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co-sleeping with newborn

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

We're planning to co-sleep, and I've been researching on how to do this safely (all I've ever known is babies sleep in cribs so this is new to me), and am pretty confused with what to do. So far I've been given a sleep positioner and for lack of a better option, I bought a secure sleeper. 

 

But recently I read in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeeding that you can just sleep with the baby next to you without anything. Is this true? At a recent LLL meeting, the mothers all said that you wouldn't roll over your baby if you're not overweight or a smoker, etc. 

 

My future SIL tells me of accidents she heard about in her village when the baby sleeps next to parents, so her first reaction to my decision to co-sleep is that it's dangerous without any sort of barrier. 

 

Experienced moms-- what do you think?

post #2 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhie View Post

We're planning to co-sleep, and I've been researching on how to do this safely (all I've ever known is babies sleep in cribs so this is new to me), and am pretty confused with what to do. So far I've been given a sleep positioner and for lack of a better option, I bought a secure sleeper. 

 

But recently I read in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeeding that you can just sleep with the baby next to you without anything. Is this true? At a recent LLL meeting, the mothers all said that you wouldn't roll over your baby if you're not overweight or a smoker, etc. 

 

My future SIL tells me of accidents she heard about in her village when the baby sleeps next to parents, so her first reaction to my decision to co-sleep is that it's dangerous without any sort of barrier. 

 

Experienced moms-- what do you think?


What village is your SIL from? 

 

I have co-slept iwth all of my babies without any sleep positioners - baby just next to me in bed.  No problem :)   My mom did the same.  We have actually co-slept with babies and toddlers together in bed.  I highly recommend the book, "The Family Bed" by Tine Thevenin.

 

post #3 of 26

My husband and I are co-sleeping with our 2 week old. The first few nights I was awake the majority of the time in fear of smothering my baby. Now that I've gotten used to it, I'm sleeping. My baby is doing well, and apparently sleeps for longer than babies in cribs??? 4-ish hours at a time.

 

I would go with your gut on this. If you're not comfortable without something to secure your baby, don't sleep without a barrier. You want it to be a good experience.

post #4 of 26

With DD1, we had a sleep positioner (snuggle nest, I think) and it interfered with nursing since I had to get her out each time.  With DD2, we just brought her into the bed (actually had her at home in bed, so just rolled over!).  

 

The blankets and pillows were our biggest concern, we just made sure nothing was NEAR her face at all, and it has all worked out well.  We are all 4 in one big bed and love it!

post #5 of 26

We co-slept with our daughter in a bassinet and later a pack n play bassinet until she was about 8 months old.  You can co-sleep without bed sharing, if that's what works.

post #6 of 26

We co-slept with our newborn from day 1. We have rails on the bed which mean I can move from side to side to feed and also increases the functional surface of the bed because DH and I can lie right up against the edges.

 

I do not consider myself an especially intuitive person and I was surprised to find that right from the start I would wake, from what seemed to be a deep sleep, open my eyes and find J gazing at me. I wasn't aware of her having made any sound and she was quite calm and still but I woke so easily.

 

I wouldn't like to say that it would be impossible for me to have laid on her but, so far, we have had no problems and she is one on Thursday joy.gif

post #7 of 26

With DD we had a pack n play sidecarred to our bed and she would start in the pack n play, the first time she woke to eat after I had gone to bed, she stayed with us the rest of the night.  This was the best solution for us for the first few weeks, because DH was very hesitant to have her there the whole night for safety reasons.  Once he was more comfortable with her being with us, she spent the whole night in our bed.  

post #8 of 26

Rest assured that cosleeping is very safe! For the first few weeks, ds slept cradled in my arm and I used a small pillow and a very light blanket. I slept in long sleeved shirts (with a slit cut across my chest for easy nursing) so I wouldn't be cold. After about a month or so I got more comfortable with it and started using my regular pillow and the quilt we slept with before ds came along.  Ds no longer wanted to stay cradled in my arm so we stopped that also. 

 

At first I was nervous but it become second nature after I realized how aware of him I am, even during sleep.

 

Follw your instincts and I'm sure everything will be fine!

post #9 of 26

dd has slept in our bed since day 1. the first month or so, before she could easily turn and lift her head, she slept on my chest. once she had head control she began sleeping next to me with my arm crooked around her. i use a regular pillow and a light comforter, and just make sure her head isn't near either one. i also sleep in a long sleeved shirt so the top of my body and all of dd's body can be uncovered/safe. my dh is a heavy sleeper, and that was my one concern. that's why i kept an arm around her, not to prevent me from rolling, but to keep him from rolling because he sleeps like a log and rolls a lot. but there was never any issue.

post #10 of 26
I wasn't comfortable having my LO in our bed at first. He was swaddled and slept in a cradle next to our bed. As he got bigger and better at side lying breast-feeding, he naturally transitioned to our bed. We keep the blankets down by our waists (if it's cold we will wear a tshirt or sweatshirt), and use minimal pillows. I definitely sleep better now than I did at first (he is 3.5 months now), and my husband is perfectly comfortable with it now as well!
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

She grew up in south China.... the incident she speaks of was probably over 15 years ago though, but she's adamant about how dangerous it is, and she's a very mild person.

 

Wow swede, how big is your bed??

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post


 


What village is your SIL from? 

 

I have co-slept iwth all of my babies without any sleep positioners - baby just next to me in bed.  No problem :)   My mom did the same.  We have actually co-slept with babies and toddlers together in bed.  I highly recommend the book, "The Family Bed" by Tine Thevenin.

 



 

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Initially I thought to sleep with the baby next to me without a barrier or anything, it seemed like the natural thing to do and would be easy for nighttime nursing. But was discouraged by the family members with whom I mentioned it to. I mean, the idea is foreign to them, since all we've ever known are cribs.

I guess I will experiment with a few ways and see how it goes!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapigeon View Post

My husband and I are co-sleeping with our 2 week old. The first few nights I was awake the majority of the time in fear of smothering my baby. Now that I've gotten used to it, I'm sleeping. My baby is doing well, and apparently sleeps for longer than babies in cribs??? 4-ish hours at a time.

 

I would go with your gut on this. If you're not comfortable without something to secure your baby, don't sleep without a barrier. You want it to be a good experience.



 

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Did you keep your LO swaddled when he moved to your bed?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaR View Post

I wasn't comfortable having my LO in our bed at first. He was swaddled and slept in a cradle next to our bed. As he got bigger and better at side lying breast-feeding, he naturally transitioned to our bed. We keep the blankets down by our waists (if it's cold we will wear a tshirt or sweatshirt), and use minimal pillows. I definitely sleep better now than I did at first (he is 3.5 months now), and my husband is perfectly comfortable with it now as well!


 

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

I was wondering about this too-- baby falling asleep on your chest. At an LLL meeting, they said talked about nursing with the baby on your chest and how easy it is for both to just fall asleep in that position. Does the baby just stay on there for a long stretch of time until the next nursing session?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadiamond View Post

dd has slept in our bed since day 1. the first month or so, before she could easily turn and lift her head, she slept on my chest. once she had head control she began sleeping next to me with my arm crooked around her. i use a regular pillow and a light comforter, and just make sure her head isn't near either one. i also sleep in a long sleeved shirt so the top of my body and all of dd's body can be uncovered/safe. my dh is a heavy sleeper, and that was my one concern. that's why i kept an arm around her, not to prevent me from rolling, but to keep him from rolling because he sleeps like a log and rolls a lot. but there was never any issue.



 

post #15 of 26
My daughter is 10 days old. I tried swaddling her in the newborn napper in the pack n play and she doesn't sleep for more than about 45 minutes. Out of desperation I finally brought her into bed with me last night cradled in my arm with no pillow and the blankets down to my legs and we got a few hours! It was heaven. I plan on doing that whenever necessary. wink1.gif
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by azhie View Post

She grew up in south China.... the incident she speaks of was probably over 15 years ago though, but she's adamant about how dangerous it is, and she's a very mild person.

 

Wow swede, how big is your bed??

 



 

We have a queen next to a twin. both on boxsprings on the floor :)  One baby was smothered?   Very sad.  But more babies die in cribs, sleeping alone.  Co-sleeping is really wonderful.  Try and find the family bed book - it is really great :)  Good luck with your baby!
 

 

post #17 of 26

I co-slept with all of my children, from day one. At one point in time, I had 3 children in bed with me at once. Now my older 3 are in their own beds, and my 7 month old is in bed with us, and we're expecting a new baby in December.

 

I just sleep so much better with my babies in bed with me. And I think they sleep better, too.

 

 

post #18 of 26
I co-slept with my son who is now 4 and am currently co-sleeping with my daughter who is 3 months. We started co-sleeping with them from the first day they were born. For me, it always seemed logical to have my babies sleep close to me especially as newborns. Babies are so used to hearing our heartbeat and being surrounded by our warmth when they are in our bodies and it makes sense to give them a similar experience once they are out and adjusting to sleeping in a new environment. Also, I prefer a mostly solid night of sleep with my baby to a night of getting in and out of bed to comfort & feed them. Dr. Sears has some great advice on all things involving babies but I especially like what he has to say about co-sleeping. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t071000.asp

Listen to your heart and only do what you feel is right for you & your family.
post #19 of 26
Sorry, I accidentally double posted to this!
Edited by Chloe Snyder - 5/18/11 at 1:51am
post #20 of 26

it's true that babies do occasionally die while cosleeping. the baby your SIL was talking about could have died of smothering because the caregiver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the bed wasn't safe or something else directly related to who or what the child was sleeping near. or it could be the baby died of SIDS and the cosleeping was incidental. babies die in cribs too... at this point in time, it isn't possible to prevent all deaths in sleeping babies.

 

that very morbid fact aside, cosleeping is very safe and incredibly convenient. if you have a safe sleeping surface (and i believe you don't need to be as rigorous as some might claim) and have no health problems that might affect your sleeping patterns (drug or alcohol use, for example), then most parents are very capable of sleeping with their newborns. i really felt that i was incredibly connected to and aware of my dd when she slept with us. i always knew exactly where she was the instant i woke up, and i honestly felt like she was quite capable of safeguarding her own breathing in a way you wouldn't expect of a "helpless" newborn. she very easily turned her head away from things like pillows and blankets, and was directly oriented towards me and my breast. we didn't really do anything special... kept our normal pillows and duvet, no barriers or positioners or anything.

 

it's only very recently that i thought a bed railing might be nice, as she's less oriented towards me now and starting to roll away from me, towards the edge of the bed. i was paranoid about her rolling off the bed when she was tiny, but you could literally put her 2 inches from the edge of the bed, and she would start inching her way back to my boobs immediately (in her sleep!).

 

now, i did end up having her sleep at least a few hours a night on a separate surface (bassinet or crib) because i really started to need to be able to stretch out and move around without worrying about waking her. so even though we're only part time cosleepers now, i really think we got much more sleep and much less stress at night from being open to having her in our bed. when she's sick or teething or restless, instead of trying to wrestle with her in her crib and being up and down a million times a night, she just comes straight to bed with us.

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