Fourth baby and the anti-cosleeping hype has me a little ... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-28-2010, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I've coslept with three little ones in my time. First thing we did when xh and I got pg with baby#3 was take down the crib to make room for a bureau. That boy is 6 now, and I'm expecting number 1 with my second husband.

I am planning to cosleep again; no plans for a crib, etc. But there is a niggling little voice in the back of my heart that came from a comment I read to a blog post some months ago, something like, "I was pro-cosleeping; coslept with all my children and followed the rules. Then my fourth died of suffocation from cosleeping in my bed." Or something like that.

I'm also worried about if the bigger kids sleep in my bed (which they often do) about baby's safety -- should I never let them sleep beside the baby? Reading that only a breastfeeding mother can sleep safely beside the baby -- is it really unsafe for DH (who snores and probably has apnea but certainly doesn't fall out of bed or anything) to sleep next to baby, or cuddle baby at night?

Please assuage my paranoia, because I know it's really mostly just paranoia, but I can't quell that small voice that started up when I read that blog comment.
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#2 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 12:19 AM
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I'll give you what we do.

I have a 27mo old DD, and a 3mo old. We have a sidecarred crib. My DH also has apnea and snores. A sidecarred crib is the crib basically next to the bed with the rail taken off of it (have you seen the arms reach cosleepers? Same idea, only with a crib). If I had a photo, I'd post it, but I don't.

All I can really say is that it is something you need to be at peace with if you decide to cosleep. If you're not 100% comfortable with it, I wouldn't do it.

If my oldest sleeps in the bed with us, she sleeps in between DH and I. She rarely sleeps with us though.

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#3 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 12:24 AM
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A breastfeeding mother will usually "coccoon" her baby, ie, bend her knees under the baby, and an arm under her head exposing the breast for baby. If Dad were to roll over, mother would feel it before baby would.

When I slept with my firstborn and my husband, he said I would push him away when he tried to roll over to my side. I don't remember this at all. He said I did it in my sleep.

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#4 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 12:29 AM
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We do a sidecarred bed as well. When my dd was a newborn she was on a kind of flat piece of foam between dh and I but up by our heads and way out of blanket reach.

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#5 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

All I can really say is that it is something you need to be at peace with if you decide to cosleep. If you're not 100% comfortable with it, I wouldn't do it.
I completely agree.

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#6 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

All I can really say is that it is something you need to be at peace with if you decide to cosleep. If you're not 100% comfortable with it, I wouldn't do it.
The thing is, I have coslept safely with three children, and I really think I'm working on fear-based rather than evidenced-base little voices.

I think my work with LLL and as a manufacturer of baby products has exposed me to a lot of hype. I believe in cosleeping as best practice for a hundred reasons. I just want to make sure I'm doing it safely and keeping the baby safe.

Which I have always, I think, done before, but still, there's that one comment on that one blog, and it creeps at me. I'm a worrier by nature, too.
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#7 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 08:57 AM
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We also side car but our DD is in the bed with us at least half the night.

I think when it comes to babies and older siblings you are supposed to make sure the older child isn't sleeping along side the baby. But I think it all depends on how you sleep and the others in your bed sleep. Do you all sleep very deeply, move all over the place, sleep quite still? Then decide who sleeps where from there.

Good luck. And congrats on the baby.

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#8 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 09:01 AM
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Here is some positive 'hype'

I did ask my older child (5 at the time) to sleep elsewhere for the first year of the new baby's life so that we could have the bed to ourselves. My older dd is a thrasher and I did not want her to hurt us. Occasionally (after dd2 was over 3 mo)she still did sleep in my room. I would let her sleep at the foot of the bed with her own cover, perpendicular to us, or I made her a pallet on the floor at the side or foot of bed using numerous pillows and/ or her fold out pooh couch for toddlers (like a pack n play I think)(my mattress is on the floor, against 2 walls). Her father sleeps in a different bed (we co parent and live in the same house but are not 'together') so she moved into his bed mostly. She also has her own room and bed and chooses to sleep there at times, and sometimes they sleep in the living room on the couches, she takes the loveseat and he takes the big couch. Now dd2 is over a year old, dd1 has come back in here to sleep a few times. I do think it is advisable to have a separate space for mom and the new baby if that is feasible for you, at least in the beginning. That way you can make it safe like it should be and the other children and dad do not have to go without pillows and blankets which they are probably used to. Cosleeping is the norm for mammals, but in primates the mother and baby sleep together alone, the males and older offspring sleep elsewhere. I believe it is a good model.

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#9 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 09:12 AM
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I completely understand your fear. The day we brought our first born home from the hospital a friend called and told us a story about a baby dying in the parent's bed and told us to be sure to never let that happen to our baby

I had been so confident in our research and our decision to cosleep and that one comment still sticks in my mind, nine years later!

Our older kids rarely sleep with us any more but on the rare occasion our two year old needs to, she sleeps in the middle between DH and I. The baby then sleeps on the outside edge next to me. We have a mesh bed rail on my side of the bed.

We are also very careful about blankets and pillows. Keep reading. Keep evaluating your situation. And Good Luck with your decision!

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#10 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 10:51 AM
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I don't think you are being irrational -- especiAlly for the newborn stage. I personally didn't feel comfortable bringing DS into bed until he was 6 months old, and even then, I still feel nervous sometimes. My DH is a doctor and recently saw a tragic case of a 7 mo child who is now brain dead because of a cosleeping accident.

That said, the thing I always tell myself is that we make decisions every day for our children and many of them have inherent risks with potentially sfer alternatives -- baby sling vs stroller, riding in car vs staying at home, letting baby explore vs keeping him in playpen. Obviously we sometime choose the less safe option because of the perceived benefits and we do what we can to b vigilent an keep our lo's safe.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-29-2010, 11:53 PM
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Mama- wait for peace on whatever decision you make.
Something just came to mind when you wrote about reading the bloggers comments... would it be the same if we said it in reverse? I was pro-crib-in-seperate-room-sleeping for all my children and my last child died while in crib alone at night.

Here's our situation. DS (5mo) usually sleeps in his side car bed until he wakes to nurse then he comes in with us (dh & me) and stays until morning. I find I can get a good deep sleep in position of my liking and then babes gets cocooned on either side. As far as older children... we have a 3 yr old ds who comes to visit- for a good while he was on the floor in our room. Now he's in his room but usually comes to visit... he knows now to crawl into daddy's side or very carefully up the middle. He comes in and whispers good morning mommy, I won't squish liam. sigh- so cute. In the early days, my arms would immediately surround baby to protect him.
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#12 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 11:11 AM
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Yeah that to Danou..

Also, is it possible that that poor mama's baby died from other causes? Like an unknown medical defect or something? If you're co-sleeping safely and you've done it with three other babies already, it seems to me that your baby won't just randomly suffocate for no reason. I could be totally wrong, but I found that with my baby, there's just no way he could suffocate without me waking up to his struggles. Even when he was a tiny newborn, (and I had him on his tummy on my chest a lot because it felt safer actually) I automatically woke up to check his breathing if it got too quiet. And I didn't even follow all the co-sleeping 'rules'.
A co-sleeper bassinet or a side-carred crib may give you peace of mind also.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 01:30 PM
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Babies can suffocate from unsafe cribs as much as they can from unsafe co-sleeping.

I think the point is just to be safe with whatever sleeping choice you have.

For me personally, I will not let anyone except for me sleep next to the baby. Our first child will go into her own bed when the next baby arrives, and my husband definitely cannot sleep next to the baby, he is a very deep sleeper and rolls / throws elbows / etc. without realizing it (he's given me bruises in his sleep, haha). I keep the baby on the side against the wall, me in the middle, my husband on the "open" side. I don't take any sedative drugs or go to bed intoxicated in any way. I don't put blankets or comforters over a young baby, I just dress in a long-sleeved PJ shirt, and dress the baby warmly. I sleep with my head on the edge of a pillow, so that there are no pillows in the baby-sleeping area.

I'm sure you can research more guidelines for safe co-sleeping, but someone's baby smothering while co-sleeping is no more a reason to not co-sleep, than someone's baby smothering while in a crib would be a reason to not crib-sleep. No matter where the baby is sleeping, you just need to be careful and safe, no soft pillows or plush blankets that a face can sink into, no drugs or alcohol, only the mother sleeps next to the baby, etc.

ETA: "drugs" does not just mean illegal drugs, either. Any over-the-counter or prescription medication that says "may cause drowsiness" or "do not operate heavy machinery", not good for co-sleeping.

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#14 of 14 Old 03-30-2010, 10:41 PM
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I simply could not relax enough about co-sleeping right next to a newborn. I got an arm's reach co-sleeper for about the first 4 months. Would have kept dd in it longer but she started waking up and crying every time I put her in it. Anyways, my point was that if it is going to cause you anxiety, I'd find some other solution (like a co-sleeper, or having the crib right next to your bed). That way you are still near your baby but do not have to worry and lose sleep because of fear.
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