Sleep: The Most Terrifying Thing of All

I am terrified of sleeping.

We didn’t get a bassinette, or pack n play, or anything like that for Nellie to sleep in our room with us. We had planned on putting her in her crib to sleep from the start. There are many factors as to why it’s not practical for her to sleep in the room with us; we have two cats and their litter box is in our room. There’s no other place in the apartment for the litter box. If Nellie is sleeping in the room with us, we don’t want the cats in the room with us, too because we’re afraid they’ll try and climb on her in the middle of the night, knock over what she’s sleeping in, etc. Plus they need to get to their litter box.

We are not co-sleepers. I think it can be dangerous, and can also establish bad sleeping habits later down the road. Even if we were, there is the cat factor again.
So, crib sleeping it is for Nellie. Logically, I know that if I swaddle her and place her on her back in her sleep positioner, she’ll be fine. I have done this, flipped on her baby monitor and attempted to sleep. I find myself hyper-vigilant and having problems sleeping with all the little gurgles and sighs she makes over the monitor. If I do manage to drift off, I end up waking with a nasty jolt after about 45 minutes to an hour when I realize that I’ve been asleep.

I thought I’d found a good solution yesterday. I put Nellie in her Moby for the first time.. In the wee hours of the morning after a feeding, I put her in her crib and snuck off to rest on the couch… No dice. The little lady screamed and would not go to sleep. I was desperate for some shut-eye, so I put her snugly in the Moby (Newborn Cradle Hold), went to the couch, sat up and put my feet on the ottoman, lay my head back and rested. I felt very, very secure with her snug against my chest. I could feel her breathing and look down to check on her every so often. There was no possibility of me dropping her, and since I was resting in a sitting-up semi-reclining position I wasn’t worried about rolling over and smothering her. I thought I’d found the perfect solution for us.

Now I’m starting to second-guess myself. Sometimes she wriggles around in the Moby little by little and her little face is toward my chest. I am worried that she will manage to smother herself against me, or inhale too much of her exhaled air and suffocate. I am simply terrified of sleeping now. I can’t tell if this Moby solution is OK, or if I’m doing something very very stupid and putting my daughter at risk of suffocating. I just don’t know what to do. I can’t get good sleep if she’s in her crib because I’m listening to her on the monitor. I have to sleep or I’ll go insane. Now I’m afraid that she’ll suffocate and die on my chest. The thought of something happening to her is enough to send me into a crying fit, thanks to these lovely post-partum hormones.

So what is a new mommy to do? Screw Freddy Kreuger. Make a horror movie about the nightmares and scenerios a mother has about the things that could happen to her baby in the night while she’s sleeping.. That’s enough to make anyone brew a 10-cup pot of coffee and stay awake all night.

Seriously, though. What do you think? Does the Moby solution sound dangerous to you, or do you think she’ll be okay? I keep thinking that since I’m not really relaxed and am just dozing, I’ll notice a change in her breathing/noises/etc. but… What if?


  1. I don't know about the moby solution. That's not within my realm of experience, we didn't have one. But I can tell you the fear of letting them sleep in the other room does get better. The worry doesn't go away — you will always feel compelled to check on them (I still make sure The Punkin is breathing every night before I go to bed and she'd almost 3) — but the fear does. Good luck and let me know if you need a break.

  2. Honestly, the Moby solution does seem a bit dangerous to me. Many babies have succumbed to SIDS by sleeping against the mother's (or father's) chest. It's a frightening concept and I know it's rare, but why chance it?I was never a co-sleeper (my daughter slept in a bassinet beside me for a total of 3 nights; she was too noisy of a sleeper and I could never get rest with her in my bedroom) so she has been sleeping in her crib – in her own nursery – since the very beginning. No baby monitors here, either. Her bedroom is right across the hall from mine and I know I could hear her if she cried, so the baby monitor was a pointless concept to me.I think she's absolutely safe in her crib. You could always take "sleeping shifts" with your hubby so someone is awake to check on her periodically in the crib, but I really think she's quite safe in there. Get some sleep, mama! You need and deserve your rest.

  3. The Moby solution sounds safe to me.

    However, if you're really worried about it, why not get a pack'n'play and put her in it in the living room while you sleep on the couch? That way a)you are with her so you don't have to listen to the monitor b) she is not in the room with cats and c) you can lay down fairly comfortably and maybe actually get some sleep. :)

    I don't know if that helps, but it was the only solution I could think of. I'm so sorry this is so difficult and I hope you find something that works for you soon! (And I do think the Moby is a good idea, if it doesn't make you too anxious.)

  4. KarmaPearl says:

    Melissa- I think you're right. The more I think about the Moby thing the less OK I am with it. It's one thing when I'm walking around with her in it and can check in on her constantly.. But another thing when I'm unconscious and asleep. I KNOW she's safe in her crib – she has no loose blankets and I dress her in a Halo to sleep in plus I have a sleep positioner. It's just a matter of worrying about her when she's in the other room I guess. Is she choking? How can I tell if she is? If I prop her slightly to the side of the positioner, is that enough to make spit up run out of her mouth instead of choke her? Maybe it is a good idea to try sleeping with the monitor off for a little while. Thanks everyone for your 2 cents so far.. I just have to try different things until I find something that works. Sleeping in shifts is not an option b/c my husband works 12 hour shifts at night.. So I'm on my own.

  5. Sara Grieser says:

    I slept with the boys on my chest when they were really young, just on there (one almost fell off one day, so I wouldn't recommend that), but I think she might be scooting closer to your chest to get to your skin. Our boys did that every time we held them. Especially with Dustin. They would pull his shirt down and snuggle in on his chest. They also have always been in their crib. I finally had to be ok with the monitor and know that they were ok. You need to sleep. Little Nellie will be ok in there. You could put the monitor super close to her crib if that helps. I know how you feel. It does get a little easier.

  6. Worrybook says:

    Ah, yes. Welcome to mommyhood. I wouldn't do the Moby wrap either unless you are conscious. Have you heard of the Angel Care Monitor? It is pretty expensive, but will alert you if the baby stops moving for a certain amount of time in their crib. I know some people say it is a life saver. Maybe you can find one on Craigslist??? I so remember being terrified to sleep when my little one was born. It took a long time before I felt comfortable and she was even sleeping right next to me in a bassinet.I, too, was dead set against co-sleeping at first. Yeah, not so much anymore….you do what works.(not that I am suggesting you co-sleep at all…just representin' the co-sleepers out there…lol)Good luck!

  7. The Moby thing sounds very dangerous. Like you said, it's GREAT when you are awake and trying to get things done, but not so much for sleeping. I just read about a 6 day old baby suffocating in a sling while sleeping so I'm very paranoid right now!

    I would suggest the Snuza Halo Movement monitor. It clips right on the diaper and goes off if no breathing is detected in 30 seconds. I've tried to fool it and it can't be fooled! I have one and it's the only way I've gotten any sleep with my 6 week old. That way you can feel very safe with your little one in her crib.

    Just my thoughts! Hope you find something that works for you.

  8. If you are nervous or second guessing the Moby method, then I wouldn't do it any more. I worried about the exact same thing – that Claire was going to choke on her spit up. I talked to Katie about it and she said every new mom goes through something like that. I propped Claire up with two hand towels, so she was a little more angled. She will not roll over with the positioner, we used that with Claire until she was 5 months old. It's great. All your worries are normal. I do agree that maybe a pack'n'play in the living room will help you sleep a little. It's a thought. It does get better, slowly but it does happen. Hang in there hun!

  9. I know exactly how you feel…the first couple of days I could barely sleep at all, even when I "COULD" sleep b/c all her little noises woke me up. I had to just make myself get over that, though. I still don't sleep as soundly when I'm the one "listening" for her while I sleep..but it has gotten better with time.I think the Moby is probably a dangerous solution if you are sleeping. And you are right–she is perfectly safe in her crib. We got a bassinette and the concept is the same–she's in the sleep positioner so I know she's OK.If you are looking for a low cost alternative…..I would suggest going and getting a bouncy seat…ours only cost about $35. Sometimes I put her in that and she sleeps well there. I can set it up on the coffee table (plenty of room for it there), while I sleep right next to her on the couch. It snuggles her up so she feels more secure, and it leaves her in that semi-upright position, so I worry less about the choking thing, too.GOOD LUCK!!

  10. Oh my gosh, I have no advice for you as I am still pregnant, but this is one of those terrifying things that worries me.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Have you considered purchasing a Moses basket? I got mine at Watmart for less than $50.00 (much cheaper than a pack and play). That way Nellie can sleep wherever you are and it's very portable and easy to move from room to room. I absolutely loved mone and used it for the first three months of my daughters life.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge