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Learning to co-sleep

June 2, 2009

Co-sleeping is not my thing. There’s nothing wrong with it, I don’t criticize anyone else for doing it, but it’s not my thing. Penny sleeps in a bassinet right beside me and that’s close enough for me. I’m not looking forward to moving her to her crib, but have slowly started transitioning her there.

But last night I made a mistake. An almost deadly mistake. I almost became a statistic. According to the Pediatric Death Review Committee and Death Under Five Committee 2009 Report, 8.8 deaths out of 100,000 are caused by parents co-sleeping with their babies/infants.

It’s brutal to say, and I feel even more horrible about it, but Penny could have become one of those 8.8 last night. I went to bed at midnight. I woke up around 2 to feed her. I’ve taken to side-lying to feed her to give her freedom in how she feeds. I woke up at some point between 2 and 4 because I thought Penny was hungry. I automatically tried to latch her on. She wasn’t hungry. That was when I realized that she was still in bed from the last feeding. My heart stopped. Our bed IS NOT co-sleeping friendly. We have a huge king-sized comforter on our queen-sized bed. We have a top sheet. We have our fluffy pillows. We also have a fan going all the time, and last night it was cold in our room. Sometime after I feel back asleep while feeding her, I must have pulled the blanket up because I was cold. When Penny was “fussing” and I tried to feed her, she was actually trying to get the blanket off of her or even off of her face (I don’t know which). I am devastated by this. I didn’t intend to co-sleep and the fact that I ended up falling asleep with her in bed could have killed her.

This teaches me a valuable lesson, and thankfully not the hard way. Tonight, our bed becomes co-sleeping friendly JUST IN CASE.

Go to PhDinParenting.com >> Co-sleeping Safety to learn how to reduce the risks of co-sleeping.

I am not posting this to argue whether co-sleeping is the right thing to do, or if it is safe or unsafe. I am not looking for sympathy about falling asleep with Penny in bed. I am going to apply these safety principles to our bed, in case this happens again. And I hope other non-co-sleeping moms will read this and take what I’ve said to heart. Just because you don’t co-sleep doesn’t mean it can’t happen!

This perfectly illustrates PHDinParenting’s point that the government needs to teach parents how to make a co-sleeping friendly bed, rather than telling parents not to co-sleep. I thank her for all her information on co-sleeping. We will be putting that information to use TONIGHT!

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