Safe for baby to sleep tummy down on my chest?

(47 Posts)
Sophia1984 Sun 06-Nov-16 20:02:14

Hi everyone,
I'm very paranoid about making sure 3 month old DS sleeps safely. He sleeps in a cot next to our bed at night and at the minute naps on either my or DP's chest during day and early evening. When he does this he is tummy down with face to the side and up. Is this safe? Or does 'back to sleep' apply here? We never have him like this if there is a risk of us falling asleep. Similarly, when he is sleeping in the sling, he is also technically 'on his stomach'.. am I overthinking this?

ophiotaurus Sun 06-Nov-16 20:07:17

He will be fine as long as you don't fall asleep. it's only for cots they are meant to be on their backs.

rhuhbarb4 Sun 06-Nov-16 20:14:13

I don't know if the advice from health professionals say it's safe butility I have done this with all 3 of mine and they are all still here. I too have slept in the bed with them like this after hours of soothing them it's hard not to.

FATEdestiny Sun 06-Nov-16 22:46:46

This goes against SIDs Safe Sleeping recommendations.

You will find lots of people who tell you they do/did it. But that does not change the fact that the research used by the NHS show it to be unsafe.

The 'back to sleep' applies. As does the danger of falling asleep whilst holding the baby like this (and causing suffocation). Also there is the fact that the safest place for baby to sleep is in a crib/cot/basket in the same room as you.

All that said, everyone has their own unique attitude to risk management. Once informed of the risks, it's very personal to you as to if you want to ignore those risks or not.

FATEdestiny Sun 06-Nov-16 22:48:45

www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep

Sophia1984 Mon 07-Nov-16 20:59:49

Thanks FATE. I know what you mean, but does that mean that, for example, if baby falls asleep you're meant to straight away go upstairs and put them in cot and then stay in that room with them for whole nap? Does anyone actually do that?

Nan0second Mon 07-Nov-16 21:03:54

You don't go upstairs, you put them in a Moses basket or sleepyhead in the room you are already in.
(If you are following safer sleeping guidelines that is).
Baby can sleep on you if you are awake and baby is in a safe position (e.g. In a sling following the ticks checklist or on back on your lap if you are awake and alert and going to stay that way).

SleepFreeZone Mon 07-Nov-16 21:06:59

I am in awe of babies that adher to these guidelines.

Batteriesallgone Mon 07-Nov-16 21:11:43

If you are awake I cannot see where the risk lies. It's worth noting that given breastfeeding and cot sleeping often don't work together, UNICEF and the NHS are moving to a softer approach on bedsharing (see this leaflet 353ld710iigr2n4po7k4kgvv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/07/Co-sleeping-and-SIDS-A-Guide-for-Health-Professionals-1.pdf)

The hazard of using a sling is allowing the material to cover their face and affect their breathing - which doesn't really count as SIDS as it's not unexplained.

It is important to remember their chin shouldn't be touching their chest. However at 3m I imagine he's gaining head control? So the risk of his head being at the wrong angle is much reduced.

Have you heard of the TICKS guide for sling use babyslingsafety.co.uk you should be following that especially if DS is skeeping in the sling

Batteriesallgone Mon 07-Nov-16 21:12:40

353ld710iigr2n4po7k4kgvv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/07/Co-sleeping-and-SIDS-A-Guide-for-Health-Professionals-1.pdf

SolomanDaisy Mon 07-Nov-16 21:13:38

My newborn is currently asleep in that position on me. We're in a NICU and a nurse put her there.

LittleBearPad Mon 07-Nov-16 21:25:30

A baby curled up on your chest is going to be fine as long as you don't fall asleep. How sad to insist small babies must only sleep in a cot.

Congratulations SolomonDaisy.

Sophia1984 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:33:15

Nanosecond - I'd never want to be in a different room from him while he's sleeping, but it seems so odd to put him down in a cot even in same room rather than having a snuggle. I follow all the TICKS guidelines 😊

Sophia1984 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:35:06

Oh and I'm gong to have to buy a travel cot for naps as DS has outgrown Moses basket already!

eurochick Mon 07-Nov-16 21:50:45

I am hugely risk averse re SIDS but I struggle to see a problem with this, provided there is no danger of the parent falling asleep themselves. You are going to notice if their head is in a position where they can't breathe. We had a premmie and did as much "kanga care" as possible - which generally involved her spending time snoozing on one of our chests. She was visibly happier there than in her incubator and we were obviously careful to make sure she could breathe.

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Nov-16 22:00:10

I would imagine that a good proportion of the SIDS deaths caused by sleeping on the sofa were with parents who hadn't planned or expected to fall asleep.

The safety in a NICU is very different to the safety needed in the home, without any trained professionals on hand or plenty of monitors.

However as I said, as long as your decision is informed (ie, you don't pretend the risks are not there) then everyone will have their own attitude to risk management.

if baby falls asleep you're meant to straight away go upstairs

No, parents don't usually go upstairs when baby goes to sleep during the daytime. They have a place for baby to sleep downstairs in the same room as they are. Newborn babies sleep a good 16-20h a day. Sometimes parents need to put baby down to do stuff. Especially if they have other children.

Batteriesallgone Mon 07-Nov-16 22:28:31

16-20hrs without human contact (on back in a cot) for a newborn shock surely no one seriously advocates this?

sycamore54321 Mon 07-Nov-16 22:31:13

You can choose to do as you wish but as others have said, the back sleeping guideline does apply here as the safest way to be. The issues of angles of airways etc apply regardless of the surface under the baby, whether that is your chest or a mattress or anything else. There is even some research beginning to link the idea of skin-to-skin chest-laying in the newborn hours to sudden infant collapse.

So entirely up to you to make your choices, taking into account lots of individual circumstances but the general guideline still applies.

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Nov-16 22:33:48

Some of that time will be cuddling Batteriesallgone

thatsn0tmyname Mon 07-Nov-16 22:33:54

I would avoid this. You could fall asleep, the baby could roll off you onto the floor or get wedged in soft cushions. You'll also struggle getting the baby to sleep in the future.

Batteriesallgone Mon 07-Nov-16 22:35:00

But I thought you said cuddling isn't safe?

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Nov-16 22:39:14

Are you deliberately trolling Batteriesallgone?

"you said cuddling isn't safe?". No, I did not.

ALongTimeComing Mon 07-Nov-16 22:42:46

As long as you aren't going to fall asleep it's fine. Babies should be cuddled and mines slept like that for months and months during the day. Would have been woken if I had tried to put them down anyway. Babies need human contact and as long as you are aware, alert and monitoring their breathing it's good.

Batteriesallgone Mon 07-Nov-16 22:59:00

What? No. The OP describes a baby sleeping on the chest of an awake parent. This is cuddling isn't it? Which you said isn't safe. Well to be corect you said research used by the NHS show it to be unsafe

What is your definition of cuddling?

HeCantBeSerious Mon 07-Nov-16 23:01:07

I would imagine that a good proportion of the SIDS deaths caused by sleeping on the sofa were with parents who hadn't planned or expected to fall asleep

Suffocation is not SIDS!

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