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Advice needed - Babies sleeping arrangement quarrels!

83 replies

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 13:29

Hi all,

This is my first time posting anything on these sort of websites but I'm at my wit's end.

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TL:DR:
I'm asking my wife to put our baby in the cot rather than bed-sharing during the night and she absolutely refuses despite me doing everything for her and the baby is it a reasonable ask and is my wife right to completely refuse?
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As seen in the title myself and my wife completely disagree on where our baby of 2 months should sleep during the night. My wife is completely adamant that the baby should sleep in the same bed as her during the night and I am completely against this for a number of reasons:

  1. Unfortunately a couple of babies in my family have died from this exact thing, suffocation whilst sleeping in the same bed as the mother.
  2. I personally believe the baby will find it easier to sleep on their own crib/bed when they're a bit older if they're sleeping in their own cot now.
  3. I just generally think it's safer.


Now the reason why my wife likes the idea of the baby sleeping in the same bed is due to the baby sleeps better in the bed but surely that's because that's where she has always slept there and would need to adjust to the cot again?

On a bit of a personal note, I feel betrayed as my babies father as we have previously talked about this issue and I broke down in tears in front of my wife but she simply won't budge and also she was keeping the baby in the bed with her and I didn't know this was happening.

I feel like I'm not asking for the world here...We have a cot literally attached to the bed in the same room so I'm not seeing why she is so adamant on the baby being in the same bed.

I do everything around the house while she has the baby, cook, clean and work 9-5 on weekdays and I even converted to Islam for her!! But if I ask for the baby to be in the cot I'm the bad guy and I come across "controlling"... Am I asking for too much or being unreasonable??

If you've read this far thank you so much and please help!
OP posts:
Theshoeswithlaces · 24/07/2023 13:58

It's much safer to plan and safely cosleep then fall asleep feeding baby. If she is breastfeeding she will be doing all night waking so it is her choice. You need to focus on making sure she can cosleep safely, rather than telling her to stop.

kernowpicklepie · 24/07/2023 13:58

Neither of mine settled at all in a cot. I would be awake all night long trying to settle them and then they'd wake and it'd be a whole pattern of it.
I understand why she doesn't want to especially as she breastfeeding.
It's so much easier and isn't actually unsafe if she follows the safe co-sleeping.

Emmamoo89 · 24/07/2023 14:00

Everywherenowhere · 24/07/2023 13:56

Absolute nonsense @Emmamoo89 i breastfed my baby, my sister her two babies, my SIL her 3 babies and all were in next to me. There is no requirement to co sleep to breastfeed.

I didn't co sleep all the time. He was in his own cot at 11 weeks but when he wasn't well or teething I co slept because I wasn't going to leave him in his cot to cry in pain

Ponderingwindow · 24/07/2023 14:03

We had one of those cots attached to the bed. Baby hated it. I was so exhausted I fell asleep while sitting upright holding her and released my arms. Thankfully she only dropped onto my lap. It could have been very bad, but thankfully she was ok.

that day we swapped our setup for safe, planned co-sleeping. Baby and I started getting actual sleep.

Fizzology · 24/07/2023 14:08

Decisions like this should be shared and discussed. You are going to disagree on a LOT of parenting choices. You and dw need to find a constructive way to discuss, negotiate and compromise. Doesn't sound like what is happening now.

romdowa · 24/07/2023 14:11

I'm 100% against co sleeping it's dangerous in my opinion and had my husband wanted to co sleep then I'd have not been happy. Of course you should have a say. Maybe offer to do the night feeds and then she won't have to worry about the babies sleep

rickandmorts · 24/07/2023 14:12

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 13:48

She is breastfeeding yes but as mentioned in my post the cot is attached to the bed so it's pretty much equidistant from her whether she is in the bed or the cot.

It's a lot easier to breastfeed when baby is in bed than in a bedside cot. If they're in a cot you still need to lift them into bed. Also there's absolutely no evidence that a baby cosleeping will struggle to sleep on their own so not sure where you've got that from. Has your family really lost multiple babies to cosleeping? Because that is devastating and heartbreaking if so but cosleeping safely has a very minimal risk of SIDs.

BubziOwl · 24/07/2023 14:19

OP you also mention converting to Islam for her - is there a cultural differences element here? In some cultures the idea of baby not cosleeping is found to be very peculiar - no idea if that's true here for your wife and her culture.

I really do have sympathy for both you and your wife. I was terrified of cosleeping and did some truly mental things to try and avoid it. My first baby wouldn't entertain sleeping in the bedside crib - he had to be literally touching me to sleep. Every time he woke I would have to hold him for at least 20 mins (and that's after finishing a feed if he was hungry too) to have even a chance of getting him into the cot without waking immediately. And when I did successfully get him into the cot, he'd be awake again within an hour. It was the worst time of my life - I never slept for more than an hour at a time and on a good night I'd get four hours total. This went on for months and months. I regularly fell asleep holding my baby feeding both day and night and would then wake up and literally weep because I felt so guilty and was so desperate to avoid cosleeping as had been drummed into me by various online sources. But I look back now and cringe at the danger my baby was in every time I fell asleep in unsafe situations.

We were all happier and healthier once we started planned cosleeping.

The thing is that all babies are different - my second baby is a lot easier and will sleep wherever. What's your baby like in this regard? And is your wife committed to cosleeping safely?

So I do really understand your fear and reluctance to cosleep. And I also respect any father who takes an interest in child safety recommendation and guidelines because I very often see this being left to the mother to figure out on her own.

RecycleMePlease · 24/07/2023 14:57

Co-slept with both of mine (first from 2 months, second from birth) - one happily moved to a bed (the one that co-slept from birth), one took some persuading (the one that had cot experience). So the whole co-sleeping to cot transition is far from settled and predictable

You know that babies have also died in co-sleepers if not correctly designed/attached?

If safety is your concern, co-sleep following the safety guidelines.

Me and the children all slept better in bed together, vs. when I put the eldest in a cot (I barely remember the first 2 months due to sleep deprivation, when we started co-sleeping out of desperation and it was a miracle)

booksandbrooks · 24/07/2023 15:07

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 13:48

She is breastfeeding yes but as mentioned in my post the cot is attached to the bed so it's pretty much equidistant from her whether she is in the bed or the cot.

I had me of those and the only time my child slept in it I felt really anxious. I was fine when we were together. We slept slightly lower down the bed with baby in the middle at the top so their legs were in between our heads - even if we had pulled the duvets over our heads it wouldn't have covered them. We all slept better for it and I did with subsequent children. I was fortunate my first HV was very supportive and gave us info on safe cosleeping.

Megifer · 24/07/2023 15:19

Awful to have had 2 babies die in the same family of something pretty rare so I get why you might be paranoid. But the risk of co sleeping when done safely is still minute and even less risky than falling asleep in a weird position with baby.

As safety is your main concern it help you feel better if you can sleep in a spare room if you have one?

Hotgoose · 24/07/2023 15:23

Who does the night feeds?

I do agree all the stats you can read say it’s safer for a baby to be in their own cot. However a huge amount of people co sleep. Help you wife ensure you’re all practicing safe co sleeping advice (see lullaby trust).
Do you have a side sleeper cot that’s basically attached to the side of the bed? If not that might be worth suggesting.

Megifer · 24/07/2023 15:29

Fizzology · 24/07/2023 14:08

Decisions like this should be shared and discussed. You are going to disagree on a LOT of parenting choices. You and dw need to find a constructive way to discuss, negotiate and compromise. Doesn't sound like what is happening now.

I think when it comes to breastfeeding the mum - who has the breasts - gets to decide on the arrangements. Until men can lactate and do the night feeds obvs (so never, sorry guys!)

SouthLondonMum22 · 24/07/2023 15:37

You are just as much a parent as your wife so should get just as much say. Even a compromise of at least starting out baby in cot which doesn't sound far away anyway and then moving to co-sleeping during the night.

It's a shame that some women feel like fathers are simply sperm donors and no more. I'm sorry.

Hollyppp · 24/07/2023 15:38

If you follow the Lullaby Trust Sleep Safe 7 rules then co sleeping is safe.

if she’s breastfeeding or doing all the night wakes then it’s much easier for baby to sleep next to mum rather than mum getting up all the time.

you’re basically trying to get what you want but not realising you’re asking for life to be harder for your wife.

I would be telling you where to go if you were my partner!!!

Goldbar · 24/07/2023 15:41

If I were in your wife's position and you were proposing to do all night feeds and resettles, i.e. bring baby to your wife in bed, stay awake while your wife is feeding, take baby away and change and resettle them in the cot, so that all your wife has to do is latch the baby on, then I might be willing to give this a go.

I dislike co-sleeping personally but I have ended up doing it now and again with both our DC from birth because they have gone through phases of refusing absolutely to settle in their cots and I have been too exhausted to cope with it. Co-sleeping imo is not the safest option but a parent exhausted to the point of having hallucinations is unsafe too.

If my husband had interfered in what I chose to do to get through these times, I would have handed him the baby, walked out of the house and checked into a hotel, gone to sleep and left him to it. He didnt/doesn't help much with night wakings and I'm afraid that disqualifies him from the right to an opinion on the topic imo.

mondaytosunday · 24/07/2023 15:51

Yes I agree with you but my babies not only didn't sleep in my bed they didn't even sleep in the same room (or floor), so I'm the devil incarnate on MN.
I'm afraid the mother's choice is the ultimate one, and all you can ask is that she takes necessary precautions. Is she happy for baby to move to its own cot at six months?

DatumTarum · 24/07/2023 15:54

TheInterceptor · 24/07/2023 13:38

Just respect the fact she doesn't want to have sex with you yet.

This.

110APiccadilly · 24/07/2023 15:58

TheInterceptor · 24/07/2023 13:38

Just respect the fact she doesn't want to have sex with you yet.

This is a really horrible thing to say to someone who is clearly scared that the baby will be suffocated!

Reugny · 24/07/2023 15:59

SouthLondonMum22 · 24/07/2023 15:37

You are just as much a parent as your wife so should get just as much say. Even a compromise of at least starting out baby in cot which doesn't sound far away anyway and then moving to co-sleeping during the night.

It's a shame that some women feel like fathers are simply sperm donors and no more. I'm sorry.

Huh?

In many cultures co-sleeping is normal with babies, so his wife's actions are normal. These include cultures where the norm is to have more than 2 children.

What isn't normal is the amount of anxiety the OP has over it being done.

parietal · 24/07/2023 16:00

if you've had 2 babies in your family die from SIDS, be aware that there can be genetic factors that cause it.

get something like an Owlet baby monitor sock which tracks baby's heartbeat.

but if your wife + baby cosleep in a double bed (and you sleep elsewhere to give them plenty of space) then baby will be fine.

PurpleChrayne · 24/07/2023 16:02

It's how 99% of the world's mammals sleep. You don't see chimps putting their babies to sleep in the next tree, do you?

SouthLondonMum22 · 24/07/2023 16:08

Reugny · 24/07/2023 15:59

Huh?

In many cultures co-sleeping is normal with babies, so his wife's actions are normal. These include cultures where the norm is to have more than 2 children.

What isn't normal is the amount of anxiety the OP has over it being done.

OP's family has lost more than one baby due to suffocation whilst co-sleeping. Of course he's anxious and I think it's incredibly cruel that his feelings are being dismissed so easily.

His wife isn't the only parent and her culture isn't the only one that matters.

MrsMitford3 · 24/07/2023 16:08

I co slept with all 3 of mine-was breastfeeding and it was the only was I managed to get any sleep.
I think there can be a bit of a primal protective feeling regarding baby (and both parents may be feeling it) but I was lucky in that my husband and I agreed re sleeping arrangements but I don't think I would have done it any differently.

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