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Newborn won't sleep on his back at night

(22 Posts)
Daveyp13 Thu 12-May-16 21:26:53

Hi, hoping for a little help if possible! My son is 1 week old, and arrived at 37 weeks after being induced.
He is great, but really refuses to sleep at night on his back in his basket. He will sleep a little bit through the day without too much issue in the basket, but at night he will not sleep at all on his back. We've had to start co sleeping with him sleeping on our chests (face down) but we are naturally worried about this and don't want to start a bad habit.
He gets winded, is being breast fed and is rarely sick.

If anyone can share any experience as we're really struggling with what to do.


Puffinity Thu 12-May-16 21:31:51

Hi! Congratulations on your baby! I'm afraid I can't really help (no kids myself), but just wanted to say that apparently I refused to sleep on my back when I was a baby too. My parents tried to get me to sleep on my back for a few nights and then gave up out of sheer exhaustion and let me sleep on my front, which was fine and has been ever since. I know this is not really helpful, and please follow the advice from professionals who know what they are talking about, but I just wanted to share.

NedStarksHead Thu 12-May-16 21:51:16

Put baby on their front?
My DD slept on her front from 3/4 weeks. Refused to sleep on her back so just started putting her down on her front!
I'd be worried about sleeping with baby on chest, could roll over and smother him/her?! blush

Anotherwriter Thu 12-May-16 21:53:06

We ended up going to the GP after a 96 hour stint of being awake without DD having even a nap - this was due to her being uncomfortable on her back. At that time we think it was reflux.

In the end we broke the rules and she slept in her car seat for a few hours at a time. We made sure her head was supported & that she didn't get too hot.

The sleep deprivation for us all was just too much in the end. I didn't feel safe to drive & I couldn't put a sentence together as my brain didn't function.

Cranial osteopathy worked wonders - I was desparate to try anything & everything & I was gobsmacked at just what a difference it made.

Many congrats to you on the safe arrival of your

Daveyp13 Thu 12-May-16 21:54:42

Thanks- the only concern is that you read so much about SID with them sleeping on their front, though I appreciate that him sleeping on my/our chests may be no different.

AStreetcarNamedBob Thu 12-May-16 21:57:59

Please don't put him on your chest. The chances of you accidentally falling asleep are high and the results could be catastrophic. I just read this a few days ago

Dad dropped off with baby on his chest and obviously naturally moved a little in his sleep and baby fell off. Face first on the mattress and suffocated. Absolutely heart breaking. If you want to put baby on his front it's 100 X better to do it safely in his basket.

StylishDuck Thu 12-May-16 21:58:45

Have you tried raising the head end of the basket slightly? A towel or something underneath the basket to give it a slight angle might help. My DD didn't have reflux but wouldn't sleep on her back until I tried this.

meringue33 Thu 12-May-16 22:00:25

Could you try his side?

Schoeneberger Thu 12-May-16 22:03:51

I slept with my baby on my chest when she was little and this was a recommendation from my midwife as being a natural way to sleep with babies, as long as it is only done by the mother. I wouldn't move at all whe she was cuddled there and it really felt safe and secure. I was so disappointed when she was too long to do it comfortably any more.

I am sure your baby would be too big to sleep on the chest long before he is old enough to start forming habits.

wintersdawn Thu 12-May-16 22:05:22

I have two dc's the first refused to be on her stomach, wouldn't sleep on it, lay on it, play on it nothing. Second one would scream the second you tried to lay him on his back and it wasn't just an moaning scream it was a the world is ending what the hell are you doing scream. Midwife told me off for both situations and DD still sleeps on her back and DS on his front most nights and they are now school age kids.

One thing I would say though is my DS was a ventouse delivery and we did end up taking him to a cranial osteopath which despite my disbelief did help him spend more time on his back in comfort.

minipie Thu 12-May-16 22:10:39

I slept with DD tummy down on my chest for the first 3 months. She wouldn't sleep any other way (before you panic OP it's unusual for it to last this long, she was prem) It was pretty safe I think as I had my arms across her and elbows propped by pillows to keep them there, plus I'm an immensely light sleeper.

Tummy down on you is NOT a SIDS risk in the same way that tummy down in a crib or basket is (I looked into it), although obviously there are other risks ie the baby rolling off you, so you have to be sure you've got them very securely held.

SoftSheen Thu 12-May-16 22:13:10

DD would never sleep on her back; in the end I had to give in and let her sleep on her front. It was either that or no-one got any sleep basically. (She would also sleep upright in a sling).

I was, however, super-strict about all the other rules of safe sleeping: cot next to my bed (no sleeping alone), brand-new mattress, no loose bedding, no toys in cot, room temp of 18 degrees C, no exposure to smoke etc. I also EBF which helps reduce risk.

As pp said, avoid situations where you might fall a sleep with the baby on your chest. IMO potentially much more dangerous than putting a baby on their front in a cot.

Conline Fri 13-May-16 11:25:49

Hi we had exact same problem. In the end we rolled a blanket up either side of the basket (to make baby feel secure) put packets of wipes at the top end of the basket under the mattress obviously to raise it ever so slightly so he wasn't so flat. And persevere!

Champagneformyrealfriends Sun 15-May-16 08:23:47

Tilt the mattress! My dd was delivered by c section after a failed induction and that's what they did in the hospital because she had a lot of mucus.

TwllBach Sun 15-May-16 08:29:20

Another with a week old DC here, or nearly... A week old tomorrow smile

He doesn't like sleeping on his back at night either. He will sleep in the pram or wherever you put him down during the day on his back but he definitely prefers to be tilted slightly sideways. I've ended up cosleeping when I really didn't want to and he's always on his side then. I don't know why I think it is safer for him on his side in bed with me than it is on his own in his crib blush but I wake up at the slightest sound from him...

Zebrasinpyjamas Sun 15-May-16 08:34:44

Hang in there as he is only one week old. Things change very quickly at this age. (But you are too tired to see that if you are like me).

I ended up buying a sleepyhead to solve a similar problem. My DS hated the firm baby mattress but I was too worried about suffocation for him to sleep anywhere else! He loved his sleepyhead so it was worth the vast expense for us!

PerfectlyPosed Sun 15-May-16 08:44:18

My DD slept on her front from a very early age and still does now. I waited until I thought her neck was strong enough because I know they advise you not to but she was definitely happier that way.

GraceGrape Sun 15-May-16 08:50:17

Some very young babies just don't like to be put down in a basket (as I discovered to my cost with DD2). She also had reflux, which means baby is very uncomfortable on their back. Is co-sleeping an option for you? I was bfing and used to lie in my side facing her. She was also on her side facing me and I used to support her head in the crook of my arm. It was quite comfortable and I could go back to sleep while she was feeding.

ElspethFlashman Sun 15-May-16 08:52:00

Prop him on his side with a rolled up muslin. When he's asleep, slide the muslin out and he'll sink back flat.

Most babies will drift off on their side. And reduce the angle over the next few months. Initially they want to be fully on their side drifting off but you can make the muslin flatter as time goes on.

It really worked for us. SInce they don't get used to being on their front they soon forget about it. Takes a couple of months but eventually they sleep on their backs fully.

peasofcake Sun 15-May-16 08:58:51

Have you tried a sleepyhead? I think it's a good idea to try that to prolong back sleeping. Congratulations on your baby!

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 15-May-16 09:04:14

neither of mine ever slept on.their backs either.

I'd have bought a lottery ticket if I'd managed to change it.

there came a point where I felt that the risk of everyone being so overtired it became dangerous was greater than creating a sleeping situation that was as safe as possible by removing all possible risks and letting them.sleep on their tummies.

it's a personal decision though

Squashybanana Sun 15-May-16 09:06:51

I used to put DD into the sling on my chest (a wrap sling, think it was a Moby) and sleep propped up in a semi sitting position when totally desperate. Breastfeeding mothers don't sleep in quite the same way and I was always very aware of her. I only did this a couple of times for a couple of hours. I wouldn't suggest it is a brilliant idea but thought if you are going to sleep with baby on chest the wrap at least means he can't 'fall off' like in the story above.

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