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Old 04-15-2010, 10:51 AM   #1
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Unhappy Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

My step-niece suffocated last week while co-sleeping with her mother. She was 1 month and 1 day old. The mother has no idea how it could have happened. She's obviously completely distraught. I don't know how to feel about this. I've always been completely supportive of co-sleeping. I co-slept with my own as tiny infants. However, this has me second guessing my beliefs. Any thoughts or words of advice?
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:58 AM   #2
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

Oh my! Hugs for you. I so sorry you and your family are going through this sad time.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

i read recently on here that someone was nursing and fell asleep. when they woke the baby had passed. i ccould not believe it because i do it all the time! since then, each time i place dd (4monthS) to nurse while laying down, i need to try to shake myself awake...lots of times dd nose gets covered, but im awake to move her or me right away, imagine if i dozed off and didnt realize! since then me and dh have decided to try to nurse sitting up, to keep me more alert. she sleeps in a co-sleeper next to my bed. i do, however, move her onto my bed by 9am...but she is all the way on the other side of the bed from me.
its a scary reality that a lot of mothers face...i dont know how id feel if it were to happen to me. i coslept with ds forever, but i dont think i will do so for this baby or any future ones.
good luck to you and your family. may God give you all patience.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

Do they know for sure it was suffocation? Like was the baby obviously obstructed from breathing? Because co-sleeper kids still die from SIDS and underlying health issues only discovered upon autopsy. Don't automatically blame co-sleeping if it wasn't an obvious suffocation. Like did she get caught between people or pillows or blankets. Then that is poor choice on the adult's part not co-sleeping in general.
I'm sorry for their loss no matter what the reason. When a baby dies, there is little comfort to be had in the "how".
Many more peoples around the world co-sleep than crib sleep, yet cribs have been the outright cause of way more deaths than co-sleeping. I say be vigilent but be safe about it.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

Hugs & prayers for your family - how heartbreaking!
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

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Originally Posted by tmy237 View Post
Hugs & prayers for your family - how heartbreaking!
I agree, heartbreaking.

I'm very, very sorry for the loss of the sweet baby. I don't co-sleep, but I still worried tons when my babies were small. At least once I fell asleep in the glider rocker while nursing my boys when they were infants, and I don't believe there was anything I could have done about it b/c I was so sleep-deprived.

Every decision has risk involved; I think the best thing you can do is to tell people the risks and the benefits of co-sleeping and let them make an informed decision about what they want to do.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:22 AM   #7
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

How sad! So sorry for their loss!
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

That is terrible...I'm so sad for that mother but I do think the reality is that it can happen easier than we think. DS2 usually sleeps in his pack and play next to my bed and I nurse him in bed sitting upright when he wakes up. He must have been about 1-2 weeks old when I woke up with my nursing pillow still attached and I couldn't find him. I was burping him and fell asleep. He slipped down in the middle between my husband on his side and I and he was covered up by the sheet. I FREAKED out but thanks be to God everything was okay. DS1 slept in our room until he was 7 months old but I was considering moving DS2 tonight and then I read this post. I think it is time. I would be more awake nursing in the rocking chair in his room than in my bed.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

How sad. I am so sorry. I wouldn't second guess your cosleeping beliefs. More babies die in cribs each year and in car accidents but people don't second guess those choices. Babies sometimes die in cosleeping situations but if practiced safely, it is very unlikely to happen. The reality is that one should never fall asleep nursing a baby, never use pillows when cosleeping with a baby, limit covers, never cover the baby with blankets or sheets, and be very careful about the headboard and side rails. The cosleepers should never drink alcohol before sleeping nor take any drugs that might impair thinking or make one sleep deeper. When these safety tips are practiced religiously, babies do not die in cosleeping situations except for SIDS.

So, people need to stop fretting. Cosleeping is not the enemy. A baby can die in a crib, too. But here are some tips from a world authority on cosleeping about how to do it safely.

http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/safe.html
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Re: Co-sleeping death - not sure how to feel now

that's horrible. i'm so sorry!


I know this is scary but it doesn't change my beliefs that co-sleeping is best for mom and baby and the entire family. I co-slept with a 5lb and 4lb preemie and a 6lb term baby. I wouldn't change any of those experiences. We found that the 5lb preemie had almost no apnea spells at night sleeping in bed with mom and dad but when she was alone in a bassinet for naps and such and not worn, she had WAY more. And knowing this, it's so scary. We were really lucky to leave the NICU on an apnea monitor but since other people don't get that, it's my opinion that co-sleeping probably saves infants' lives. Really. I think it's the safest way.
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