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co-sleeping with a newborn - how does it work?

(29 Posts)
kookiegoddess Thu 17-Jul-08 15:09:42

Hi, I'm 28 wks pg with 1st and have done a tiny bit of reading around co-sleeping and am now open to it. Just wondering where yr baby slept if you co-slept - between parents? I am a bit concerned about the smothering/getting too hot thing and our bed is a Queen size so it's roomy but I don't know where the baby would lie if it had to go in the middle,if there are 2 pillows and a duvet. And do you swaddle them in a sheet or are they ok in a sleepsuit if protected by yr warmth? I think I'd want to cuddle them near me but facing the edge of the bed so that air could circulate. Also my hubby is a very hot bodied man(!) and I don't want him to make the baby too hot. He's not keen on co-sleeping at all but I completely understand how people might fall into the habit/end up trying it if it makes the nights easier, which from what I've read is true.

Finally, did you do a mix of co-sleeping and cot? I think I'll try to use the cot during the day and be more flexible at night about whether it sleeps with me or in the cot - is this realistic? Do small babies show a marked preference for one or the other when they're v small? ie do they scream in the cot once they've had a few nights next to mum?

SORRY for ramble blush but am rather confused and I don't think I'll be able to embrace the continuum stuff fully, but would like to do a bit of it...

MrsBadger Thu 17-Jul-08 15:14:22

dd slept between me and the edge of the bed (with bedguard) - dh sleeps v deeply and was likely to clonk her with an elbow, and it meant she was never at risk of going under the duvet.

she needed to wear much less than she did in the cot - certainly not a swaddle.

tbh dd was fine in the moses basket next to the bed till 4m - I'd feed her sitting up in bed then put her back in the basket asleep - and we only coslept after 4m when her sleep started cocking up.

Unicef leaflet on safe cosleeping

soremummy Thu 17-Jul-08 15:16:00

co-sleeping is lovely until they get like my dd 14mths on and I sooooo wish she would go in the big wooden ornament thats cluttering up my room smile never did it with the other 3 and all off them slept better alone in their cot/bed dont know how we will get this one to. hth

MrsBadger Thu 17-Jul-08 15:17:26

soremummy - have you read the No-Cry Sleep Solution?
some very good ideas that are working for us

soremummy Thu 17-Jul-08 15:21:08

No I haven't Mrs Badger Who is it written by? Will have to get to town to get it. Does it work is there hope for us yet? Can you guess im worn out at her waking constantly during the night sorry for hi-jack blush

MrsBadger Thu 17-Jul-08 15:24:32

buy it immediately - it made me sob in Costa as the author is so obviously full of love and empathy for both children and parents (in stark contrast to Some Other Gurus I Could Name)

kookiegoddess Thu 17-Jul-08 15:40:37

Cheers for link MrsB. Will have a look and will also check out no-cry book, am trying to prepare myself for Worst Case Scenario whilst I'm still sane and getting normal amounts of sleep.

policywonk Thu 17-Jul-08 15:45:18

One option is for the parents to move their pillows/duvet further down the bed, and then put the baby right up the top (ie baby's legs somewhere around the level of the parents' pillows), so there's much less chance of the baby getting entangled in the duvet. Give the baby his/her own blanket or sleeping bag.

So long as you don't smoke, drink heavily, take illegal drugs or prescription drugs that cause drowsiness, co-sleeping is very safe.

gingerninja Thu 17-Jul-08 15:50:29

Almost identical senario to Mrs Badger. Started co-sleeping at 4 months when it all got too much and used a bed guard with DD on the outside.

You might want to be more flexible during the day. Don't get to a state where you can't go out because the baby is napping in the cot and that's the only place they'll sleep. It's very limiting. During the day you can use a sling or pram which will allow you to do other things. At night we'd put DD in a moses basket for the first part of the night and then into bed when she woke.

It's pretty difficult at first because newborns make all sorts of loud breathing noises and you're getting used to this new presence but it is fantastic.

My DD is now in her own bed, the transition was relatively painless. I still get up and go and sleep with her if she wakes in the night and I still love being woken in the morning by her lovely kisses and just adore the cuddles.

The book 'Three in a bed' by Deborah Jackson is great. Kiskidee (sp) who posts on here occassionally is a great source of knowledge about co-sleeping, perhaps search for some of her old messages.

kookiegoddess Thu 17-Jul-08 16:00:32

Thanks for the book recommendation Ginger, my amazon basket is getting fuller... Grr at library staff being on strike today so I can't go in and request these...

Plan to try to put baby down to sleep in as many different places as poss, around noise, in basket, in pram, in rocker chair etc as I dont' want it to get too used to one place as you say. Hope to use a sling too. I'm so keen to find out what my baby's like driving me nuts only having kicks in my side to go by!

serenity Thu 17-Jul-08 16:04:48

I did it from around 5/6 weeks with DS1 (but OMG wish I'd done it sooner) and from birth with the other two.

We have a kingsize bed and had both mine and DHs pillow as far to the left and right as possible, leaving a large gap in the middle. Baby would then go in the middle with their head touching the headboard, putting them above the top of our duvet (they'd have their own covers (so as policywonk describes)

Once they were old enough to start having am evening 'bedtime' rather than go to bed with us, then they started the evening in a Moses basket (then cot) in our room and would come into our bed at the first night feed.

As they always started the night in their own bed, co-sleeping swapped to independant sleeping quite naturally. As they woke less during the night, they came into bed with us less often. DD I think was the longest running. She was about 3/3.5 before waking up with her in bed with us was a surprise rather than the usual morning routine smile

I loved co-sleeping, it saved my sanity with DS1 and I wish I'd figured it out earlier with him.

MrsMacaroon Thu 17-Jul-08 16:05:38

i co-slept with both DDs... have done it from birth this time as it worked so well for us. Here's how I did it with DD2 (3 months).

-All day feeds out of bedroom so bedroom = night-time

-Bath and change into sleepsuit for last feed before 'bedtime' (this won't really happen for a while but get into the practise and things are much better later)

-Feed until sleepy (livingroom), give baby to partner and get ready for bed

-Get into bed, daddy puts baby into sleeping bag (good for co-sleeping) or wraps baby in blanket, hands to mummy.

-Mummy feeds baby, baby conks out.

I always feed with me under duvet and baby on top of duvet, with head well away from my pillow...only safe with thin duvet, otherwise put baby on mattress with your covers over you from waist down and maybe a long sleeved nightie/pyjamas/jumper for warmth.
I just move baby from side to side with my arm around baby. We have huge,low bed so DH has space and with cushion on floor, the likelihood of me accidentally swiping baby off bed, causing injury is sooooo unlikely.
Gradually baby will wake less and at 3months our DD sleeps from 9-8 and only sleeps with me for first morning feed out of sheer laziness. She conks out after last feed, we put her in her moses basket and that's her for the night. All day sleeps are in carseat/bouncer or playmat.

hope you get something out of that!

kookiegoddess Thu 17-Jul-08 16:32:28

hmm our bed is quite high, about 2 feet so am going to have to think carefully about this. Also will have to think about my sleeping habits - I'm permanently hot with pg providing internal central heating but normally I sleep with my entire body covered by duvet - head only peeping out - so not sure about how I'll stay uncovered from waist up... I hate sleeping in clothes too!

Good to hear about starting in cot/moses basket then moving to bed if necessary. As I said in my OP, just want to be flexible and am v aware of babies being used to humans sounds/noise given noisiness of womb. Don't want it to feel scared and alone in a cot!

MrsMacaroon Thu 17-Jul-08 19:11:54

me too- that's why I have the duvet high up with just my arm poking out to put round baby with baby lying on top of duvet with grobagor blanket...means baby doesn't get covers put over face accidentally blahblahblah.

for high bed just get bedguard.

kookiegoddess Thu 17-Jul-08 20:03:34

cheers Mrs M that's reassuring

teafortwo Fri 18-Jul-08 00:06:36

Kookiegodess - It feels so natural - you will know what to do. Believe in your decision and don't worry - that is the secret!

We started off with a bread basket with a lambs fleece in it for our newborn to sleep on. She slept beside our bed but I pulled her in our bed first thing in the morning and before sleep for bfing.

One day when dd was perhaps 4 months old I had my scatty hat on and accidently washed the lambs fleece at nappy washing degrees instead of lamb's fleece degrees and it came out of the machine tiny tiny tiny small.

For 3 days DD had nowhere else to sleep but in our bed as her big baby cot had not been delivered. 2 yrs later the big baby cot is only used as a playpen for when I have a shower in the morning. DD still sleeps in the middle of her two parents in our lovely big family bed! And p.s it is simply delicious!!!

Ooooh btw... Have you read 3 in a bed by Deborah Jackson? - I was nervous when we first made the decision to co-sleep full time because no-one I know does it (or should I say no-one I know says they are doing it - I bet they are to some degree but are too scared to say) and my dr was horrified enough at her sleeping in a bread basket - not to mention her disgust at her sleeping in my hippy sling ha ha ha... but reading this book was very reassuring and confidence building!

Good luck and enjoy every tiny single second!!!!

MrsMacaroon Fri 18-Jul-08 09:42:30

bread basket? was your baby bread roll size?

all very Alice in Wonderland...

teafortwo Fri 18-Jul-08 11:08:48

Whoops!!! Maybe more explanation needed...

It was a bread sellers basket not a basket for bread from a poshy restaurant!!!! I adore the image you have put in my head!

The basket is now in dds room filled to the brim with toys and I keep tripping over it and the toys keep falling out and making the place look even more messy than it already is - so, actually, right now I wish it could shrink to bread roll size wow - that would be heaven for me!!!

MrsMacaroon Fri 18-Jul-08 11:50:12

damn...i've been chuckling away to myself about the bread basket baby all morning. i had imagined a presentation paper napkin for a mattress.

fortyplus Fri 18-Jul-08 11:55:31

I had mine in crib pushed up against the side of my side of the bed. I could pat/stroke them or if they were whingy have them in the bed on my side so as not to be squashed between the 2 of us. In warm weather I kept the bedclothes off them and just covered them with a cotton cellular blanket. ds1 was happy to go into his own room at 6 months but ds2 didn't go till 9 months and kicked up a fuss for a week or so.

elfsmummy Fri 18-Jul-08 12:00:48

Can I ask a stupid question too?

I sleep with DD (12 weeks) between me and the edge of the bed as DH is a heavy sleeper and not keen on her between us. (have only been doing this for a few weeks)

I think she has about 2 feeds still overnight (not really awake) but from 6-7am she sort of suckles constantly (not really feeding) just to keep her asleep so I can doze [lazy]

Anyway because I'm lying on one side all of this is from one side only and I get up at 7 with a very full left breast! Sometimes she's not all that hungry at 7 and doesn't feed properly til nearly 9 whilch makes for an uncomfortable couple of hours.

How do you swap sides whilst co sleeping like this? or will I just even out as the boobs get used to her requirements?

fortyplus Fri 18-Jul-08 12:05:35

I used to sit half up with a sort of V shaped pillow that I bought from Argos.

MrsBadger Fri 18-Jul-08 12:07:45

when dd was small I'd lift her over to the other side whenever I remembered, then lift her back
when she got bigger I'd turn over towards her so she could get at the offside nork

MrsMacaroon Fri 18-Jul-08 14:39:37

wot badger says

ilovemydog Fri 18-Jul-08 14:44:51

I have a willow crib, which is bigger than a Moses basket with the idea being the DS would sleep in it until DD moves out of cot.

Should not have bothered as we all end up in same bed. At various times during the night, but we all wake up in same bed. hmm

It's not so much co sleeping as bed time anarchy!

The only I make sure about is that DS doesn't get under the duvet. He has a cotton blanket.

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