Would you co-sleep with an Obese person in the bed? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Would you co-sleep with an obese person?
Yes 43 46.74%
No 41 44.57%
Other 8 8.70%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > Would you co-sleep with an Obese person in the bed?
Inquiringmind's Avatar Inquiringmind 11:20 PM 05-21-2010
I'm just wondering if you would co-sleep with a morbidly obese person in the bed.
If yes, what steps would you take to make it safe?
If no, what would be your sleep arrangements?

eclipse's Avatar eclipse 11:22 PM 05-21-2010
I'm obese and I coslept with my kids. I never felt like they were in any danger from me. I didn't do anything extra to "make it safe." Although it's commonly thrown out there that obesity makes cosleeping dangerous, I don't think there's actually any evidence of that.
HeliMom's Avatar HeliMom 11:38 PM 05-21-2010
I will have to find it but I thought i read somewhere that it's not the obesity itself that makes for dangerous co sleeping but the sleep problems associated with obesity such as sleep apnea. My little one has slept between me and my mother a few nights. She is obese but she has no sleep disorders.
akind1's Avatar akind1 11:41 PM 05-21-2010
by BMI, both my husband and I are obese. We neither of us have sleep issues and we co sleep.
aquapacata's Avatar aquapacata 01:05 AM 05-22-2010
i really don't see what the big deal is about this, either. i'm overweight, too - and most women who have just given birth have a little extra padding! i was really worried about having DS in bed at first, but it just happened that way, and i don't worry about it. what i do worry about is him turning onto his side so that he's almost buried in my side or in the mattress, so i have to reposition him in the crook of my arm sometimes, or wait till he's out well and turn him to his back. but that has nothing to do with my size!
Lula's Mom's Avatar Lula's Mom 02:38 AM 05-22-2010
My husband used to be obese, and we have always coslept. He was big, but it didn't change him being aware of his body in relation to where the baby was.
lovebug's Avatar lovebug 02:50 AM 05-22-2010
i think it totally depends on the said person. their habits and how they sleep.
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 02:52 AM 05-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by akind1 View Post
by BMI, both my husband and I are obese. We neither of us have sleep issues and we co sleep.
same here
Posted via Mobile Device
Inquiringmind's Avatar Inquiringmind 09:04 PM 05-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMom View Post
I will have to find it but I thought i read somewhere that it's not the obesity itself that makes for dangerous co sleeping but the sleep problems associated with obesity such as sleep apnea.
I keep seeing obesity in the same category as drinking alcohol and it really makes me wonder if the the two are comparable. If it's really sleep apnea that's the problem, why don't they just say so?
Inquiringmind's Avatar Inquiringmind 09:06 PM 05-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquapacata View Post
i really don't see what the big deal is about this, either. i'm overweight, too - and most women who have just given birth have a little extra padding!
I guess I didn't specify this in the poll, but I'm really asking about people who are morbidly obese, so a BMI of 40+ or at least 100 pounds overweight.
eclipse's Avatar eclipse 10:20 PM 05-22-2010
I honestly think it's about people making assumptions about obesity based on prejudice.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 11:45 AM 05-23-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inquiringmind View Post
I keep seeing obesity in the same category as drinking alcohol and it really makes me wonder if the the two are comparable. If it's really sleep apnea that's the problem, why don't they just say so?
YEs - becasue my husband who is thin (5'10" 160 pounds) has sleep apnea.

I am considered obese and have always coslept. We also sleep with blankets, pillows and older sibilings. No big deal. REad "The Family BEd" by Tine Thevenin. An oldie but a goody
Jenne's Avatar Jenne 12:04 PM 05-23-2010
Yes. If I didn't cosleep with someone obese I would not get to sleep. So far I haven't rolled over on myself...I'm not that obese...yet! I agree with previous posters who have specified sleeping habits, apnea, and such are much (no pun intended!) bigger issues effecting cosleeping. My DH hasn't complained and neither have the dogs/cats. When the time comes we will cosleep with kiddos. I'm not worried.

On a side note it would be interesting to see how many things are "obese people shouldn't do X" simply because of the fat phobia our US country seems obsessed with...

Jenne
treemom2's Avatar treemom2 12:10 PM 05-23-2010
I'm probably considered morbidly obese and I felt very comfortable co-sleeping with my newborns, infants, toddlers, children. . . I actually worried more about my DH sleeping with them and he's not obese just a sound sleeper. I'd put them between the wall and me with a pillow shoved down in the crack of the bed so there was no chance they would fall between the wall and the bed. I used blankets. I slept with a pillow, but I don't move much so it was always under my head. I also exclusively breastfed them and woke at every movement and cry when they were newborns and infants. I never felt uncomfortable sleeping with them in this situation. As they got older, they moved between DH and me. . .but still I breastfed and woke at every little sound and movement. Then, when they were older (around 4 years) and moved to their own futons next to our bed. . .well, that's when my sleep pattern changed. . .I noticed I slept more soundly. I think as a woman and a mother I had a 6th sense when I was with my babies. . .maybe it was the breastfeeding and being able to smell them all night, who knows?!!?
CliffRose's Avatar CliffRose 02:30 PM 05-23-2010
I would, but I would also get a crib mattress and build some kind of attachement to my existing bed, so the baby would have his/her own space.
But if I had another kid, I'd do that anyways, and I'm thin.
lili-chan's Avatar lili-chan 11:38 PM 05-23-2010
Obesity shouldn't affect a person's body awareness and thus it shouldn't have any impact on bed safety. A king size bed or a cosleeper attached to the bed can create more room and comfort for all. We put our queen size mattresses on the floor next to another futon and a king size sheet over the whole thing to create our own make-shift king size bed. Our daughter is on the futon addition and I scoot over to her to nurse during the night.
Ammaarah's Avatar Ammaarah 12:46 AM 05-24-2010
I was much heavier when I had my daughter and I was very aware of her. My DH (normal weight) didn't sleep with us at first because we would have been packed a bit tighter than we wanted. When we got a king, we all bunked together and no problems.

It is important to get SA treated, but many people have it who are not morbidly obese. If you or your spouse snore, need excessive amounts of sleep, never feel rested, it's really important to consult with a doctor no matter what your size.
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 12:53 AM 05-24-2010
I am overweight bored morbidly obese by the BMI. I coslept.

I have an aunt that was close to 500lbs. I would discourage her from cosleeping. I don't think she could feel a baby that well. She scared me holding my child.

So yes there are some people I would say cribs better others it wouldn't matter.
lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 02:13 AM 05-24-2010
I agree with pp - being obese in & of itself is not the actual risk - it's the sleep problems that can go along with it. Dh & I are both large & we are VERY aware of where ds is when he's in the bed with us. But if we were thin we would all have more room!
plunky's Avatar plunky 02:02 PM 05-25-2010
My guess is that the people voting "no" are not fat.

A more interesting question might be: are you a fat person and did that factor into your decision to cosleep or not?

Personally, I think Moms and Dads who choose to cosleep should be trusted to figure out what's safe for themselves and given the benefit of the doubt, regardless of their weight.
akind1's Avatar akind1 02:47 PM 05-25-2010
my weight, nor DH's, was a factor in our decision to co sleep. did not even cross my mind.

and we both fall into the category of "morbidly" obese. FWIW I don't consider BMI by itself to be an accurate indication of health.
Viola's Avatar Viola 02:59 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inquiringmind View Post
I guess I didn't specify this in the poll, but I'm really asking about people who are morbidly obese, so a BMI of 40+ or at least 100 pounds overweight.
My husband and I are both in this category, and we co-slept with our children.

My husband is a light sleeper who ends up scrunched up all the way on the edge of the bed, because he hates people touching him while he sleeps. And in the early months, there is that whole mother baby connection thing where you always seem to know where your baby is. I remember it surprised me with my firstborn. I brought her into the bed when she was a couple of days old, but I'd wrap her up and put her high up on the bed, and then I'd scrunch over to the edge with my pillow mostly hanging off the bed so she wouldn't come in contact with it. But then even as a newborn she'd manage to unswaddle herself and move to me and plant her face in my side, trying to breastfeed. It's kind of amazing how mobile they are.

Anyway, I'd go with James McKenna's suggestion and only co-sleep if I was breastfeeding. Because my husband is a light sleeper who doesn't move much while asleep, I didn't feel like it was a risk, but he felt much less comfortable, like he could never really relax because he was worried about being a risk. At least until the babies were toddlers and then would kick the heck out of us, then he was unrelaxed for other reasons.

When I was younger, though, I was much more mobile in bed. Now I tend to fall asleep in one position and stay there, or else I wake up and switch positions. Maybe age is a factor as well.
Magali's Avatar Magali 03:22 PM 05-25-2010
I would have to lose about 55 pounds to not be considered obese by the BMI. I co sleep and love it. I don't think that would change if I was another 50 pounds heavier. Heck, my post pg weight was around 100 pounds overweight according to the BMI and I was comfortable co sleeping. I say if it feels good do it, and screw the BMI.
Viola's Avatar Viola 03:33 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inquiringmind View Post
I keep seeing obesity in the same category as drinking alcohol and it really makes me wonder if the the two are comparable. If it's really sleep apnea that's the problem, why don't they just say so?
Because that wouldn't sufficiently demonize being a fat person well enough. And if we don't demonize it, people think it's OK and then our childhood obesity rates will continue to skyrocket--at least this has been a theme in some articles I've read in the last few years.

There is an organization called the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation that has partnered with the Michelle Obama's Partnership for a Healthier America. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundtion is made up of many different food & beverage manufacturers, and food retailers--groups like ConAgra, Pepsi, Kraft, Nestle, Coke. It's about making nutritional labels clear so people understand how many calories are in a serving, teaching people how to read these labels so they won't consume too many calories, and teaching them about energy balance. But the organization is not about being healthy and making healthy choices, it's about being at a "healthy weight" although they don't list healthy weight ranges and show no research to back up what the current BMI charts. They don't talk about the likelihood that someone will lose weight and keep it off just by following their ideas.

And they don't really promote healthy food consumption, as I see it, at least not yet. They have not mentioned taking out things like HFCS, PHOs, growth hormones, pesticides, artificial colorings and flavorings from foods, although maybe part of label reading is to understand what these are. They don't promote whole foods that you grow yourself. Both exercise and calorie restriction can have benefits on health or longevity irrespective of weight loss, but this organization seems to look at weight loss as the goal, and the other things as something that can aid in the ultimate goal--weight loss.

It's nigh impossible to look at something that correlates with fat and not just
blame the fat person. Kind of like we do with other things that negatively correspond to other dividing lines between humans. It benefits companies like Kraft if they can just blame fat people for clearly not reading labels and not understanding the concept of energy balance. And it's the same thing with anything related to being fat.
mistymama's Avatar mistymama 03:54 PM 05-25-2010
I was about 75 pounds overweight and co-slept with ds .. I was very aware of my body and ds, and never thought twice about sleeping with him.

I had gastric bypass after his birth and am no longer overweight - but my dh is. He's a big guy and sleeps very heavily, thrashes and twists around. I am worried about him with the new baby because of his sleeping habbits, not his weight. So I'm buying a mini co-sleeper and probably going to keep the baby over on my side of the bed.
jeminijad's Avatar jeminijad 04:09 PM 05-25-2010
If it matters when considering my opinion, I am at the top end of overweight, close to obese. My DH is of normal weight.

I would not cosleep with someone super morbidly obese- 400lbs+, something like that. Say all you want about demonizing fat people, or 'BMI is not an accurate reflection of healthy,' but the human body was not meant to carry that much weight, and I am not interested in determining if body awareness, or baby awareness, is one of the processes damaged by it.

Overweight, or obese, sure I would, if they were me or my spouse.

Morbidly obese is tough. Maybe, maybe not.
akind1's Avatar akind1 04:49 PM 05-25-2010
well, no, not 400+ lbs. My thing about BMI and health is that it only measures 2 things: height and weight. It does not take into consideration muscle mass, fat %, bone structure, or boobs! (as a bf'ing well endowed mama, boobs are at least 10 lbs of my weight, if not more). According to the BMI charts, someone my height - 4'11" - should be between 95 and 120 lbs. anything above that is overweight. Obese is around 140 I think, and morbidly obese I forget where the marker is, but I am over it at 222 lbs. Frankly I would be really super healthy at 130-140 lbs, and that would still be well overweight/borderline obese according to the charts. Even though at that weight I think I would be like a size 6/8 (haven't been since . . .well, a really long time). I think a "healthy" weight is not something you can really measure just with height and weight. I can do things physically my "skinny" friends can't, and vice versa.

I also am not saying I am at a healthy weight. but I am getting there. I am fortunate to not have many of the co-morbid problems that come with being overweight, nor does DH. no high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.

Got way off topic! but to circle back around, I think it has far more to do with sleep habits than with weight. If I were still (I used to be) a thrasher and wriggler in my sleep, co-sleeping might not be such a great option. I started behaving myself when I started sharing a bed with DH.
lonegirl's Avatar lonegirl 08:23 AM 05-26-2010
I would be considered obese and have co slept since night 2 in the hospital (at the nurses request lol). That said...I chose other because other factors also need to be taken into consideration.
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