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Experienced Mom asking, perhaps, a silly question


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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'll come out of the closet with you. Here is Dr. Sears' list for how to prevent SIDS:

 

The seven SIDS risk-lowering steps:

 

Give your baby a healthy womb environment.

Do not allow smoke around your baby – pre or postnatally.

Put your baby to sleep on his back or side, not on his stomach.

Breastfeed your baby.

Give your baby a safe sleeping environment.

Avoid overheating your baby during sleep.

Practice the "high-touch" style of attachment parenting.

Medical and family circumstances may prevent you from doing all seven of these risk-lowering practices, but do the best you can.

 

I do 6 out of 7, and I usually only put them on their backs to nap, not at night.

 

Also a related link from Dr. Sears about the relationship between co-sleeping and SIDS prevention.

 

http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-co-sleeping-a-sids-danger

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All six of mine slept on their tummies.

 

The ones with reflux slept on on an incline.

 

I got this for Leah Claire and she slept on her side, swaddled, next to my bed. I LOVED it. It folds easily for trips too!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Newborn-Rock-Sleeper-Yellow/dp/B002M77N22/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347872429&sr=8-1&keywords=rock+and+play

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My 3rd had awful reflux. I made a diaper shape out of cloth, sewed the bottom to the sheet, and sewed velcro to the sides and the crib sheet. They recommend quite an angle for reflux and my baby would roll down the incline too so I velcroed him in :) I'm not going to say it worked great. I still had to hold him in the recliner to get any sleep most of the first 6 months. But at least once in a while he would sleep in the crib...usually the first couple hours of the night. The drawback is that velcro is LOUD when you unhook it so they are wide awake when you pick them up if they weren't wide awake before that!

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I'll come out of the closet with you. Here is Dr. Sears' list for how to prevent SIDS:

 

The seven SIDS risk-lowering steps:

 

Give your baby a healthy womb environment.

Do not allow smoke around your baby – pre or postnatally.

Put your baby to sleep on his back or side, not on his stomach.

Breastfeed your baby.

Give your baby a safe sleeping environment.

Avoid overheating your baby during sleep.

Practice the "high-touch" style of attachment parenting.

Medical and family circumstances may prevent you from doing all seven of these risk-lowering practices, but do the best you can.

 

I do 6 out of 7, and I usually only put them on their backs to nap, not at night.

 

Also a related link from Dr. Sears about the relationship between co-sleeping and SIDS prevention.

 

http://www.parenting.com/article/ask-dr-sears-co-sleeping-a-sids-danger

 

 

I did the same :). But when it came to sleep I just came to the conclusion it'd be the only way baby (or me) would ever get any sleep.

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I find it absolutely shocking that so many of you can recommend a position that is stated to be higher risk by anecdotally (?sp) claiming it's OK because my baby did it and survived!!

 

Now, I have not reviewed the evidence closely myself, and maybe it isn't conclusive. But so many of you, who are implying it's ok to tummy sleep, don't sound like you have either. I find this hard to believe. By all means provide evidence that shows you're right and then make a recommendation, but don't just say it's OK because my child survived.

 

I just read a thread recently about keeping your child rear facing in the car for a very long time. Many people thought this a good thing to do, yet without providing evidence, people in this thread are recommending something potentially very, very dangerous. It's almost like someone saying it's not dangerous to smoke because I know someone who did and lived to be 93!

 

Now I have to say I was very worried about SIDS and breathed a sigh of relief when my kids reached 4. I am very sorry for those of you who have lost precious babies to SIDS. I have not had this happen to me or my family, but have worked in an ER and seen how absolutely devastating it is. My heart really goes out to those who experience this.

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My DD was about 2 months old and I was tired of not sleeping. We'd put her in her crib on her back, and would maybe get ten minutes out of her before she started screaming. The only way she would sleep for any length of time was when she was sleeping ON one of us. It was so exhausting! I was at my wit's end, and during a nap time, I put her to sleep on her tummy. I wanted to try a nap first, because I could be awake and keeping an eye out. I was terrified- oh my gosh, I was going against everything everyone said...

 

Oh my word. She slept for three hours, uninterrupted. It was magic, pure magic. I never gave it another thought. That night she slept through the night- on her tummy.

 

Some kids are just tummy sleepers. Swaddling was such a joke for her- even now, at 12 years old, more often than not she can be found sleeping without covers and sprawled all over the place on her tummy. I think you just have to assess each child differently and do what's best for them- and you.

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I find it absolutely shocking that so many of you can recommend a position that is stated to be higher risk by anecdotally (?sp) claiming it's OK because my baby did it and survived!!

 

Now, I have not reviewed the evidence closely myself, and maybe it isn't conclusive. But so many of you, who are implying it's ok to tummy sleep, don't sound like you have either. I find this hard to believe. By all means provide evidence that shows you're right and then make a recommendation, but don't just say it's OK because my child survived.

 

I just read a thread recently about keeping your child rear facing in the car for a very long time. Many people thought this a good thing to do, yet without providing evidence, people in this thread are recommending something potentially very, very dangerous. It's almost like someone saying it's not dangerous to smoke because I know someone who did and lived to be 93!

 

Now I have to say I was very worried about SIDS and breathed a sigh of relief when my kids reached 4. I am very sorry for those of you who have lost precious babies to SIDS. I have not had this happen to me or my family, but have worked in an ER and seen how absolutely devastating it is. My heart really goes out to those who experience this.

 

 

There are risks to back sleeping as well. For example, a child who sleeps on his/her back will be more likely to die of crib death once she flips, because back sleeping leads to weaker lungs.

 

Please do the research before you condemn so many well-meaning moms.

 

The BTS recommendation came out as part of a whole series of completely different recommendations, in a desperate attempt to get control over a very mysterious condition. About the same time as the "back to sleep" program took hold, so did the widespread acceptance that smoking indoors / around children is a bad idea. Other changes occurred at the same time as well, such as no longer giving babies pillows, discarding very old crib mattresses, etc. Infant deaths decreased, but it's not proven which specific change brought about this decrease.

 

We've also made a lot of progress toward finding out which babies are at risk of SIDS, so we can take a more targeted approach than "too bad if you and your child never sleep for a couple of years."

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I know I have read that the tummy sleeping/SIDS correlation is strongest for babies who don't have tummy sleeping experience but end up on their tummies--i.e., a baby who is always put to sleep on their back but maybe the babysitter puts them on their tummy. Babies who are used to sleeping on their tummies learn to turn their heads if they need to. I tend to let my babies sleep on their tummies during the day and just check on them frequently.

It is really important for babies who sleep in their backs to have plenty of tummy time when awake--motor and neurological delays have been linked to lack of tummy time in babies, mostly since the Back to Sleep campaign started.

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I just read a thread recently about keeping your child rear facing in the car for a very long time. Many people thought this a good thing to do, yet without providing evidence, people in this thread are recommending something potentially very, very dangerous. It's almost like someone saying it's not dangerous to smoke because I know someone who did and lived to be 93!

 

Are you suggesting that it's not a good idea to keep babies rear facing as long as possible? If so I think you should do some research of your own. This is the latest recommendation from the AAP. Here is a link to an article about it:

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/21/car.seat.guidelines.parenting/index.html

 

As to the OP, I would also suggest talking to your doctor. My baby is almost a year old and decided just before turning 9 months that she liked sleeping on her stomach. I asked my pediatrician if that was okay and he said there's not much more you can do about it besides putting her down on her back. We still do that, even though we know she'll flip right over when she hits the mattress. Of course, 9 months is not the same as 3 months, and my baby was mobile by then so I wasn't as nervous about it.

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All three of mine slept on their tummies. They wouldn't sleep any other way. I'm not convinced that tummy sleeping babies are at risk.

 

Call me crazy.

 

:iagree:

 

Molly was born during the height of the whole "back to sleep" campaign-- even the disposable diapers had the logo and slogan on the waistband. I'd put a "back to sleep" diaper on her, turn her on her tummy and shed go off to sleep. She always slept on her tummy, with the pediatrician's blessing. (Not that I needed his blessing; dh and I were perfectly fine with her sleeping preference--- and I was prepared to stand my ground to the pediatrician if need be.)

 

 

astrid

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It is really important for babies who sleep in their backs to have plenty of tummy time when awake--motor and neurological delays have been linked to lack of tummy time in babies, mostly since the Back to Sleep campaign started.

 

This is interesting to me-- I've always had a hunch that it was so. And those poor babies with flat heads!!! :sad:

 

astrid

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:iagree:

 

Molly was born during the height of the whole "back to sleep" campaign-- even the disposable diapers had the logo and slogan on the waistband. I'd put a "back to sleep" diaper on her, turn her on her tummy and shed go off to sleep. She always slept on her tummy, with the pediatrician's blessing. (Not that I needed his blessing; dh and I were perfectly fine with her sleeping preference--- and I was prepared to stand my ground to the pediatrician if need be.)

 

 

astrid

 

:iagree:

 

We got numerous phone calls about Back to Sleep. I have read the research and I think the bigger connection with sids is formula and overcrowded cribs with things like pillows and bumpers.

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I can't remember how I put my eldest to sleep but with my youngest I co slept and used one of those sleep positioners next to me with him on his back for the first few months (I can't really remember how long) but he would end up in his side from breast feeding. Then when there was a bit more of him and he could roll he naturally slept on his side with his head thrown back (he still does sleep like this at 4). I cant possibly see how you can stop a baby who can roll finding their comfortable position.

 

I think SIDS is just not understood enough at the moment to be able to say what is best. My son has Reflex anoxic seizures (vasovagal syncope by another name) and in one of the newsletters from a support charity we are a member of I remember reading that there are thought to be strong links between autonomic dysfunction and SIDS. If I understand it correctly and that is true then it's unlikely any sleep position would make any difference whatsoever.

Edited by lailasmum
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I'd agree with all the other suggestions for some kind of monitor if possible.

 

I find it absolutely shocking that so many of you can recommend a position that is stated to be higher risk by anecdotally (?sp) claiming it's OK because my baby did it and survived!!

 

Now, I have not reviewed the evidence closely myself, and maybe it isn't conclusive. But so many of you, who are implying it's ok to tummy sleep, don't sound like you have either. I find this hard to believe. By all means provide evidence that shows you're right and then make a recommendation, but don't just say it's OK because my child survived.

 

The book our last pediatrician gave out to new parents (published in 2005, well after Back to Sleep began, from the American Academy of Pediatrics) mentions that stomach sleeping may be necessary for babies with some medical issues.

 

It also states that side sleeping is a lower risk alternative to stomach sleeping, although back sleeping is greatly preferred.

 

It doesn't include statistics from any studies, but it is published material from a generally respected source if anyone is interested.

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QUOTE=SKL;4319493]There are risks to back sleeping as well. For example, a child who sleeps on his/her back will be more likely to die of crib death once she flips, because back sleeping leads to weaker lungs.

 

Please do the research before you condemn so many well-meaning moms.

 

 

 

First of all I am not saying they are not well meaning. My point was that people are saying it's ok to do this because "my baby did and they survived". I can not imagine advising someone to go against a recommended action - especially one with so much at stake - without having some credible evidence to support them, not just their own personal anecdotal finding.

 

I said in my post above that I have not researched this other than knowing what the recommendations are - but I'm also not giving advise against those recommendations. Others are.

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Are you suggesting that it's not a good idea to keep babies rear facing as long as possible? If so I think you should do some research of your own. This is the latest recommendation from the AAP. Here is a link to an article about it:

 

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/21/car.seat.guidelines.parenting/index.html.

 

No I was not suggesting that. I was merely pointing out, probably rather badly, that many people on this forum seem very safety concious so it was very surprising to see this thread where people were supporting an action, against recommended advice, without giving any evidence, other than anecdotal, to support their position. I could say the same thing about car seats - both my kids were only rear-facing until 1 year - they survived, does that make me right to recommend forward facing?

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3 of my 4 babies were tummy sleepers (the other one screamed on her tummy and HATED it). 1 of them had some serious reflux and we had similar issues to the OP. I'd find him screaming and covered in puke if I put him on his back. I tried the propping the mattress idea and found him at the other end of the bed, sideways. He was not into a propped mattress at all. Lol. I simply kept his bed empty of all things that could get in his face, used a firm mattress, and said lots of prayers.

 

HOWEVER, with the history of SIDS in your family, I would NOT risk it at all. I'd talk to the pediatrician about other options and ideas. I would deal with the night sleeping for a few more months until your LO can roll on his/her own. I would wrap my baby during the day as much as possible. Oh, and what about swaddling at night? Might that be of some help?

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No I was not suggesting that. I was merely pointing out, probably rather badly, that many people on this forum seem very safety concious so it was very surprising to see this thread where people were supporting an action, against recommended advice, without giving any evidence, other than anecdotal, to support their position. I could say the same thing about car seats - both my kids were only rear-facing until 1 year - they survived, does that make me right to recommend forward facing?

 

Oh, OK. I wondered if I was misinterpreting what you had written. I do agree with the notion that anecdotal evidence can be problematic when making these kinds of decisions.

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QUOTE=SKL;4319493]My point was that people are saying it's ok to do this because "my baby did and they survived". I can not imagine advising someone to go against a recommended action - especially one with so much at stake - without having some credible evidence to support them, not just their own personal anecdotal finding.

 

I said in my post above that I have not researched this other than knowing what the recommendations are - but I'm also not giving advise against those recommendations. Others are.

 

Actually you are making an assumption that they did not do any research or call upon any wisdom beyond "my kid survived" before making their decision. I, however, got the impression that many if not most of those commenting here consulted more than just their personal family history before deciding. Some mentioned their doctors, some mentioned more recent research, some trusted instinct (a powerful source of wisdom which is usually if not always right), and some did what seemed like the "lesser of two evils" while still feeling guilty. Just because someone didn't provide a list of references behind their decision doesn't mean they just threw caution to the wind and think the OP should too.

 

Recommendations don't carry some sort of protective power. Prior to the "Back to Sleep" campaign, the overwhelming recommendation was to put the child on his tummy unless he had some specific problem with that. I'm sure we could all list a hundred "recommendations" we know of that have been superseded by "better recommendations" (formula feeding comes to mind), so personally, I believe moms should err on the side of skepticism with respect to a "sleep" position that doesn't help their child sleep.

 

You know, the point behind "back to sleep" is that sleeping on the back prevents deep sleep. They figured that if a baby couldn't sleep deeply, he'd be less likely to forget to breathe. Never mind the fact that babies are designed to sleep deeply, and a lot of good stuff can only happen during deep sleep. Wouldn't it be better to let babies sleep unless they have some specific issue with it?

 

Also, the vast majority of babies used to sleep on their tummies, and crib death has always been extremely rare. That's not anecdotal.

Edited by SKL
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Most people I see here, myself included, are simply recounting personal experience, not advising the OP to do anything. What she derives from this thread is her own.

 

 

astrid

 

And maybe the OP finds that helpful. For me, personally, it is a very serious decision and someone's personal experience of their family and friends is not all that reassuring. But I have already said that it is an issue that raises very strong emotions for me, as you may have been able to tell, and I certainly can't answer for the OP.

 

In response to the reply that some did provide evidence - I agree, they did - it just seemed like a lot of people were saying only - "my baby slept on tummy and is fine" - to me not so helpful (I guess I missed the part where they mentioned the research they had done). But just my opinion.:)

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Just wanted to add that I realise, fortunately, it is very rare. I would just so much hate to be the one it happened to. I realise you can't guarantee that anything you do will prevent it but I would just like to know that I had done everything I could, with the information available at the time.

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So why criticize?

 

Are you suggeting that we provide annotated references each time we offer advice? Because this is a group of moms and some dads who hang out and chat about lots of everyday topics-- some earth shattering, some less so. This list is peppered, around the clock, with requests for advice on everything from infant sleeping positions to friendship foibles to economical meals to ways to impress ones' spouse. Lots of advice is given, but at the end of the day it's up to the OP to do whatever due diligence she/he sees fit in order to find a solution that works for them.

 

I doubt that anyone here takes infant sleeping positions and the risks of SIDS here lightly, as you seem to think so many of us do. Rest assured you'll find that we, as a community of educated parents, tend to be nothing if not exhaustive researchers.

 

astrid

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But, tcb, didn't you write that you breathed a sigh of relief when your child turned 4? SIDS risk should decrease well before the age of 4, iirc.

 

We are all talking about personal anecdotes here. Many of us have researched them, too and have come to a different conclusion than you have. That doesn't make us horrible people, just different.

 

Having a child and parents who can sleep reduces risk, too. An overtired mom with a screaming, overtired baby is at risk for an auto accident, for example.

 

I did what I knew to be best for my babies at the time and I would do it again. They are now 15, 7, and 6. People can be shocked and appalled all they want. :glare:

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This is interesting to me-- I've always had a hunch that it was so. And those poor babies with flat heads!!! :sad:

 

astrid

This article, while still recommending back sleeping for infants, discusses some of the problems that arise and the need to educate parents to provide plenty of tummy time when baby is awake.

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So why criticize?

 

Are you suggeting that we provide annotated references each time we offer advice? Because this is a group of moms and some dads who hang out and chat about lots of everyday topics-- some earth shattering, some less so. This list is peppered, around the clock, with requests for advice on everything from infant sleeping positions to friendship foibles to economical meals to ways to impress ones' spouse. Lots of advice is given, but at the end of the day it's up to the OP to do whatever due diligence she/he sees fit in order to find a solution that works for them.

 

I doubt that anyone here takes infant sleeping positions and the risks of SIDS here lightly, as you seem to think so many of us do. Rest assured you'll find that we, as a community of educated parents, tend to be nothing if not exhaustive researchers.

 

astrid

 

I guess I think somethings are so huge that only well informed advice should be given. I don't think I said that people are taking SIDS lightly, I apologize if I did. Maybe the advice was well informed - if so I guess my point was that posters were not posting evidence of that - up to them but seems to be a topic that would benefit from hard evidence, that can be reviewed by us readers. JMO

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It would terrify me to let my babies sleep on their tummies. And if I knew it ran in the family: double terror.

 

I let mine sleep in the day in their swing with it rocking. They'd sleep happily in there for hours rocking away.

 

I don't know if that's bad for babies, too, though. But if it were me, I'd research letting them sleep in swings and I'd do that if it were safe and wouldn't mess up their legs or spine or something.

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I said at age 4 because, when mine were babies, the information I had was that risk was still possible until age 4, although it did decline as the baby grew. We can all only act on the best information we have at the time. I certainly do not want to seem to condemn someone (I don't want to condemn anyone at all) for not acting on advice that was not available at the time their children were babies. But I thought we were talking about advice available now, and what evidence there is or is not to support it.

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I guess I think somethings are so huge that only well informed advice should be given. I don't think I said that people are taking SIDS lightly, I apologize if I did. Maybe the advice was well informed - if so I guess my point was that posters were not posting evidence of that - up to them but seems to be a topic that would benefit from hard evidence, that can be reviewed by us readers. JMO

 

And again, what makes you feel that people here who have responded are not well-informed?

 

For that matter, again, I don't see people giving advice. Advice usually starts something like, "You should......."

I've seen mostly responses recounting personal decisions and experiences.

 

Maybe we could draw up a list of "Huge Things" about which advice should not be asked? So those of us who are Uninformed Masses can just skip it, and only pediatricians here can answer?

 

Personally, I think if you're asking for pediatric advice on a homeschooling messagboard full of SAHM and working moms, you're not looking for Gospel Truth, but that's just me.

 

astrid

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I guess I think somethings are so huge that only well informed advice should be given. I don't think I said that people are taking SIDS lightly, I apologize if I did. Maybe the advice was well informed - if so I guess my point was that posters were not posting evidence of that - up to them but seems to be a topic that would benefit from hard evidence, that can be reviewed by us readers. JMO

 

 

I can tell that this is an emotionally charged issue for you, but the above is not really what this board is about. If we all had to provide our pedigree and back everything we say up with research,.....then that is a totally different dynamic, kwim?

 

When someone posts about a math curriculum we don't ask how they are qualified to respond and ask to see their research. We are simply talking about our experiences, our opinions, etc.

 

While baby safety, yes is more important than math curriculum, we are still only offering our opinions and experiences. I think that perhaps you are looking for too much "hard evidence" from the wrong place. :001_huh:

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I guess I think somethings are so huge that only well informed advice should be given. ... seems to be a topic that would benefit from hard evidence, that can be reviewed by us readers. JMO

 

Your post, however, is exactly the same in the sense that you put up your opinion without any research to back it up. If nobody should comment on such a "huge" topic without simultaneously posting scholarly research links, then it seems your own post is out of line.

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When my oldest was a newborn and I had discovered that she would ONLY sleep on her back my Masters Degree in Nursing friend tsked in disapproval. (She hadn't had her first child yet.) She also spouted the whole "back to sleep" thing. (BTS was a brand-new recommendation then.) I said,"What's the mantra we say about breastfeeding? The most important thing is FEED THE BABY!....Well, right here, right now,.....we need to LET THE BABY SLEEP and if this baby will only sleep on her tummy then that is how she is gonna sleep!"

 

And I let her know that I would not entertain anymore discussion about it.

 

In the end, you have to do what works.

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I've been searching for the studies I know I'd read about that showed tummy sleeping was most dangerous if it is an unaccustomed position for the baby. Here is one I found, the concluding sentence in the abstract states:

 

"Infants placed in an unaccustomed prone or side sleeping position had a higher risk of SIDS than infants who were always placed prone or on the side."

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I have worked several SIDS babies. I am super super paranoid now....so of course I have two babies who have REFUSED to sleep on their backs. Both rolled over early so putting them on their back was worthless anyway.

 

I am far more concerned about blankets, pillows and stuffed animals in the crib. Also, look into a crib monitor. They fit under the sheet and alarm if there is a change in the baby's movement or breathing. they are fairly reasonable at Target or Amazon.

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I know I have read that the tummy sleeping/SIDS correlation is strongest for babies who don't have tummy sleeping experience but end up on their tummies--i.e., a baby who is always put to sleep on their back but maybe the babysitter puts them on their tummy. Babies who are used to sleeping on their tummies learn to turn their heads if they need to. I tend to let my babies sleep on their tummies during the day and just check on them frequently.

It is really important for babies who sleep in their backs to have plenty of tummy time when awake--motor and neurological delays have been linked to lack of tummy time in babies, mostly since the Back to Sleep campaign started.

 

We were told the bolded part during childbirth classes with our third child. It works in reverse as well; a baby who is used to sleeping on her tummy will be at higher risk if a babysitter or grandma puts her to sleep on her back.

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It would terrify me to let my babies sleep on their tummies. And if I knew it ran in the family: double terror.

 

I let mine sleep in the day in their swing with it rocking. They'd sleep happily in there for hours rocking away.

 

I don't know if that's bad for babies, too, though. But if it were me, I'd research letting them sleep in swings and I'd do that if it were safe and wouldn't mess up their legs or spine or something.

 

My understanding is that it is considered dangerous for a baby to sleep on a non-approved sleep surface without supervision. So, technically a baby shouldn't sleep in a swing or carseat unsupervised. Which really doesn't help people make decisions in the real world. If your infant is sleeping in their rear facing carseat, so you can't see them, while you drive the car, you are putting the infant at risk. If your baby is sleeping in a swing while you fix dinner, you are putting the infant at risk.

 

I do feel the reccomendations sometimes don't make any allowances for a baby that will. not. sleep. alone in a crib. And moms should NOT be expected to NOT sleep. There needs to be a balance that works for a family without feeling like you are risking the life of your child for your own well-being.

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DD was a tummy sleeper - or side at best. She was also on an incline because of reflux and DF / GF because of allergies. Even when she was in her hammock we wrapped her up very securely and wedged her on her side. Back sleeping was just never an option for her. Even now (at 3) she is on her tummy to sleep 95% of the time. I raised it with our health care professionals who all said similar things - if she's safe from rolling, not bed sharing and no other risk factors, sleeping on her tummy is better than not sleeping.

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I put mine to sleep however they would sleep. Mine started propped on their sides and then slept on their tummies when they were a little older. We had huge reflux issues with one of mine. It was sleep on her tummy or no sleep for anyone. Make sure you have a firm mattress clear of fluffy blankets and such and check on baby often. Put baby in the room with you if possible.

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