Newborn sleeping on my chest? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2011, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help! My daughter is 6 days old. The first night in hospital she slept skin to skin with me on my chest. The nurses seemed perfectly fine with this. The next few nights she was swaddled and lay right beside me. Now that we are home night-time has been a bit of an issue. We discovered last night when she was fussing after nursing, that she just loved lying skin to skin with me and in the end she slept that way all night. I know it's a judgement call, but I feel comfortable in my instincts and being a light sleeper, that I feel safe doing this. But is it bad for her? I know babies are supposed to go down on their backs. It seems when she is in her basket instead of on my chest it makes a difference between 1 hour of sleep between feedings to maybe 2 or 3, so obviously it felt much better. But I don't want to do anything bad for her. Any advice? Until I know this is not horrible I guess I will stick to maybe swaddling her and having her right beside me - maybe that will still be enough closeness for her. Maybe I should also say that she was born at 36 weeks, 3 days, so still a little "early". Would love to hear your expertise on this one.

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Old 04-29-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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You shouldn't swaddle while co-sleeping, it is dangerous. I know a lot of people who's babies slept on their chest, that being said *I* wouldn't do it. I would just lay on my side and hold the baby with the baby on her back. That way she is cuddled and feels happy and safe and you won't have to worry.

 

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Old 04-29-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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My babies always slept on my chest from birth, and often they were swaddled if not skin to skin.  I was super aware of them while I was asleep but it's up to your comfort level.


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Old 04-29-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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My baby slept on my chest or DH's for about the first four weeks, and now he sleeps next to me in bed. I feel much more comfortable with him right on/near me rather than in a seperate bed.


 
 
 
 

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Old 04-29-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Ah the memories! When DS was a newborn he slept best on my chest sometimes. He then moved to sleeping next to me on his side or back. I am a very light sleeper and felt comfortable with this. I agree with pp's and say that you should do what you feel comfortable with in your circumstances.

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Old 04-29-2011, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm not really "swaddling" as it's more a gentle wrap and she can and does get her arms out.... I don't often dress the baby since I'm trying to really work on breastfeeding and I know skin to skin is best for that....and it would be a pain to undress her, not to mention just make her frantic when she wants to eat. Or maybe the skin to skin for feeding is not that important? (but as she was a bit early she needs to be stimulated to keep feeding, or she just hangs out at the breast. Having her undressed is also good at this point since she won't be overly warm, and it is easy for me to keep her working at it by blowing on her skin and so on) I'm thinking if I don't have her on my chest, I'd like her beside me, but I wish i didn't have to dress her, for the above reason. Any suggestions? It is hard....I think I feel comfortable with her on my chest, but at the same time I don't want to do anything wrong.....

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Old 04-29-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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trust your instincts and do what feels right. as long as she is warm enough then I don't see what the porblem is.  Baby needs mama right now :) I am a ftm too, and i pretty much just did whatever I had to do to get by -  as the days and months go by - I am learning to trust my instincts even more.  Good Luck to you and your lo

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Old 04-29-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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my now 7yo used to sleep on me this way. i miss it terribly. 


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Old 04-29-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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When DS was newborn we slept skin to skin side by side under a receiving blanket (he wore a dipe and I was topless). I found that we were often warm and sweating despite being under a very light cover. DS was in a crook of my arm and facing me. I took care to keep his face clear and him facing up a little. He still often falls asleep that way.
Dr Sears believes that skin to skin with mama helps protect newborns against SIDS so I felt safe letting him be in a position that was comfortable to him. It sounds like your LO and you intuitively are finding the most natural way to sleep for you. I think you should be safe if you trust your instincts and definitely experiment with different level of clothes/covers.
For us at 16 months DS still wears a dipe and a t-shirt to bed and I am often topless. smile.gif We switched from a receiving blanket to a regular comforter though.

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Old 04-29-2011, 09:47 PM
 
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Oh I forgot to add that I'm also a light sleeper and I found that I was so tuned into DS that I developed a super mommy sense. The 2 times the cover went over his face I woke up right away, and later on I woke up in time to catch him before he rolled off the bed at 6 months. It's pretty cool.

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Old 04-30-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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Your mama instincts should be strongest right now. I know mine were. My DH is a heavy sleeper and never woke when the baby cried or anything. One night when she was maybe 2 months old I woke up to him starting to roll onto her! I nearly had a heart attack and from that point on she slept between me and the wall not DH!

 

Why can't you have baby sleep on your chest on her back? Would that be too weird? lol


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Old 04-30-2011, 06:52 AM
 
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My newborn (my second) likes to sleep on my chest as well. We sometimes nap skin to skin with him on my chest, and we may sleep that way for a part of the night--he also sleeps next to me. I don't feel that it's appropriate for me to tell you, OP, whether what you are doing is ok or not (that's for you to decide), but I can tell you that I feel comfortable with my babe sleeping on my chest. I do wake frequently and am aware of him as we sleep...hope that helps. :)
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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DD1 slept on my chest for 8 months and we both loved it. I woke up even when she was just opening her eyes and not making any noise yet. She was also early and I had a lot of trouble keeping her awake while breastfeeding up until she reached about 7 pounds. It became so much easier then!
I used to strip her clothes off to wake her up and rub her feet but the thing that worked the best to get her sucking was to tickle right under her chin.

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Old 04-30-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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I would lay my DS in a bassinet beside my bed for naps but I very quickly learned that for night time sleep I was nursing him then he would stay on my chest and we would both sleep.  I was always in a secure incline position.  This would help him not spit up as he often did if I put him back down on his back.  He is 28mo now and still loves to sleep cuddled by my side or even on my chest.  I guess this will contine until he wants to stop or he's too heavy.

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Old 04-30-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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I don't remember where I read it but I know I read somewhere that sleeping on the stomach is okay if baby is on mom's chest.  I think your breathing helps keep baby a little more alert/in tune than if baby was alone in bed on her tummy.  I have also read about babies having fewer apnea episodes when sleeping with mom.  Granted, your baby probably doesn''t have apnea but the same probably applies for her being safer with you, especially being preterm. 

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Old 04-30-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ameerah View Post

trust your instincts and do what feels right. as long as she is warm enough then I don't see what the porblem is.  Baby needs mama right now :) I am a ftm too, and i pretty much just did whatever I had to do to get by -  as the days and months go by - I am learning to trust my instincts even more.  Good Luck to you and your lo


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Do what works for you and what feels right. Have you tried side-lying nursing? This worked great for my DD who also loves skin-to-skin. We sleep this way most of the night now, instead of with her on my chest. No more waking up with an aching back!

 

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