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What do crunchy mamas think about tummy sleeping?

568 Views 15 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  twopeasinpod
Hey all. I've never posted here before, but I have a question. Pardon my ignorance, as I am not 100% crunchy, but I am sprinkled with granola.
Hey, we all start out somewhere.

Anyway, ds is 5 weeks and we co-sleep. He naps a lot in the bouncer, sling, or Bjorn. Sometimes at night he'll only sleep on our chests. I'd like to be able to put him down. I can just tell he's a natural tummy sleeper.

What is the natural parenting take on tummy sleeping? Is it also taboo? I'm counting on your opinions to help me make up my mind on this issue.

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I should note that I'd like to be able to put him down in our bed next to us or even co-sleeper next to us, not in another room. I generally don't sleep when he's on my chest and I'd like to get more restful sleep.
My ds is a tummy sleeper, so he sleeps on his tummy. From the day he was born. Big risk factors seem to be maternal smoking and new synthetic mattresses, nothing he'll encounter in our family bed. sleep tight
I never worried about my tummy-sleeping babies, but usually, I was right there next to them. I agree with the fact that we are absent of those risk factors that seem to be prevalent with SIDS, and this gives me some peace of mind.
Yes, while my DD was not a tummy sleeper until recently, I would feel alot safer having her tummy sleep next to me. Cosleeping brings with it all sorts of awarenesses that crib-sleeping parents don't have. A monitor doesn't help if you are asleep, but a cosleeping parent stirs instinctively.

So my feeling is that if baby is next to you, it is okay. I might have a harder time with it if baby were napping and I weren't there, however. Mostly b/c the correlation with tummy sleeping and SIDS seems so significant (even though I strongly suspect the crib is a major part of the mechanism creating the correlation in the first place).

It would be interesting to see the correlation between tummy sleeping and SIDS in cosleeping babies.
Ds1 was a tummy sleeper from birth. Mostly sleeping on our chests at first. At his two week appt our ped told me the statistical difference in his chances at SIDS was so small because we nursed, didn't smoke, and we co-slept, that even a small variation was worth it just so I could sleep. My chances of falling down the stairs and dropping him were higher if I wasn't sleeping, than any difference in the sids risk.
My dd is a reflux baby, and tummy sleeping is actually good for her. I was very nervous at first but the benefits to her outweigh the risk of SIDS. She's not in our bed though, she's in a cosleeper. Our matress has an eggcrate thing on it and I would never put a baby on her tummy with a softer mattress.

I have a tummy sleeper too. He was in the NICU for the first 3 weeks and they had him connected to all the machines and had him on his tummy a lot there. When I brought him home I noticed he just didn't sleep as well on his back. I tried and tried. Boy was I thankful when he figured out how to roll over. The guilt over wanting to allow him to sleep on his tummy was gone once he could put himself there and there was nothing I could do about it

I think if he's sleeping next to you he'll be fine. It's amazing the mommy instincts that kick in when you're so close.
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I struggled with this one with my first. My ped at the time told me two horror stories about SIDS in her practice and I was terrified after that. If I let her sleep on her tummy (the only way she would really get any decent sleep) I'd sit with my hand on her back and practically count her breaths.

Now, with Baby #2 I had a much better ped and he told me that since I was cosleeping, and when I wasn't right there, checking on him often, bf'ing, non smoking etc. that my risks were really low. This doesn't mean that I didn't worry all the time! Heck, they are 3 1/2 and 16 months and I STILL check to make sure they're breathing!!

I started to ask around and I found an surprising number of other mamas who were okay with tummy sleeping. This helped a lot but I too was so relieved when he could roll over!! (BTW, my first didn't nap well until she could roll herself onto her tummy)
With my first I didn't put her on her tummy even though i thought she wanted to. By 7 weeks she managed to flip over routinely even with the little wedge thing to hold them in place.
My pediatrician said if they flip on their stomach leave them- that stomach sleeping isn't as big of a risk as smoking and other things.
With my 2nd I let her sleep on her tummy from a much earlier point- but I was usually right there with her.
Not that this isn't just a repeat of what EVEYRONE else said, but I say let 'em sleep ~ who cares if they're standing!

My ped encouraged me to have DS backsleep. BUT, DS had reflux & was throwing up A LOT his first two months. Usually I put him on his side as a personal "compromise". Then I realized that an exhausted mommy & baby are not healthy ~ & DS was on his tummy & I got my first full 4 hours of sleep since going into labor!

After also taking an informal survey on friends, I learned that most co-sleepers tummy sleep as long as bedding is firm. It is estimated that there are a LOT of "SIDS deaths" that are really unintentional suffocation in the crib. In true SIDS, baby essentially forgets to breath. This is almost non-existant in co-sleeping babies. Baby's breathing is regulated by mommy's.

I say put him on his tummy & you both take a WELL DESERVED nap!

p.s. I'm not even that crunchy!
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two tummy sleepers here as well.

First dd had reflux and I was advised to continue placing her on her tummy.
With my second dd I was determined to try back sleeping but she would wake instantly when placed on her back. My second night in the hospital I actually spent three hours trying to get he to sleep on her back before rolling her on her tummy where she slept comfortably for a couple of hours.

Both of my girls had good muscle control from birth and even at birth could lift their heads briefly and flip it from side to side when on their stomaches. Both also crawled and pulled up by 6-7 months. I don't know if tummy sleeping and being carried so much had an impact.
I'd avoid it if you can until your baby can roll on his own. It's still an increased risk and why take the chance? If you are going to, I'd more strongly consider using only the co-sleeper when you do. Even firm mattresses for regular beds are fairly soft and that compounds the risk.

BTW, side sleeping (if appropriately propped to avoid rolling) is as safe as back sleeping, according to what I've read.
My ds started tummy sleeping a couple of months ago (he's 4mos now) on his own, I think. Shouldn't I remember when and how within 4 mos?! Anyway, he seems much more comfortable (no startling), sleeps longer and looks like he's flying on a magic carpet, so peaceful

He naps in the great room during the day and sleeps with us at night, so I always hear him stir (like now!) and he's a happy, healthy babe.

Babies have instinct, too. Most likely much more acute than ours at this point.

Here's to sleepin' babes!
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my ds only sleeps in my arms so he won't even let me put him down on his tummy..
but I agree with all the mamas here, the biggest factors are maternal smoking and mattresses. IMO, cribs also have to do with it, so as long as you're cosleeping I would let him sleep. Good luck!
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The twins both prefer their tummies or sides than the back. They have since birth, as had our eldest. Perhaps because the only way we all got sleep in the early days was in the "Aussie" position with both of them on tummies, on My tummy,

I ignore the "back to sleep" campaign because the research it is based on has a very different demographic from where our family rests on the scale.
(co-sleepin, non-smoking, no heavy drinking, no pillow top...etc.)

In my experience it has proved safe.

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