Others who always have baby in room with them -advice for visiting friend

(55 Posts)
AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 09:01:14

As per the guidance, we are always in the room with sleeping baby. For various reasons I need to do this. So in the evening he sleeps cuddled on me till we all go to bed.

I'm trying to work out what to do if we are visiting friends. I know they have a different approach and will suggest putting him in another room with monitors. How do other people deal with this? It doesn't feel right to get into a whole SIDS guidelines discussion. But how to explain it without?

I feel like that is a right old ramble but I'm confused and I know from another thread there are others like me out there. Which was a relief to find.

nilbyname Tue 12-Feb-13 09:10:24

How old is your baby? I would consider it a whole non discussion if your baby was 6m or under. If your baby was a bit older, then I might find it a bit odd (personally speaking) that you did not want to put your baby down for the eve and enjoy some adult time,, but that is just me.

Are you visiting friends? What does it matter what YOU do with YOUR baby?

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 09:26:30

4 months. At 6 I'll start leaving him alone. Glad you'd think it would be a non issue, that's helpful. It's hard to get a feel for what people is odd. I'm usually very confident, this is a bit of a blind spot for me.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 09:28:06

And yes me visiting friends in their house.

ohfunnyhoneyface Tue 12-Feb-13 09:28:08

At 4 months I think that's totally normal.

sugarandspite Tue 12-Feb-13 09:36:25

When we visit PILs, they have always carefully set up the spare room for DD as they think she should be sleeping in her own room by now.

So I just say breezily 'I'll just move this cot into our room' / 'I'll just pop the Moses basket down in the corner of the sitting room' etc. all v breezy and just get on and do it so there's no room for discussion.

I think if you're careful not to use language that suggests an implicit criticism of their way of doing things, it'll be fine. So 'dd stays with us in the evenings' rather than 'we believe that babies shouldn't be left on their own before 6months'.
It's also much much harder to disagree with the first comment than the second as its stating fact not opinion.

And if in doubt 'oh this works fine for us as a family thanks' will close down most discussions about parenting.

But always breezy. It's impossible to argue with breezy!

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 09:38:36

Thanks. Really helpful.

itsallinmyhead Tue 12-Feb-13 09:44:23

My DS is 10 weeks and I, like you, snuggle him until we all go to bed (his cot is next to our bed).

Personally, I'd just say 'this is how we do it and it works for us'.

I'm sure your friends won't question your style if you are firm and polite.

Passmethecrisps Tue 12-Feb-13 09:47:38

I visited parents recently and did the 'no discussion' approach of saying I would just clear a wee space in the corner of the room for the Moses basket. We were staying over - are you staying?

I wouldn't think twice about it. If baby sleeps nicely in your arms that gives just as quality adult time as if you are running up and down the stairs

Eskino Tue 12-Feb-13 09:55:04

Your hosts shouldn't even question how you sleep with your baby! Let them know in advance what your sleeping arrangements are to save them the bother of setting up a nursery.

You could always take the cot mattress from the nursery and make a 'nest' on the floor in your room if you don't want to bed share.

The general advice is that parents and babies co-sleep (which is different from 'bedsharing') at least for the first 6 months but why are you "thinking of leaving him alone" after that? sad

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 10:09:45

We're not staying, it's just for the evening. He will sleep nicely once he's wailed for a bit. But I'm getting good at reading the wailing stage better. But we will have the staying coming up elsewhere so thanks for the tips.

I worded the leaving alone bit really badly. I mean I'll leave him sleeping alone for small stretches of time, eventually building up to anything else. The thought terrifies me but I can't keep hold of him forever grin it'll be a slow process. It's useful you picked up on it though, as it made me realise I'm being overly self critical.

megandraper Tue 12-Feb-13 10:19:34

My babies all slept on my lap in the evening until nearly a year (and longer with the last one). I didn't go out a lot in the first year, but when I did, they baby just stayed on my lap - and I didn't move around a lot! No-one questioned it. I expect some people privately had critical thoughts about it, but they didn't voice them, so it didn't bother me.

Even after my babies began sleeping in a cot at home in the evenings, it took quite a bit longer before they'd sleep in a cot in strange places. I didn't even bother trying after a while - too much running up and down stairs, when they'd sleep on my lap perfectly well without any disruption.

Just do what's best for you and your baby, and other people will put up with it.

comixminx Tue 12-Feb-13 10:54:17

I echo the other suggestions here - shouldn't be an issue with friends (parents or in laws can be another matter!). However: can you point me in the direction of the advice you & others are quoting? With DD (now 2.6) and DS (just under 6 months) we have always had them in the same room as us for nighttime until at around 6-7 months (haven't moved DS into another room yet) and have had them snoozing on / near us for most or almost all daytime naps, but not in a rigorous way. I haven't seen official guidelines that say that all sleeps should be in the company of parent(s) though I've heard that view stated by others on MN. Would be interested to see evidence / links as it's def a difference of opinion with my mum, who thinks that DS should bloomin' well sleep somewhere other than on her, so she can get on with other things while looking after him!

zzzzz Tue 12-Feb-13 10:58:51

Just say he'll sleep better on our lap, and enjoy yourself.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 12:13:52

Thanks all. I feel less odd now. I seem to inhabit this world of people being very keen to put babies in their own rooms quickly. And put them to nap upstairs in cots always.

Re the evidence I'll see what I can find. My recollection of the SIDS guidance is they should always sleep in a room with other people. So doesn't have to be parents, could even be siblings, for first 6 months. I'm not sure I still have my leaflet as had a clear out just recently.

catladycourtney1 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:23:17

I think it's just a matter of someone being there to realise if something isn't right, or to make sure that the baby doesn't choke or pull blankets up over its face or something, and to be able to react quickly when the baby wakes up. I imagine baby feels safer if someone familiar is in the room but it's not just the being in the same room that prevents SIDS, if you see what I mean?

I don't see anything wrong with wanting to be close to your baby, in fact it seems perfectly normal, especially when they're very small. Even if not for the SIDS guidelines, it would still be a pain in the arse to keep getting up and going upstairs or whatever if your baby was waking up a lot.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 12:35:46

I believe there's research that suggests that being in a room with others breathing can help prevent SIDS. They think to do with the act of others breathing triggering the baby to keep breathing. That's what I'm going on

sandycloud Tue 12-Feb-13 12:39:12

I think as well if you are staying over you can always say you want them to sleep with you so they don't disturb anyone else. People are usually happy with this!

TheBakeryQueen Tue 12-Feb-13 13:34:56

Your baby, your rules.

I did exactly the same with all 3 of mine. It was easier for me & just felt natural. I'd either cuddle them or let them nap in bouncer of an evening & then take them up with me when I went to bed.

It's not odd. Mine all settled better with me than without me so I'd have had a better evening cuddling them while they sleep than trying & failing to get them to nap in another room.

1500mmania Tue 12-Feb-13 19:39:15

I know you don't want to discuss SIDS advice but just so people are aware - this area of the guidelines is based on particularly shaky (hardly any) evidence, so should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Each to their own though - if it doesn't bother you having baby on you all the time (& if your baby sleeps ok) there shouldn't be an issue. (Although probably the older generation - mums/PILS may treat you as if your barking!!)

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 20:17:08

Comixminx on the nhs choices website SIDS page there's a link to more about reducing the risk. That takes you to the general nhs baby sleeping page and it says on there that the baby should sleep in the same room as you night and day. Hope that's useful. Can't link as on phone, funnily enough with a should be sleeping baby on me.

cleoowen Tue 12-Feb-13 20:27:22

I didn't know those were the guidelines. My boy is,9 Weeks and since he was about a month I have left him to sleep alone when he naps in the day and,until we go to bed at night. He is in the,same room as,us and,I thought this is,what the guidelines,meant, they shouldn't be in their own room at night. Not from say 7 until 10 when we go to bed.

I have a movement sensor monitor and,check him regularly.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 20:44:09

I'm no expert cleo. Tbh I'm a new mum with a huge dose of SIDS paranoia for various reasons. My understanding of the guidance is that yes they should be with you for those naps, but in real life I don't think I know anyone else that doesn't put them on their own in day/early eve. I can only have peace of mind if I stick to the guidelines, but that's me.

Passmethecrisps Tue 12-Feb-13 21:26:48

My DD is in the same room as us all the time (pretty much if you count us sitting in the adjoining kitchen - I can see the basket - while we have dinner).

I l

Passmethecrisps Tue 12-Feb-13 21:30:19

My DD is in the same room as us all the time (pretty much if you count us sitting in the adjoining kitchen - I can see the basket - while we have dinner).

I did a lot of reading and the guidance does explain that it is not fully understood what causes SIDS but having baby in the same room does appear to make it less likely. Not as much as not smoking etc but less likely. Initially I was very open to having DD in her own room should she be too noisy or be disturbed by us. As it happens now I find it very odd not being with her. Once or twice I have popped her in her own room for a nap while I sit next door listening frantically.

I am slowly starting not to care about the opinions of others.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 21:48:57

I did once leave him sleeping and have a shower. Quickest shower of my life! grin

BonzoDooDah Tue 12-Feb-13 21:53:23

"oh this works fine for us as a family thanks " - great phrase to memorise - Thanks sugarandspite

I'm with you AliceWchild. I was worried about DD and in the evening she slept in the hall in a big pram (which I checked exceedingly regularly) just outside the livingroom door (but in the dark). All my friends thought I was barmy. But I thought STUFF em!

constantnamechanger Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:15

Alice have you looked on FB for any attachment / gentle parenting groups?

constantnamechanger Tue 12-Feb-13 21:58:09

I never leave my babies alone - and I have 4 - you are not alone.

BillyBollyDandy Tue 12-Feb-13 21:58:38

I am totally the opposite, both my babies were in their own room by 4 weeks.

I would have no problem whatsoever if I had friends who wanted their child, let alone a tiny baby, to sleep in their room. In fact in my house we have 1 spare room so you would have no choice smile

I may worry if someone wanted to try and settle a baby on them during a social evening if there were drinks flying about, from the dp's point of view, but would offer a quiet room if that was an issue.

Don't worry about what people think. We all do it differently, not least because we all have different babies with different personalities and different needs.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 22:02:52

Constant yes I'm in my local one and I'd say it loosely how I approach things. Although I don't think I'm proper hardcore.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 22:03:51

Billy that's the thing isn't it. Horses for courses. If only everyone saw it that way.

constantnamechanger Tue 12-Feb-13 22:04:54

I'm way from hardcore - I co-sleep and extended breast feed - thats it really - and they are because I find them easier.

5madthings Tue 12-Feb-13 22:06:04

I like the breezy reply idea, oh we find he is more settled with us for now..

I did the same with all my five, up till about 9mths, it just felt right to me.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 22:06:56

Yes I find it easier and snugglier too.

comixminx Tue 12-Feb-13 22:11:01

Thanks Alice. My understanding of the guidelines as originally I originally saw them written was that the baby should sleep in the same room as you at night, but not that every nap should be with you in the same room as them (ie I thought the same as Cleo). Nothing I saw at the time spelled out the idea that they should be with you for all naps and to be honest it never even crossed my mind. This NHS page does say that "However, SIDS can also occur when a baby is asleep during the day or, occasionally, while they are awake" so the implication is that you need to be careful during the day but it perhaps rather downplays it. There is a bit on this page which says "Place your baby on their back to sleep from the very beginning, for both day and night sleeps" but otherwise little specific is said about daytime sleeping.

1500, as you say I also understand that there's not that much strong evidence about what actually works and why - I know that the figures for cot death have dropped dramatically since they started giving the current guidelines, but as far as I understand they don't really know what out of the guidelines are the factors that are really making the difference. There are also some anomalies that I've heard of - I think it's something like the fact that Asian families have a low incidence of SIDS but have some widespread cultural practices that are not generally recommended or are even against the recommendations (in the area of co-sleeping). So there's lots that is unknown in this area. One suggestion is that it's down to breathing regulation and so the adult giving a 'model' for breathing would be a positive factor; this sort of thing would suggest that having the baby in the same room as the adult all the time would be definitely beneficial, but I've not seen this expressed as anything other than a plausible idea.

I'm not at all saying this to change the way anyone does anything, but I am interested in how the view has come about that having them sleep with you during the day is an official recommendation. If anyone has any links to forms of words that are stronger than the ones I've seen so far, which to my mind are a bit too vague to form such a recommendation, I'd love to see them!

NannyPlumIsMyMum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:12:30

Ah don't doubt yourself Alice smile.

Ur right - the SIDS - research indicates that the presence of other people in the room can help to stop baby from entering into too deep a sleep. There are other methods too- but that's a different thread.

There is some indication that when some babies get into too deep a sleep - some of them to put it simply ,forget to breathe ... Breathing noise from others helps to prevent that.

Which is partly where the keeping baby in your room advice comes from. Only partly ..

I had lots of advice on this from HPs as our DS indeed did forget to breathe and had breathing difficulties as a baby.

Go with your instincts always .

comixminx Tue 12-Feb-13 22:13:29

Oh wait, another search has found this ("Cot death advice should be followed for both day-time and night-time sleeps, new research finds"). Shutting up now...

5madthings Tue 12-Feb-13 22:14:43

Yes its easier and snugglier and they are only little once smile

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 22:17:20

It's on your second link comix. Under where should my baby sleep. First sentence says same room day and night. Sorry still on phone so can't copy and paste.

AliceWChild Tue 12-Feb-13 22:24:06

Thanks nanny. I do need to do that. Sorry to hear about your baby.

birdofthenorth Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:00

I did this and my in laws couldn't help but bark on about the importance of "bedtime". I ignored them. I possibly created a rod for my own back, to be fair, but at for months you're (a) in line with guidelines and (b) best advised to stick to your instincts. Just get on with it and politely refuse any offers of alternative places to settle him.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 12-Feb-13 22:41:19

I thought the point of the baby being in the room with you was that they would hear your breathing and that helps them to regulate theirs. Makes sense overnight (also because hopefully night sleep is longer and deeper) but I don't see how this works if it's a daytime nap and you're wandering around, maybe talking on the phone, there are other people in the room who are also breathing etc. Can anyone explain?

constantnamechanger Tue 12-Feb-13 23:11:12

I just like having them with me at all times - its my basic instinct - so I go with it.

AliceWChild Wed 13-Feb-13 08:34:41

Holla, I'm no expert, but from what I've read they don't know why the room thing helps. Breathing is one theory, but could be hearing it or the gasses. Whichever though being in the same room would work whatever you're doing as you're still breathing. I don't think it has to be you though, so yes if others are there breathing its fine too. That's just my understanding of what I've picked up from various sources though. The experts don't know for sure. I don't think it's about longer deeper sleep though either. Again just from what I've picked up you don't want them to sleep deep and long as the baby's short sleep cycle is to protect them. But by you being there they'll wake up with others making noise, moving etc as they should then settle quickly back to sleep without waking you as they know you're there. So it may seem longer to you. (generic yous there). This is just remembering what I've read though, I'm really not an expert.

AliceWChild Wed 13-Feb-13 08:36:07

Constant, do you put yours in a buggy? I've just realised he's effectively alone then, although I check him obsessively every now and then

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 13-Feb-13 08:40:30

Direct to op - if u were my friend I'd not comment on u holding babes all night. Or on sharing ur room at any age tbh. Depends on room sizes but I'd probs put 10yr old on blow up bed in with u if room, just easier.

Could put babe in buggy and rock, I've done this. Again depends on room. Not anything else.

teacher123 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:07:14

Friends shouldn't judge. You do what works for you.

honeytea Wed 13-Feb-13 09:32:58

Thankyou for telling me about this thread Alice, it has been realy helpful! I thought I was alone in wanting DS with me all the time, it is comforting to know there are other mummies who feel the same.

I love the phrases recomended to say to family and friends who are pushing for the baby to be left in another room.

I actually really enjoy sleepy cuddle time with my DS, I think other people maybe see me holding DS all the time and think "oh poor honeytea she must want some personal space" but it really feels better having him close.

constantnamechanger Wed 13-Feb-13 11:53:24

Alice I did with the others but this one refuses so I sling him - he is currently asleep in the Moby

1500mmania Wed 13-Feb-13 12:11:48

Commix & Alice - just had a look at the original research paper 'Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and the time of death: factors associated with night-timeand day-time deaths' that your links refers to on the SIDS website press release. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/6/1563.full.pdf+html

A Brief summary for everyone: of the deaths that occur during daytime sleeps 75% where put to sleep on there side and then rolled prone and 13.5% had bed covers over the head when found.

They therefore conclude, 'In particular we found that unsupervised SIDS infants
were more likely to be found with bedclothes covering their
head. Parental presence during infant sleep does not guarantee
the infant is being constantly observed, indeed this is not usually
the case and SIDS can also occur under closely monitored
conditions. However, having the sleeping infant nearby
during the day may alert parents to circumstances such as
infants rolling from the side to the prone position or bedclothes
covering the infant head or face. In conjunction with this
parents also need to be made aware of the risks associated with
inappropriate sleeping environments for young infants during
day-time naps such as car seats.'

So that is the reasoning behind the guideline (rather than them hearing you breath/ regulate the breathing etc.)

I hope that is useful - I should be doing something far more boring at work!

AliceWChild Wed 13-Feb-13 12:17:45

Thanks 1500. At the risk of sounding fick as I'm not great with stats, does that mean only 11.5% of daytime deaths weren't where they were on front or with covers on head?

comixminx Wed 13-Feb-13 12:36:36

Thanks 1500, very useful! You see these summaries but if you haven't got access to the journal there's a lot of the picture that can be missing. Also, is there any more info about the car seat thing? I know they can't lie flat in a car seat so you're not supposed to have them in it for hours regularly, but I would say that DS naps in his car seat (which is on the pram) most days for an hour or two. Clearly he can't roll over or cover his head with the covers in that, so the risk for car seats must be something else.

1500mmania Wed 13-Feb-13 12:51:49

Hi Alice - I can't say for sure as some may have been a combination of the two - rolled onto front & covers on the head (iyswim) but either way the majority of them seemed to have an additional factor putting them at risk.

commix - I don't think it does mention anything else about the car seats it just gives a reference to another study. From looking at that other study it reports, 'Several studies have shown that cardio-respiratory function is compromised in 18.4% to 30.0% of preterm infants tested in a car seat possibly due to excessive head flexion leading to restriction of the upper airway. Preterm infants are particularly prone to head flexion when they are placed in an upright position and therefore more vulnerable to hypoxia and apnea when their neck is flexed' (note preterm infants though = < 37 weeks gestation)

Research is a funny beast and if you look for long enough you can always find something that backs up your opinion (I should know I'm an academic!). I think the important thing is that guidelines are just guidelines and they may be based on research but that doesn't ness mean that it is good research! (iyswim). Obviously take them into account but at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you & your family. Both myself and DS would have gone insane with lack of sleep if I had him in the same room as me all the time and he was in his own room from 3 weeks (gulps).

At the end of the day Alice just do what feels right for you and sod everyone else xxx

Andcake Wed 13-Feb-13 17:13:56

Just thought I would pipe in as another who is always in the same room with ds when he sleeps. (Ok for some naps I may pop to make a cuppa but the radio is usually on so hopefully that would stop the scary deep sleep). That's just how I understood the guidelines. When visiting others I just get on with it and don't raise it as a conversation issue and no one not even my out dated parents have. I think parenting books are v confusing with their conflicting SIDS advice and then talking about bedtime routines at 7 pm. Personally ds has a two part bedtime routines a chilling out into pjs round 7pm and into the sling then at around 10 he is gently stirred and a feed and nappy change and into his cot in our room. Now he's 6 mo and we are going to try getting him to bed earlier I think I'm going to miss the snuggles.

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