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Old 01-12-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Belly to sleep?

I've been putting my baby to sleep on his belly and he sleeps a good long time that way instead of constantly waking up. He's a little over 3 mos and resisted swaddling after the very first week! Anyway, I was thinking at first that it might be ok since he doesn't have any other SIDS risk factors (low birth weight, smokers in the house, etc.), but now I'm starting to feel guilty. Also I have a naturpedic mattress and pad and he hasn't recieved any vaccinations. I just want some opinions of other mamas? Am I being horrible and putting my son at extra risk? I know I'd want to kill myself in the most horrible fashion if anything ever happened to him, but he doesn't sleep well otherwise and is cranky if he doesn't get good sleep...

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Belly to sleep?

I would be nervous to put my babies on their bellies, especially all night long. I actually posted almost this same comment on a recent thread of the same subject. I read that babies sleep more soundly on their belly, which is proabably why it's tempting to let them sleep that way... but when they sleep more soundly the risk increases for the brain to mess up the breathing signals, and they can just stop breathing for no "real" reason. I don't know how big of a risk it is in numbers or anything though. Have you tried putting him on his side? Maybe you could try out a few different "get your baby to sleep" techniques, and then see how he does on his back. My kids were swaddled for months, but in the beginning they resisted it, you may have to be persistent about it. I'd recommend the Baby Whisperer, it had some suggestions that worked well for me... and my kids have slept wonderfully ever since! Now I'll admit they never had issues sleeping on their backs, so I didn't have the same struggles as you. If he's wiggly enough that he can roll on to his stomach himself, then I wouldn't really worry... I stopped worrying about how they slept once they could roll, I figured it didn't make sense to actually put them back on their backs if they could roll around. But in the beginning I would not put a baby on their tummy to sleep if they couldn't roll to their back. Hope that helps! Don't beat yourself up though, I hope you find a way that works well for you that you feel safe doing
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Belly to sleep?

FYI, he is in a risk group - 2-4mo is the highest risk (and he's a 'he' - boys are a higher risk than girls).

I wouldn't. I would try side and see if that helps, but belly at that age would freak me out!
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: Belly to sleep?

I put both my chidren on their bellies to sleep. It's the only way they'd sleep. When my son was in the NICU they would switch it up. One time he'd be on his back, then side, then belly. I wouldn't be nervous. Just make sure the matress is up a lil higher at the head.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:27 PM   #5
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Re: Belly to sleep?

I put my dd to sleep on her belly because it wasn't like she just slept better that way, she SLEPT that way. She literally wouldn't sleep in her crib (we coslept at night but used the crib for naps) AT ALL on her back. I have one of those movement sensors that sounds an alarm if it doesn't sense movement after 20 seconds, so that helped me feel better about it. (We inadvertently tested it almost daily by forgetting to turn it off when we moved her from the crib. Sure enough, 20 seconds later, the alarm went off.)
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Belly to sleep?

my first 3 i did this, starting when they were like a month old, but i haven't done it with ds4 because he has really odd breathing patterns and i am too paraniod to put him on his belly.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: Belly to sleep?

Both of my LOs were belly sleepers from the start. I PERSONALLY feel that while the medical world has made some connection between tummy sleeping and SIDS that there is still a lot of mystery surrounding SIDS deaths and there is no ONE cause (that they've found yet). I PERSONALLY feel that a baby being exposed to second hand smoke is a higher risk factor for SIDS than tummy sleeping. (No, I don't have numbers or stats to back that up, it's just a personal feeling.) If I were concerned about my LOs ability to move their head from side to side, or worried about their breathing patterns, I would reconsider putting them on their belly to sleep. At this point both of my LOs are older and SIDS is no longer a concern (it never worried me much as it was). I think it's one of those "calculated risk" things that all parents have to choose... right along with vaxing, co-sleeping, etc.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: Belly to sleep?

Belly sleepers here. I keep it cooler for sleep and run a fan at all times for the white noise and to keep air circulating (no rebreathing exhaled air, a suspected cause of SIDS). We use a firm mattress, no blankets, and elevate the head of the crib. I think underslept and cranky babies run their own risks with lower immune systems and tired, short-tempered mommies so to me it was worth it knowing I did everything I could to keep them safe and that they were so comfy on their bellies. Plus, my pedi recommended belly - sleeping for our first who had reflux because the risk of aspiration of vomit is substantial and there is a mama on here who found her baby blue and breathless due to choking on spit up. The baby is fine BTW, thank you Lord. I wouldn't worry about it Mama, believe everything is fine and let your baby sleep.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:56 PM   #9
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Re: Belly to sleep?

I have tried putting him on his side. If he's on his side he just kind of flops to his back and wakes up the second I put him down. I don't feel comfortable using any objects to prop him on his side since he's extremely active now. With tummy sleeping I can put him to bed almost asleep and he goes to sleep and sleeps well. When I put him on his back his eyes fly open the second I put him down unless I get him to deep sleep before laying him down, and even then he'll startle awake. If I swaddle him he cries.

He's had the ability to move his head from side to side for a very long time. I tested it when I was first considering the tummy. I laid him face down on a pillow just for a few seconds to see what he'd do. He immediately lifted his head and turned it to the side. Also when he's sleeping on his belly, every time I go in to check on him, his head is facing a different side. So he moves it back and forth thru the night.

I will try switching it up, so that he can get more used to back sleeping. I had him on his back when he was newborn - 6 weeks, but I was also very very sleep deprived, which was ok since I wasn't working then. But now I work...
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Belly to sleep?

My oldest slept only on his belly, from birth, period. If I wanted sleep he was going on his belly. My youngest was the same. With my oldest we had an angel care monitor that would go off if there was not movement of breathing.

My opinion on the 2-4 mo risk is probably not relevant to this thread but I do find it interesting that sids peaks at 2 and 4 months when babies also get their vaccinations. Maybe that's why I felt even more comfortable with the baby sleeping on his belly as he was unvaccinated. Oh and my babies had super good head control straight out of the womb - and I'm not making that up.
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