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#61 of 82 Old 06-28-2013, 03:40 PM
 
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Without having the source I got this from at hand... I read once that, all things being equal in safety precautions, bedsharing and traditional crib/bassinet are equally safe.  

 

I didn't think I would cosleep, but I had so much trouble putting my baby in the bassinet (even right next to the bed) without her waking up.  Everyone is so much happier and rested with bedsharing.  She's sleeping more deeply these days and I don't think I'll cosleep forever, but it's nice.  I think I'll always be a bedsharing supporter.

 

The other day, my parents, sister, and I and baby went on a trip and wound up staying in this old pioneer home turned bed and breakfast.  The beds were super comfy, but too soft for me to comfortably have my daughter in the bed.  The hostess said many guests used the old pioneer cradle in the room (even opposed to the traditional packnplay they had).  So I did... and I don't think that thing was up to crib standards in the least.  But Baby lived through the night.  And she had the experience of sleeping in an old cradle.  

 

Not sure what my point is with that story.  Maybe that you'll never be safe enough no matter what you do, but plenty of babies survive various sleeping arrangements regardless.


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#62 of 82 Old 06-28-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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I think it is important to know the risks so you can plan a safe bed sharing arrangement. I slept with my first two daughters and am now sleeping with my new baby. I did look into the issues when I first decided to do so and as a result added a co sleep crib to the side of our bed(not for them to sleep in but so they could sleep safely on the outside of the bed with no fear of them falling off.I also changed my bedding to a single pillow and wool blanket and had her sleep bellow the breast so she was away from the pillow. I got a lot more sleep and wouldn't give up the experience for the world. I think a child accidently falling asleep in a bed not prepared for the situation would be much more of a risk.

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#63 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 10:40 AM
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Thanks for all the great info sharing! This does continue to come up as a question so it's a great discussion to have.

 

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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I cant believe we are having this conversation on MDC. What a waste of time. 

I have co slept with all of my children, and have done so with alot of  attention to the safety aspect. Of course, like every new mother, i am very focussed on keeping my baby safe-thats what mothers do. I can  assure you, he way we co sleep is very safe.

 

Should we be having his conversation on mdc? Seriously.

 

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yeahthat.gif Much like the "is homebirth safe?" in the homebirth forum & I predict it'll be occurring elsewhere.

 

Sus

 

 

Let's keep in mind that Mothering is not an isolated private community. We get a lot of visitors and new member parents who are new to attachment parenting and natural family living and need to hear just this sort of discussion. So while for many who know the subject well it seems like a strange discussion to have, the topic continues to take a beating in the media and in other online communities. So it is certainly important to have from time to time as a discussion for the benefit of the entire community. love.gif

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#64 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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I have to say, I get really annoyed at this idea that you can monitor a baby's breathing while you sleep. Before my son died, I completely bought in to the idea that because I was sleeping next to my babies that regulated their breathing, because I woke up to nurse I was never in a deep enough sleep to not *KNOW* if my baby stopped breathing, and that we all have this motherly instinct that we will just automatically wake up if something isnt right. 

But that's not the case. Not always. Were there plenty of nights when it was? Sure. But, what does that mean for the one  night that it didnt work that way? That I wasnt good enough at regulating his breathing? I remember feeling like a huge, horrible failure as a NFL mother when my son passed, because when you are sleeping right next to them how can you not know when your baby stops breathing?

How many mom's do you know who have woken up to their baby almost dead because they had forgotten to breathe? Of the three forums Im a part of, I've never heard of one mom who that has happened to. I have, however, known of many moms to wake up to their baby already dead.

Bed sharing is age old, but do remember that babies died then too. And as I said before, I dont believe bedsharing is unsafe, but let's use statistics and studies and not base safety off of things like instinct and age-old practices, because when something does happen it makes people feel like they were a crappy mom because she couldnt monitor a babies breath in her sleep. 

I am so sorry for your pain and especially sorry if what I said added to it.

I think what I was trying to express was that the baby matches the mother, not that the mother somehow is a human holter monitor. it got jumbled, sorry.

Babies die in cribs and in their mother's arms. Sometimes they die in the womb. When that happened to my sister, people blamed her daughters death on her for planning a homebirth, even though her daughter passed a few days before the due date and start of labor. of course neither you nor my sister were to blame. (((Hugs)))

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#65 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 05:39 PM
 
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Can I ask a question here? At what age do those of you who bedshare start feeling comfortable using those pillows and blankets again? I currently bedshare with my 12 month old and I added a pillow, blanket and even a pillow to lay on my side about a week ago. I know that sounds like a lot to add, but I assume after a certain age, you can sleep normally with your children. Sometimes I do wonder if this is a safe practice for my 12 month old. Prior to all of this, I slept with clothes on to keep warm, no blankets and pillows and our matress is on the floor without a flat sheet. So all in all, I think we have a pretty safe set up. I am reading over all of this getting a little paranoid again. I personally feel bedsharing is great if you take all of the necessary precautions, but I really would love some input on when we can relax all the rules of safe bedsharing. 

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#66 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you are fine as long as you are careful to keep it away from baby's space... I don't have a no blankets/pillows rule personally, but I've never had the bed made up with lots of fluff either. I keep the pillow behind my head so none of it is on the baby's side. I also keep my blankets about my waist level and baby above that.


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#67 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 06:10 PM
 
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Thanks for your thoughts, Fruitfulmama. I actually think I should go back to sleeping without the pillow at my side. I had mastitis twice recently and I blame tummy sleeping, so I started using the side pillow to prevent me from ending up on my stomach. I'm not into the fluffy bed either. 

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#68 of 82 Old 06-29-2013, 10:53 PM
 
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Never leave an infant or toddler unattended on an adult bed. Co-Sleeping or family bed sharing consists of an adult & a child. Babies can roll off of beds (even when using a co-sleeping device) can become tangled in blankets, or otherwise need the attention of an adult. We recommend babies not be left unattended in the early months... according to safebedsharing.org

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#69 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 12:34 AM
 
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I don't know why I haven't been back to MDC in awhile. This topic was in an email and I was compelled to read the discussion. I have one beloved son who is now 6 years old. I did not start out planning to cosleep with him. I had a crib (in his bedroom) and a cradle (in our bedroom) all set up when I brought him home from the hospital. I tried doing everything the 'experts' recommended with him. I did breastfeed on demand rather than by a schedule (I'm sure this is another topic but I digress :)  He pretty much needed to nurse every 2 hours, and he would nurse for 40 minutes each time. So that meant that at night, I was able to sleep AT BEST for an hour and 10 minutes at a time. I grew up in the house that we live in now, and I never feared falling down the stairs until one night when I was exhausted and walking back to our room and needing to walk past the stairway. I was so tired I almost fell down the stairs. My husband suggested that I just bring Liam back to bed with us....

 

And, as they say, the rest is history. I did not share with many of my coworkers that I was sleeping with my baby, but some of them knew...and talked about how they did the same thing with their kids. I have been lucky to have found many books that are very much FOR cosleeping, and that discuss ways to make it safer. All I can say is that we were very careful, and I was actually able to get some much needed sleep, and my son did VERY well. I know this is not how it works out for everyone and that there are arguments against cosleeping with your baby. But, I also know that for us, this was ultimately the right decision. I was able to get some rest and my baby was always comfortable with me being nearby. I also think minimizing crying in babies is healthy for them and for us, and him sleeping snuggled up to mom definitely reduced crying.

 

Just my $ .02

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#70 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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For anyone looking to keep baby from rolling off the bed while sleeping, we use a dex bed rail. Our mattress is on the floor now that we have a little guy who likes to climb on and off the bed. But while sleeping, this bed rail keeps him from rolling out of my side.
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#71 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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Our mattress is on the floor to avoid that issue-futon style

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#72 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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A friend of mine uses a pool noodle under the sheet on the edge of the bed to keep baby from falling off. I have used a buckwheat hull pillow in the past as they are heavy :)


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#73 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mylove View Post

Can I ask a question here? At what age do those of you who bedshare start feeling comfortable using those pillows and blankets again? I currently bedshare with my 12 month old and I added a pillow, blanket and even a pillow to lay on my side about a week ago. I know that sounds like a lot to add, but I assume after a certain age, you can sleep normally with your children. Sometimes I do wonder if this is a safe practice for my 12 month old. Prior to all of this, I slept with clothes on to keep warm, no blankets and pillows and our matress is on the floor without a flat sheet. So all in all, I think we have a pretty safe set up. I am reading over all of this getting a little paranoid again. I personally feel bedsharing is great if you take all of the necessary precautions, but I really would love some input on when we can relax all the rules of safe bedsharing. 

 

I started using a pillow and a light blanket on my side around 3-4 months.

 

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Never leave an infant or toddler unattended on an adult bed. Co-Sleeping or family bed sharing consists of an adult & a child. Babies can roll off of beds (even when using a co-sleeping device) can become tangled in blankets, or otherwise need the attention of an adult. We recommend babies not be left unattended in the early months... according to safebedsharing.org

 

The only time when I avoided letting dk alone in the bed is when they started crawling. Before that, I just placed the bed next to the wall and placed lots of pillows on the other side. After that, I just taught my babies how to get off the bed by scooting backwards. They were both around 11 months when they were able to do that by themselves (and were very proud of it).

We live in a small bungalow, so I was always at 4-5 steps away from their room, and left the door open during naptime. Also, our bed is maybe one foot high.

 

I think a good dose of common sense is worth a lot more than all the guidelines we must obey for "safe cosleeping".

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#74 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 05:55 PM
 
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I co-slept with both of mine, and the younger one is just transitioning to her own room at 4.5.

I love co-sleeping. Is it safe? Nothing is perfectly safe. Babies die in bed, and babies die in cribs, and babies die elsewhere. It's always a tragedy when a baby dies, but I do wonder why co-sleeping is blamed when a baby dies of SIDS in bed, but crib sleeping isn't blamed when a baby dies of SIDS in a crib.

I think people should look at themselves and their situation to see how to most safely sleep, and if the mother is on prescription sleeping medication or something that makes her drowsy, or if there is another safety problem that can't be solved, then maybe a co-sleeper or a crib in the parents room might be the best choice. But if you take some precautions and if you don't have a safety issue that can't be solved (prescriptions that cause drowsiness, sleep disorder, etc.) then it might very well be as safe as any other option. It is really nice to be able to breastfeed in bed without having to get so awakened, and to be able to respond to nightmares instantly. And babies and young kids love having a parent nearby when they wake up in the morning. It isn't for every family, but it is really nice if you can do it.

(There have been several posts earlier in this thread about safe co-sleeping configurations, so if anyone has questions about that issue please look up the thread a bit. If you still have questions, this thread is probably a great place to ask them! smile.gif )
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#75 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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Can I ask a question here? At what age do those of you who bedshare start feeling comfortable using those pillows and blankets again? I currently bedshare with my 12 month old and I added a pillow, blanket and even a pillow to lay on my side about a week ago. I know that sounds like a lot to add, but I assume after a certain age, you can sleep normally with your children. Sometimes I do wonder if this is a safe practice for my 12 month old. Prior to all of this, I slept with clothes on to keep warm, no blankets and pillows and our matress is on the floor without a flat sheet. So all in all, I think we have a pretty safe set up. I am reading over all of this getting a little paranoid again. I personally feel bedsharing is great if you take all of the necessary precautions, but I really would love some input on when we can relax all the rules of safe bedsharing. 

 

Well, I guess I'll preface this with a disclaimer: Don't try this at home...

 

I always had pillows and blankets on the bed when the dc were newbs. How the hell else was I supposed to be comfortable?!  It was bad enough that I had to lay with my arm crooked to hold them in place, I wasn't about to end up freezing cold with a sore neck, too!

 

I guess I endangered my babies...I don't feel any regret for my "dangerous" bedsharing practices.  When I was a kid, I roamed NYC on my bike.  No cell phone, no supervision.  I left after breakfast and came home before dark.  My mother would go hours with only the vaguest idea of my whereabouts.  Now, I don't let my 11yo go past the mailbox without a cell phone, a buddy, and a 10 minute lecture on safety.  I'm pretty paranoid and totally not a fan of the free-range kid bullcrap.  I am known in my circle of friends as a safety nerd.  But I am a shameless dangerous co-sleeper.  *eyeroll*


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#76 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 09:11 PM
 
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I think you are fine as long as you are careful to keep it away from baby's space... I don't have a no blankets/pillows rule personally, but I've never had the bed made up with lots of fluff either. I keep the pillow behind my head so none of it is on the baby's side. I also keep my blankets about my waist level and baby above that.

 

yeahthat.gif  Truthfully, I almost always slept on my back with DS on my chest until he was several months old.  We use a bed rail, and when he was bigger, he'd go between me and the rail (in case DH had had a couple beers - and since he's a more solid sleeper).  Always away from pillows, and I'd use a low blanket below my waist.  By the time he was about a year old, I think I had relaxed a bit - tried to make sure his face was away from pillows and blankets (still do at 2) but got progressively more "normal."  I felt more confident about him being in the middle by that point, too (DH had developed good awareness of where he was in the bed, and DS was a giant baby, which helped).

 

The fact that breastfed, co-sleeping babies sleep lighter/wake more often made me feel more secure.  It also gave me many opportunities to check on him and re-position/adjust accordingly throughout the night.

 

Haven't read this in a while, but remember it as being a good article:

 

http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/12/21/cosleeping-and-biological-imperatives-why-human-babies-do-not-and-should-not-sleep-alone/


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#77 of 82 Old 06-30-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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Just read back...Adaline'sMama - I am deeply sorry for your loss, and I definitely didn't mean it is always perfectly safe above, just to clarify. hug.gif stillheart.gif

 

I was grateful for the increased opportunity to check on him (due to frequent wakings) in part because he did sometimes scoot somewhere that left me feeling ill at ease when I discovered it.  I think it is overstating it to say that a mother can monitor her child's breathing in her sleep, but I do think that co-sleeping was essential for regulating my son's breathing (which he had trouble with in a bedside bassinet - hence the on chest sleeping).


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#78 of 82 Old 08-16-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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lemme start by saying i am 100% planning to cosleep (we are TTC soon, so i just started learning all this stuff about 6 months ago)---i was quickly and easily converted to an AP mindset as soon as i read about it and it all completely resonated with me (and everything i've learned about psychology in the past, in and out of school).  but i still wanna make sure i know i'm doing it in a safe manner, of course, so knowing i'm going to doesn't mean i'm not going to keep reading and learning about it!  but i feel like most of the links i've followed from this thread, and read about elsewhere, all seem to say that SIDS is just another way of saying "the baby suffocated".  if this is the case, it seems like the most important thing is for baby's face to be exposed to the air, and not have bedding or flesh that can get stuck over baby's face.  what is needed to accomplish that, well, that seems like it'll vary a lot depending on the situation.  but that the objective should be keeping anything and everything away from baby's face, and not whether the bed is adult-sized or infant-sized, which seems rather arbitrary in light of what's actually relevant to baby continuing to breath during sleep.

 

as far as people wondering why there's suddenly a lot of advertisement aimed *against* cosleeping, i think perhaps i know one of the reasons.  there was a story on NPR (i'm pretty sure it was in a 'this american life' episode) where there's this woman whose job it is to determine the cause of death of young people (infants as well as children).  this is all she sees all the time, and the piece was about the psychological effect this can have on a person who has such a job.  which was interesting, and worth thinking about.  but b/c she sees a non-representative sample of the population (she only sees cosleeping situations that end in death, and none of the ones that don't), she ended up having a creeped out feeling about cosleeping and she put all this energy recently into an 'education' campaign against cosleeping.  i immediately thought, um, she's obviously never heard of attachment parenting.  or listened to that other 'this american life' episode, the one where they talk about how important the seemingly intangible frequent-skin-contact-with-loving-caregiver is to developing baby (and child) brains for their psychological well-being!

 

anyhow, currently i'm seeing a few billboards in my own neighborhood, in both english and spanish, that say "it only takes seconds for an infant to suffocate" and shows the baby in bed with parents.  i see these and it's disheartening, b/c it seems like a huge blow to the spread of AP (i'm convinced that AP and similar parenting styles are what populate the world with kind, caring, compassionate, collaborative people who make the world a better place, and that many of the world's ills would be solved if all parents would opt for a thoughtful AP approach---and not have kids unless/until they are willing to be this deliberate and conscientious about parenting).


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#79 of 82 Old 08-26-2013, 11:09 PM
 
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Everyone has a  right to their feelings, of course, and I would certainly support your decision to not co-sleep. But I don't think babies are all that fragile and they have always slept with their mommas throughout human history. I would advise not sleeping with babies if you are drunk or stoned, or if you are extremely heavy and a sound sleeper and/or known to roll over on others during sleep. But most of us are very attuned with our babes and listen for their breathing throughout the night. Just for the record we slept with our kids until they went off to college, and they are very successful, loving, and empathetic adults. Attachment parenting is the best thing you can do for not only your children, but for the future of peace on this planet. stillheart.gif

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#80 of 82 Old 08-27-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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all seem to say that SIDS is just another way of saying "the baby suffocated".

Not sure what links you were looking at, but no, SIDS is not suffocation. Currently it does seem there is a push for coroners to put the two groups together under one name, and I can't remember what it is, but for when it is suffocation they know it. When it is SIDS it means there is no known cause.


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#81 of 82 Old 08-27-2013, 08:07 AM
 
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Not sure what links you were looking at, but no, SIDS is not suffocation. Currently it does seem there is a push for coroners to put the two groups together under one name, and I can't remember what it is, but for when it is suffocation they know it. When it is SIDS it means there is no known cause.

granted, most of what i've read states pretty straightforwardly and without hesitation that bedsharing is safe, and i generally don't expect to be one of those parents who is frequently or highly concerned about SIDS, as i expect our family's shared sleep to be an experience of bonding, affection, and cooing at our newest family member (as opposed to constant fretting).  but, for instance, at this link, the way i read it would cause me to conclude that preventing SIDS is all about baby continuing to breathe:

"The proposition that bedsharing is causally related to SIDS is coherent with theories that respiratory obstruction, re-breathing expired gases, and thermal stress (or overheating),which may also give rise to the release of lethal toxins, are all mechanisms leading to SIDS"

 

aside from the passing mention of overheating, discussions around SIDS (and avoiding risk factors) seem to all point to baby's breathing.  even though it may be listed as a distinct cause of death apart from "suffocation", i still get the take-home that SIDS is basically just the baby suffocating, whether that is from the face being physically covered, or suffocating from "gases" or "lethal toxins" or perhaps even just hot, stale air. i get the impression that when we call it SIDS it means the baby most likely suffocated (experienced oxygen deprivation b/c breathing ceased or was prevented) but we don't know for sure, so we call it SIDS.  i mean, even if baby overheating somehow stops them breathing, they are still dying of suffocation.  but then again, i am probably trying to simplify it and tie a neat little bow around it, b/c that's what people do, even when it's not that simple.  and i probably want to tell myself it's as simple as keeping baby breathing b/c then i feel more in control and safe.  but it still seems this way (to be about breathing), on the whole, to me.

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#82 of 82 Old 08-27-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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SIDS means there is no known cause. It is rarely suffocation -- that is looking for straws. A baby in bed with a caring adult is much LESS likely to die from SIDS. Babies die alone in their cribs MUCH more often then in bed with their moms. A suffocating baby would struggle for breath, wouldn't they? I also believe that babies are more likely to choke on their backs. Babies should be allowed to sleep in whatever position they find comfortable. Both mine were tummy sleepers, way before someone came along and said put infants on their backs to sleep.

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