What are safe ways to cosleep with my newborn? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-18-2012, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a newborn (one week old, second child) and he is a fantastic sleeper, but not if I put him down flat on his back or side. He just wakes up and fusses. If I wear him, he'll sleep for hours if I let him. I can also put him down in his car seat and he's fine. He will sleep on my chest as well. I just can't lay him down on the sidecar or bed or he gets upset. He will sleep on his back if he is pressed against me, but I'm scared I'm going to smother him with a boob or lay partly on him or something.


Today I was at my wit's end and had to lay down for a nap, I was so exhausted. I put him belly-down on my chest while I lay on my back in bed and put my hands around him. It was bliss. I think we slept for two hours, but I felt guilty when I woke up. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of SIDS and I've heard from a couple of cosleeping friends that putting baby on your chest is safe, but is this really true? Is it safe for me to sleep at night with my newborn on my chest? I'm pretty aware of him and I don't doubt I would wake up if he started to roll off.


If not, what are some ways I can help him sleep better on his back in the sidecar?


I breastfeed exclusively, do not drink or take drugs or medication, do not smoke and I'm pretty small. I weigh about 120 lbs, 5' tall and C cups.

Mama to a bright 7 y/o girl and an exuberant 3 y/o boy  Loving unschooling, 2x and natural living in Hawaii.
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#2 of 6 Old 03-18-2012, 07:56 AM
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While I'm a very lax cosleeper, I am more cautious with newborns. Though from the beginning I cosleep on a pillow and often had the baby on my chest though I don't find it as comfortable.

A lightweight swaddle might do the trick. If it is too warm, try just doing the arms and leaving the feet open.
Once your lo can lift his head well, I would consider a belly position, at naps to begin.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#3 of 6 Old 03-18-2012, 08:21 AM
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Personally I am okay with chest to chest with myself being flat in a bed, especially right at the newborn stage. I would strongly caution against doing with mom in a recliner, couch, etc... this greatly increases the risk of suffocation from baby slipping down between mom and the furniture. 


safebedsharing.org has a good set of guidelines.

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#4 of 6 Old 03-18-2012, 11:21 AM
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At that age, we used a vinyl changing pad from Target in the actual bed with us.  It had maybe 5 inch sides or something, so I was sure he was elevated and enough away from me and DH that I wasn't worried.  Just an idea!  Congratulations on your new baby!

 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

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#5 of 6 Old 03-20-2012, 10:43 AM
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I don't think you need to worry about rolling over on him if he sleeps better with you pressed against him; you're probably more aware of him than you think. I agree that sleeping with him on your chest is really only a no-no if you're on a couch, in a rocker, basically anywhere but flat in bed. It really won't be long before he can lift his head well, and then you may feel better letting him tummy sleep.

We couldn't put DS down when he was an infant either; he slept on our chests at first, sometimes we could roll him off onto the bed, but for the first two or three weeks he was always on one of us.

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#6 of 6 Old 03-20-2012, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone! Last night I tried swaddling his upper body and leaving his legs and hips free. I finally got some sleep! I think he woke up only once or twice to nurse and have his diaper changed. SO relieved! That was wonderful! Of course, it could have just been a fluke but we'll try it again tonight and see.


*I was worried about rolling on him because when I nurse him side-lying with the top breast, I sometimes start to fall asleep and he will kick and grunt and I'll realize I'm smooshing his face with my boob. I'll roll off of him, freaked out, and he'll gasp for breath, none the worse for wear, but I'm totally terrified. I think I just get so tired sometimes that it's safer for me to be a few inches from him. I won't roll over on him, but I might lean on him or smash his face between my boob and the bed and not know it.

Mama to a bright 7 y/o girl and an exuberant 3 y/o boy  Loving unschooling, 2x and natural living in Hawaii.
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