REAL risks of cot death if baby sleeps in another room?

(50 Posts)
Angelico Tue 27-Nov-12 21:27:58

I hope this thread doesn't open any wounds for people but I really wanted to find out what people did / do about the whole 'rooming in' with baby thing.

Our DD is 9 weeks and EBF. She's sleeping fairly well for such a young baby but some nights she is quite noisy and wakes DH or I with whimpers a good hour before she actually fully wakes up herself for her feed. I sleep with earplugs and radio on quietish white noise which means I don't hear every rustle and murmur otherwise every movement makes me ping awake. DH can't stand earplugs and is a light sleeper.

So my question is: did any of you put your DCs into their own room before 6 months? I know some people who did it at 4 months which seems much more realistic (and attainable!) but HVs etc are obsessed with 6 months. I would love to know the actual SIDS risk for our family - no family history, non-smokers, breast-fed baby, back sleeper, never over-covered, own room next door to our room so we could leave doors open etc. I know people say it helps the baby to hear us breathe but she can't possibly hear us breathe over the low level white noise! We have a monitor and safety mat (Angelcare) thing which we aren't using at the minute because she's always sleeping where we are but could start using it.

I know this is a very emotive subject and I truly hope this doesn't cause pain to people. Sadly because it is so emotive it seems hard to find reliable information about the real risks. It feels like the fear is (understandably) so great because the consequences are so awful - but because of this all the advice is possibly madly over-cautious.

FlatFacedArmy Tue 27-Nov-12 22:07:37

I'd also be very interested in any replies to this. DS is almost 8 weeks but a very big boy and while he likes to stretch out, he has started to bash his hands on the side of his basket when dreaming - which wakes him and agitates him, causing more flailing and bashing! The wicker weave has a sharp bit somewhere - I've seen scratches on the back of his hand.

Our room is not big enough to fit a travel cot or cot bed. At the moment I end up bringing him into our bed, clearing a foot of space between our pillows for his head (he can't roll over anyway so is not likely to smother there) so I know if he hits out he can't hurt himself, but obviously co sleeping is another huge risk factor.

Even without him hitting his hands, he's so big he won't last another month in the basket anyway....

Iggly Tue 27-Nov-12 22:08:20

I found the noises were harder to sleep with when my babies were in a cot but if they were right next to me, they didn't bother me confused

Stuff I've read seemed to focus on position of baby, factors such as smoking etc etc. being in a room alone does increase the risk of SIDS - the research shows that but you don't increase the risk further because the other factors aren't present. I couldn't tell you - as I don't think anyone could - exactly how sleeping solo increases that risk.

Iggly Tue 27-Nov-12 22:09:48

Oh and cosleeping itself isn't the risk - its sleeping on a sofa, sleeping with baby having drunk or taken drugs that's the issue.

I wouldn't put baby between pillows - that is dangerous.

Iggly Tue 27-Nov-12 22:11:59

Some research to read


Info here on risks

BertieBotts Tue 27-Nov-12 22:12:59

There was a webchat a while ago on here with a sleep expert which had a post with stats on. I'll see if I can find it for you.

It might be worth trying feeding her at the first whimper rather than waiting until she wakes up fully? But generally I think what you're doing sounds fine and I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. Most people don't follow guidelines 100%, you're doing what sounds like 99% of them, so the one you're not following is probably statistically not going to make that much difference.

I co-slept, so that breaks rather a few of the FSID guidelines, but I researched it and felt it was safe for our situation. I felt 100% comfortable with my decision.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 27-Nov-12 22:13:30

Don't know the risks but if it were my DH and Lo, it would be DH who was moving rooms, he's the one who is much less likely to suffer smile

BertieBotts Tue 27-Nov-12 22:14:42

I have the post bookmarked, I've just discovered, because I link to this so often! blush

It's worth reading the whole chat but that post was interesting, I thought.

BertieBotts Tue 27-Nov-12 22:20:30

FlatFaced Iggly is right - it's not a good idea to put the baby between pillows, better to clear a space on one side of the bed (pref. your side) and block him from falling out somehow, whether with a bed guard or converting your cot into a bedside cot or pushing the bed up against a wall (if you're confident that it's firm against the wall with no gaps and doesn't move e.g. when someone gets into or rolls over in the bed)

Or if you need to have him in the middle as it's the only safe place then put him lower down away from the pillows, with his head about level with your boob. You'll have to swap duvets for blankets this way, though - with baby on one side you can have the duvet cuddled up to your back/legs at least!

The safest way to sleep with a baby in your bed is when you adopt the "C" position which is often instinctive - one arm out at a 90 degree angle to your body preventing them from wriggling up, one leg bent preventing them from wriggling down and the other arm resting on/around them helping you to stay aware of their position.

Bongaloo Tue 27-Nov-12 22:22:30

If the whimpers disturb you, could you not feed and settle her back down then? Rather than waiting for her to wake up completely and cry.

Angelico Tue 27-Nov-12 22:50:32

Thanks for answers. She sleeps in a Moses basket which she is very nearly out of and will be going into cot. So basically she is in the room with us (me) but not the bed.

melliebobs Tue 27-Nov-12 22:52:15

Prepared to be flamed but for reasons i will no doubt have to defend myself for later, dd went into her room at 6 weeks

Skiffen Tue 27-Nov-12 23:06:14

If you want to look at statistics, the CONI website links to international studies on SIDS. There is an increased risk when baby sleeps in a different room. One of theories is that babies are stimulated to breath by the increase in gases breathed out by the adults, but no one really knows. Other thoughts are that you remain more able to respond, ie to a change in their breathing or unusual movement

I personally found i got a lot more tired when i moved dd1 out into a different room, (at over 6 months)as i had to get up properly to go and feed her, get cold, etc, so moved her back.

I would feed at first cue while dd is still sleepy, then pop her back down again, so neither of you fully wake.

Angelico Tue 27-Nov-12 23:09:45

mellie how did you find it? Did you sleep better or were you more worried?

Skiffen the problem with feeding her when she first stirs is that she just takes a little slurp and then goes back to sleep, but then needs fed again sooner IYSWIM. My quest is for a good 5-6 hour run of unbroken sleep which we get a lot of nights but others her pre-waking murmurs wake me long before she ever wakes.

Skiffen Wed 28-Nov-12 03:47:59

Hmm, tricky! I know that desire <up feedng my 16 month old!>

thedicewoman Wed 28-Nov-12 03:52:03

my first was in her own room at 6 weeks for this very reason, she slept better straight away and also weirdly made less noise than she had when she was in with us.

Fairylea Wed 28-Nov-12 05:20:21

I have put both my two in theIr own rooms from 6 weeks and they have both more or less slept through 6-6 from the moment we did it.

I think personally that smoking and putting them on their front to sleep and over heating have more to do with it than where they slept or how close they are to you for breathing etc.

I'm also sure that cot death is one of those things that unfortunately just happens.. ie it's no ones fault. I think perhaps some of the babies who do die might have a predisposed undiagnosed as yet heart condition or succeptability to one so nothing that we could have done could have made a difference.

I also think people lie to the health visitor etc about following the rules so the figures are screwed a bit anyway.. for example lots of people put their babies on their front to sleep and say they don't etc.

DancingInTheMoonlight Wed 28-Nov-12 06:23:36

My DS was in his own room from 6 weeks. We all slept better :-)

Iggly Wed 28-Nov-12 06:33:19

I also think people lie to the health visitor etc about following the rules so the figures are screwed a bit anyway.. for example lots of people put their babies on their front to sleep and say they don't etc

How so? When they introduced the back to sleep campaign, there were less incidences of SIDS. When they've done the research, they've interviewed parents within 24 hours of death. The research isn't based on what people tell their HV.

It's all very well people saying they did it, which reassures you OP, but at the end of the day, the risk is real whether you're prepared to accept it or not.

Fairylea Wed 28-Nov-12 06:41:27

Ok so maybe not health visitor... authorities etc... but my point is everyone knows that the advice is to put babies on their back to sleep etc but a lot of people don't and when questioned say that they do. There was a thread about this very topic not that long ago.

My point isnt that the research is wrong, just that we just don't know enough about it yet and I think there's a missing as yet unknown factor that we don't understand.

Nandocushion Wed 28-Nov-12 06:50:27

I know very few people who kept their baby in their room for six months. Babies are a lot noisier than rumour has it, as this thread attests. Had we kept her in our room for six months we would not have survived to have another.

My DC1 was in our room for about three or four weeks, then we started moving her a bit down the hall (doors open, in a small flat) as we all kept waking each other up. The day we finally put her in her own room (about 15 feet away) at about 3-4 months old, we all had a blissful 7 hour sleep, and it continued from there. Like you, we also had no other risk factors. She is now 7 and very hard to wake up.

We moved DS into his own room once he outgrew hi Moses basket as we couldn't fit the cot in our room! So somewhere between 3 and 4 months I think.

Trazzletoes Wed 28-Nov-12 07:08:00

My 2 went in their own rooms once they outgrew their Moses baskets. No space in our room for a proper cot and we did not feel that co-sleeping was safe for us - DH is a heavy sleeper.

We still tried to follow the rest of the guidelines though.

It is tough and if anything had happened I would have felt incredibly guilty for not keeping them in with us but I think that's Motherhood for you.

Incidentally I know very few people who have kept their baby in with them for the full 6 months.

FlatFacedArmy Wed 28-Nov-12 10:08:29

Thanks - definitely no more baby in the bed between our pillows then!

His pram is a bit longer than the basket (and has soft sides) so he's in that for the moment... But his cot is only on the other side of the wall from our room so maybe it is time to move him.

HanSolo Wed 28-Nov-12 10:18:04

I believe the reason to keep baby near you is because they take their breathing cues from you. Yes, they're noisy, but it's for baby's benefit, not yours.

Angelico Wed 28-Nov-12 12:15:39

Thanks for all your answers. A lot of you are confirming my own suspicions - people do what they have to do to survive. I don't think it will be sustainable to keep her in our room for 6 months because DH and I end up sleeping apart so at least one of us has had a bit of sleep.

Last night was case in point - she fed at 12, went to sleep. She squawked at 02:45 waking me while she slept on happily. She squawked again at 05:15 waking me again and because she murmured a bit my milk came in and boobs seemed to double in size within seconds. She was still deeply asleep but I had to wake her to feed her confused

And Iggly I guess my question is how real is the risk for our particular circumstances? If we have no other risk factors I can't help thinking that if anything happens it would have happened anyway. And if our DD (God forbid) were to stop breathing I wouldn't hear it even in our room sad - largely because I'm having to sleep with earplugs in anyway.

Going to try and get to 3-4 months when hopefully the worst of the risk is over, then move her into her own room.

forevergreek Wed 28-Nov-12 13:15:34

They are still in room at 3 and 18 months! I would be very wary about moving earlier than 6 months

forevergreek Wed 28-Nov-12 13:17:27

It's to do with babiesnot dropping into the deepest sleeps when they share room as the noises from parents keep them at a safe sleeping stage. Falling into deep deep sleep is usually when SIDS occurs

SomebodySaveMe Wed 28-Nov-12 13:18:40

DS was in his own room at 10 weeks. DD was at 3 months.

ceeveebee Wed 28-Nov-12 13:19:38

Its not about you hearing the baby stop breathing., Its about them hearing you, and it reminds them to breathe. To be honest at 9 weeks it sounds like you are getting quite a lot of sleep - I remember getting by on 2-3 hours a night at that stage sometimes!

Even if its only a 1% chance - would you want to be the 1 in a 100?

forevergreek Wed 28-Nov-12 13:25:06

Yes what ceeveebee said..

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 28-Nov-12 13:28:59

It's much less than 1%. The overall risk of cot death is something like 0.04% Also the risk declines with age- big drop between 3-4 months.

forevergreek Wed 28-Nov-12 13:33:42

The risk of house fires are also low, I wouldn't just not have an alarm because the risk is low

A risk is a risk IMO

ceeveebee Wed 28-Nov-12 13:39:36

If its 1 in a million I wouldn't want to be the 1

missymoomoomee Wed 28-Nov-12 13:43:18

My son died from SIDS, I had none of the 'risk factors' he was sleeping in his moses basket beside my bed, I woke up half an hour after he was usually have his night feed, I had checked on him an hour before that, and he was gone.

I have to say all this talk of 'when most of the risk is over' sounds a bit naive to say the least. Its not like crossing the road where you know if you stop look and listen before you cross then you are very likely to be safe, this is a syndrome that doesn't discriminate and doesn't look at risk factors. If I were you I would just put up with the inconvenience for a few more months for my own piece of mind (and I would also be using the angel care monitor even when you are sleeping in the same room).

I can tell you that if anything were to happen to your child then you would have the rest of your life to go over everything you could have done and you would find a way to try and blame yourself and if you think there is one single thing you could have done differently then that choice would make you feel sick to your stomach forever more. For me it was putting an extra blanket on because the room was a bit chilly, for the past 14 years I have thought 'what if' every single day, and it isn't a nice feeling sad

ceeveebee Wed 28-Nov-12 13:45:09

Missy, I am so sorry for your loss x

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 28-Nov-12 13:54:43

Oh missy i am really sorry for your loss. What a well written and insightful post.

missymoomoomee Wed 28-Nov-12 14:00:13

Thank you ceeveebee and Jilted x

I hope my post doesn't come across as harsh, I just see so much of this 'well my baby will never die from SIDS because I'm doing everything right' attitude and it just doesn't work like that at all.

I'm also fed up of seeing it used as some sort of a threat for perceived bad parenting too. (Not that thats happening on this thread at all but it happens a lot on here)

MrsHoarder Wed 28-Nov-12 14:01:09

So sorry for your loss Missy.

op you don't have to feed when your milk comes in, just mop it up with a spare muslin or towel and drop off again. Keep one handy and soon you'll be waking up wondering how this muslin got into your nightie.

Ds is still in our room at 7 months, now in a cot. We honestly don't disturb each other much any more. Except for the night he decided 4am was singing time andsang and blew raspberries for 40minutes whilst I tried not to laugh.

raininginbaltimore Wed 28-Nov-12 14:08:31

12, 2.45 and 5? I wish I was having that much sleep at 9 weeks! My DD is 16 weeks and that is similar to her sleep. I would consider that I good nights sleep!

I wouldn't risk it. Someone has to be that percentage and I would do everything possible to reduce that risk. The back to sleep campaign and putting babies in parent's room reduced SIDs my nearly 40%. You can't ever eradicate it, but can reduce risk. At birth my dd would only sleep on her stomach. I didn't do it. I held her, and took turns and co-slept because I knew that if anything happened I would never forgive myself and would always think I had risked her life just for a little more sleep .

wannaBe Wed 28-Nov-12 14:10:44

DS went into his own room at nine weeks.

Tbh there are blatant double standards on mn anyway. People will jump on you for putting a baby in their own room because you are "putting your baby at risk," and yet people will happily advise parents to co-sleep even though this too goes against FSID guidelines, and will jump on anyone for daring to say that co sleeping is putting babies at risk.

There are guidelines for co sleeping because so many parents doing it anyway, but the advice is to not co sleep at all and to have baby in a cot next to your bed as being the safest option, but apparently we're not allowed to say that. hmm
So op - do what works for you.

SamSmalaidh Wed 28-Nov-12 14:13:08

SIDS deaths peak between 2 and 4 months, so it might be worth hanging on til after then if you can.

WantAnOrange Wed 28-Nov-12 14:22:03

wannabe the advice isn't that we shouldnt co-sleep, it's that you should plan to co-sleep safely. It is far more dangerous to fall asleep sitting up, feeding your baby than it is to sleep and feed in the 'C' position, if you look at the actual research and statistics.

forevergreek Wed 28-Nov-12 14:24:22

Co sleeping is no longer against fsid guidelines. Just the safe way to co sleep is promoted, as they decided its still safer to have baby in your bed than in a separate room. The fsid is online if anyone wants to read up if unsure

MrsHoarder Wed 28-Nov-12 14:30:04

Anyway Co-sleeping is hardly the answer to the IP being disturbed whenever her lo murmurs. When I've done it ds has woken more, because every time he woke a but he had the fantastic discovery that he was next to the milk supply.

WantAnOrange Wed 28-Nov-12 14:34:22

Hehe MrsHoarder. Thats what DS wouldve been like had I co-slept with him. Like Angelico I was desperate to get that baby in his own room! DD is a lot quieter...

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 28-Nov-12 15:04:25

Agree with wannabe. The sleep expert linked to above was at pains to point out that the SIDS rate for full term bf babies of non smokers was very small, less than one in two thousand, and a possible tiny incremental increase to that risk should not dissuade people from the advantages of co-sleeping. I'd say that the same argument applies to separate sleeping where room sharing is hazardous to the parents' health/ relationship.

I'm so sorry for your loss Missy, but nobody can live their lives so as to eliminate every one-in-ten thousand risk. You don't take these risks wilfully or for no good reason, and you try to minimise them (eg keeping baby in room for four months if you can't face six) but not every risk can or should be avoided. A knackered parent driving the car is also a risk.

I speak here as a long term room sharer.

Angelico Wed 28-Nov-12 16:43:05

Thank you all for your answers and Missy I am so very sorry for your loss sad Tbh I understand what you're saying about always wondering 'What if?' but the fact you were doing everything 'right' and it still happened is kindof my point. With DD in room I am sleeping with earplugs in and probably wouldn't hear a thing anyway sad

Think we'll aim for 4 months and try and enjoy that time with her in room. As I said to DH this morning, "We'll probably look back at this time with nostalgia - that she was so cute and tiny and slept in our room - when she's Kevin(a) the teenager." smile

And thank you all for your honesty - it's really hard to get a good range of perspectives sometimes.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 29-Nov-12 01:48:04

If leakage is an issue, try Lansinoh breast pads. They are more expensive, but they are gel filled (despite being very thin) so keep you dryer than the ones that are just sort of cotton padding. I block feed at night in order to be able to get a good amount expressed from the other side in the morning, and Lansinoh pads really work.

piprabbit Thu 29-Nov-12 01:58:34

DS slept in my bed for about 9 or 10 months.
By around 6 months we would settle him in his cot in his room, but he would come in with me when he fed (and he fed a lot) and then stay with me.

DH moved out to the spare room within about 2 weeks of DS' birth. I got on with my weird night time routines. It was a much nicer way of doing it for all of us than trying to sit there and not wake DH.

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