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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:
RedRobyn2021 · 24/07/2023 16:10

I recommend reading Safe Infant Sleep by Dr James McKenna

I do think saying you do "everything" is very unhelpful, you aren't doing everything, your wife is breastfeeding and caring for your infant. It's good you're helping to facilitate this by doing housework and cooking.

I can I understand after your losses that you may have some anxiety around co-sleeping but you need to educate yourself, this is the best thing for your child and your wife and their breastfeeding relationship.

I really do recommend reading or listening to the above book, it should ease some anxiety around co-sleeping. Which is a perfectly natural thing to do especially when breastfeeding.

lovesheart · 24/07/2023 16:10

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.

This! I was worried about potential genetic factor with 2 babies in same family :(

Me and my partner had a bit of a fall out initially. Although he was being a bit ridiculous 😂 he was going through a snore phase and I couldn't use my small night naps awake. So he expected baby to stay in cot upstairs next to him in bed, with me on the couch listening out to the baby monitor to run up and down the stairs to do night feeds 😂😂 I was livid!

I co slept a couple times, but just so happens I have an odd baby that prefers alone time and to spread out diagonally 😂

If she is adamant on co sleeping, go through all the safer guidelines so at least you feel some comfort. I was scared of it, but kept falling asleep sat up with baby which was far scarier. I do feel she should be reassuring you, it's not fair to feel out the loop and cut out from your own baby. Has she explained her reasoning to you? It's hard when both parents feel strongly in opposite directions. But she may be doing all the safe guidelines so is reassured, but she should relay this info onto you :)

RedRobyn2021 · 24/07/2023 16:12

@SouthLondonMum22

His feelings are important, he should take the time to educate himself, but his feelings shouldn't be put above a baby, he's a grown man.

reabies · 24/07/2023 16:16

Check out the group 'Safe Sleep and Baby Care -- Evidence Based Support' on Facebook. It's a little militant, but if you are looking for factual information to support why co-sleeping is more dangerous they have a lot of resources.

FWIW, I think both parents should have a say in how the baby sleeps, but if she is adamant, then all you can do is educate yourselves (both of you) on the safest way to co-sleep.

I'm with you, my baby sleeps Alone, on his Back, and in his Crib (following the ABCs of safe sleep) and if I ever do bring him into my bed I'm so anxious I don't sleep anyway.

maddiemookins16mum · 24/07/2023 16:18

GettingJigglypuffWithIt · 24/07/2023 13:53

*it's the parent's choice.

There fixed it for you.

Amen to this.

febbabies2023 · 24/07/2023 16:18

A few really 'helpful' comments on here, not.
Some of you wouldn't be happy if a bloke posted on here even if he birthed the baby for her 🙄

Firstly congrats op

Secondly, this must be really hard

I get why your wife wants the baby in the bed, it must make it so much easier when breastfeeding (I never have so can't input here)
But I also see why you don't want baby in the bed.

Firstly - yes safety. Lullaby trust has changed recently giving advice on co-sleeping however the preference would always be for baby to be in their own space

Secondly - if anyone has drank alcohol, or smoked they should not be sleeping in the bed with the baby

Thirdly - I can see why you would be concerned in terms of space. If I ever slept with my baby in the bed (very rarely) it would be because my partner was already in with my toddler. We'd never have both been in the bed as there's simply not enough room to share safely

Your wife will ultimately do as she pleases as she's the one feeding etc as night, however I think you need to share concerns with her and get her to understand that you're not trying to be difficult here, you just want baby to be safe

Maybe there is some form of compromise you can come to?

I don't have any major advice im afraid, only to ignore what some of the numptys here have put. 'Its the mothers choice' being one of them 🙃

Tomateen · 24/07/2023 16:18

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 13:47

Sorry but I don't see how that is relevant, I'm concerned about the babies safety, nothing more nothing less

You are right to be worried. Co sleeping is dangerous. I too have seen several dead babies over the years who were suffocated by exhausted parents. You’ll not persuade people on here though that it’s anything other than the mother’s choice.

Babyboomtastic · 24/07/2023 16:20

Given the sad losses that your heavily have experienced, I think it's natural that you'd be concerned about cosleeping, and I don't think that's unreasonable.

If I'd had two relatives who died in trampolining accidents, I'd hope that my husband would respect my wishes not to buy a trampoline for example.

I'd wouldn't deliberately do something that my husband thought would put the children at risk, (unless it would cause a big detriment to them)

However, there are compromises the can be made here, to try to find a solution that doesn't keep your wife awake all night with baby AND doesn't keep you up as night with worry. Some things to discuss:

  • how to make bedsharing safer - removing pillows, duvets etc
  • an owelett sock
  • a better bedside crib. We used the babybay. It feels much more part of your bed, rather than a seperate cot, so baby is less likely to reject it. Its also so seamlessly part of your bed that part of your wife can be in it/she could breastfeed without picking up baby etc. Most important from your perspective, because baby is in the crib bit, mum cant suffocate baby as the wooden sides would stop her rolling.
Advice needed - Babies sleeping arrangement quarrels!
Namechange828492 · 24/07/2023 16:21

Hmm.
I am extemely pro bed sharing, did it all super correctly however one night i did wake up with my upper arm over DC's face so it isn't foolproof!

Can you do more of the night wakings? Not having proper sleep really is awful. Hence why I co-slept


Also sorry about your losses, has your DW acknowledged why these affect you?

PinkDaffodil2 · 24/07/2023 16:24

Safe planned co-sleeping with a breast fed baby hasn’t been shown to be higher risk than using a cot, and for lots of Mums will help them get a lot more sleep, reduce the risk of falling asleep while sitting up / on the sofa etc.
I understand where your anxiety is coming from but you need to find a way to support your wife to do this safely, the lullaby trust is a good place to start. If you feel so strongly about this have a look at the guidelines / evidence, then go back to your wife if there’s any particular concerns about safety. My second wouldn’t go in the next to me and bed sharing has been an absolute game changer.

SouthLondonMum22 · 24/07/2023 16:29

RedRobyn2021 · 24/07/2023 16:12

@SouthLondonMum22

His feelings are important, he should take the time to educate himself, but his feelings shouldn't be put above a baby, he's a grown man.

He doesn't sound uneducated to me. Especially since whilst the lullaby trust as an example does offer advice about how to make co-sleeping safer, it is still very clear that they recommend baby sleeping in their own space over anything else.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing either. It's possible to compromise in this situation.

cyncope · 24/07/2023 16:30

Can you find a compromise?

Bedsharing with a breastfed baby can be done safely - can you ensure the sleep surface is set up safely, and you sleep elsewhere?

RedRobyn2021 · 24/07/2023 16:31

PinkDaffodil2 · 24/07/2023 16:24

Safe planned co-sleeping with a breast fed baby hasn’t been shown to be higher risk than using a cot, and for lots of Mums will help them get a lot more sleep, reduce the risk of falling asleep while sitting up / on the sofa etc.
I understand where your anxiety is coming from but you need to find a way to support your wife to do this safely, the lullaby trust is a good place to start. If you feel so strongly about this have a look at the guidelines / evidence, then go back to your wife if there’s any particular concerns about safety. My second wouldn’t go in the next to me and bed sharing has been an absolute game changer.

Even better because it helps promote breastfeeding!

It's a mad and sad world that we live in where people think it's dangerous to co-sleep. I feel sorry for the me that was a new mother and didn't know any better because of people like this.

I don't know how anyone would manage to responsively breastfeeding long term without co-sleeping. Unless, I guess their baby just naturally doesn't feed often in the night but that's not really the norm is it.

Goldbar · 24/07/2023 16:32

The most dangerous situations for babies are when the "choices" parents make aren't really voluntary choices at all... falling asleep with a baby on a chair or a sofa, unplanned co sleeping, falling asleep with the baby on your chest. Many people, myself included, who had no intention of co-sleeping, may have ended up hazardously co-sleeping with a baby just because they could not physically stay awake to put the baby back in their cot. I've had a few "there but by the grace of God" moments myself. When you reach a certain level of exhaustion, I guess "banning" cosleeping can become less safe than planned co-sleeping.

Theshoeswithlaces · 24/07/2023 16:44

For the posters saying Dad should get an equal say, the parent doing the task should decide how it's done. Mum is doing the night feeds so should decide how. In the same way that if Dad had a day with baby, Mum shouldn't dictate how it is spent. Nothing to do with sexism.

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 16:57

Thank you everybody for all your replies (apart from those mentioning that it's because of lack of sex, weirdos, I already sleep in a separate bed due to working and getting enough sleep to help my wife and baby during the day).

We have compromised here and the compromise is this: Try the cot for a little bit and see if the little one settles, if the little one can't settle no matter what then co-sleeping is fine here that way my wife and baby still get to sleep if the cot doesn't work very well.

I still believe a Dad should get some say in how the baby sleeps, especially if the father isn't sleeping and is constantly on edge because of it!

OP posts:
Goldbar · 24/07/2023 17:26

Have you tried settling the baby back into their cot after a night feed? Sometimes dads can settle breastfeeding babies more easily than mums because they don't smell of milk.

Everywherenowhere · 24/07/2023 18:58

@LukeMac49 if you wife insists on it then you insist on the strictest version of safe co sleeping. Absolutely no blankets duvet or pillows on the bed only a tight fitted sheet. You can get an adult sleep sack on slumbersac and an infant one for baby. So just both on bed in a sleep sack and nothing else bar mattress. Look up the correct position for wife to sleep in too.

I had a cousin die of suffocation and I would not have slept a wink if co sleeping and would’ve been incredibly upset if my DH insisted on it.

the point about other mammals doing it is irrelevant. I’ve never seen a chimpanzee up a tree in a huge duvet with pillows @PurpleChrayne 🙄

can’t get over the poster saying they had the baby up by their pillows so all good. Huge suffocation risk.

Hollyppp · 24/07/2023 19:30

You’re sleeping in a separate room and think you should dictate how your wife handles nights? That’s hilarious

peachgreen · 24/07/2023 19:49

So you don’t do anything at night?

Glitterstars · 24/07/2023 20:01

We co slept for the first 6 months as he was ebf and would not settle in his next to me crib. It was a lifesaver as although up feeding a lot in early days it’s so much easier when they are right next to you. Also as long as she is following all the guidelines of co sleeping then it’s just as safe. My hubby is not a massive fan of baby being in the bed so he spent first 6 months in the spare bed and it was best for everyone as we all got good sleep. Baby is now 9 months on his own cot in his own room hubby is back in our bed. If baby wakes for a feed which sometimes still happened then I will feed and baby will spend rest of night in our bed just cos again it’s easier and he’s harder to settle back in his cot at 4am. Hubby still isn’t a fan of it but cos it’s only a couple of hours he tends to stay in the bed now but he could just move into spare bed for a couple of hours til morning. Either way doesn’t bother me or him

LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 20:04

My wife handles the baby during the night and I handle work, cleaning, cooking, fixing, building and shopping and spend lots of tike with the little one during the day.

My wife is completely happy with this after discussing it and if she completely satisfied with that then that's all that matters to me!

OP posts:
LukeMac49 · 24/07/2023 20:08

Sorry what is it I have dictated? My post was just wondering I had any say of my babies safety and what is best/recommend.

I'm not sure why there are lots of people attacking me for asking questions - I would rather come to an agreeable solution with my wife than us both being unhappy? Surely that's a more profitable outcome?

OP posts:
zooopta · 24/07/2023 20:49

@LukeMac49 you're being flamed because you're a dad trying to make decisions. I think if you posted this as a reverse and said 'I'm a new mum of 2 months, my husband has lost 2 babies in his family to SIDS and is anxious about co-sleeping. He wants baby to be in a cot but I don't because XYZ' the replies would have been different

I still bf my nearly 2yo. We co-sleep and have done from 5 months when it was getting to be too much for me bending over the cot and getting up during the night. When we started to co-sleep at 5mo we both got more sleep
I never considered it for a tiny baby. I could ever forgive myself if something happened

Saying that, my dp was on board with us sharing as baby was older, he was going away for work, the bed was free and he said 'just bring ds into our bed for cuddles while I'm away'. If he was not happy with our sleeping arrangements I would absolutely respect his opinion (because it's his baby too!!) and find something that works for us all

Goldbar · 24/07/2023 20:56

I personally think you do have valid concerns and that co-sleeping is less safe. But with some babies the alternative is getting no or very little sleep. There aren't really any absolutes.

I think you'd have more "buy-in" as regards this parenting decision if you were prepared to take some of the pain of making this change. If you're not prepared to deal with at least some of the disruption of moving away from co-sleeping and transitioning the baby to settling in their cot, then your opinion on this topic isn't going to hold much weight with your wife, who is the one suffering the nighttime sleep disruption.

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