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Old Aug 13th, 2010, 17:42 PM   1
BabyHaines
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Safe Co-sleeping - A Guide


Evening all,
I'm starting this thread as I've noticed a lot of posts from nervous new parents asking about co-sleeping and i thought it would be good to have a guide (I'll ask whether it could maybe become a sticky )

****

During pregnancy, many parents state quite adamantly that they do not intend to co-sleep. They then often find themselves as sleep-deprived new parents, accepting baby into their bed in order to get some well-needed rest. Then, more often than not they vehemently deny their bed sharing, as they feel they are in the wrong and may be accused of trying to harm their baby or turn their child 'clingy' by friends, relatives and even some health professionals.

Here is the Unicef/FSID leaflet that advises parents how to safely co-sleep;
http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/pdfs/...bedleaflet.pdf
(Note; this is aimed at breastfeeding mothers, as it was released under the 'Baby Friendly Initiative'. The same basic safety principles apply to babies who are artificially fed).

Is Co-sleeping Safe?
Co-sleeping is the norm throughout many parts of the world. It is seen as completely normal for children to share a 'family bed' in many cultures, often meaning there can be several children present in one bed with one set of parents.
However, during the '90's a New Zealand study found that a small Maori population they studied had a high risk of SIDS amongst their co-sleeping families. This sparked panic and led to Anne Diamond fronting a campaign which frowned on co-sleeping and strongly advised against it. It was later discovered though, that this study was flawed and they revoked the links between co-sleeping and SIDS. (The small group they studied were heavy alcohol and drug users and the study included parents falling asleep on the sofa/couch as co-sleeping). But, despite some great effort, the damage was done. Co-sleeping was seen as dangerous, a taboo.
See: http://mumszine.wordpress.com/2010/0...t-co-sleeping/ for more details.
Co-sleeping is a natural, wonderful way to sleep, providing it is done safely, again see; http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/pdfs/...bedleaflet.pdf for more details.

Breastfeeding and Co-sleeping;
In the early days and weeks, when trying to establish your milk supply, co-sleeping can be a wonderful aid. Allowing baby unrestricted access to the breast during the night will help to increase your milk supply and will help to calm an unsettled baby.
When a baby suckles, Oxytocin is released for both mother and baby, helping to settle them both to sleep.
'A recent study has demonstrated that pro-lactin release in response to night-time suckling is greater than during the day; thus milk production may get it's greatest 'boost' when the baby feeds at night.'
(Successful Breastfeeding)
The 'feel-good' hormone's that are released can also help fight pain, which ultimately helps to calm a fractious teething baby for example.
****

I hope this helps to point people to the right references. The decision to co-sleep is to be made by you as parents and should not be influenced (for or against) by a third party. I seek only to help you make an informed choice.

However you sleep, sleep well, but most importantly, sleep SAFE and stay away from that sofa or comfy chair when you are overtired!

Em xxxx



 
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 03:54 AM   2
BabyHaines
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Any ideas how we request this as a sticky?x



 
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 04:39 AM   3
littlestar
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i'm happy to add it to the guides & faq's sticky if you like



 
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 08:07 AM   4
BabyHaines
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Ooooh, that will be fab - thanks Littlestar xx



 
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 09:34 AM   5
mamaofthree
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Fantastic thread!!! I practised co-sleeping with all my three babies and will with my fourth, but was lucky to have a supportive health visitor (very pro natural parenting) Many friends were horrified, or sadly were not prepared to do it for fear of their babies becoming too needy!!!!It sadens me that some mums want to distance themselves from their bubs who will be needy regardless in the early weeks, and some are just mis informed. Welldone ladies for bringing info about a better night sleep if nothing else for us breastfeeding mums! !!!!! x x x x



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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 10:41 AM   6
wannabubba#4
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thanks for this xx

i never intended co-sleeping ever but as a bfeeding mummy of a baby who feeds ALL night at the moment it has worked out that way lol- thanks for the good advice on doing it safely xx

p.s. the link in the sticky doesn't work



 
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 09:34 AM   7
samface182
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thank you so much for this.
i wasn't planning on co-sleeping with my LO but it has ended up that way, as he just doesn't settle in his cradle at night.
i love co-sleeping already, and so does he. we both get a much better sleep. win win
xx



 
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Old Sep 17th, 2010, 17:21 PM   8
wtt :)
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Great thread!



 
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Old Sep 18th, 2010, 01:37 AM   9
mandarhino
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Hah! That was me as well. I swore I would not co-sleep pre-birth and she's spent the majority of her nights so far - at least part of them - in bed with me. I just didn't talk about this to the HV. In fact, I largely ignored the topic of her sleep / lack of it during the visits.

Good links.



 
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Old Apr 18th, 2011, 03:30 AM   10
loopy82
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Thanks so much for this, my lo point blank refuses to settle on her own at the moment so I started out of desperation and was very scared of hurting her but will continue with confidence. I never considered co-sleeping either, as far as I knew it was an extremely dangerous thing to do. Really wish people would stop jumping the gun with these so-called studies.



 
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