Anyone else cosleep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering if anyone else here cosleeps? I have a few questions. We weren't planning to cosleep, but Gen (4 weeks old) won't sleep unless she's on my chest or dh's chest. She likes to lie across the chest, in a cradle hold position with her legs hanging off the side of our body. Is this a typical cosleeping position? Is it safe?

She is not on her back while sleeping--will this increase her SIDS risk? We all sleep topless, with blankets down around our waists, so she can't suck in a shirt and rebreathe the air. So, given that our shirts are off and she can't rebreathe is the SIDS risk thus reduced, similar to back sleeping?

Also, I'm just wondering how common it is for babies of this age to insist upon chest to chest sleeping? I really don't mind it, and in fact enjoy the closeness. However, I went to a new moms support group yesterday and was surprised to find that Gen was the only baby who coslept. It sounded like all the other babes were just fine going to their cribs, which I found very surprising. Or maybe the other moms just ignore their baby's desire to cosleep?

Gen is generally not ok with sleeping next to us--she has to be ON us. So, typical or not? Safe or not?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for bedrails to prevent her from falling out of our bed once she gets more mobile?

Thanks
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#2 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Hmm, you were the only co-sleeping Mom? I don't believe that! I know I've read somewhere that many mainstream families hide the fact that they co-sleep because they are afraid of what people will think.

We have a co-sleeper, but my son just sleeps next to me. (The co-sleeper makes a great changing table. I love changing him without getting out of bed!) He has to be touching me to stay asleep and would prefer chest to chest, but if we are both laying on our sides facing each other he sleeps great. Well, great for a 6 week old!

Dr. Sears has some GREAT info about co-sleeping info on his website askdrsears.com. His website says co-sleeping REDUCES SIDS. Good info to have on hand.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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Eli slept on my chest for most of night for the first month. He's in the co-sleeper or curled into me if we both fall asleep nursing. It was never what I planned on either but it works. Thankfully our bassinet turns it a co sleeper.

I wish he would sleep more independant during the day. 5-10 minutes after putting him down he's awake. Any advice on how to get him to stay asleep?

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#4 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Hawkeye, cosleeping is common enough that it has its own forum:

Night time parenting and the family bed

and was generally believed to prevent SIDS when Terran's siblings were little. I believe that the recent studies recommending against sharing sleep were funded by crib manufacturers.
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#5 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:18 PM
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I love the idea that people are closet co-sleepers. We co-sleep and we are loud and proud about it.
Trixie can sleep on her back, but when she's fussy she likes to sleep on our chests, but when she's in a deep sleep I can move her to her back. Right now she sleeps on a little wedge pillow for babies just so her head is a little higher, it helps when she has troubles burping.
Can you move him when he's really sleeping? Does it hurt your back to sleep with him like that? I think if it works for you, why change it?

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#6 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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weve always coslept..
right now we have the baby fulltime & 3 year old 1/2 time .she was FT untill the babies birth. she climbs in bed with us mid night about 4 nights out the week

I have no idea about the safety of that position.. but it dosent sound comfortable at all!!! I would try to get her used to something else while shes still little

ive always slept with my babies on my right side, rolled facing away from me.. i lay either on my right side with their back againt my chest , or on my back with their back against my side... after nursing i roll them back away from me (ive kinda figured out my babies will nurse ALL night if faced towards my chest )
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#7 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Heck yeah we co-sleep! We have a king sized bed with a sidecar crib and every night I sleep with a newborn smushed against my front and a toddler plastered to my back. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love snuggling with my babies at night and dh does, too.

In the beginning both ds and dd preferred to sleep ON me but as they got older sleeping chest to chest on our sides was acceptable. I wouldn't sweat it if it doesn't bother you. I always figure my kids will move on to the next stage when they are ready and so far it has been true.

With co-sleeping, especially ON you, I wouldn't worry about SIDS. Do you vaccinate? As far as I have read, the risk of SIDS in a non-vaccinated co-sleeping breastfed on demand baby is zero. And the newborn will be taking breathing cues as well from you and dh by sleeping in such close proximity. The only thing that I personally would not be comfortable with is a newborn sleeping on or with dh. We do not trust dh's instincts while sleeping as highly as mine as the babies' mother so dd will not sleep next to or with dh at night until she is much older and more mobile. We did the same with ds when he was a newborn. Dh has napped with dd under my awake and watchful eye but 2.5 years of parenting with him has shown that he is not as hyper aware of the children at night like I am.

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#8 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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I"m a co-sleepin' mama. I co-slept with my first daughter from day 1(much to the chagrin of the nurses on the maternity ward floor) until she was 3 1/2. I started weaning her into her own bed and it took a year to fully accomplish gently. She's happy in her own bed and doesn't want to visit me during the night anymore. She's on the top bunk bed currently at age 7. My toddler is 3 andhas co-slept from the night she came home from the hospital(spent 2 weeks in the nicu as a preemie) and still part-time co-sleeps. I started weaning her to a "big girl bed" at age 2 and she's 3 and some nights she spends all night in bed by herself(bottom bunk bed) and some nights she comes into bed with me and her baby sister at some point during the night to snuggle. It's her choice but she MUST start the night in her own bed. She loves having a big girl bed and shows everyone who comes to the house. At daddy's house the big girls share a bedtime and go to sleep together in daddy's bed. He joins them at some point for lack of another place to sleep but I think he really enjoys it actually. He likes to snuggle them, just doesn't like to admit it since it seems to challenge his masculinity. My Feb 08 babe co-sleeps like her big sisters did with mama and has since she came home from the nicu at nearly 2 weeks old. She has a pack n play for safe naps away from her roughousing sisters when I can't hold her(like for when I shower) but we co-sleep at night. All my girls sleep on their sides or back when they lose the breast after nursing. I don't use a pillow in bed since it's a pain in the patootie to use without getting near them but Sara will occasionally bring her pillow to bed with her when she comes. We use blankets and I've never had a problem but I tuck them under my arm away from the baby and dress them warmly. When Sara comes to bed I make sure to keep myself between her and Grace just in case since she's a very deep sleeper and not at all aware of her body and surroundings. It's just better safe than sorry. In my 7 years of constant co-sleeping with one or more children I've only had one issue. That was Mady falling out of bed in the middle of the night at 8 months old. I choose not to use bedrails when they get older but to just put the mattress on the floor to minimize the fall until they are old enough to be aware enough not to fall. By 15 months I raised the mattress back on the frame for both older girls without any falls. Both Grace and Sara both like to be in my skin with me it seems. Most nights with both of them means uncomfy sleep for me. Sara sleeps right against my body with her body and her hand in my hair. She used to sleep with her arm around my neck forehead to forehead with me so it's an improvement I suppose. Grace sleeps with her cheek resting on the breast she finished nursing on. If you move back she wiggles herself forward again. And usually her toes are in my crotch and she's knee-ing my belly button.

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#9 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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We cosleep!! I was kind of on the fence about it before Robin came but now I can't imagine doing it any other way. I love nursing her in bed and we all get so much more rest. (In-bed diaper changing also sounds pretty incredible, although I don't know how we'd make room for that!)

IMO co-sleeping is very safe, provided you aren't drinking/smoking (which I assume you aren't).

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#10 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StrawberryFields View Post

The only thing that I personally would not be comfortable with is a newborn sleeping on or with dh. We do not trust dh's instincts while sleeping as highly as mine as the babies' mother so dd will not sleep next to or with dh at night until she is much older and more mobile. We did the same with ds when he was a newborn. Dh has napped with dd under my awake and watchful eye but 2.5 years of parenting with him has shown that he is not as hyper aware of the children at night like I am.
I have to say I agree with this. I"m currently separated and divorcing from my husband but we've been together nearly 4 years. He's proven time and time again that he is not as aware as I am of the kids at night. He can't be trusted directly next to a baby. He naps well under supervision with the kids on his chest but not at night. And he knows it too. I dont' have a problem with him co-sleeping with the big girls at his house unsupervised at night now but only because they are 3 and 7. While we were living together as a married couple I developed a sleeping habit of encircling Sara with my arms at night to protect her. If he rolled close to her, he would land on my arms waking me up. It worked very well.

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#11 of 22 Old 03-27-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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We're part-time cosleepers. River started going down for a longer stretch at about 8pm, so he goes in his moses basket (swaddled) then and sleeps happily for several hours. Once he stirs, he stays with us. This isn't set in stone, it's just what's working now.
Oh, and DD slept face-down on daddy for a LONG time. He is an incredibly light sleeper though- or he was, anyhow. Right now he's so overtired that I'm sleeping between him and River, jic.

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#12 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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We are a co-sleeping family! In fact as of late I have allowed my oldest to cuddle Noah to sleep and once they are out I take him out of the bed. Sarah is my only one who wont go to sleep by herself and she loves taking care of her little brother, so it affords me the time to fold laundry or straighten the house. When we get into bed he starts out on the outside, where as the rest of the clan are on the inside, and over the coarse of the night I switch him back and forth to feed him. For some reason, like i had mentioned, Sarah won't go to sleep alone but the other two will sleep in their own bed just fine, though I don't remember the last time they did! I can't imagine sleeping without them, I would feel so alone!

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#13 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hawkeye View Post
She likes to lie across the chest, in a cradle hold position with her legs hanging off the side of our body. Is this a typical cosleeping position? Is it safe?
linnaea likes to sleep like this too. i can't fall asleep on my back so i usually lie on my side and nurse her until she falls asleep and then stay curled around her. if i move she'll wake up. if i want a break and my dh is still in bed i'll give her to him and she'll sleep on his chest.

i was just thinking about this the other day... imagine thousands of years ago, as a baby, if you moved away from your caretaker and *didn't* cry out it seems much more likely that you would die (or be exposed to dangerous things).

in fact, i have a really hard time falling asleep without touching her. i'm not sure how those other moms do it. when we went to our well-baby visit with our ds the nurse made sure to tell me that it was more dangerous for him to sleep with us and that he needed to sleep on his back. i just can't imagine my baby being safer anywhere else but right next to me!

anyway, in my experience, it is totally safe. i wake up the moment she even breathes funny let alone rolls over or moves and i just know that it's safer for her to have me right there. linnaea usually sleeps on her side or back (no tummy yet since she can't roll over) and we've never had a problem with any safety issues.

my ds did crawl off the bed twice. once i feel asleep before he did and he crawled away he was about six months. the other time he was about a year and a half and we didn't sleep quite so close and he kept inching up to the top of the bed which wasn't against a wall and fell off. both times he was fine.

we kept the bed against a wall on one side with me next, then babe, then dh. with pillows between the wall and the bed so he couldn't fall in. we did buy a half size box spring and a low-profile frame so our bed is really low to the ground just in case.

welcome, and happy co-sleeping!

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#14 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 04:56 AM
 
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We also co sleep and Ashlee needs to sleep ontop of me most of the time as well. Either in the cradle position although she is getting a little heavy for me to keep that up to long or the length of my body. I love it too but dh asked me last night how long I was planning on being Ashlees bed

I asked my mw about sleeping on the stomach. She said it is ok to sleep on the stomach, she just wouldn't put a baby on the stomach if the room were to warm, there were a ton of pillows or things around the babies head or if the room was smoked in.
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#15 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hawkeye View Post
I'm just wondering if anyone else here cosleeps? Is this a typical cosleeping position? Is it safe?

She is not on her back while sleeping--will this increase her SIDS risk? We all sleep topless, with blankets down around our waists, so she can't suck in a shirt and rebreathe the air. So, given that our shirts are off and she can't rebreathe is the SIDS risk thus reduced, similar to back sleeping?

Also, I'm just wondering how common it is for babies of this age to insist upon chest to chest sleeping? Gen is generally not ok with sleeping next to us--she has to be ON us. So, typical or not? Safe or not?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for bedrails to prevent her from falling out of our bed once she gets more mobile?

Thanks
From what I understand, SIDS is caused by babies re-breathing air - if their face is in a pillow or if they are face down on a bed. Just sleeping on their stomach will not necessarily cause SIDS.

My little girl likes to fall asleep on my chest, either lengthwise or like you describe, with her feet off but her chest across mine. I see no problems with it. I usually sleep topless too, but put a blanket on her (up to her chest). The fact that the dog sleeps on the bottom of the bed keeps the blankets from inching up, LOL!

From what I can tell, newborns love to sleep skin to skin against mom, it makes them feel like they did when they were in the womb. I don't think it's abnormal at all. I think it's plenty safe provided you are not drinking, smoking or a deep sleeper.

I have no idea about bedrails at this point but if you have a baby that is active at night, it may make sense. We put the baby between DH and myself so I don't see that as being an issue since the head of the bed is against the wall and the dog is at the bottom.
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#16 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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We co-sleep partly, when she isn't in bed with us she is in her bassinet in our room, beside our bed. The only problems we have had is we used to sleep with her between us, but DH is a very active sleeper and I was waking up multiple times a night to my daughter crying because her daddy had rolled over on her or threw his arm on her. So now we sleep with me in the middle and I push the bassinet (Which is a small crib with the bars that go 5 inches past the top of my mattress) against the bed so she cannot roll off. I put the bumper on the outside of the bassinet.
She also is a crappy sleeper during the day. She will not nap unless I am holding her chest tochest. She knows when I put her down, and cries, but when I pick her up again, she sleeps right away.
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#17 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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in fact, i have a really hard time falling asleep without touching her. i'm not sure how those other moms do it. when we went to our well-baby visit with our ds the nurse made sure to tell me that it was more dangerous for him to sleep with us and that he needed to sleep on his back. i just can't imagine my baby being safer anywhere else but right next to me!

ITA! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE co-sleeping, love love love it. We have a little lambskin run in between me & DH, and she sometimes starts or ends up there, but most nights she spends at least part of the night on my chest or stomach, or curled up against me. Oh, it's just bliss for me (even though she's a pretty kick-y sleeper & I wake up a lot - but I just love having her with me, feeling her breathe & move..)!
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#18 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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Rosemary went through a period around 4 weeks where she would only sleep if being held - preferably on one of us. However, we were both getting very little sleep, which is dangerous for DH (he works with power tools during the day and needs to be alert!), and I need more than 3-4 hours/night since I do not usually nap.

She now falls asleep usually on the Boppy, and then I can move her into the Arms' Reach after about 15 minutes. Correction - into the Baby Delight, which is in the Arms' Reach. She sleeps much, much better if I tuck blankets tightly around her lower half. She can still kick if she wants, but generally doesn't move around much.

I do miss her by morning, though!
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#19 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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After three kids...is there any other way to sleep? What? Some people's children sleep in a crib?

Co-slept with dd #1 until dd #2 was born. Co-slept with dd #2 until she was 14 months old. Got pg immediately. Co-sleeping with ds. Hopefully won't get pg again for a good long while. Dds sleep together now...is it co-sleeping still???

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#20 of 22 Old 03-28-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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I love co-sleeping. Feeling DD snuggled up next to me is heaven. Even though she is a noisy sleeper, it doesn't seem to take too much away from my own sleep. I've learned already how to tell the difference between her sleep noises and when she is waking up to nurse. Usually she sleeps swaddled (which she wiggles out of) and on her side facing me, but sometimes she does manage to roll onto her back. I have one arm under her and the other on her side to keep her from rolling away. Usually she is up high enough to share my pillow. Is this not good? I know that if belly sleeping pillows and stuff can cause SIDS, but I thought it would be OK to sleep like this together. Occasionally she does sleep with DP, sometimes she won't settle down with me but daddy has some magic that will quiet her. I think my DP is aware enough to sleep with her since we have been doing this from the beginning. He also wakes up when she wakes briefly, even if she is sleeping with me, so it seems OK in our case.
We don't have a sidecar or crib. Maybe when she is more mobile I will get a sidecar so she can't roll too far. I really think that people who don't cosleep are missing out on a big part of their relationship with their babes. It makes me feel so much closer to her.
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#21 of 22 Old 03-29-2008, 11:02 AM
 
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I think having baby sleep on a caregiver's chest is MORE safe than on the mattress. There is research to suggest that the fire retardant chemicals break down over time and produce toxic gasses that are heavier than air, thus forming a cloud right at baby level. Having baby off of the surface would keep them out of the off-gassing danger zone. This (IMO) is why back sleeping has better success than belly sleeping- baby's face isn't right down in there with the toxic gasses. From what I've read, wrapping the mattress in plastic, or elevating the head of the bed a few inches is an effective solution. We just bought a chemical free mattress, and it has given me great peace of mind!
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#22 of 22 Old 03-29-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071000.asp

Dr Sears convinced me to cosleep when I was unsure and I am so thankful he did!
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