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Sleeping on tummy?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by saripop, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. My LO is 6 months and has always had trouble settling herself. She often falls asleep on me lying tummy to tummy ie she is on top of me on her tummy. As soon as I got to put her down on her back she starts crying. In the past I've pressed myself over her so she feels comforted but her cot has high sides and I'm getting bruised hips leaning over the sides!

    This evening, after I put her down she predictably started crying, and after an hour of picking up, cuddling, settling, putting back down and crying again and again, I, on a whim, flipped her over onto her tummy. She immediately fell asleep. 15 mins later I turned her back onto her front and she sniffled but stayed asleep. After around an hour she woke again so I put her back on her tummy, and hey presto! Fast asleep straight away... two hours later and she hasn't woken again yet.

    So, my question is, is it alright for me to leave her on her tummy? She has good head control and is quite strong. She can roll from back to tummy, and sometimes back again. Is is dangerous to let her sleep like that? I know in a way it's a silly question, because 30 years ago my mum put me on my tummy every night and I'm here. But that whole cot death thing is ringing loudly in my head. Any advice? I know all of the 'official' guidance and statistics, but wondered about real-life experiences?
  2. Hi there! We had the same thing happen with our boy. He slept so much more easily on his front. I asked my HV and she said that if he was rolling onto his front on his own at night he'd be ok, but she recommended putting him to sleep on his back still. We did start putting him down to sleep on his front though, naughty us, although I felt a bit nervy about it. He is nine months now and rolls all over the cot, sometimes rolling onto his side and staying there.I felt a bit reassured by having one of those movement sensor monitors which beeps if he stops moving.

    Foudn this on the FSID website, if it reassures you any:
    What is the usual age for cot death?
    Cot death is uncommon in babies less than a month old, but rises to a peak during the second month. The risk then diminishes as the baby grows older. Nearly 90% of cot deaths have occurred by six months, and very few occur after a year.
  3. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Does anyone know why sleeping in a separate room from the parents is a risk factor?
  4. The theory goes, I think, that in the same room a baby can hear and mimic parents' breathing, so reminding them to breathe/maintain a healthy breathing pattern.
  5. Yes, if a baby has sleep apnoea (sp) their breathing is regulated by their parents breathing. There have been sleep studies which show that babies prone to this, breath more steadily than babies on their own. It provides some sort of unconscious stimulation.
  6. I think there may be something in that too. Also another theory I've read is that mothers sleep so lightly post-pregnancy that they become aware of changes in their baby's breathing/behaviour if they're in the same room.
  7. Both of my daughters slept on their side from about 2 days as a result of falling asleep while feeding. They both rolled themselves onto their tummy by 4 months, kind of in the recovery position which I figured couldn't be such a bad thing, and are both completely fine at nearly 1 an 3 years old, still firm tummy sleepers!

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