Thursday, April 5, 2012

Co-Sleeping Saved My Baby

**We recently mentioned on Facebook that we were looking for bloggers to guest post for us. We received many great posts. This is Jamie's post.**

"Jamie is a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, kinda crunchy mother of five children ranging in age from baby to teenager and lives in New York. She started out her parenting journey, 15 years ago, as a very mainstream Mama but with each child she has embraced a little more of the natural side of living as well as the attached parenting styles because it's what she feel comes naturally and is best for her family. She believes in doing what's best for the children within a family unit even if it isn't always easy but finds attached parenting helps her to meet her children's needs as quickly and efficiently as possible while keeping her sanity intact and building close familial bonds. She can be reached at TheCrunchy5 {at} hotmail {dot} com"

I have co-slept all my children to some extent over the years. With Noah we did not even buy a crib because we planned for him to co-sleep from day one. Noah typically wakes around three in the morning to nurse. 

The morning of January 23, when Noah was almost 3 1/2 months old, I had woken up at 1 AM or so, saw that all was happy and well and went back to sleep. Around 4 AM Noah woke up to nurse. I noticed that he sounded very snotty so I grabbed a tissue and wiped his nose here and there while he was nursing. 

He finished nursing and we started settling back down to sleep, with him in the crook of my arm as usual. He sneezed twice and then I didn't hear his noisy breathing or feel him breathing. I shook him a little bit, he seemed to gasp and then started with the noisy breathing again right away. You don't want to think your baby stopped breathing so my mind automatically thought that he was breathing fine and just so peaceful that I didn't feel or hear it and he gasped because I started him a little bit when I shook him. I started settling back down, he sneezed twice again, and again the same thing-I didn't hear or feel him breathing. I shook him gently again. He gasped again and I started to hear him breathe and feel him move. 

Once? Eh, weird things happen, things get overlooked because you're tired, it's dark...yada yada. Twice is more than coincidental! 

 I was up and out of bed with Noah so fast making sure he was OK. I headed to the living room so I could turn on the lights to see him better and watch him closely, keep him inclined, take care of his nose, have the phone handy just in case, and run through what I know about CPR for babies. 

Noah ended up waking up fully in all the commotion of getting out of bed and into the light. He had good skin color, his breathing was regular, it wasn't as labored as it seemed to be when we were nursing or settling back down to sleep, and nothing else seemed abnormal. I ended up waking Daddy up a couple minutes later because I wanted Daddy to hold him upright and watch him while I got the stuff together to take care of his nose goop. I told Daddy what happened so he watched him closely and agreed with me that nothing concerning, aside from the goopy nose, seemed to be going on. Noah was moving around as normal, smiling, reacting and interacting with me, and bright eyed. I watched him, Daddy went work and we called his Pediatrician to make an appointment.

I took Noah in to see his pediatrician, Dr. S, the next morning. Dr. S.  spent about an hour in the room with us. I gave him all the details, everything the way I noticed/perceived it in as much detail as possible. Originally he said that babies change their breathing, IE they go from breathing heavy and fast to light and slow, etc. I knew in my gut that wasn't it and told him so. After a physical exam and a lot of questions and discussion Dr. S. then determined that Noah was severely congested in his nose. He also noticed that it sounded like Noah had some gunk in his chest and an ear infection in his left ear. Based on his exam, our discussion, and my review of the previous morning's events what Dr. S. ascertained was that his nose was so congested (babies breathe through their nose) and that his mucus was so thick that it was such hard work to breathe through his that  

Noah just...didn't breathe.  

 Dr. S. is very hesitant to say anything that is not solid and/or medically or scientifically backed. For him to say that Noah did stop breathing and why he thinks that happened-wow! I had so many feelings run through me from fear to relief to anger to feeling like a failure. 

Dr. S told me to keep doing what I'm doing as far as attached parenting and co-sleeping. I told him I was nervous about going to his office and telling them I co-sleep because of the increased negativity about co-sleeping in the last few months, including the infamous baby sleeping with knife anti-cosleeping AD. 

 He told me that while he can't recommend it that we are probably the lowest risks with co-sleeping. Noah wasn't premature, no smoking in the home, I don't drink and parent, etc. He added that us co-sleeping, and "keeping him close to me" like with baby wearing, especially when he was sick, was probably a good idea. "They" beat SIDS into your head, make you fearful of co-sleeping and a hundred other things but did you know that "SIDS often occurs in association with relatively minor respiratory (mild cold) and gastrointestinal infections (vomiting and diarrhea). " (Reducing the Risk of SIDS, from the American SIDS Institute)? Neither did I until I read it on the American SIDS Institute's website the morning Noah stopped breathing.  

Noah went on  breathing treatments, an antibiotic for his ear infection, saline spray with a nasal aspirator, a cool mist humidifier, and various other home treatments (like Johnson's Vapor bath and Vapor Rub.). I think what threw me for a loop was that he didn't look sick. Yes, I knew he was congested and I knew he had green poop but darn, he was in good spirits, active, and nursing appropriately! He was much sicker than he was/is leading on. 

I am so thankful for co-sleeping! 

If I had not been co-sleeping who knows what would have happened. Maybe I would have walked him to another room, put him flat on his back in a crib, and left the room blissfully unaware that he was about to stop breathing. Maybe I would have left him in the crib, heard the first set of sneezes over the baby monitor and thought they were cute, then heard nothing else but figuring he was sleeping, not knowing SIDS often occurs with minor colds. As I sit here and type this Noah is snoozing quietly and peacefully, but if I hadn't been near him enough to know that something didn't seem right...


  1. I know EXACTLY what she went through only I had to breathe for my baby girl. Hugs to you and God Bless.

  2. I too coslept with my baby, but {thankfully} never had anything like that!!

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. My would be older sister died of SIDS.

  4. Replies
    1. I totally agree with you I full enjoy of this story

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  5. Wow great post i like it very much thanks for share Parenting Tips

  6. Co sleeping scared me when I was first a Mom because I was worried I was going to roll over and suffocated my baby. However, I co slept with my daughter and often my son when my husband was gone for training with the Marines. I feel like it gave us a closer connection and when they were sick I was able to monitor them better. Thank you for sharing your story. =) I'm so glad you're little boy is ok. God bless.
    Hannah Wetzel

  7. I am Jamie from the post. Thank you for your comments. Out of my five at home I have never experienced anything like what happened with Noah that morning. There is no doubt in my mind that keeping our children close is how it's suppose to be for our benefit and theirs. AP is justa fancy name for simple, natural reactions and interactions with our children. I feel blessed to have all of my children, especially Noah, here with me every single day.

    Noah was born completely healthy, no complications or health issues. We also selectively vaccinate and aside from the Hep B in the hospital he has not had any vaccines. He is exclusively breastfed, he has not had one bottle of anything, ever. We do not smoke (I've never smoked). I want everyone to know that there were not pre-existing conditions that put him at risk for SIDS.

    Noah will be 6 months on the 17th and is a completely healthy, chunky, wiggly, giggly little monkey!

  8. How scary! I have co slept with both my boys until about 6 months snd plan to with all my babies. I won't sleep if I can't hear them breathing!

  9. Wow. How scary that must have been for you. Good for you for listening to your gut and not brushing it off.

  10. That is amazing, touches my heart since I too have a baby Noah. So glad everything worked out!

  11. Thank you for sharing; these kinds of stories give me chills. So thankful everything is alright with Noah.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too had no idea that a child being sick could increase their risk of SIDS. Makes me look at co-sleeping, or at least occasional co-sleeping, in a new light.

  13. Thanks for sharing your story. I did co-sleep with my little one for his first two months. Now he is in his crib next to the bed. I just feel better when he is closed by.

  14. Thanks for sharing! I also have Co-slept with my three kids. It is encouraging to know that others out there do it.

  15. Great information about Co-sleeping! Thank you for the story!