Cuddling 10 week old when co-sleeping? Pic included

(86 Posts)
Crocodilian Wed 03-Feb-21 11:41:27

At my wit's end trying to find a way of sleeping while my 10-week-old sleeps. Have been really trying to follow safe sleeping advice but she just won't sleep in a carrycot/next to me, and won't co-sleep lying on her back, but sleeps very soundly when cradled in my arms. Up until now DH and I have been taking it in turns to do four hour shifts staying up with her round the clock with her sleeping on our chests but we're at breaking point.

What is it about cuddling the baby in bed that makes it unsafe? I'm just trying to work out how to reduce risk and whether it's workable as an option. Have attached a picture (random image from Google) of approximately what I did last night: baby's head on my arm, but my arm was cradling her back. I had my bedcovers wrapped round me like a bath towel at my waist so baby definitely couldn't get them over her. Baby had no covers over her and was happy with it. She was nowhere near my pillow. My knees were bent so I couldn't have rolled over her. DH asleep on sofa so couldn't hurt her. What am I not seeing? It's very like what we do when we stay awake with the baby sleeping on us, but just with me lying down and very lightly asleep!

Thanks! Am so desperate to find a way to not be sleeping only when my DH is awake with the baby as we're on our knees here.

OP’s posts: |
ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 11:45:08

That’s how I slept with my babies. Look up the safe coslerping guidelines. Worth noting that only breastfeeding mothers should cosleep in this way (noticing that it’s a man in the image) because hormones make them more alert to the baby’s movements and they sleep less deeply.

The c position around baby is the safest and will allow you to breastfeed lying down

Crocodilian Wed 03-Feb-21 11:52:51

Thanks @ArosAdraDrosDolig - all the safe co-sleeping advice seems to say that baby should be on her back with my arm over her head but she won't sleep like that, only if my arm is under her head and cradling her which therefore means she's on her side a bit.

OP’s posts: |
ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 12:24:26

I think that’s your call. I did fall asleep with my arm under baby but the guidance does recommend that they are flat to sleep

ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 12:25:17

And I’m sorry, that’s not a man in the pic and looks nothing like one 🙈🙈 that will teach me to read and reply in a hurry!!

mootymoo Wed 03-Feb-21 12:27:20

It's how I slept with mine. Crucial things are position of duvet, not overheating the room (your body heat means they are warmer, pillows etc and you have that under control

Bluntness100 Wed 03-Feb-21 12:27:47

That doesn’t even look like a man in the image?

Totally confused.

Op, if you fall into a deep sleep you can easily straighten your legs and roll over onto her,

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Crocodilian Wed 03-Feb-21 12:27:57

@ArosAdraDrosDolig thank you - it's nice to hear from someone who has actually done it as I could find absolutely nothing about it online!

OP’s posts: |
ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 12:29:00

Sorry, it looks nothing like a man, I don’t know where I got that from! My apologies!

mootymoo Wed 03-Feb-21 12:30:23

I fed lying down and by 3 months they could latch without me waking. When I had mine it wasn't considered unsafe btw. (Drugs, alcohol etc aside) and the mothers heartbeat was meant to reduce cot deaths - no idea what happened to that train of thought?

ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 12:30:52

The exact reason why babies should sleep on their back isn’t known.

Theories include:

They sleep less deeply (and don’t we know it!)

Their oxygen levels are more easily maintained (as they are not rebreathing their exhaled air)

They are not breathing in particles from bedding or mattress.

Crocodilian Wed 03-Feb-21 12:31:20

@mootymoo thank you - I've got the room quite cool (16 degrees) as that's how I prefer it anyway!

@Bluntness100 yes, that's true... Maybe if I set an alarm for every hour? Every half hour? Would that stop me falling into a deep sleep?

OP’s posts: |
ArosAdraDrosDolig Wed 03-Feb-21 12:34:07

if you fall into a deep sleep you can easily straighten your legs and roll over onto her

Unlikely for a breastfeeding mum. Hormones mean that breastfeeding mums are very responsive to their baby’s position and sleep less deeply. This is the reason that drinking alcohol then cosleeping isn’t recommended, or cosleeping if you take medication that makes you sleep more deeply.

I always got a bit confused by ‘don’t cosleep if you are exceptionally tired’ - isn’t everyone with a baby?!

WhichSeasonAmI Wed 03-Feb-21 12:35:08

This is how I slept with both of my babies from birth, even in the hospital with the second. It feels like the most natural, instinctive way to fall asleep with your baby and if I was a betting woman I would say that this is how cave women slept with their babies.

WhichSeasonAmI Wed 03-Feb-21 12:36:35

I also don't really see how you could roll on to the baby if the baby is lying on your arm.

bluebluezoo Wed 03-Feb-21 12:36:40

The exact reason why babies should sleep on their back isn’t known

I thought it was because their necks aren’t strong enough to turn their heads and open up an airway if they are struggling due their heads being turned to the side on their front?

Littlelapwing Wed 03-Feb-21 12:43:14

The risk there is that her airway may be occluded by being more curled up with your arm under her head. You also run the risk that if you move your arm in your sleep then you could make this even worse.
It’s the same reason they shouldn’t be in a car seat too long - not an optimal position for breathing.

I seriously wouldn’t do this. I know how hard lack of sleep can be though 💕

ForeverBubblegum Wed 03-Feb-21 12:43:54

That's how I slept with mine, as pp have said your body just doesn't go into a deep sleep when their there. I'm aware it's not technically following guidelines, but it gets to the point where the risks of caring for a baby on little or no sleep out way the risk of sleeping in a not perfect position. Not sure if your breastfeeding, but if you are then that's also a massively protective factor against SIDs, so your overall risk will still be pretty low.

Sendingasurprise Wed 03-Feb-21 12:54:35

I always had my babies sleeping either me in bed. But not with a loose horizontal pillow as in the photo. I put an extra fitted sheet on the bed, over the top of the pillows. Not quite as comfortable for adults as a loose pillow but less risk of smothering the baby. We also tried putting the pillows vertically and closer to the edge of the bed, which leaves a much larger clear space in the middle.

Tempusfudgeit Wed 03-Feb-21 12:54:57

I coslept that way with all three of mine. I realised that I only slept deeply (as evidenced by dreaming) when I had an afternoon nap in bed by myself. Second the cavewoman comment! OP, the tragedy is that babies can have SIDS flat on their back, in a safe cot. Do what's right for you.

OchreBlue Wed 03-Feb-21 12:55:14

That position is how I slept with my babies from birth too. Like a pp I spent a week in the hospital each time and fed and slept with them like this and other than ensure the bed side was up the nurses said nothing other than to encourage me with breastfeeding. In fact I still do sleep like this when my 3 years old comes down, I always have to retrieve my arm once she's fallen asleep.
With an arm out and leg forward it's basically the recovery position for both of you and I don't see how you could roll over her. Please don't consider setting your alarm every 30 mins to an hour, that's not even a sleep cycle you're just likely to get dangerously over tired and feel terrible. Just sleep normally if you are breastfeeding you need to let yourself sleep. Mine often stayed latched on in that position then if I was still awake after she fell asleep I would roll her onto her back. As she got older she rolled into her back herself when I unlatched her. If I woke up while she was sleeping I would also move her onto her back. This gets easier as they get bigger and uncurl from that foetal sleeping position. I put mine in growbags and used a cotton blanket for myself so I didn't need to worry about the duvet.

EmbMonStu Wed 03-Feb-21 13:04:22

This is the way I slept with both my babies. After ten days of fighting DS1 I slept like this and it was blissful and lovely for both of us.

I’m someone who likes to read about stuff and I recommend Three in a Bed by Deborah Jackson

Guineapigsarepigs Wed 03-Feb-21 13:09:17

I coslept with older babies but not newborns. Coslept from about five months. EBF from the start but didn't trust myself as I was so tired.

For newborns we had one of those sidecar cots and I'd put my arm around the baby whilst it slept in there. It was uncomfortable but I was so tired that it didn't matter.

Tbh I'd try very hard to come up with a different solution for now. It won't be long until your baby is much less vulnerable. You have my total sympathy. Sleep deprivation is torture.

Ithinkhedidit Wed 03-Feb-21 13:09:57

I co-slept with both of mine. I was similar to that image except I'd ditch the pillow and also I did manage to get both mine onto their backs once asleep. Just make sure you don't overheat the baby and be very careful when they start rolling!

justanotherneighinparadise Wed 03-Feb-21 13:11:27

I used to co sleep with my baby on my bare chest so we were skin to skin. I’d prop myself up with cushions behind me. He just wouldn’t sleep in a bedside crib and I was desperate.

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