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Opinion on placing baby on tummy to sleep
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Opinion on placing baby on tummy to sleep

hello all. i am a new mommy and have read all the info relating to SIDS, however, my one month old will not sleep on his back more than 15 min. or so. the only time either one of us gets sleep is if i place him on his tummy next to me in bed. that way i can hear him breathing and keep a close eye. if i leave him in his crib to sleep i try to place him on his side using rolled up blankets, but i have read that is also an increase in SIDS. i have talked to a lot of elders and they have all told me they placed their little ones on their tummy to sleep and had no problems. of course this was before they started saying there is a correlation between that and SIDS. what are your opinions on this topic??
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Avatar_n_tn
I am certainly no dr.  but I have had three children.  My first and third were always placed on their side (alternating each time I put them in the bassinet/crib) with a side holder I bought at Toys R Us. The second child I got scared b/c of all the dr.s say about SIDS and decided to put him on his back. His head began to flatten and I had to see a Neurologist with him.  The N. Dr. said that he was fine, but did have a rather flat head and to begin placing him on his side.  To this day (now 4) still has a flat spot on his head.  While I understand that research has been done and that I am not a dr.  I truly believe you should go with your gut feeling about your own child.  All three of mine ranked b/wn 8-10 on the APGAR when they were first born and did not have any problems what so ever,(very, very healthy) so therefore, I now chose to take drs. advice with a grain of salt.  Although they are very smart, mothers do know best about their own children.  Good luck.
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I forgot something.  At one month I was still swaddling them in a blanket at night, with their arms in front of them crossed and then would place in the side holder. They never moved and slept very comfortably.
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Hello there, I have 3 children, and all 3 I put on their belly!!! Never any problems, you have to realize to if you lay them on their back and they spit up there is no way for them to cough it up sometimes, you can't worry about every little thing. If the baby can lift its head up to turn then it should be fine, if not laying on the side is the best until they are mobile enough to move their head! Good Luck to ya I hope this helped some I know being a mommy at first is scary!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a firm believer in the back to sleep campaign. Hard evidence has shown that since the inception of the back to sleep campaign, SIDS deaths have dropped dramatically. Now everyone on here can say "I put all my kids to sleep on their tummy, so did my neighbor, my mom, blah blah blah" But in reality why would you risk it? It seems silly your baby will sleep on its back, it just may take longer. Once baby starts rolling over on their own, the doctor's are less concerned about sleep position as that demonstrates they have developed the strength needed to adjust their position.

As far as having a flat spot, that is an indicator that the baby wasn't turning their head on their own, which means mom or dad needs to do it...

In several studies they have seen a dramatic drop in SIDS deaths in populations that have adhered to the back to sleep program. Yet in the populations who haven't, their rates of SIDS are 2-3 times HIGHER!!

It seems like such an obvious thing. It has been shown to be safer, so why not do it. Would you take your baby out of his carseat and crawl around in the car just because he fussed while in it?

Andrea

BTW, this almost seems too familiar to me...
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Avatar_n_tn
All 3 of my babies slept on their back.  Never a problem.  My mother had 13 children as did her mother which slept on our backs.  All still alive and kicking.

I wonder about this study.  Did they take in account that maybe there are less sids because care givers are more aware on how to deal with babies or more people that lose control and does something to the babies are more aware that forensic science is more able to tell if it is true sids and not intentional?  How many factors that leads to sids are not part of this study?  We never had extra blanket or stuff animals or anything that would get in the way of our babies, and our babies while on their backs would move their heads from side to side.  The matteress was always firm.  If one of my kids would hold their face straight down in the matteress I would not lay them on their backs.
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Avatar_n_tn
While I understand your point about SIDS, I do beleive that there is some other factors that have not been considered and agree with meikman about the study done.  As far as the flat spot goes, although I would check on my son throughout the night and move his head from side to side everytime he layed down, he was very strong and would continually move it to the face up position, which in turn created the flat spot.  Not only does the laying on the back help create a flat spot, but the car seat etc.(even though they have those pillow things, by the way my son hated it), so despite a parents efforts to move the head from side to side, spending a majority amount of time on the back of the head does create a flat surface.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for the comments. i agree w/ boycrazy about SIDS. you have to take into account all the elements on studies (how they were conducted, for how long, diff. factors w/ each child, error, etc.). i don't feel like i would be harming my child, i would never want to do that. it's just so hard to function for either of us if we do not sleep. he needs his rest as i need mine, and if placing him on his tummy to sleep is best i just don't understand why it's such a problem. i do think a lot of babies who die from SIDS are from abusive homes. i have tried to put him on his back since birth and he absolutely hates it. i put him on his tummy and he is perfectly content. i would like to keep him on his back if i could think of something that would help him sleep. i have tried several things and nothing seems to work. he also has a problem with spitting up large amounts after meals. the Dr. said it could be reflux, but he is gaining weight. at that time i did not have such a big worry about placing him on his belly so i didn't get a chance to ask. when he is on his back he gags and i often have to pick him up so he can catch his breath. if he places his head on the side and there is direct air flow, and he can move his head to either side, what is the problem? i guess it's just your own opinion. i appreciate everyone's input.
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess it really is to each her own, but talk to a mother who placed her baby on it's tummy to sleep because it was more convenient for them and then lost the baby to SIDS and you will see why I am such an advocate. She would have given everything she has to have undone that mistake (BTW, baby's do not breathe as deeply as we do, the extra weight on the chest when lying on the belly causes them to take in even less oxygen,if they happen to bury their face into the mattress, their natural rooting reflex, they can suffocate). It is a horrible thing for anyone to go through and I know I would do everything in my power to prevent something like that from happening. If everything points to sleeping on the tummy as a risk factor, then my baby has to deal with sleeping on his back until he is strong enough to roll over.

And it wasn't just one random study that has shown the statistics on the decrease in SIDS related deaths, it is many and they have all said the same thing ; ) The suggestion that SIDS deaths happen more often in abusive homes is a sad assumption for someone to make.

Andrea

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Avatar_n_tn
Both my children slept on thier tummies.  My almost 10 month old still does, of course at that age he can roll over if he does NOT like it.  On their backs they have that startle reflex that keeps waking them so I kept mine on thier bellies and they slept better.  My sisters also kept thier babies on their tummies and both my sisters smoke which is also a SIDS factor.  I feel do what you feel comfortable with.  I firmly believe if it is your time to go you are going to go no matter how you are sleeping.  Good Luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
There is a ton of debate on what exactly SIDS is. Some say it is caused by cardiac defects, others say it is a neurological condition and other say it is a respitory condition.

I think it is best to err on the side of caution and place your baby on his back, if he gets tired enough he will fall asleep.
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Avatar_n_tn
I wedged my daughter in one of those side things when she was a newborn, and later on her back. I was told by the books and such always on the back. I was just afraid something would happen to her so I followed the books. When she spit up it kind-of dribbled down her cheek, out of her mouth. I didn't have any problems with choking, etc. I guess I would rather err on the side of caution. My mother probably put me to bed on my belly as did many moms back in the day. But she also didn't belt us in the car. All of us are alive, but I guess some of it is luck! Anyway, just do your best. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
You state that your baby may have reflux? My third child has reflux and has since a very young age.  He was breast fed for 8 months and it did not become a huge issue until I switched him to formula.  He has been on prevacid since 9 months old now (14 months now) and is doing much better.  If your baby spits up as much as mine did, I would encourage you to place him on his side instead of his tummy or his back.  Mine spit up once on his tummy and was rooting in his throw-up.  Luckily he was sleeping in the playpen during the day and I was watching him.  I think the side would be best if this is a concern for you. Your son may also like his tummy best if he does have reflux b/c it seems to soothe the discomfort for them.  Hopefully this will help you.
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Avatar_n_tn
My DD has severe reflux and sleeps on her back or side.  I know someone who lost their 2.5 month old baby to SIDS 2 weeks ago.
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I agree... very familiar.

Of course people will always regale you with stories of "I put all my kids on their stomachs and they were fine"...just as you will hear people say they "smoke a pack a day and are fine"...as people will say they "never use seatbelts and are fine"..

Heck--when my kids were little carseats weren't even required!  You could put them in little plastic infants seats or just lay them on the seat  "and they grew up just fine"...

When my kids were little we didn't know what we know now.  Yes, my kids slept on their tummies and are fine.  But now that we know, why tempt fate?


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Avatar_n_tn
I am such a freak about SIDS - there is absolute proof that sleeping on their backs lowers the incidence of SIDS, therefore, I placed both mine on their backs.  My 7 month old has flipped to her tummy since about 4.5 months, and when I happen to see this, I often flip her back (she doesn't wake up).  I am not as worried now, but it makes perfect sense that if they can't lift their heads or roll, they may suffocate.  Also, nothing should be in the crib with them,  not even a blanket!  Smoking is also a risk factor.  I say anything that will even lower the chances by a small percentage is worth it.  Not to say that everyone who is putting their baby on their tummy is not interested in lowering the chances of SIDS - I know every mother would do all they can - but sometimes the word doesn't get out strongly enough.  I read a lot about Back to Sleep and my doctor pressed the issue even more (even though I was already doing it.)
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Avatar_n_tn
If you do not mind me asking how did they put their baby to sleep???  Do you know if it was on the back or tummy????  I am not saying sleep position played a roll I was just wondering.  I have always felt that there was an underlying problem that is undiagnosed in babies that die of this.  I don't know.  I am no dr or scientist so I do not know.  I just know that I was scared everytime I put my babies on their tummy but I and them slept better.  I am so sorry your friends had to go through that.  It would just kill me.  Take Care
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Avatar_n_tn
She really hasnt released any details like that yet.  I would feel really funny asking her.  I am definately not saying that belly sleeping causes SIDS, I actually donn't believe that. I believe that certain things you are pre-dispositioned for. Like why some people who smoke get cancer and some who smoke do not. I believe things can accelerate or bring these illnesses and such out. I believe belly sleeping can cause SIDS but only if the baby has what I believe to be a pre-disposition.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with you 100%
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anjij,
while i understand you are an advocate for this topic and i respect your advice, i have to correct you in what you stated. i never said it was just one random study, i said you have to take into account all elements (especially bias and error) involved in each study conducted. i have been reading up on this topic the past few days b/c i really want to do the best thing for my child, and i have found in each reading that there isn't one bit of hard evidence that SIDS is simply caused by placing a baby on their tummy to sleep. also, i did not mean that all babies who die from SIDS come from abusive homes, but i have known several in my community that have. so, we have here a correlation with SIDS and abusive homes, and tummy sleeping, just as we have a correlation with other factors. geez and i mean a lot from what i have read.

anyhow, i am going to try my hardest to get my little one to sleep on his back until he can roll over. then he can decide which way he would like to sleep. however, if he does not sleep long than 15 min. maybe 4 times in a 24 hour period, i am going to let him sleep on his tummy as long as i am close by. i feel babies need lots of sleep. it is not healthy for newborns to stay awake long periods of time w/o adequate rest as they need to grow. when he is on his belly he will sleep as long as 3-4 hours. it's not that it's an "inconvenience" as someone stated, but sleep is essential for him and myself. i would like to add that when i started letting him sleep on his belly his meals stayed down. i would also like to add my Dr. even stated that the reason he was not sleeping was due to the sleeping position. he stated that the knee-chect position is natural for babies, but he then admitted he has to advise me to let the baby sleep on his back b/c of legalities. ok, that is my input. thanks to everyone who responded to me. i never meant to upset anyone who knows of someone who died from SIDS. i am only a new mom. :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
didn't mean to confuse.. i am tired, need a nap. i meant to say my Dr. said that. i haven't talked ot his Dr. yet. i have an appt. soon though.
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My baby is sleeping on his stomach much better than his back.  3 years ago when my niece was born, her pediatrician said to put her on her side, now they say not too.  A few years ago, they were saying put them on their tummies, now they say not to.  Do what you feel most comfortable doing.  I just chose to start putting my little one on his stomach for naps only and watched him at first, then after  a couple of weeks, I did it at night.  Go with your motherly instint.  Good luck.  Oh, DONT let anyone make you feel guilty whatever you decide to do, each baby is different.
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I am glad you posed the question.  This forum is for opinions and it never hurts to get more than one.  I hope I was not snotty in my responses.  I appreciate everyones opinions and read all of them, however it really boils down to your comfort level with your own child.  I think you will do what is very best for your child or you would not have asked the question in the first place.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 5 week old daughter sleeps on her tummy for day naps and through the night. Since i started this 1 week ago she has gone from sleeping 1-2hrs at night to going 3-4 hours. She sleeps in a co-sleeper next to my bed and i have a movement monitor on the co-sleeper - this really helps to ease my worry about SIDS. My daughter can lift her head and turn it side to side while on her tummy.

My point is, that you need to do what you think is best for YOU and your baby. If your not getting any sleep and baby is not getting sleep then that is not healthy for either of you. If it worries you to put your baby on its tummy because of SIDS, get the movement monitor so you can sleep easy knowing that if he was to stop breathing the alarm will go off.

Being a mother is the most joyful experience, you don;t want to waste it worrying about sleep or lack of.

Mummy of 2 beautiful girls, 5 weeks and 17 months.  :)
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babies have a higher carbon diaoxide in there blood when they are layed to sleep in there bellies and if they sleep in a swing or car seat under 9 months of age. Preemie abbies are put through a car seat test to even be able to go home for this fact! NOw my last babies were all born when they had side positioners and that is what I used but I was also told to strech them out and warap there arms and not let them be scrunched up at all. I do not agree putting them to sleep on the belly and especially next to someone in the same bed as this will make the levels worse!!!!!!! I understand how studies go and also know about the head molding the have now becasue of the back laying. There are always goign to be different opinions and while someones baby did not die from what they did does not mean that it was nessisarly safe!!! It is a fact about the oxygen levels and I ahve seen it with my own eyes!!! Belly sleeping is not safe at all for any baby and they would sleep in other positions if that is how they were laid to begin with!
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Avatar_f_tn
Before having children, and coming from a clinical background, I would have always advocated for following recommendations from research. In otherwords keeping babies on their back, not having them in the bed etc. Now, however, since having a baby, who won't sleep on their back and actually appears distressed on her back, I am a firm believer of following your own mothering instincts. I often put my baby on her front to sleep and place her safely in the bed next to me, so I can hear her breathing. We often share a thin cotton blanket together too which I know would alarm many midwives and health visitors!

I do believe medical advice is very important and should always be considered, however all research has it's flaws and cannot be accepted for all circumstances.  I have also learned from being a mother that sometimes following research and medical advice can lead mum's losing some of their maternal instincts. As I said, it's important to be aware of medical recommendations and potential risks etc but it shouldn't take away your own decision making. No medical paper can tell you what's right for your child, you as a mother ( in most circumstances!) are best suited to make those judgements.
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Avatar_f_tn
i am confused about the whole sids thing. the scare of tummy sleeping is that a baby might suffocate, yet that would mean the baby died of suffocation not sids. they say tummy sleeing can LEAD to sids just as smoking, low birth weight, not proper pre natel care can all LEAD to sids. they still dont know what sids is but i do question whether the times tummy sleepers died from sids there were  some of the other mentioned above contributing factors involved. statistically sids has dropped since they recommended baby to back sleeping but i wonder statistically how many babies still sleep on their tummy. maybe that would rule out that putting babies on their back is the reason of decrease in sids. i would like to know how many babies these days die of sids while on their back and how many babies die of sids on their tummy. i think that there would be a large quantity of mothers who still put their babies on their tummy regardless of the recommendation. im not pro or against tummy sleeping but i do think society likes one set of rules and guideline and they want everyone to follow them regardless. even if every single mother in the world followed the sids guidelines, babies will still die from sids. none of the contributing factors to sids are why a baby dies of sids.
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sids and being suffocated by a blanket or carbon dioxide is totally differnent. The FDA has now since put out a rwitten statement that all sleep positioners cn lead to sids! THe back to sleep positioners will be taken off the market soon. I lay my little guy haof on his side and back and switch him each time. I hav done this with all 4 of my kids and even one that was in the nicu with monitors on. Her oxygen alays stayed up! Also where I live has only had one case of sids in iver 50 years!!! ABout 95% if babie here co sleep. They say by studies I mean that baby breathes and learns moms breathing movments and is aware when not around mom so being together helps, but of couse you want to have little covering and babiea face away form moms skin.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello. I'm a Mother of three and a Grandmother of two, all healthy.  My first born daughter was a premature baby in an incubator for the first month of her life. While in the intensive care ward for infants I witnessed alarms going off, and a nurse rushing over to deal with the situation. Almost every time the nurse would handle the baby to get them to breath again. I asked about this. I was told the alarm goes off when the baby's heart monitor responds to a drop in heart rate due to the baby not breathing. I was told they forget to breath sometimes. It makes sense that an infant sleeping soundly in a curled up on their tummy position would forget to breath. Studies, doctors etc. have never taken this possibility into account when conducting research. My children all slept on their tummies but always in a cradle right beside me or in bed with me. They can hear you breath and other noise which helps them remember to breath. There is some kind of hormone that is produced to jump start the breathing process but maybe in some babies it's not enough. Babies do sleep better on their tummies. It's more natural.   They cannot find any reason or cause of SIDS so quite possibly they just forget to breath.  That can happen in any sleeping position but more so on the tummy because it's more like being in the womb.  Keep your baby close when they're sleeping and do what you feel is best.
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