Sleeping on their tummies……| Babies | Sleep | Tummy Time | Advice.

June 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over the last 2 weeks or so I’ve been asked by a number of mums what my professional opinion is of babies who prefer to sleep on their tummies.

As a professional it’s not something i can recommend at all. Studies into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome shows that babies who sleep on their fronts are at much greater risk of dying from SIDS.

Want more information on SIDS click here http://fsid.org.uk/document.doc?id=24 (Leaflet provided by FSID The Cot Death Charity in the UK)

As a mother myself who had a baby who much prefered to sleep on her tummy than her back i would firstly suggest you practice settling baby on her back as much as possible its much much safer (please refer to the above FSID Link for further info) but if (like myself) your baby just won’t settle happily in her back i would suggest that before you let your baby sleep unattended on her tummy you invest in either a baby monitor with a breathing sensor pad that goes under baby’s mattress or a breathing sensor that can be attached to your baby’s nappy (these are often used in hospital neonatal wards on premature babies who are often placed on their tummies for medical reasons). You might find that these monitors often sound when it doesn’t detect baby’s movements for 10/15 seconds or more. When my daughter first slept on her tummy we bought a breathing sensor pad for her as extra reassurance, it would regularly go off, leading to us dashing to her rescue many a time only to find her sleeping soundly and peacefully away, still we never let her sleep without that sensor beeping quietly in the background.
I initially co- slept with her too but not in the traditional sense of having her in bed with me, once I found she was happier sleeping on her front. I transferred her to a Moses basket right next to my bed as I felt having her sleep on her front in bed with me wouldn’t be safe.
(Always make sure you have fresh batteries or that your equipment is plugged in to a mains socket electrical supply)

Also ,make sure your baby’s cot/moses basket mattress isn’t too soft. In my opinion a firmer mattress is much safer for a tummy sleeping baby.

I would also suggest that you keep the baby’s cot free of cot bumpers, soft toys or excess blankets. AND lastly DO NOT swaddle a baby who likes to sleep on her front.

A great activity to engage in during the day is tummy time with your baby when they are awake so as to strengthen their neck muscles and again lower the risk of suffocation when they are sleeping.

These are my recommendations should you decide to ignore SIDS guidelines for putting your baby on his/her back to sleep.

By no means am I suggesting or recommending that your put your baby to sleep on his/her tummy for a better chance of them sleeping all night.

These are just my guidelines should you find that, like many toddlers,children and adults alike that they much prefer to sleep on their front. I hope you find them helpful

Charmaine xx

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