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WWYD? Putting baby on front

(18 Posts)
bigkidsmademe Tue 19-Jul-11 07:44:16

hi everyone

After months on here (hello sleep nightmares thread)! my DS finally started to sleep through, 6.30-6 ish. But since last week it's going wrong again!

He is put on his back at the beginning of the night and sleeps till midnight. Then he wakes repeatedly and will only sleep well if we put him on his front. Then he sleeps soundly until 7.30 shock

He is 6.5 months and can roll, both ways, but although he can do it he doesn't, IYSWIM. I think he's only rolled fpur or five times ever. Hence the waking - as soon as we put our hand in the cot he uses it to roll onto his side. He is a big strong boy and we have none of the other risk factors for SIDS.

DH says therefore it is safe and to let him sleep how he wants, now he is older and strong. I panic that if he isn't rolling into place himself it is still dangerous. This morning I looked in on him before I left for work and he was fully face down and my heart stopped sad

Would you put him on his front at this age and in this situation or not? Am I being daft and pfb?


Zimm Tue 19-Jul-11 09:38:23

Hmmm - difficult one! if you are confident he could roll off his tummy if he was in distress then it's fine - but I can't tell from your post if you are? I am very PFBish though I expect someone else will be along to tell you it's ok in a bit!

bigkidsmademe Tue 19-Jul-11 09:44:16

I don't think it would occur to him to roll his way out of distress! In the morning when he wakes he does a push up and cries out for us while trying to reach for his cot bars and pull himself up.

deepheat Tue 19-Jul-11 14:08:32

Hey bigkids. I'm with your husband on this one. Possibly because I'm a husband myself and had the same discussion with my wife a while back.

It isn't that long since parents were advised to sleep toddlers on their fronts (according to my Mum, who did it with me all those years ago) and although there has been a reduction in cot death since then, it has been largely attributed to a reduction in and greater awareness of the effects of smoking and alcohol on the baby. I'm sorry I can't reference that comment - it was a while ago that I looked into the subject - as I know it might give it more credence.

Its easy to be scared of things happening to your little'un, but for us a cold hard look at the figures (and lots of the other things we 'should' have been doing - keeping baby in with us for 6 months? Was never gonna happen) was enough to make us comfortable.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 14:13:18

if he is able to roll over then no, i wouldn't be concerned.

but you should only do it if you are comfortable.

ds3 slept on his front from quite early on, because it was literally the ONLY way he would sleep. if i put him on his back he would wake every 10-15 minutes. he just did NOT sleep.
on his front he would go for a few hours at a time

This is just anecedotal, and no real reason why you should do it, but in your situation with a 6.5 month old who CAN roll over then it really wouldn't bother me personally.

bigkidsmademe Tue 19-Jul-11 14:32:33

Hmmmm perhaps I am being a bit precious then smile it is just so terrifying, isn't it, the sight of them with their face planted in the mattress.

I've just looked at the numbers too deepheat and there were 300 deaths last year in England of which >80% were before four months old. Leaving 60 after four months. Seeing as we have no other risk factors the risk for us is probably lower still. So in other words, tiny. And yet, and yet...

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 14:36:11

this is what it comes down to though bigkids

if you are not comfortable doing it then don't! doesn't matter if the risk is tiny.

like i say, i would be happy doing it. but it isn't my baby. if it;s just going to worry you then carry on as you are at the moment!

it's one of those many parenting decisions where there isn't really a right or wrong answer and it just comes down to personal preference I think.

RitaMorgan Tue 19-Jul-11 14:38:43

I would let a 6 month old sleep on their front I think - by 7 months my ds was rolling himself onto his front to sleep. I believe 2-4 months is the peak time for cot death.

I disagree with you a little deepheat about sleeping position not being so important - the "Back to Sleep" campaign is the thing that has made the biggest single difference to the number of deaths. The year before the campaign started there was something like 1200 deaths, the year after it was 300.

Iggly Tue 19-Jul-11 15:11:55

Can you make sure he gets plenty of tummy time during the day to build up his core muscle strength and neck muscles?

bigkidsmademe Tue 19-Jul-11 15:37:34

He has shed loads of tummy time and is very strong. If I dangle a fire truck just out of reach he will grumblingly roll for it but otherwise can't be bothered grin

Yesterday I agree, I don't have to do it. It's just the anxiety vs uninterrupted sleep- dilemma

Cattleprod Tue 19-Jul-11 15:46:17

Will he sleep on his side? This is how DS seemed to want to sleep at about this age, once he could roll.

I wouldn't risk it with a younger baby though. As people above have said, the highest sids risk is at 2-4 months, and the back to sleep campaign reduced the numbers from, iirc, 1600 to 300 per year. So sleep position is obviously very important at this age.

Iggly Tue 19-Jul-11 15:46:55

I remember being worried myself when DS started sleeping on his front but his rolling came along very quickly so I worried less. Sounds like he's doing well and should be ok. Just make sure his cot is as free of toys etc.

bigkidsmademe Tue 19-Jul-11 16:42:52

Yes I do put him on his side after about midnight but he ends up on his front

I think I'll continue putting him down on his back at first and see how exhausted I get in the night - front last resort only! In the meantime I'll try to persuade him Rolling Is Fun!

cloudydays Tue 19-Jul-11 16:55:37

I don't think you're being too precious at all - as others have said, if you're uncomfortable with it, don't do it.

Babies do tend to sleep much better on their tummies, and that's one of the things that makes it so dangerous. They're much less likely to wake up if they get into difficulty breathing.

Sorry deepheat but I also have to disagree with you strongly. It's downright dangerous to perpetuate the notion that 'back to sleep' doesn't make that big a difference. Others have quoted the drastic reduction in cot deaths that is attributed to the advice about putting babies to sleep on their backs. Study after study has shown that there is a direct link between the risk of cot death and the practice of placing infants to sleep on their tummies.

OP, it sounds like your son will be able to roll himself over in his cot very soon. At that point you'll have very little control over how he sleeps anyway, so the dilemma will solve itself. Until then, I would persist with following the back to sleep advice for your own peace of mind.

AngelaMerkin Tue 19-Jul-11 17:05:26

I have been putting my DS on his tummy to sleep since c. 6weeks, because he has suffered from reflux, and is much more comfortable like that. However what has given me peace of mind is an under mattress monitor, which goes off if there are no movements for 20 seconds (and also every bloody time I forget to turn it off before picking him up smile ). It was approx £35 from Boots. Might give you the reassurance you need?

Firkytoodle Tue 19-Jul-11 17:14:09

I have very clear memories of DD aged about 7 months in a travelcot at my mums. She decided she wanted to sleep on her front and everytime we rolled her back she flipped herself over again almost immediately. After a very sleepless night I relaxed a bit gradually and she was fine - I was frantic for a while there though!

Part of my franticness was down to a freak family tragedy years ago, which had a massive impression on my grandmother and mother who finished every baby related conversation with 'don't let her sleep on her front and don't put anything in her cot'. DD had nothing in her cot at all for over a year because of this. The little girl (9 mo) got her hand tangled in material and tried to suck her thumb and filled her mouth and covered her nose. It was a freak accident and I am not telling you to make you worry more, just to let you know of a potential issue. As I said I let DD sleep on her front around 7 months (I just didnt tell my grandmother).

DD now 6 and when we had DS who had colic/reflux and would only sleep on his front I was a bit less concerned, but its worrying though isn't it!

cloudydays Tue 19-Jul-11 21:48:02

Oh firkytoodle that story is so, so sad. Poor little baby.

bigkidsmademe Wed 20-Jul-11 06:40:27

After that story I went home and took down the cot book tied to the side. What an awful thing to happen sad

Last night I put DS on his back and he woke three times in the first two hours. Then I put him on his side, in the recovery position sort of, and he slept for nine hours. I went in three times to check him so i didn't sleep brilliantly but I suppose I'll get used to it. In the meantime I've told the childminder to practise rolling all day long!

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