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Thread: Co-sleeping

  1. #1
    Melinda Guest

    Default Co-sleeping

    We haven't ever co-slept with Jacob, except if he has been unwell and I must admit, I have found myself quite anxious about it, wondering if we are doing it correctly if that makes sense?



    As a result, I'd actually like to find out a bit more about this. Can someone please explain to me exactly how co-sleeping works? By this I mean, whereabouts in the bed do you put baby, in between you and DH? What do you do WRT to your own pillows/blankets etc? Have you found that it works well for you all? Do you feel that you have enough space? Do you or baby get hot?

    I'd like to find out exactly what the principles of co-sleeping are, and how it works in readiness for our next little one. I'm unsure as to whether we will actually co-sleep at this stage, but I am definitely interested to know more about it, particularly since we do bring Jacob in with us if he's unwell. I just want to ensure that we are doing everything safely IYKWIM?

  2. #2

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    From what I can gather Mel, you are meant to sleep them near the top of the bed, keeping all pillows and other blankets away from them.
    The size of the bed can play a big factor though... we only have a double bed, and I found that co-sleeping with Aidyn just got far too uncomfortable when he was 9months+. So what we did was move his cot into our bedroom, and remove one of its sides, and push it up next to our bed, and against the wall, so it was just like an extension of our bed, but we all could have enough space.

    I know they dont recommend so-sleeping when one or both parents smoke, drink, or are on medications that could make them drowsy.

    I was actually too scared to co-sleep with Aidyn when he was a newborn, but over the next couple of months I learnt to settle him in our bed at night-time, whilst lying with him, and then I would transfer him to his cot once he was alseep. If he woke up again during the night I would usually just bring him back in bed with us.
    He had all of his naps in our bed too, and I would usually nap next to him.
    So we never strictly co-slept at all times, but definately did more than 70% of the time.... and can I say it was just wonderful!
    We had Aidyn in our room until he was about 13 or 14 months, and then moved him into his own room with relatively little fuss (although he was upset for a few nights) Now he is a really great sleeper, and we dont have any need (or room!) to bring him into our bed during the night.
    But it was definately a special time being able to wake up with him right there..... although now DP and are also certainly appreciative of our own space!

  3. #3
    katanya Guest

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    Felix has always co-slept in some form since he was newborn..

    Firstly if you plan to do in the same bed co-sleeping I would recomend you get a queen or king sized bed, so you all the right amount of space..

    Wen Felix was newborn we had a bassinette, hewould have his fist sleep in that and then would sleep with me in the early morning..

    Doonas and balnkets need to be watched with young babies as they cannot move away..I would aways have Felix in a sleeping bag and on top of the doona and I would have him on my side of the bed and between basinette and me with a pilow to stop any gaps..

    As they grow the rules chane or they did for us..

    when he out grew the basinette we put the cot on the side of the bed with athe side rail off making sure there was no gaps to fall between. he would spend some of the night in the cot and most with us of both sides of me..

    When he started rolling we lowered the cot and bought a side rail on the far side of the bed for when he was in there alone (before I went to bed) and he's sleep most of the night between us or on side was summer so no worries about blankets..

    When he was crawling we found the easiest solution was to lower the bed so just the mattress was on the floor and he could safely move anywhere he wanted..this was really easy..we replaced the cot with a side mattress for extra room

    Now he is 17 months and I on my own and I have the bed correct height using the side rail on his side..obviously with 3 in the bed you wouldn't have this luxury but it works for us!

    Things you have to be conscious of are mving beds are side cot/mattress, so they don't fall in gaps..obviously bedding..now we both share the same doona, but under 6 mths a separate bedding worked well for us..

    Felix is on nigt oxygen and currently the NG Tube pump at night and if we didn't co-sleep I would have to constantly check him for tangles and choking..it is something both DP and I enjoyed with him from birth..and if he stays with his Dad they will most likely co-sleep too

    The media blacklisting of co-sleeping makes me upset as there are safe ways to co-sleep just as there are safe parctices for cot sleeping..for me it feel natural and enhanced our bond and breastfeeding experience..

    HTH!

  4. #4
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    I have heard, also, that if you are an obese person, it's recommended that you not co-sleep because you may not feel the baby.
    I have only co-slept with Gabby once or twice during the day when she was a newborn. Every little noise she made woke me up so it wasn't a very good sleep. She's always slept much better in her own room.
    Still... I look forward to the day she can get out of bed and come into our room and snuggle up with us for a bit of a sleep-in. A while away yet!!

  5. #5

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    I was told, by a midwife in Darwin, that if either Mum or Dad have ever been smokers, that you shoudln't co-sleep. I really have no idea if that is true or not, or if she was simply a scaremongerer, but it stuck in my head and as such don't co-sleep with Olivia or Charlie. (They both "room in" with us though, in their hammock, next to my side of the bed.)

    I wish she had never told me that, because Charlie settles so easily after a feed in bed with me that it would be heaps easier to keep him there!!

  6. #6

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    I have never heard that Lucy...... Jackson and I were both smokers prior to my pregnancy, and I stopped when I found out I was pg, and he stopped not too long after Aidyn was born (and before we started co-sleeping). I wonder how being a previous smoker could affect co-sleeping? Anyone have any ideas? I certainly hope I wasnt doing the wrong thing, but I dont think I was!?

  7. #7

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    Great post Mel! You must have read my mind as I was going to post one asking all the same questions!

    We have had Matty with us in bed a couple of times when he has been ill. I can't believe the difference it made him in falling asleep. He would cry and scream in his cot, fall asleep in my arms but as I put him in our cot, he'd wake up and cry all over again - it was just too sad to see him like this.

    So we went back to our bed, popped him down between us and 5 minutes later he was snozzing soundly and stayed that way for the rest of the night.

    So since Matthew is 8 months, is it okay for him to have a doona over him?

  8. #8

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    Ambah...SO sorry hon, I didn't mean to freak you out! It was a midwife in Darwin, when I was in hospital after having Olivia. And I think it is likely a load of rubbish. And I may have got it wrong anyway (as I heard it when I was still placenta brain!!). So don't worry......I am sure you haven't done the wrong thing at all. And if it makes Aidyn happy and sleep well, that is absolute proof you are doing the right thing.

  9. #9

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    Its cool Lucy, I'm not too freaked out anymore
    Everything I have read says its not recommended if one or both parents are smokers, but I have never read anything to say that previous smokers shouldn't co-sleep... (gosh, I would hope the chemicals wouldnt hang around our bodies for that long!?)
    Its interesting though, I will see if I can research more and find anything else out about it...

  10. #10
    katanya Guest

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    I have never heard of the previous smokers thing, but have heard of smoker, apparently it's if one of the parents is a smoker as it alters your sleep patterns apparently..

    Obviously drug and alcohol use is a big one..

    Deb I have heard the obese rule too, but I thought it was more a smothering thing rather than that the parent wouldn't feel the baby, and some obese people are much deeper sleepers..

    Nell: if you feel Matty can pull the doona off him self or roll away from it then it would be okay, you have to judge on their developmental ability..it's like kids in cots, once they can roll they are lot safer..

    There is a LOT of research with co-sleeping that isactually prevents SIDS, becaus ethe baby mimic the parents breathing patterns..there are SOO many more deaths by SIDS related causes than co-sleeping (and alot of those are when people sleep on the couch, or under the influence)

    Wome too are alot safer sleepers because their hoormones make them more in tune with their babies..

  11. #11

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    I think the article "Babies and Sleep" on the main site has safe co-sleeping tips written by Pinky McKay - I am not at home and on an awkward computer so I wont get the link - but you should find it here: www.bellybelly.com.au/articles/baby
    Kelly xx

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  12. #12

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    Matthew and I have often dosed off together while he`s feeding at night but when I wake I normally put him back into his cradle but for the last few weeks when he wakes for his 5/6am feed I have been leaving him in bed with us to sleep until he wakes up again which can be between 1 - 2 hrs later, I always have him cradled in my arms next to my BB`s but just this last week gone Mark has mentioned that it`s getting him into a bad habit of sleeping in Mummy`s and Daddy`s bed so all this week except for 1 or 2 mornings I`ve put him back into his cradle where he will often wake when I put him in or wake within 30 minutes.

    Just wondering what your girls views are on this. Is Mark correct in saying that Matthew will be getting into a bad habit which we will not be able to break? I just love this cuddle co sleep time in the mornings but I want to do what`s right by Matthew.

    Take Care

    Deeanne

  13. #13

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    From my POV - you are doing what is right by Matthew is letting you guys have your cuddle time in the morning. Let Matthew be your guide, if he enjoys this sleep time, then let him have it I say.

  14. #14

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    Dee I don't think it is a bad habit at all.... and if in the future the sleeping arrangements arent working for you, then it shouldnt be too hard to change them.
    Aidyn would end up in our bed more often than not, and I would worry that it was going to be hard to break the habit. But for ages we loved his time with us in bed, and then when he got too big we moved the cot next to the bed (with the side off) so he could still be next to us,.. then put the side back on the cot when he became very mobile,... and then eventually back into his own room. Doing it in stages seemed to work really well for us.
    I say to enjoy this sleepy/cuddly time with him in the mornings... it certainly seems to be working for him by the fact that he is sleeping longer!

  15. #15

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    I love my cuddle/sleep times with Matthew in the mornings but with Mark saying that it`ll be getting Matthew into a bad habit has confused me in what`s the right thing to do.

    That`s a great idea you had with moving Aidyn back in stages as that also worries me when #2 comes along what happens with Matthew if he still likes his cuddle/sleep times with Mummy in the mornings.

    I guess I should just go by what I feel is the right thing to do.

  16. #16

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    Maybe you can suggest to Mark to try to enjoy Matthew sleeping in bed with you both whilst it lasts... as he is not going to be so little for much longer!

    I found that when Aidyn got to the age of crawling and being more mobile it was harder and not as safe to have him in bed with us anyway, which is why I compromised by putting the cot next to the bed.

    Definately follow your instincts and what you feel is right, Dee... theres nothing wrong with that at all and thats what maternal instincts are for...

  17. #17

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    Everyone always said to me to never let them in the bed or you'd never get them out. But I figure I have the pleasure of sleeping with someone at night who makes me feel safe, why not bubs too? I used to hate sleeping alone all the time!!! But at the end of the day, nothing else worked for us (as you would have read, even two miserable weeks of sleep school where they used CC) so co-sleeping is what we did to get any sleep, we just happened to enjoy it immensely too which was a bonus.

    Marisa went into her own bed at 2, still sometimes she pops in usually when sick or when she has nightmares, but she loves her room which has our old queen size bed in it - so she literaly sleeps like a queen! Just because you co-sleep, it doesn't mean they will not want to get out. If you make it a gradual transition it will help and make it exciting to have their own room decked out with their fave toys, colours, decorations etc. Then again, I know some children that don't like to co-sleep and like to be in their own rooms, in the dark with the door shut - even when mum wanted to co-sleep!!! So you never know what these gorgeous little bundles have in mind for us.

    As Pinky always says (something along the lines of!), 'yes my children were in the bed with me when they were little but now they are grown up and I have no idea who's bed they are in but it's not mine!!!'

    To me, there's nothing better than snuggling up with my gorgeous girl (or boy!) for snuggly cuddles - and now there are those times when there are four in the bed!!! I will sure miss it when they are older.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #18

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    I never co slept with any of my older kids,because of the old thing,that once you let them in,they will never get out...But we have done it with Dommie for the better part of his 9 months of life....He is not co sleeping now,and hasnt been for about a month now,because we have stopped bfding all together and we are expressing and bottle feeding,but i loved it when we did cosleep,for the main reason that i could get a lot more sleep than getting up to him all night....
    it was so much easier just to lay down with him and for him to latch on when he wanted to....
    I would definitely cosleep if we do end up having another one though...I just find it was a lot more comortable than being in two seperate beds....
    I know there are a lot of people out there who dont believe in it,and that is fine for them,but for me now it is the only way to go...
    I guess it is like the people who warned me against feeding Dominic to sleep for the first few months of his life becaise they said he would never sleep by himself,but he actually started putting himself to sleep about 6 months,and we havent looked back since,so i am happy now we got that first 6 months of cuddles which we wouldnt have got if i hadve listened to what everyone said to me....

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