Controversial - sleeping on stomach...(24 Posts)
Ooh, that is interesting. Might tackle the full article at 3am tonight and see what they did as the study. Thanks!
That's very interesting, thanks for posting that. Isn't a SID factor excessive exhaustion in the parent? Or is that only when co-sleeping? Wonder if there's a study comparing the risks of stomach sleeping against the lack of sleep for parents with reflux babies on their backs.
As ever, 'tis complicated and one size does NOT fit all:
"Esophageal pH monitoring has demonstrated that infants have significantly less GER when placed in the prone position than in the supine position. However, prone positioning is associated with a higher rate of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In infants from birth to 12 months of age with GERD, the risk of SIDS generally outweighs the potential benefits of prone sleeping. Therefore, non-prone positioning during sleep is generally recommended. Supine positioning confers the lowest risk for SIDS and is preferred. Prone positioning during sleep is only considered in unusual cases where the risk of death from complications of GER outweighs the potential increased risk of SIDS. When prone positioning is necessary, it is particularly important that parents be advised not to use soft bedding, which increases the risk of SIDS in infants placed prone."
Here is the longer and very sciency article from the Journal for Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
I have to confess that it is a bugbear of mine when current SIDS advice is taken to mean 'The second you put your baby in its stomach it will die'. Some infanct will benefit from lying on their stomach, a lot of infants with reflux will be more comfortable and the vast majority of children who (used to regularly) sleep on their fronts will be absolutely fine.
Our refluxy 5 mo still barely sleeps in the cot, but when he does it will only be on his side. Have you tried this? We had special nurses out to try to settle him, and this was actually their recommendation after it became clear that back sleeping was not an option. I use 2 tightly rolled up cellular blankets jammed up by his tummy and back to keep him on his side - it is not ideal, but we get some sleep and it is safer than the tummy.
Apparently the reason that this also works is that it closes off the wonky valve to the tummy, particularly lying on the left side.
Babies with reflux sleep better on their tummies because their stomach contents are less likely to reflux in that position - I'll see if I can find a drawing that explains the anatomy in a mo'.
Personally I'd reduce all other SIDS risks as much as I could a let a reflux baby sleep on their front if it helps them.
I think all the SIDS advice is important and right, but it has gone a bit over the top IMO: front sleeping is ONE riskfactore of many and allowing a child to sleep in the position they are most comfortable in is surely right.
I think there is some evidence that in reflux babies front sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS? Hm, not sure...
I have been worrying about the same thing for the last few days. My DD is 4 weeks old and has reflux. We gets overtired very easily and is extremely difficult to get to sleep. One night last week she screamed 10pm-2.30 am, the next one it was 7pm- 11pm. We were absolutely shattered. Similar during the day -she's awake, feeds, then happy for 10 minutes, then starts crying and unable to sleep. One evening in desperation I flipped her on to her tummy in the pram and she was asleep within 10 seconds. I couldn't believe it. I have now been letting her nap on her tummy in the day, with me in the same room. I'm still worried about letting her on her tummy at night although it is very tempting.
She is in a bednest next to our bed, I don't smoke, she is exclusively breastfed.
We also have he breathing mat and monitor.
I have ordered a swaddle pod (woombie) to see if it helps her sleep on her back. We will see.
I would put the baby on their stomach. My son would NOT stay on his back. He would roll on his belly within about 10 minutes of falling asleep! Advice changes all the time. I was only a baby in the 80s and it was advice to sleep on belly then, sometimes I think mothers instinct is the best thing. Good luck!
DD was in SCBU for a week, and the nurses there frequently put her on her stomach to sleep, with her legs bunched up under her and her bum in the air.
Thanks guys. That reflux sleep pattern seems to be the same for us all. Sooo tiring! Definitely getting more stretches in with the tummy sleeping. Am putting him on his back where possible, but if he won't settle then flipping him over.
Babi76, I sympathise. Because we have to hold them upright they don't learn to fall sleep alone. It's tough. Most things that I've read though say that's how it is and once they are over it then you can worry about sleep. I suspect that's not written by someone who has had no more that 30 minutes continuous sleep in 8 weeks...
Brighton, yes, we are low risk too and just too frazzled by now to fight it anymore. The risks are still so low for sids, and the more people I talk to the more it seems people do this in secret....I think its more common than I tought!
There are lots of risk factors for SIDS and it is up to you to weight them up and decide what is best for you and your baby. My DD used to wake ever 20 minutes, all night, on her back. We were ragged and I could hardly look after her during the day. We tried tummy sleeping from 8 weeks and she slept for 3-4 hours at a time, and by 3 months was doing 11-12 hours. We chose to take the risk, as she was a good birth weight, still slept in a cot in our room and we do not smoke, etc as per the other risks. She is 10 months now, still sleeps through and chooses her sleeping position which is tummy 90% of the time, on her side now and again
I worried for a while, but ultimately it was right for her and us.
My 6 month baby had the same problem with reflux and has been sleeping on his front since he was 2 months old, his doctor said its ok. He's ok now But now I find it difficult to put him in the cot awake to teach him to fall sleep on his own. If I were you I'd go back to putting him on his back when it improves. The matress on a slope also helps with reflux
Actually he slept like that when he was newborn. I forgot that. Will try it - thanks! X
Have you tried him on his side? My dd is also refluxy and couldn't get comfy on her back but sleeps much better since I started putting her on her side. It is meant to be less risky than being on their tummies, from what I have read the reason it is not recommended is because they may roll onto their tummies rather than any intrinsic risk involved in being on their side (I make sure that dd's bottom arm is out in front of her making it difficult for her to roll forward and she never has).
Why do they prefer it do you think? Strange...
My 3 month old also has reflux and rolls over herself to her stomach
Thanks Aidan. I try to do that as much as possible, but am still paranoid.
Thanks so much for the input guys. It really helps. X
It's more aggravation than dry, and dry air makes it worse, I'm not explaining very well sorry. :-/ humidifier helps though.
Honestly I'm as paranoid as SIDS as you can get, but in your situation (actual medical issues, not just convenience) I would seriously consider going for stomach sleep. You are aware of the risks and are making an informed decision for the best interests of your child. Obviously do everything you can to minimise other modifiable risk factors.
I only get irritated when I see people blithely pretending the risks don't exist or don't apply to them. That's not the case here. Do what you need to.
I'd probably set up your bed for safe co-sleeping though, just in case you accidentally fall asleep. I did this even though we didn't routinely co-sleep as I did nod off a couple of times while feeding.
Never heard if the dryness before. Ill look up about that - cheers!
Thanks for reassurance. X
First couple of weeks I had the tic noise sounding all night, then gradually got braver, I've just this week started going downstairs once she's asleep.
I also found a humidifier helped, it seemed to ease sone of the dryness that came with the reflux.
The risks of SIDS with such low other factors is less than keep sleeping them on you and you being sleep deprived all day, even my consultant said you have to do what you have to do and for some babies tummy sleeping is the only thing that helps.
Ranitidine will. Need upping I guess, we weren't on that too long, we're on omeprazole.
How terrifying. Thank you for sharing your story. We also have that monitor which I'm hoping will help me if the worst happens.
Glad it all worked for you.
My dd has reflux, at seven weeks old after nights of her sleeping on my chest she rolled off me face down onto duvet, luckily I woke up, the next night she went on tummy. She's slept anything between six and twelve hours and is now six months old.
I got an angel care motion monitor, I felt worried for a few weeks but am fine now and the relief of sleep for us both was immense.
Also, his reflux meds need adjusting next week - could this be causing the problem this week and hewill sleep on his back again next week? Anyone have experience of this (she asks hopefully)...
My 3mo has nasty reflux and is now on ranitidine etc which has helped a lot. He has gone from not letting us put him on his back AT ALL (I stayed up with him most of every night for 8 weeks as I was terrified of me falling asleep with him on me). Since his medication he is doing better, although still wakes up 2-3 times in the night and is awake at 5am for keeps.
I'm not complaining about this, but I'm still so shattered I worry about accidentally falling asleep with him on me still, especially as I have to keep him upright for half an hour after feeds.
Problem is, quite often he won't go back into his cot when he wakes, taking a few hours for me to settle him sometimes. As soon as I pick him up he falls asleep on me so he is tired, just hates going in his cot. Mattress is elevated etc, but doesn't help.
So, in desperation I put him on his front to sleep the other night and he was out like a light and slept for hours. Of course I was so paranoid I didn't really sleep still! But, every now and again I've done it for naps, or in desperation at night if he will not settle.
I know its not recommended and the risks of cot death are increased, but I'm at a loss what to do. He is happier when he sleeps well for naps and overnight, I can function and there isn't the chance of me falling asleep with him as he won't settle. Trying to weigh up the risks of me accidentally suffocating him if I fall asleep, compared to sids risks. We are non smokers, got new mattress, proper bedding etc etc so low risk in other ways.
Am I just trying to justify myself to feel like not such a bad parent or do other people secretly do this too and just not tell?!
Any advice or stories will help.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.