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How do you start a bedtime routine while following the SIDS safety guidelines?

(17 Posts)
Petcat Fri 19-Jul-13 23:37:12

My DD is 9 weeks old and so far I haven't tried to impose any kind of sleep routine. She's bf on demand and sleeps beside me in a bednest at night. During the day she naps while she's in the sling, carseat, pushchair or just lying on my chest. I never leave her in a room on her own. She spends the evenings snoozing and feeding downstairs with me and DP and goes to bed when I do. She now manages a 4 hour stretch of sleep, followed by an hour to feed, wind and be held upright (reflux) and then another 2-3 hours sleep. I am coping pretty well on 5 or so hours sleep every night.

I have realised friends with similar age babies are all trying to implement sleep routines that involve babies going to bed much earlier than parents. One friend seemed really shocked I don't put my DD to bed by herself but I thought babies under 6 months should always stay in the same room as an adult to reduce the risk of SIDS. My question is how do you reconcile an early bedtime with the safe sleeping guidelines? Am I just meant to go to bed at 7.30 too? I'd be interested to hear what other people do.

atrcts Fri 19-Jul-13 23:56:14

With my first baby, we were advised to start a bedtime routine by my health visitor, mainly because we were on our knees with exhaustion and frustration as overtired new parents!

It worked like a dream. We bathed, fed, settled in a nice cosy room (quiet, dimmed lights etc) at about 7:30pm and then 3 hours later went to bed ourselves. A dream feed about 10:30-11pm helped keep him sleepy and relaxed, so sleeping much better at night from that point on.

We really noticed the difference and have been forever grateful since for such good advice!

I think the most important part was to associate dim lights and quietness after a bath, with bed time.

Before that, we'd been feeding in front of the tv with noise and lights on, too much stimulation and not helping baby to differentiate between day and night.

I don't remember it being an issue, I suppose we had a baby monitor to keep an ear out, and during the day even though he slept downstairs we weren't ALWAYS in the same room all of that time. Sometimes the pram would be in the lounge while I went to the kitchen to sort laundry or make dinner etc, and often it would seem a long time before I returned again (if he was peacefully sleeping).

Someone once queried if the SIDS risk applies to the day as much as night time, and I'm not really sure. I'd be interested to know if there's a difference between day and night, and if so, why!

Having said all that, with my second child, we don't get to sleep him upstairs as he has severe reflux and can't lie down for ages after each feed. So although he is over 6 weeks now, it's impossible to start a routine as he always sleeps downstairs (with one of us camping on the sofa bed near his carry cot). That way we can push him round to get him off to sleep, and that would be impossible of we tried to settle him upstairs.

But the thought crossed my mind re SIDS, and so I'm interested in what other thoughts other people may share with you!

atrcts Sat 20-Jul-13 03:30:04

Seems that the majority of cot deaths at at night, although not entirely impossible during the day - just much less likely

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Jul-13 03:47:34

You should carry on as you are. A baby under 6 months shouldn't be put to bed upstairs on their own.

You sound happy and content with how you are doing things, don't allow what others are doing to make you feel unhappy smile

Nicknamefail Sat 20-Jul-13 06:35:50

I started to put my 3 month old to 'bed' in the adjoining room to me downstairs where it was darker but didn't put her upstairs until 5 months. If your dc feeds a lot alongside snoozing I would leave things be as they might be tanking up for the night.

atrcts Sat 20-Jul-13 06:38:16

This might help - it discusses sleep routines (which are there for the benefit of the parent as much as the child!) - and discusses how to carry it out safely.

Of course, like every other option for parenting, you can take it or leave it, but I found it helped my first baby tremendously. He was immediately much more settled and slept longer, then again he's the sort of child who needs to know ahead what's going to happen next and gets upset if he doesn't have a nice comfortable predictable 'routine'.

NHS safe, early sleep routines

LittleBearPad Sat 20-Jul-13 06:44:48

We did the bedtime routine but would then put DD in her Moses basket with us downstairs. Later that night my DH would carry her upstairs in the basket to sleep in our room. I appreciate we were lucky that she fitted in her basket until 6 months old.

Petcat Sat 20-Jul-13 07:52:06

Thanks for sharing your routines, and for the links to the NHS guidelines. I lost a close family member to SIDS so am keen to follow the guidelines to the letter. It's just confusing when it states baby should always sleep in the same room as you, and then 2 paragraphs down suggests putting them to bed and leaving the room once they're 3 months old!

My instinct is to keep my baby with me, especially as the reflux makes her vomit in her sleep. Plus we actually enjoy having her with us all the time. I also don't understand why feeding to sleep is such a bad idea? Surely it's a very convenient way of settling a baby? I guess I'm worried there will be some terrible long term consequences of what we're doing now, because most people seem obsessed with sleep routines and naps on schedule and it seems very stressful if your LO is a fairly good sleeper anyway.

CityDweller Sat 20-Jul-13 07:53:08

We put our dd upstairs from about 8 weeks, but we live in a small flat and so long as tv isn't on, or isn't on too loud, we can hear her from downstairs we also obsessively check on frequently until we go to bed. It's worked for us - she's slept thru since then, for the most part.

CityDweller Sat 20-Jul-13 07:56:27

Oh - I still feed her to sleep tho! Just upstairs in our bedroom in the quiet/ dark, rather than downstairs in front of tv. The downside is that I'm the one who always had to do bedtime and I'm not sure how I'm ever going to get to go out again (we haven't managed to get her to take bottle and as it is there's an issue with my breastmilk meaning it's hard to store as it goes off very quickly, even/ especially if frozen.)

hm32 Sat 20-Jul-13 08:06:34

My son's routine has always been that he goes to bed when we do. He tends to insist on bed about 9pm, which is fine by us. He feeds, sleeps, wakes about 7am for another feed, then will sleep until about 9.30am. After he's a year old, he may go to bed before us, but if he went to bed at 7.30pm we'd only see him for an hour or so in the evening and we'd miss playing with him. The childminder doesn't mind if he sleeps while she's doing the school run, so our routine works fine for everyone!

Nicknamefail Sat 20-Jul-13 09:50:42

Feeding to sleep us not wrong! It is also impossible to avoid with most babies. Enjoy the magic sleeping solution for months, then the baby may stop, or you can cuddle to sleep.

HabitualLurker Sat 20-Jul-13 10:37:00

Off topic to CityDweller - do you have milk that breaks down quickly and tastes soapy? You can deal with that by scalding your milk - heat it quickly til bubbles appear then put in bottle and cool rapidly. I had this issue, though I didn't realise for ages, so my baby was taking the 'off' milk for a few months. See the Kellymom website for a proper explanation.

On topic, we didn't start a routine til 5 months - til then he was always with us in the evening, feeding and napping. At 5 months we then disregarded the SIDS advice and started to put him to sleep in our room before we went to bed. I knew the risks, but by then he was very overtired and unsettled in the evenings and needed somewhere quiet and dark, but we weren't willing to go to bed at 7 with him..

Shellywelly1973 Sat 20-Jul-13 10:47:45

Im pregnant with my 6th baby. My youngest is 5. When did these guidelines come in?

i can't imagine not putting a baby to bed in the evening until 6 months old. It appears as if babys are to be treated like new borns for 6 months!

Im off to do some more research & reading.

Babouche Sat 20-Jul-13 10:56:44

My 3rd is 18 weeks.And he is always with me.Since a few days old I've been doing a quick bath around 8,then sitting on my bed bf,then into the cot.I would then have a quick bath in the en-suite then sit on the bed reading or go to bed myself.
Now he is a bit older I bring him downstairs and bf in front of the TV until 10ish when I go to bed.He usually falls asleep on me & then I just put him in his cot.If he's awake he just kicks a bit ,looks at the mobile and falls asleep.
As he is in a noisy household I think day & night are quite clear and he has been sleeping all night for a good few weeks now,the best of the 3!
I'm not leaving him on his own until 6m and did exactly the same with the older 2.All have slept all night from 8m.

atrcts Sat 20-Jul-13 14:25:20

Definitely go with your instinct.

There is also nothing wrong with feeding to sleep, but some parents don't like to have that sleep association because it condemns them to that for a very long time! So long as you are prepared for this, then you will have no problem.

atrcts Sat 20-Jul-13 14:26:54

PS you could compromise by doing the bedtime routine so they associate the changes with bedtime, but not actually going upstairs? To have the best of both worlds wink

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