night so I wasn't really worried about rolling onto my hulking DD. This was in her pre rolling days though, so I knew that I could put her down and she'd pretty much stay in the same spot. She was back in the cot as soon as she rolled though, mainly because I got so fed up of cosleeping and it stopped working for us. Oh and I had a glass of wine or so and coslept with no bother. I did ban DH from sleeping with her after drinking, mainly because he is a snorer!

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