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Aibu to bedshare or swaddle a newborn?

34 replies

Mrsharper88 · 29/10/2018 12:39

I have a two week old baby who won't settle unless he is being held. He will wake after 5 minutes of being put down in his Moses basket or next to me crib.

I had previously been told by midwives and health visitors that it was ok to bedshare as long as I followed the safety guidance (no loose sheets etc). I had done this since he was born although i never felt fully safe. Last night I swaddled him and put him in his crib and he slept for an hour at a time which is not as good as bedsharing but much better than he would normally do.

A health visitor visited today and told me I am not allowed to bedshare OR swaddle my baby. She also said I am not allowed to use the next to me crib with the side down or a sleepyhead overnight. This has really worried me as I know he won't sleep at all without these things and I'm really struggling to get any sleep as it. The exhaustion is making me unwell.

So aibu to bedshare or swaddle the newborn? And if I am BU then WWYD? Xx

OP posts:
HellenaHandbasket · 29/10/2018 12:41

I have bedshared (safely) from newborn with all 3. 🤷

BarbarianMum · 29/10/2018 12:45

Did she say why you're "not allowed to"? Firstly, of course you are allowed to. Your his mum and you decide. Whether it's wise is another matter. Do you smoke or drink or use sleeping tablets or something that makes co-sleeping dangerous? Swaddling is not recommended because of the risk of overheating but mine loved it so we did it and accepted the increased risk.

Jackshouse · 29/10/2018 12:45

It is very dated and poor advice to say no to cosleep. The majority of SIDS in cosleeping cases were previously caused by not following the guidelines (they have been updated, look at Durham university isis sleep or the best resources) and most parents cosleep at some point. A lot of parents were not telling health professional that they were cosleeping due to the advice and being worried about being judged so health professionals should not always give out good advice about how to safely cosleep to all parents.

MrsStrowman · 29/10/2018 12:47

Have you seen the groswaddle or grosnug? They are pre gro bags and suitable from birth

MrsStrowman · 29/10/2018 12:48

We won't be able to co sleep as we have a memory foam mattress and I'm not sure if get any sleep I'd be so worried about rolling over

crispysausagerolls · 29/10/2018 12:51

Bedsharing is fantastic when does safely. It boggles the mind that we live in a society where people are made to feel like they should place their baby away from their mother to sleep - I think it goes completely against nature. Of course a newborn wants to sleep with his mother! Our HV also said some awful things to us about bedsharing and now I just have 0 faith in health visitors for being so ignorant.

Whyyounoeatmypie · 29/10/2018 12:52

Oh ffs - health visitors are well known for their vastly varied 'rules'. Of course your wee one sleeps better with you or swaddled - it's how they all feel most soothed. Don't stress and crack on.

Fisharefriendstoo · 29/10/2018 12:56

I have used the sleepyhead in the next to me crib since birth and he’s 4 months now. I haven’t put the side down due to laziness really. I used to swaddle for naps but not for bed time incase he fought his way out and the blanket ended up on his face. Health visitor didn’t say anything to me. But I went with my instincts and wouldn’t have stopped anyway. I dread when he’s too big for the sleepyhead because he sleeps well in it but the grande sleepyhead won’t fit in the next to me crib.

ZsaZsaMc · 29/10/2018 12:58

We swaddled for a good few weeks and coslept regularly until baby turned around 5 months and we were able to settle her back into the cot after 4am - co sleeping was the only way we got any sleep in the small hours!

Anecdotal evidence I know, but all of my NCT group co slept during the first 4 months following the guidelines and with dads in spare rooms sometimes!

Smallplant · 29/10/2018 12:58

The health visitor can't tell you what to do, you're the parent. HV are often very patchy with their advice. Do your own research and decide what you're comfortable with. For example I'm not comfortable with co sleeping, far too scared. But we have swaddled and white noise from the moment our baby was born (in fact our midwife put her in a loose swaddle shortly after birth, middle of the night), and baby has always slept through the night, sometimes with one night waking. Baby is three months old now. Follow other SIDS guidelines (back to sleep, flat mattress, no loose blankets or blankets anywhere near the face). Your sanity is important, you can't survive on 5 mins sleep at a time.

If swaddling seems to work for your baby, research safe swaddling and go for it. You can get large muslin swaddles if you're worried about overheating (although I'm more worried about keeping baby warm in current weather). Try swaddling plus white noise playing and see what happens.

Celebelly · 29/10/2018 13:00

Have a look at the Lullaby Trust website. Lots of clear information/factsheets on best sleeping practices.

User12879923378 · 29/10/2018 13:01

We didn't bed share, but we did swaddle until she lost her Moro reflex (about 3 months I think). I wanted to use the Grosnugs but she absolutely hated them so we swaddled in muslin and made sure we kept it below the shoulder. It can be dangerous to swaddle if you do it wrong, but the midwives swaddled her in hospital which is where we learned to do it, so I'm a bit surprised that the HV said you weren't allowed to do it at all.

User12879923378 · 29/10/2018 13:02

Several of my friends do co-sleep and their babies are fine. I didn't think I'd sleep for worrying if I did (I used to wake up several times a night convinced I'd rolled over on the baby even though she was always in the cot with the side fully up so goodness knows how I'd have been with her in bed with me!)

Mrsharper88 · 29/10/2018 13:57

Thank you for replying.

Just to clarify the midwife was saying under no circumstances could I swaddle (I used a groswaddle) as babies shouldn't have their arms restricted. I pointed out that the midwives had swaddled my baby at the hospital and she said they shouldn't be doing that.

Her words were "one thing I am very clear about is that your baby must be sleeping in his own bed, alone, on his back with his feet at the bottom of the cot. You are not allowed to bedshare". She then went on to say I couldn't swaddle/use sleepyhead/have side down on next to me crib.

She also asked to see my bedroom to check where the baby sleeps which seemed a bit off to me?

Anyway thank you for reassuring me that I am not doing the wrong thing and that my baby isn't BU to not know how to sleep alone.

The hard part is now trying to get this health visitors voice out of my head and feeling ok about sleeping arrangements. I fear this may have made me too anxious about bedsharing or swaddling in which case I don't know how I will sleep! Xx

OP posts:
BlueBug45 · 29/10/2018 14:05

OP you will hear different things from individual midwives and individual health visitors. This is because they have been trained in different places at different times and have researched different things.

Do your own research on how to swaddle and co-sleep safely, make sure any HCP is aware you have done such research and put your foot down as you are your son's mother

Soontobe60 · 29/10/2018 14:12

Health professionals are not allowed to give advice on cosleeping, swaddling etc. If they gave advice, then a baby died, they may be held culpable.

Littlebelina · 29/10/2018 14:21

I think your health visitor needs to learn the difference between not allowed and not advised unless there is a health visitor police service I'm unaware of. Ideally a baby should be placed at bottom on bed under tucked in blankets etc but in reality a lot of parents cosleep or swaddle. I don't like the idea of cosleeping (bed's not an ideal set up) so we are using grosnug. Expensive but worth it for the sleep

tenbob · 29/10/2018 14:21

There is absolutely no rationale for her opinion on swaddling or a next to me crib

The Lullaby Trust, which is pretty much the authority on safe sleep for babies, has a section on safe swaddling

Scotinoz · 29/10/2018 14:28

My kids are only 3.5 and nearly 4, but swaddling was positively encouraged! One wasn't massively keen though, but Love To Dream swaddle bags were good.

To be honest, as long as you do it safely/sensibly, I think you should do what works for you. Some babies like cosleeping and some don't, some like sleeping and some don't. Don't get hung up on health visitors, they all have an opinion on what's best. Just try everything until you find something that works for you 😊

3boysandabump · 29/10/2018 14:38

You are allowed to do whatever the hell you want to do with your baby (within reason of course)

The professionals have to advise the way they've been told to.

Find information on it all from reputable sources and if after weighing up the pros and cons you want to go ahead with whatever against the advice of the professionals then do it.

Redken24 · 29/10/2018 14:39

Swaddling when it works is fantastic.
Same with sharing a bed.
I wasted a lot of money buying the gro swaddle when I was shown how to swaddle it was easier to use a thin cellular blanket. Lol

Find what works for you and do it safely 🤗and enjoy your newborn cuddles/sleepy times as much you can.


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SazCat · 29/10/2018 14:44

We did exactly what you described - swaddled, in a sleepyhead, in a next to me with the side down. Swaddled til 4 months ish, in sleepyhead til 7 months.

I never spoke to HV about it but I had an idea it wouldn't be advised. DD would not sleep apart from being held until we tried this combination tho, so it was a lifesaver for giving us some sleep at last!

Stardustmemories · 29/10/2018 14:45

We swaddled my oldest. Our midwives all showed us how to do it.
My youngest is 3 and he was swaddled in hospital when I was in for two nights (quickly undone by me because it was roasting)
I also bedshared with my youngest. Had a snuzpod, but did he sleep in it? Nope! But it gave me extra reassurance that he wouldn’t fall out 😂

ethelfleda · 29/10/2018 14:49

A health visitor visited today and told me I am not allowed to bedshare OR swaddle my baby. She also said I am not allowed to use the next to me crib with the side down or a sleepyhead overnight

What a load of shit. “You’re not allowed”
She isn’t your mother! Do what works best to get the most rest and do it as safely as possible.

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