Parenting newborns and infants, up to 1 year User Group
sleeping on stomach
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Founded by Ashelen on August 17, 2010
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sleeping on stomach

I know that it is best for babies to sleep on their backs and I am aware of all of the SIDS research but my 9 week old simply will not sleep on his back.  Until today he would only sleep on me or in his moving swing (primarily sleeping in the swing).  I have tried every day for the last month to attempt a nap in his co-sleeper (I have moved it to the living room) but after 5 minutes he is up.  Today my DH put him down on his stomach - let me just say - this child is a sleeping machine.  It is now 3:30 and he has basically been asleep since 8:30 - with the exception of getting up to eat at 10 and 12:30.  I am worried that he will not sleep tonight.  I have him right next to me so I can make sure he is breathing, and I am constantly checking him.  He does have reflux and I wonder if he is more comfortable on his stomach - he seems to making up for lost sleep. Seeing how great he sleeps on his stomach, makes me wonder if this is what he needs.  How terrible would it be for me to continue this this for naps?
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14 Comments
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377493_tn?1356505749
I am probably the worst person to answer this, just because I was (and am) an absolute stress case about SIDS.  I mean to the point I was on anti anxiety medication.

I will say this...I never put Ryder down on his tummy.  Always on his back and he too was a terrible sleeper.  Up every hour or more for months and months. He didn't start sleeping on his tummy until he could roll over, but has slept like that ever since.  I put him down on his back, and immiately onto his tummy he goes.  He does sleep much longer like that.  

I probably wouldn't.  Eventually Ryder did sleep longer on his back and did get used to it.  I swaddled him for the first three months, and although he hated it at first, it worked incredibly well.  

Sorry, I sound judgemental, and I am the furthest thing from that.  I believe in respecting other mommies decisions.  Just my opinion.  



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689528_tn?1364139441
I would talk to your doctor about it. I have read that there are some babies that are advised to actually sleep on their stomach for reasons I'm not sure of.
I'm really scared about SIDS too...I think we all are but when you think about it...they still don't know the cause. Also...back when we were little, most babies slept on their stomach. But really...see what your doc has to say...maybe just have your little one sleep like that during the day, when you can check on them.
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1169162_tn?1331235953
Heatherm4:  Checking with his pediatrician is a good idea - she was the one who encouraged me at his 2 month check up to work on getting him out of the swing asap because once he outgrows the swing we would be in trouble.  I will see what she says about stomach sleeping with my guy.  I know that so many of us slept on our tummies and are fine but I also know that the research is clear about SIDS.  I am hoping that it may be safer for some babies (and that mine is one of those babies),

Adgal:  Don't worry at all about sounding judgmental.  I know you are the furthest thing from it. I was seeking others' opinions and I appreciate you sharing yours.  I am struggling with this and it helps me to hear all sides, even the ones cautioning against it.  I am more cautious about it and my DH is more willing to try it (but only for naps).  I think I will wait for now, as he does sleep well in his swing on his back, and I will continue to try some back sleeping in his co-sleeper for naps.  When he outgrows the swing, I will revisit this decision and will have spoken to his doctor about it before then.  I know sleep is important for both of us (especially since I am returning to my very intense job) but I would rather lose sleep than have anything bad happen to him - I could never live with myself.  It is also helpful to hear that Ryder eventually slept better on his back.  
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Dealing with sleep issues has got to be even more challenging if you are back at work.  I tell you though, the books that saved us (DH was getting no sleep and trying to go to work all day...it was so hard on him) is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, and the other was Happiest Baby on the Block.  I have so many baby books and those are the two that really did make a difference and that I highly recommend.  I wish I had read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child when Ryder was born instead of when he was 8 months old.  It's not a one size fits all solution, it talks about different babies and different things to try.  Maybe it could help you and Finn as well?
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I adore Happiest Baby on the Block.  Thanks for the tip on the Weissbluth book - I have been researching sleep books to death and have been considering that one.  There are so darn many, it is overwhelming, and it is great to get a recommendation from someone who used them.  I will order it asap.
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1173196_tn?1292920090
When Emily was born she was a terrible sleeper. After a couple weeks, I caved and let her sleep on her stomach. I think it feels much more natural to them.
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1165284_tn?1323459076
I so far have been putting my5 week old twin boys on their back but can tell that one wants to be on his tummy.

I bought the Angel Care Monitor. It has a tick monitor...the point of the tick monitor is it lets you know if their is NO movement whatsoever...so this would mean it is suposed to tell you if they would stop breathing.
One of my friends has a tummy sleeper and she bought this then suggested I get two for my twins cribs

I do know that when I take my babies out of their cribs without pushing the button , when the baby is not in there then the alarm DOES go off. So far this has helped me with my fear of SIDS. I bought mine at babies-r-us and Angel care does also have a website.

I hope this helps

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I have the Angel Care monitor as well, and it does give me peace of mind.

I was reading up the other day on why they don't recommend tummy sleeping.  It actually isn't necessarily because of smothering.  SIDS is actually not smothering.  They believe the problem is that baby is breathing in and out their own carbon dioxide.  So while the Angel Care is great for an accident such as getting trapped, it just doesnt help with the tummy sleeping.  But it sure does work.  I have set it off a few times by accident..lol.  Woke up the whole house!  
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621803_tn?1302891941
To add to what adgal just posted, which is similar to what I've read, is that a lot of the problem with tummy sleeping is the fact that the babies sleep so well on their stomachs! You would think that would be counter intuitive, but I guess they think that since a baby tends to sleep lighter on his back, if he starts breathing in CO2 or something, that he'll wake up and move his head a little, which is all it would take to disperse it. But if he's in a really deep sleep, he doesn't wake up or move when he needs to.
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1169162_tn?1331235953
Thanks everyone for your input.  He is still sleeping swaddled on his back in the swing for the first stretch of the night (5-7 hours) and then he goes into the co-sleeper for another 1-3 hours (sometimes we bring him into the bed as well) - we have worked on getting him to sleep on his side and this will sometimes work - he still will not sleep more than a few minutes on his back - I went hard core and only put him on his back for 2 days straight - man, was that the 2 worst days of our recent life! no one slept at all, and Finn got himself so worked up that his reflux was out of control.  This whole thing has me so worried - he needs to sleep but I can't get him to do it safely.  Man, I came into motherhood with tons of experience with babies, but trying to get my son to sleep on his back or drink from a bottle have humbled me greatly.  I seem to have one stubborn baby on my hands!

I am torn about the Angel Care monitor for all the reasons you all have mentioned.  Finn is really strong and can easily pick up his head and adjust himself and there is little danger of him getting trapped in the co-sleeper as the sides are all mesh, but I do worry about the CO2 thing.  

I have spoken with his pediatrician about it and she says that if there is a fan blowing fresh air into the crib/bassinet, then the risk of SIDS drops dramatically (with some recent research, it drops to the level of back sleepers) - this is because the fan keeps a supply of fresh oxygen around the baby which reduces the build up of heavier CO2.  So, while I continue to work on the back sleeping daily, when he sleeps on his stomach, I have a small fan attached to the co-sleeper, and one of us is always awake and next to him.

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I have always let Kylie sleep however she is confortable (and after reading posts from other women in various things I almost feel like a bad mom for being so relaxed about everything) Rarely she will sleep on her stomach and back, but prefers her side. Because she sleeps with me, she is normally in my arms and sleeps with her head and body facing my chest and face. (her head and mine are usually level with each other)
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I have just read some updated data on the back sleeping.  Some pediatricians are now beginning to change their minds.  One of the reasons is there is more evidence that SIDS is actually something babies are almost "prewired" to have or not.  In other words, nothing you can do or don't do will prevent it.  I don't know, to me that is almost scarier.

The other reason is the issue around them getting flat spots on their head which some are saying are linked to developmental issues later on.

Of course the official SIDS website still recommends back sleeping.  Honestly, its all so confusing.  We try so hard to do the right thing, then it begins to change.  Anyway, just thought I would share....as if this makes things any easier.  Sorry.
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to adgal - I know!!  As if it is not confusing enough to parent a child without changing and conflicting advice. You have said before and are so right - many times it is best to just trust our instincts.  
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to clysta:  you are not a bad mom at all - you are a great mom.  I am just a big worrier - was even before I had kids.  There is no right or wrong way - if your heart is in the right place and you love your kid, you are doing great in my book.
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