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Experienced Mom asking, perhaps, a silly question


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Marco is just shy of 3 months old. I know, know, know the recommendations for "back to sleep, tummy to play" and I don't risk it, really. He does frequently fall asleep on his tummy during play though and, just for grins and giggles, if he is next to me when he dozes off, I let him stay that way. He sleeps for hours if allowed to stay that way; the minute I need to leave the room and reposition him on his back, he wakes up screaming. He's an enigma to me - three year old DS and 11 year old DD both slept fine on their backs. Add to that, this one has severe reflux and I can't count how many times I've woken in the night to find him covered in his own vomit (on his back, in his moses basket). THAT is terrifying. My mind keeps racing to "what if he choked and I didn't hear him". When he's on his tummy, it's like magic - he doesn't vomit, startle, or scream from the reflux (and yes, he's on reflux medication but I can't honestly see the point in it; he vomits it up almost immediately). He obviously is keeping some food down though, as he's more than doubled his birth weight as of a month ago :D).

I've googled "when can baby sleep on tummy" and find the standard physician reply "put baby on back to sleep until a year old".

 

So what say The Hive? What did you do with your wanna-be-a-tummy-sleepers? Grandma tells me to put him on his tummy as she did with all 8 of her children. I'm not going to do anything, obviously, to increase the risk of SIDS (it does seem to run in my family - I stopped breathing in my sleep many times as an infant, cause unknown; it was luckily caught because it was during the day, I was monitored at the hospital and subsequently on a monitor until I was 16 months old). Just wondering.

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I would talk to your ped. Sometimes they will recommend sleeping on an incline for a reflux baby. I have known parents who say their reflux baby slept much better on their stomach. I don't know if I would risk it, personally but that's just me.

He did suggest and incline - which Marco quickly learned how to scoot down :glare:.

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I had a baby with reflux. Have you tried him sleeping in a carseat, or one of those inclined bouncer things. or even putting a pillow under the mattress to raise the head. All my babies wouldn't sleep on their backs either. They just preferred tummy. BUT with the whole breathing issue in your family. I would definetely incline.

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If it was me, I would put the bed (and the crib if you use one) on an incline. Just a couple of inches at the head is enough. I would do my best to sleep him on his side. And, I would probably hold or sling him 99% of the time.

 

I had a personal experience with SIDS and I am terrified of it. So that colors my opinions.

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My daughter would slide down too, until my MIL found in a catalog a cloth seat that would strap to a chair to allow a child to sit in a restaurant chair. It is really hard to explain, but we strapped the straps around the mattress of the crib, then inclined the mattress. At night we would slide her into the seat and there you go, she was on her back, inclined without scooting. The first time our babsitter sat with her, she thought we were crazy when we explained how to put her in it to sleep! She slept in it until she was about 18 mos old and her reflux had pretty much disappeared.

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Once they can roll over there is nothing you can do about their sleep position. Recommending they stay on their backs until age one seems a bit long, since by then most babies will be sleeping in any position they want.

 

So depending on the baby - maybe 4-6 months old? Way sooner than 1 year.

 

My babies wouldn't sleep on their backs, so I let them sleep on their tummies. I was okay with that. If you're not, then I hope you can find a solution you are comfortable with soon!

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Dd slept on her side. I'd put a rolled blanket behind her back and she was propped up on that.

 

I was all about back to sleep per 21st century rules. My mom was all about sleeping on tummy in case of vomiting (20th century rules). So when I brought dd home the first week mom was there with us we compromised. Then it stuck. I'd switch sides so dd didn't end up with one side of her head flat.

 

Also she didn't end up with a flat spot on the back of her head nor did she have a bald spot from her hair rubbing off the back.

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Mine hardly slept at all :glare:. But they did sleep much better on their bellies. I was too nervous to let them do it at night-but during the day I was okay with putting them on their belly and I just kept an eye on them. And at night they were always in our bed so they slept a little better even on their backs-though of course that option is not popular among the doctors either...

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Mine slept on his side with a pillow behind his back. Of course your little guy could easily roll over onto his tummy from this position as well.

If you don't have a lot of pillows, toys and bedding in the crib he may be okay.

Do you have any way to prop him on his side. This would alleviate my mind a bit regarding the vomiting issue.

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Both my kids slept on their tummies. They simply did better that way. I just made sure it was a firm mattress and there were no blankets or toys that could cover their faces. Due to space limitations, their cribs were in my room, so I was used to their night noises and would always wake up if something seemed different.

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One of my twins slept best on her tummy. In the NICU, her O2 sat was always near 100% when on her tummy. Put her on her back and her O2 sat would drop. She also had problems with reflux. I had a portable bassinet that allowed me to incline the back. That helped a lot. After feeding her, I could have the back in the "up" position. After about 30 minutes I could lower the back. Here is a new fangled bassinet that would allow the same thing: Sleep System

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Marco is just shy of 3 months old. I know, know, know the recommendations for "back to sleep, tummy to play" and I don't risk it, really. He does frequently fall asleep on his tummy during play though and, just for grins and giggles, if he is next to me when he dozes off, I let him stay that way. He sleeps for hours if allowed to stay that way; the minute I need to leave the room and reposition him on his back, he wakes up screaming. He's an enigma to me - three year old DS and 11 year old DD both slept fine on their backs. Add to that, this one has severe reflux and I can't count how many times I've woken in the night to find him covered in his own vomit (on his back, in his moses basket). THAT is terrifying. My mind keeps racing to "what if he choked and I didn't hear him". When he's on his tummy, it's like magic - he doesn't vomit, startle, or scream from the reflux (and yes, he's on reflux medication but I can't honestly see the point in it; he vomits it up almost immediately). He obviously is keeping some food down though, as he's more than doubled his birth weight as of a month ago :D).

I've googled "when can baby sleep on tummy" and find the standard physician reply "put baby on back to sleep until a year old".

 

 

When ds had reflux as an infant, they told me to put him to sleep on his tummy. If was what they told us to do in reflux babies at the time. I still pt him to sleep on his side though. BUT things do change so don't take my word for it. For instance when oldest was born, they said solids at 4 months or more. By the time ds was born 6 years later they were really pushing 6 months.

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I would let them sleep on their tummies unless they preferred back sleeping. I think "back to sleep" is misguided and is the cause of many learning and behavior issues linked to poor sleeping habits. Also, tummy sleeping helps babies develop important physical abilities including stronger breathing. (And letting moms get some good sleep isn't a bad thing, either.)

 

Incidentally, when my sister/brother were born over 30 years ago, my mom told me that tummy sleeping was best because that way the child was less likely to choke on vomit.

 

Even those who believe in back-to-sleep generally consider it important mainly during the time when your baby is unable to move his own head to get some air should his airway get blocked. Most kids can do this before they are 3mo.

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Dd2 slept n her tummy from about 4 weeks on. I was so sleep deprived it the only way she would sleep without me holding her in an upright position. I had a 4 and 2 yr old so I was fried. She was fine and I've since known tons of people who slept on tummies. I thought SIDS has been found to be connected to the chemicals in the crib mattresses.

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Once they can roll over there is nothing you can do about their sleep position. Recommending they stay on their backs until age one seems a bit long, since by then most babies will be sleeping in any position they want.

 

So depending on the baby - maybe 4-6 months old? Way sooner than 1 year.

 

My babies wouldn't sleep on their backs, so I let them sleep on their tummies. I was okay with that. If you're not, then I hope you can find a solution you are comfortable with soon!

 

:iagree:

 

My kids either slept with me, or rolled onto their stomachs.

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Once they can roll over there is nothing you can do about their sleep position. Recommending they stay on their backs until age one seems a bit long, since by then most babies will be sleeping in any position they want.

 

So depending on the baby - maybe 4-6 months old? Way sooner than 1 year.

 

My babies wouldn't sleep on their backs, so I let them sleep on their tummies. I was okay with that. If you're not, then I hope you can find a solution you are comfortable with soon!

 

:iagree:

My 4 month old is rolling over and will roll himself to his tummy to sleep on his own.

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My son died of SIDS and I've tried to make the subsequent 4 babies sleep on their backs. They don't. If I were in your position I would try the carseat way - one of my sisters had success with a baby with reflux that way. Then I'd try the side propping idea. But in my experience, some babies just sleep best on their tummies.

 

In the 13 years since B died I have read all sorts of theories about SIDS. I am most comfortable now with letting my babies sleep on their bellies on a new-just-for-that-child mattress, with clean sheets every day, and with a fan blowing gently over them.

 

My oldest ds (4yrs older than B) stopped breathing ALL THE TIME as a baby, and I found him blue and unresponsive just 4 months after I found B dead. His tonsils and adenoids were taken out the next day and while he stills snores, he never stopped breathing again.

 

I hope you can find a method that works for your ds and for you.:001_smile:

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Have you tried his side? I didn't like the whole back idea, as I was worried about choking on vomit too. I use to put ds on his side, w/ a rolled up towel along his back, and a smaller one wedged up against his tummy. That worked really well. I had a wedge that you were supposed to use for that purpose, but it didn't work as well as the towels. hth

 

p.s. I have no idea how the girls were put down. I don't think they slept.

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I put mine on their tummies to sleep. With dd8 I tried to put her on her back, but it didn't work. She couldn't sleep that way. Before finally letting her sleep on her tummy, I would let her sleep in her infant carrier or a swing--propped up, she seemed to sleep better than lying completely flat, possibly because she spent 12 days in the hospital nursery propped up and got used to it. We also co-slept quite a bit. I don't know what age she was when she would finally sleep in her own bed/bassinet, but it was before 1 year. Don't know if that's much help. I let dd6 sleep on her tummy sooner, but also co-slept with her first.

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Another vote for tummy and side sleepers. Early on, I put them on their side, with rolled blankets/burp cloths in front and behind them, very low on their torsos. I always make sure clothes/bibs/toys/extra fabrics are out of the bed and nowhere near their heads. We have no history of SIDS, though, but I know at early ages they wouldn't be able to move something blocking their face, obviously. Once they were rolling, they were always on their tummy. Both my kids used a pacifier, too. That helped me feel better about them sleeping on their tummy, for some reason.

 

I really don't know what to say, given the reflux issues. I will say it is wonderful when babies sleep...and that I truly think there is so much 'they' don't know about babies and sleep issues. I lean to the 'momma knows best' side, honestly.

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dd was a belly sleeper.. and now 6 wk old ds is a side/belly sleeper. My kids have never slept good on their backs. Also when dd was a few weeks old I had her on her back and she started to spit up. Scared me to death because she acted like she was choking on it.

 

Back sleeping has scared me ever since.

 

Plus.. Im one of those "our parents and grandparents put their kids to sleep that way.. and everyone is fine" kind of people:D

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There was a study that came out about 4 years ago that said that a tummy sleeping baby, in a room with a fan and using a paci was equally as safe as back sleeping baby. Reflux is hugely aggravated by back sleeping. If it were me, I would get an Angel Care Monitor and put him on his stomach to sleep.

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I thought that the whole sleeping on back thing was recommended because of the link with overheating and SIDS. My understanding was that there was quite a lot of evidence behind these recommendations.

Personally I would not like to advise someone to go against evidence based recommendations for something so serious.

As far as side sleeping goes - I think you can buy a special holder to put them in that looks like a little rolled towel at front and back. Don't know what it's called. I never laid my baby with reflux down completely flat at all - even when changing a diaper I propped up the changing mat and put one end of the crib up on some books.

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I had a wedge pillow type thing that DD and DS slept with. It was a wedge on both sides (back and tummy) so I could put them on their side. That vomiting thing scared me. Neither had reflux, but I never could understand the whole "sleep on their back" thing because of that...vomit, snot, etc. It didn't make sense to me.

 

FWIW, I did a lot of research on SIDS and back vs. tummy sleeping and came across a lot of information on off-gassing of crib mattresses. The older the mattress gets, the worse it gets so hand-me down mattresses are a no-no, etc. The closer the baby's face to the mattress the more gas they breathe in so that is why the recommend back sleeping. In the end DS had a 100% Talalay latex crib mattress (didn't know about them with DD). NOW, DD has the Talalay latex mattress with organic cotton/wool cover because of allergies.

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Well, my babies have been foster kids and I wouldn't dare take a tiny risk with them (not that I would anyway, but I don't totally buy the tummy sleep thing anyway so I wouldn't see it as a risk I was taking...if that makes sense).

 

ANYWAY, do you swaddle? That has been a LIFESAVER. There are swaddle blankets that make it super easy to "tie baby up" and they sleep miraculously. And even big babies can be swaddled well. They will eventually "break free" and roll over. I then used the swaddle blanket from the armpits down (we aren't allowed to have pillows, blankets, etc in the crib either...until 18mo...so swaddle blankets and the blankets they wear are musts for infants and young toddlers).

 

BTW, if a kid falls asleep, I'm not gonna wake them! I think that is some rule or something.

 

Oh, and reflux-y babies often have a wedge or some other kind of incline (boppy seems to be popular though I'm sure they say not to use them that way).

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Mine were reflux babies, the last being the worst. We have a family history and I found youngest DS blue at 4 months so he was on a monitor until he was 18 months old. We swaddled and put them on their sides or on back on an incline. I joke that their heads didn't touch the crib until after they doubled their birth weight because that was how long you had to wait until their gut could tolerate Prevacid. They didn't sleep unless sitting up until then. If you want to leave him on his stomach I would ask about a monitor. DS was on an O2 monitor but I think the apnea monitors are even cheaper, if not an Angel monitors might be an option.

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I'd like to hear about it if this is the case. Do you have links or anything? It's been a while since I needed this information. ;)

 

Here's one...

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/100/4/613.short

 

And another...

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/107/3/537.short

 

I read a bunch of stuff about a month ago because we cosleep with the baby and I do worry about it... but otherwise I get ZERO sleep. I was trying to figure out how much cosleeping increased risk without other added risk factors. So, I came across a lot of stuff then, but didn't really mark anything I found to look at later.

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I'm going to come out and just say it....I put my babies down to sleep on their tummys. It was heaven! They slept! If not, they never slept sound. They hated swaddling and only fell asleep on their tummies in my arms; the instant they were turned over, wham, they were up again:banghead:

 

I've read some analysis of the initial studies that suggested babies who slept on their backs were less likely to die of SIDS, and there really isn't a strong enough case of evidence. Less incidents of SIDS occur in babies who sleep on their back because a much smaller percentage of babies slept on their backs to begin with when the study was conducted to begin with.

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