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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.

strawberrypenguin Wed 28-Nov-12 06:56:35

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.

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