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Newborn sleeping on tummy not back???

(20 Posts)
helsybells Thu 11-Oct-12 13:02:26

My 3 week old baby is seriously struggling with colicky/bad wind type symptoms (and what I also suspect may be reflux) I cannot get her to sleep on her own as she only seems comfortable and able to sleep when resting on my chest/shoulder. When laid on her back in her cot she coughs and almost wretches and is often sick. So this morning I tried putting her on her front (legs curled under) and she has had the best few hours sleep I think she's had in days. Only problem is that I hear from a SID point of view sleeping on front is considered a no-no and I'm totally paranoid that something may happen so keep checking her every 30 seconds!!

Just wondering if anyone out there DOES allow their baby to sleep on their tummies and what the actual risks are considered to be?? She does get some sleep at night on her back in between coughing/wretching/gurgling and flailing around so will probably not put her down overnight like that but during the day under my watchful eye I wonder if it is going to help her. She's been so uncomfy for days now and it's such a relief to see her sleeping soundly - am I being stupid doing this????? Thoughts and or reassurance needed.. confused:

NervousAt20 Thu 11-Oct-12 13:04:14

Sorry haven't really got any advice and not sure what the current guidance is but I know when my DP was a baby he was very colicky and would only sleep on his front at all times

helsybells Thu 11-Oct-12 13:05:30

P.s. as far as other treatment for colic/wind is concerned I have had the health visitor out and implemented all her suggestions without much effect. If no improvement next week we are going to look into reflux a bit more. Infacol and coleif have made a little bit of improvement but not much. I also have made an appointment with a cranial osteopath as sson as I can next week to see if that helps.

WitchesTitWhistles Thu 11-Oct-12 13:07:32

Well, it used to be the right thing to do...

It does look more natural and comfortable..

My first two were laid on their fronts to sleep with no ill effects...

But I wouldn't dare publicly to advise it.

I would say if you're happy to do this, and you or your baby don't fall into any of the risk categories, then it's entirely your call. Non-committal, I know!

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Thu 11-Oct-12 13:11:20

I did put mine on their fronts very occasional when none of us had slept and they seemed to settle that way BUT I stayed close and couldn't relax.

I attended an info day recently and a FSID lady was there. The graphs showing reduction in SIDS since the back to sleep campaign started is pretty persuasive.

If she settles and stays asleep on you would you consider a stretchy wrap like a Moby/Kari-Me? It would keep her close to you and upright which may help if it's reflux. No good for nighttime but may get you all a bit more rest in the day?

Nordicmom Thu 11-Oct-12 13:14:06

My first was on his side with a blanket rolled up behind his back so he couldn't roll onto his front and suffocate or anything . This helped him when he would have otherwise been choking on his on vomit as a newborn. Later on he was fine on his back and once he could roll both ways he always slept on his front in a little ball like babies tend to once they can move .
Dd was on her back to start with and now at 6 m she always goes onto her front curled up with her bottom in the air because she is mobile . There's now way she would stay on her back anymore. With a newborn wouldn't dare to put them on their front though side at most ...

SamSmalaidh Thu 11-Oct-12 13:16:06

Cot death used to run at around 1200 deaths a year - after the advice changed to back-to-sleep in about 1992 the number fell to around 300 a year, and has stayed pretty static since, despite some improved knowledge about smoking, breastfeeding, bedding, room temperature etc. So, although it is a small risk, sleep position is the biggest risk factor in SIDS.

seeker Thu 11-Oct-12 13:18:49

Don't do it. Sorry.

Let her sleep on her front on you, but not on her own.

peachypips Thu 11-Oct-12 13:27:46

I researched this a fair bit when DS2 was tiny as I had exactly the same problem. Lots of people will post in a bit saying that they sleep better that way etc, and that they did it and it was fine. So:
1) My DS could only sleep on his tummy as he had reflux and colic. If he was on his back he would not settle, and if he did he would wake every hour.
2) As a previous poster said, cot deaths have cut by two thirds since all babies are advised to sleep on their back, so there is obviously an increased risk if they sleep on their front.
3) The reason more babies die in this position is NOT through suffocation but because when they are on their front they go into a deeper sleep (as you have noticed) and sometimes when babies are deeply asleep they stop breathing, hence cot death.
4) As someone else pointed out, cot deaths tend to be more common in smoking/heavy drinking families, but not always.

I got to the end of my rope however and put DS2 on his front to sleep in the end, but I felt very uncomfortable and like I was risking his life (sorry if this sounds dramatic but it's how I felt!).

So, now you know the risks you can make an informed choice!

ipswichwitch Thu 11-Oct-12 13:27:56

Have you tried slightly raising one end of the cot by putting something (eg books) under the legs? DS struggled with reflux and wind, infacol only worked sporadically, but we found that raising the head end of the cot meant that although he was on his back, he wasn't totally flat and that really helped

Longdistance Thu 11-Oct-12 13:31:26

My dd2 has slept on her front from early on. It is a risk you take.

I had an Angel care monitor in her Moses basket, and then her cot when she got older.

She ended up finding her thumb this way, and has slept amazingly since. She's now 15 mo.

helsybells Thu 11-Oct-12 13:36:46

Thanks so much everyone. The stats and history are extremely helpful. I completely empathise with the "can't relax" while they are like that as I keep nudging her every couple of minutes to make sure she's ok.

I actually ordered a sling last night so I can potter and get stuff done and she can sleep.

Also raising one end of the cot was one of the things the health visitor suggested which we did last night. I don't think it made any difference but perhaps we need to raise it a little more than one fat book height!

ipswichwitch Thu 11-Oct-12 13:39:06

Yeah we experimented with the height a bit- went a bit too high at first and poor DS slid down the cot!!

helsybells Thu 11-Oct-12 13:40:50

Tee hee about your DS sliding down the cot ipswichwitch!! smile

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Thu 11-Oct-12 13:45:21

We used bricks rather than books, then you can use the flat or on their sides for extra height.

steppemum Thu 11-Oct-12 13:58:24

while I didn't do it with mine, I think my 3 dcs were very different and I would ahve done it with ds. He was big solid baby, already had head control, and basically was more like a 3 month old. dd1 was much more sleepy and little and I could imagine her forgetting to breath. I think you have to look at your baby too.

Jane7 Tue 16-Oct-12 15:25:44

My ds2 slept on his front. I started putting him like that at 10 weeks because I was finding it so hard to get him asleep any other way and basically I felt like I was going to have some kind of breakdown unless I got some sleep. It was the best thing I ever did, although I would have been too nervous to do it with ds1. I wld never advise someone to do it, but I felt happy with it. WE borrowed an angel monitor and it was very reassuring when I woke at night to see it flashing away in the corner of the room (when it detects movement it flashes -if it doesn'st flash for ten seconds, an alarm goes off).

SarryB Wed 17-Oct-12 19:40:24

Have you tried on her side, with a rolled up blanket next to her? I used to wedge LO's back up against the side of the pram (hard surface) and put a rolled up blanket against his front (no higher than his nipples!) to help him sleep. He slept like this (swaddled as well) for about the first 6 or 8 weeks. He was very refluxy and this really helped.

Never found that raising one end of the bed helped. He just used to lean to one side and end up almost bent in half!

stargirl1701 Wed 17-Oct-12 19:44:00

Could you invest in one of those incredibly expensive Angel Care systems that monitors breathing?

MaryZed Wed 17-Oct-12 19:55:37

I did pretty much what peachypips says.

With ds2, he never slept on his back or side at all. And as I also had a non-sleeping 19 month old and an ASD just 4-year old I was exhausted.

I looked at a lot of the SIDS guidelines, and it seemed to me that the massive reduction in SIDS came in a a result of guidelines to not only put babies on their backs, but also (at the same time) to stop smoking around them, to not overheat them and a few other things. So the reduction wasn't only due to back-sleeping.

I eventually got so tired that by six weeks I had given up trying to get him to sleep on his back and just put him down on his front. In the end, I felt it was less of a risk for me than the risk I was at of getting seriously depressed and possibly harming one of them.

However, it was very much a last resort.

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