Why cosleeping scares the begeezus out of me - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so what did I do wrong?
Last night, Derek was being extra fussy and DH and I were both really tired. We figured we would just put Derek in bed with us. Around midnight, the three of us went to bed. A few hours later, Derek was gone! He had rolled off the pillow in the middle of us (When he sleeps in our bed, I put him on a pillow so I can hold on to him better.) and was kinda wedged behind DH's back and the mattress face down . In my moment of terror, I thought I was about to pick up a dead baby. He wasn't dead (thank GOD) but I am now pretty much set on not cosleeping anymore. That was terrifying. How do you all do it?

Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)

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#2 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I would have shi*t. Wow. How terrifying. I put DS on a receiving blanket in the center of the bed. I am able to wake up and move to either side without waking him so I can nurse from each breast easier. I wear a long sleeve button up shirt so I can keep the covers at my waist and not worry about him getting smothered. I sleep tummy to tummy with him all night with an arm over his middle. I am also a super light sleeper now. I think it helps that we are in a queen size bed, just the two of us. And I have a nightlight so when I wake up I can do a visual check.

...But that may have been a rhetorical "how do you do it?"
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#3 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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OMG, how scary!!!! I once snapped awake in the middle of rolling over, and realized I was about to roll Henry onto his front. (We often spoon.) That absolutely terrified me.

This is how we do it:

The mattress goes on the floor. The baby sleeps in between us. I know there are a lot of people who say that the baby should go between the mom and the wall, and sometimes we do that, but usually he's in between. He has to be on a totally flat, non-rollable surface, so directly on the bed. I do put his favorite nubby blanket under him for both coziness and in case of spit-up or diaper leaks, but I full it TAUT first. At night, we swaddle him. I'm not wild about the non-natural material, but we put him in a Halo sleep sack with swaddling wings, because it immobilizes his flailing little arms and also keeps him warm. This is key, because we can't have the blanket over him. So the comforter is usually down near our waists (we wear sweatshirts to bed, usually.)

H. and I frequently sleep on our sides facing each other. Or his dad and I will take turns spooning him. H. doesn't like to sleep on his back: he was pretty refluxy when he was a newborn.

Co-sleeping totally scared the crap out of my husband (he wanted to use the sidecar) when we first started doing it out of pure sleep-deprived desperation, so we got a little Snuggle Nest thing. I think we used it for like a week (anybody want a slightly used Snuggle Nest?) but it helped him feel like, no, nobody was going to roll over on the baby.

I don't think rolling over on the baby is the problem, anyway. Like your experience, I'm waaaaaay more worried about H. somehow jamming his little face into the mattress. The swaddling helps with that (if he can't roll over, he can't cram his nose into a pillow) and just trying to make sure the bed is flat. I know a lot of people even think you shouldn't have pillows on the bed at all, but we do.

Also - we haven't mastered side-lying nursing, so usually still just sit up for nighttime snacking. I keep a backrest pillow at the very head of the bed, and scoot down and sleep below that. When he wakes up and wants to eat, I just sit up and lean against the pillow. (I am totally envious of everyone who's good at side-lying nursing!)

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#4 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a heavy sleeper and I like to roll over several times at night.

This is the second "bad mommy" thing regarding cosleeping I have done. When we were on our trip last month, Derek had to sleep with us on the futon. I rolled over so that he was on the outside (instead of between DH and I). I fell asleep, and an hour or so later he rolled off onto the floor and I woke up to a thud and a screaming baby. Thank GOD (again) that we were only a few inches off the floor. The co sleeping, baby protecting Gods must REALLY hate me.

Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)

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#5 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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Glad your LO is okay! When mine was little, I was afraid DH wouldn't notice if he rolled over. We had our bed against a wall, so she slept between me and the wall. I would not use a pillow b/c it's too soft. DH and I had pillows, but she was situated below pillow level so she couldn't possibly get her face covered. I was worried b/c I used to be the soundest sleeper ever, but that changed when baby was born. I know some people do the side carred crib so they can be near and touch/comfort baby, but baby is not at risk of being rolled upon.

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#6 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I never put the kids between me and dh that would have been to dangerous. I put them on the outside edge of the bed and invested in a bed rail. I made sure to keep pillows and blankets away from the kids. I used a separate blanket for them.

The only time the kids where put between me and dh was after they we over a year old and fully mobile.

 
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#7 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ed_tricia View Post
Glad your LO is okay! When mine was little, I was afraid DH wouldn't notice if he rolled over. We had our bed against a wall, so she slept between me and the wall. I would not use a pillow b/c it's too soft. DH and I had pillows, but she was situated below pillow level so she couldn't possibly get her face covered. I was worried b/c I used to be the soundest sleeper ever, but that changed when baby was born. I know some people do the side carred crib so they can be near and touch/comfort baby, but baby is not at risk of being rolled upon.


and we follow the dr. sear's do and don'ts pretty strictly:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070600.asp


It sounds like baby though DH was you ans was snuggling up.

And even though we've co-slept with 4 kids now, I don't put baby by DH. I keep him beside me. And me next to DH. We tuck our sheets in the end of the bed so they cannot be pulled up to where baby is... and the duvet as well (even having a duvet is probably a no-np for Dr. Sears, but the way it is it can't be pulled over baby's head.)

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#8 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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I forgot to say - I mentioned that many people say that the baby shouldn't be between mom and dad, but I think that really depends on the individual parents. My husband is uber-sensitive to movements and noises from the little guy. If you have a partner who sleeps like a log and manages to sleep through night wakings, maybe not a good idea.

I also think it's totally okay to not co-sleep if it doesn't work for your family.

Science-loving mama to one little guy (11/09).
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#9 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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We're both light sleepers with Leo, OH also wakes when he starts snuffling for food. Some people in the bedtime bit on here recommended a sleep positioner. It wedges him and stops him from moving. Plus we have a super kingsize bed. It's huge. With the pillows to the edge look how much room we still have between us.

In the morning so I can get my breakfast I can spin him round and point him at the bedhead which he absolutly loves. He could stare it it and coo at it for hours.

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#10 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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In the morning so I can get my breakfast I can spin him round and point him at the bedhead which he absolutly loves. He could stare it it and coo at it for hours.
how funny, we have a headboard like yours--a rod iron one, and Nico loves to 'talk' and smile at it, too!

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#11 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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we also follow Dr Sears list of do/don't..

we have a big king size bed, DS sleeps on the side against the wall with me on the other side of him. .. (I like to snuggle with my DH otherwise we'd probably put DS between us ) we also swaddle DS so it limits rolling and movement quiet a bit. .

I should say, I am an extremely light sleeper otherwise I am unsure if I would be comfortable co-sleeping without some sort of additional 'protection'

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#12 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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DDC crashing to suggest you cross-post over in the Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting.

I also wanted to say, in the early days I usually put my son on a blanket between me and the bedrail/bumper. I put my arm under the pillow and left out a boob. He couldn't roll anywhere, really, and I slept lightly so every movement woke me. I think co-sleeping works best when the mama and the baby are physically pretty close.

This might come in handy:

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t102200.asp

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#13 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I sidecarred a crib. When ds could roll over and 'scoot' a bit, he could spend part of the night between dh and I, but not before then.

Also, a pillow is incredibly dangerous. For one, baby can roll off it, and secondly, it's too soft and poses a suffocation hazard.

Get rid of the pillow, push one side of the bed to the wall and put your baby between you and the wall.

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#14 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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If your question was indeed rhetorical, you're probably regretting posting it about now...

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#15 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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I am a bad cosleeper too. We have a tempurpedic mattress and when DS was teeny tiny, I would wake up with him diagonally wedged into me face down. Thankfully DH was on the couch to not complicate matters! I took to putting him on my chest then.

Cosleeping isn't enough for him, though, he must be touching me at all times. So I sleep on my side, bottom arm stretched out, with him in the crook.

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#16 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Scary!!! That would have freaked me out too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrantOfTheWeek
Ok, so what did I do wrong?
There are a few things I can think of here....

You and DH were "really tired."
The baby was on a pillow.
The baby was between you and DH.
Cosleeping is not normal for you, baby or DH.

All of these things are more dangerous because cosleeping isn't something you normally do, so you're not hyper aware of the baby like parents who cosleep regularly are. That's one reason why I think that baby between you and DH was risky - he's not used to this either.

Not to mention you both were "really tired".

Plus, never put baby on a pillow.

That all said, I feel badly for you. Scares like that really unnerve a person - I'm glad he's okay.
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#17 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 07:20 PM
 
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Scary!!! That would have freaked me out too.


There are a few things I can think of here....

You and DH were "really tired."
The baby was on a pillow.
The baby was between you and DH.
Cosleeping is not normal for you, baby or DH.

All of these things are more dangerous because cosleeping isn't something you normally do, so you're not hyper aware of the baby like parents who cosleep regularly are. That's one reason why I think that baby between you and DH was risky - he's not used to this either.

Not to mention you both were "really tired".

Plus, never put baby on a pillow.

That all said, I feel badly for you. Scares like that really unnerve a person - I'm glad he's okay.
naking Pretty much this and what others have said.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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#18 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Forgot to add:

When ds was a newborn and we didn't have a crib yet, the only safe spot for him was between dh and I. I woke up early one morning to my yelling newborn being partially 'smushed' by dh. Scared me crapola-less!

And hence why I've sidecarred a crib.

Don't feel bad though, it happens a lot, whether one is co-sleeping or using a crib. Sometimes babies get into bad positions.

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#19 of 27 Old 02-11-2010, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for not making me feel completely stupid.

Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)

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#20 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 04:27 AM
 
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I had a scare similar to that when DS was a baby. We had him between DH and I and DH would inadvertently pull the blankets up over DS. One night in particular I woke up with DS wedged up against me sort of in a crevice between DH and I.

With DD too we only co-slept for the first six weeks. She sleeps in a cradle in our room now, but for those first six weeks I always had her on the edge of the bed next to me, not between the two of us, especially since our bed is not particularly large. I made sure she had her own little section of the bed and positioned her so that her head was about at my chest level, so not near the pillows that DH and I would use. I also wrapped her up in a blanket, not really swaddled tightly, but wrapped so that she couldn't really get out of her little space. She also would use a tiny little head positioner pillow. I don't know if they recommend those back home or not (I'm thinking not?) but everyone here uses them. Sometimes I'd sleep facing her and othertimes I'd be cuddled up with DH, but she was pretty much always where she was and with her we never had a scare.

That must have been really frightening though! I hope your blood pressure has gone down by now. Don't beat yourself up, a lot of us have had scary parenting moments. Live and learn.

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#21 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasiya View Post
Scary!!! That would have freaked me out too.


There are a few things I can think of here....

You and DH were "really tired."
The baby was on a pillow.
The baby was between you and DH.
Cosleeping is not normal for you, baby or DH.

All of these things are more dangerous because cosleeping isn't something you normally do, so you're not hyper aware of the baby like parents who cosleep regularly are. That's one reason why I think that baby between you and DH was risky - he's not used to this either.

Not to mention you both were "really tired".

Plus, never put baby on a pillow.

That all said, I feel badly for you. Scares like that really unnerve a person - I'm glad he's okay.
Yep. Mindie

I'm a very light sleeper. Henry sleeps in the crook of my arm swaddled up. When DH is home he sleeps between me and the bed rail. I sometimes put him in a sleep wedge.

Aeona - married to super hot nerd Toby . . . mama to Grace (9) Evangeline (7) Duncan 11.14.08   and Henry (4) born at home. Expecting again early December!  

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#22 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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Very scary Momma!! I would never, ever put baby on anything though, makes for easy rolling off. My heart is pounding in sympathy for you!

The way we're co-sleeping is Momma and baby in the middle of the bed, blankets and sheets are down around my waist and we have a sheet that goes up to LO's chest. My body heat keeps her warm. For the moment, Daddy is sleeping in our guest bedroom with the monitor in case I need him. We side-lying nurse during the night and Daddy changes diapers.

Once she starts rolling, however, I think we're going to either buy a side rail or we're going to put her in her crib, because I'm terrified she'll fall off the bed. That's why she sleeps in the middle and Mommy sleeps on whatever side she needs to feed off of.

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#23 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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no time to read all the replies, and i'm sure someone already covered this, but NEVER put your baby on a pillow!!! please please dont do that again. keep the baby in the crook of your arm or between yourself and the wall or a very safe bedrail.

i found with ds1, now 15yo, that i had to "learn" how to co-sleep, but that really just meant learning how to discern the leading of my instinct and combine that with practical safety measures. by the time i had ds2 7 yrs later, i was much more relaxed and not at all nervous.

try implementing the suggestions you've gotten here about safer ways to do it, and remember that mamas who dont co-sleep regularly, ie "not-so-crunchy" mamas, may be slightly less instinctive about how to keep their LO safe in the bed, but with practice, you will learn.

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#24 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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Once she starts rolling, however, I think we're going to either buy a side rail or we're going to put her in her crib, because I'm terrified she'll fall off the bed. That's why she sleeps in the middle and Mommy sleeps on whatever side she needs to feed off of.
Using a bed rail with mesh or putting the mattress against the wall works really well for rolling. Once they learn to crawl, that's a whole different matter. My older two have each crawled off the edge of the bed at some point. With DS1 we then moved the mattress to the floor. We didn't need to worry with DD because she wouldn't sleep so I just wore her in a carrier. Then after she was 1 year old, we put her in the crib at night because she slept better with no distractions. This time around I'm hoping to use the crib for naps if Everett ever lets me put him down. I just hope that when we co-sleep at night, he won't crawl off the bed before I wake. I'm a very light sleeper around him though so I don't think it will happen.

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#25 of 27 Old 02-12-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I find that having our bed on the floor saves alot of worry. We have a thin, hard mattress (DH would sleep on a wooden plank if I let him) that is literally 5 inches thick, right on the floor, so even if R did roll off, it would be onto carpet. Otherwise, DH sleep up against the wall and R sleeps in the crook of my arm. I wear a fleece button down shirt (open) with a tight long sleep tshirt. The fleece allows me to keep the covers waist height and I can ruck up the t-shirt easily to feed her (I've basically begun doing this in my sleep). I lay her on her back but she always ends up facing me and so when she begins rooting around I just pull up my shirt and latch her on. We usually fall asleep like that. At somepoint int he middle of the night I get DH up to change her diaper. I move her from one side of me to the other (which is sometimes between me and DH and sometimes on the side of the bed, not against the wall) and it never disturbs her. Also, we don't swaddle her - she has hated it from day 1 and with her arms free she can push a sheet off of her if it creeps too high. She just won't sleep if she isn't snuggled up to one of us. We're both super aware of her and all she has to do is pant lustfully at my boob and I'm awake.

I know that you're not suppose to do some of these things, but it works for us. But alot of these factors depend on how you sleep and are comfortable and how your baby is...

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#26 of 27 Old 02-13-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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we have a bedrail w/mesh and no boxspring so the rail sits inbetween the mattress and the bed - no suffocation hazard there.

the covers are wedged down so they dont come up to baby level where she is. and I just "know" where she is. we also dont cosleep full-time so if there's a night where I think I'm esp dead or I've had a glass of wine, I leave her in her bassinet.
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#27 of 27 Old 02-13-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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That must've scared you. What a way to wake up. Dh woke up one morning and my feather pillow had come out from under my head and was covering my baby's. So now I just sleep on one small pillow. We have a sidecarred crib but when she wakes up to nurse she is in our bed. Sometimes on my side and sometimes in between dh and I. I sleep on my side and her tummy is against mine otherwise she rolls over (we have a tempurpedic mattress) and gets wedged face down. Her head touches my armpit and my legs are pulled up. The blanket is tucked behind her back. When I sleep, I am on my side but put a small pillow behind my back and sort of lean on that. When Ali is in between dh and I, I do the same thing but put a small hardish pillow between dh and baby. Our blanket is only tucked into waist. Please know that no matter what mistakes happen. There was a reason you woke up. Know that in your heart.

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