View Full Version : Sleeping on Tummy
Just after some feedback. Nico is now 17 weeks old and has just last week mastered the art of rolling onto his tummy. For a long time now he's been rolling onto his side when I put him down to sleep. So I've had to rock him to sleep in my arms every time for the last couple of months.
Now what he has done in the last couple of days is roll over onto his tummy as soon as I put him down (still awake) and all I need to do is pat his bum for a few minutes and make sure his head is to the side and off he goes.
His daytime sleeps have gone from 30-40 mins long to 1.5 hrs long and last night he slept in the bed with me and would have slept through from about 10pm to 7am if his father hadn't of noisily jumped out of bed like a startled gazelle!!
I'm watching him like a hawk - he's sleeping near me now as I type but can I get some feedback about tummy sleeping - I know about SIDS and this is my concern but I think that this is what he's been wanting to do for ages now.
My Lachlan LOVES to sleep on is tummy (he is now 10 months so does whatever he likes in the cot!)...he loved it from very young though. He had bad reflux and I think his was more soothed on his tummy. The drs don't like it because of the sids thing....but as soon as he could roll over nothing could stop him! He too started to become a HEAPS better daytime sleeper as soon as he could sleep on his tummy.
He always had really good neck control and a fantastic ability to lift his head so I was never really concerned about him suffocating or anything.
Early on, when he couldn't roll over we always put him on his back at night...but sometimes during the day he would only settle on his tummy - so I'd watch him like a hawk!
Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I have nothing to add regarding the SIDS risks - we all know about those - but wanted to say that I think alot of babies prefer their tummies and settle heaps better on those...so if you decide to let bub sleep on his tummy - you're not alone!! :p
As soon as my daughter could roll over she would sleep on her tummy even if I put her down on her back. My doctor told me this was fine as long as she could roll back onto her back (or at least her side).
I have heard that from around six months it is okay for them to sleep on their tummy.
If Nico can lift his head and roll back over (even to his side) and there is no excess bedding around him in the cot for him to get tangled in then there should be no reason he can't sleep on his tummy. My little girl did and it was the best thing I could have hoped for, it made sleeping for her a much more comfortable event.
Both our girls ended up sleeping on their tummys. Like Schmell said, from 6 months it is no worries. Even from I was worried at first, but gradually relaxed as they got older.
There is some more info at http://www.sidsaustralia.org.au/mos/WA/SIDS.htm Scroll down a bit to "issues tummy sleeping".
As your baby is under 6 months, they recommend you keep encouraging back sleeping, but I know that is easier said than done. The link has some ideas about what to do to make it safer
My little angel (now 16mths) has slept on her tummy since she was a few weeks old. She was a wriggler and no matter how tight I wrapper her she would always get her arms out and wake herself up, leading to very short sleeping stints day and night. She was laid on her tummy for her heel prick in hospital and had been crying loudly, but as soon as she was laid down onto her tummy she stopped. So after a couple of weeks of sleepless nights and lots of crying one night we put her down on her tummy, she looked like a little frog. She slept for 2 hrs straight and we never looked back. She had always had quite good neck control and could move her head from side to side while on her tummy so we never worried too much about the suffocation risk and we were lucky enough to be given a baby monitor with the breathing mats so there was that reassurance that if she did stop breathing we would know straight away. She slept beside us until she was about 3 1/2 mths old. I know the sids risk and all but our little one just loves sleeping on her tummy, even in the pram she would only sleep for 1/2 hr when she was on her back, a few times we put her on her tummy in the pram and she slept for over 1 hr, so it proved to us that she just likes that position as a lot of kids do. I think it's very important to follow the other sids guidelines such as no smoking around kids and excess bedding etc but if you have a tummy sleeper, especially one that can roll etc just go with the flow. I know heaps of mums with tummy sleepers and none have had any problems, and how many millions of children in generations past have slept on their tummys without problems. Our little girl still sleeps on her tummy most of the time even though she can roll around the cot, that's her position of choice when it comes to sleeping.
Hope I have given you some reassurance.
hey Nico's mum!!
my GP (whose opinion i trust very much) told me there was NO scientific evidence that babies are more likely to fall victim to SIDS sleeping on their tummy vs their back. He said that while it may make some intuitive sense that a baby is less likely to stop breathing while sleeping on their back than on their tummy, the research evidence just wasn't there to support such claims, and that low socio-ecomoinc status, poor nutrition, peri-natal difficulties, smoking etc were much bigger, and real, risk factors. Anyway, that made me feel much better as Alice had a few weeks there when she preferred her tummy (when back to her back again though for some unknown reason!!).
Hi Nico's mum,
Grace has been sleeping on her tummy for ages. She rolled really early and from that moment on decided she preferred. My husband and I spent so much time rolling her back on to her back to no avail. She still sleeps on her tummy, I think they are pretty clever these bubs of ours and tend to naturally put their heads to the side. Of course that doesn't stop us checking on them constantly though does it??
I wish I could now get Grace to lie still through the night, she rolls all over the cot!!
Thanks everyone for your feedback it has made me feel heaps better about the situation. I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to monitor his rolling over so your replies have been a big help
I'm glad to see you've had lots of support here already. My DD did the same thing, deciding at 4months that she was going to sleep on her stomach no matter what I tried. I spent 2 days in a panic about SIDS and looking at contraptions that basically pinned her in place on her back, before I phoned one of the hotline numbers for help. Basically they said that even though the guideline is 6 months, there's really nothing you can do if they decide to tummy-sleep before that. The woman also said that if they're rolling that much then they have less risk of SIDS (compared to young babies put to sleep on their stomach) because they're able move around and get themselves out of any trouble. So go with the flow! Let Nico sleep on his stomach and just make sure that there's as little risk as possible by removing blankets & soft toys from his cot.
I found from about 3 weeks that the ONLY way my ds (now 8weeks) would sleep AT ALL was on his tummy (or in the car seat!) I check that there is no blankets, toys clothes etc in the cot and that the room is comfortable enough not to need blankets over him. He never really liked being wrapped either, so I figure if he is comfortable and SLEEPING then it works for me! He is the same in his pram, has to be on his tum - doesnt mean I am not paranoid when he has a 7 hour sleep at night - I still give him a poke to check! ;)
Hello all. I wanted to add to this forum as I now have the confidence to do so! I have a 8 week old daughter, who from about week three, would only settle for sleep on her tummy. I discovered it one day she was particularly unsettled, crying her poor little eyes out. I was with my mum, and we popped her onto her tummy where she promptly fell asleep for 2 hours. I tried her again on her back for several days after, but she refused to settle being an active bub and flinging her arms out of her swaddling to wake herself repeatedly.
So, with a little nervousness, we put her down for an evening sleep on her tummy, checking on her frequently. She then proceeded to sleep the entire night through.
Since about 5 weeks of age, she has slept from roughly 7pm - 8pm at night, EVERY NIGHT, right through to 6am in the morning. I am expressing at night to keep my milk up and feeding her every couple of hours during the day. She settles well during the day for a few short sleeps, is a very happy, laughing and contented baby. We have followed each and every other recommendation for SIDS, including room temp, bedding recommendations etc. She's been able to lift her head from her first medical checkup at 1 week also, so that wasn't a concern. I am interested in the recent findings that SIDS is related to Serotonin levels in the baby - does anyone know any more details?
Sorry about the long post!
DD slept on her tummy as soon as she rolled - about 4 months and still does sometimes now at 3 (she is super restless and ends up in a wide array of positions through the night)
DS is 1 and has tummy slept right from day 2 when he was doing some tummy time in the hospital bassinette and promptly fell asleep for 3 hours - I did try the back sleeping but found that he would only sleep for 20-45 mins on his back whereas it would be hours on his tummy so we just went with it. I mase sure he was suitably dressed and didn't bother with blankets (just a muslin wrap if it was a bit cooler - summer bub in Darwin) and had no big toys or anything in his bassinet or cot. He has always had a really strong neck and rolled at 12 weeks comando crawled at 4 months which I am sure had a lot to do with his tummy sleeping which built the neck and trunk muscles faster!
DS3 as been sleeping on his tummy since he was about 4wks old
he wont sleep on his back (well sleeps for 20mins before he wakes)
where on his tummy he sleep around 8hrs over night before he wakes for a feed and
at lest 1-2hrs durng the day sleeps
I went and got a sound and movement monitor to use while he sleeps
My MCH nurse know he does and given I have the monitor and his sleeping well
why try and change that
My other boys started to sleep on there tummies as soon as they knew how to roll on to them
Agree with all the other posters, you can't stop them sleeping on their tummies once they can roll, lots of babies seem happier this way.
With DD I was always told it was important to put her to sleep on her back, but what she did after that was her own business.
You can't realistically rock your child to sleep every night in an attempt to have them stay in the position you put them (well, I guess you can, but I have neither the patience nor the strength for that sort of carry on), nor should you have stay awake to check on them all through the night, ready to roll them back if they move.
If your baby is old enough to roll onto their tummy, then I think you can either fret and buy things that strap them to the bed on their back, or you can just make sure that the rest of the cot is SIDS safe (i.e. no loose bedsheets, comforters, toys or pillows in there).
DS has slept on his tummy since 4 months of age. He loves it, and he sleeps best on his tummy. Rolling him over to his back is impossible because he immediately rolls back on his tummy. I was told that it's perfectly safe at an older age, and the guidelines are only for newborns because they can't life their heads well if they vomit in their sleep.
I am interested in all your thoughts on this, I've been doing some research into the effects of sleep deprivation (ie REM and deep sleep) on health outcomes in children, adolescents and adults. Seems pretty clear that there is a link between ADHD, mental illnesses, obesity, hypertension, diabetes - the list goes on. The information that I"ve come accross has been legitimate - ie published journals etc.
For me, I now have a fairly clear picture of the harm that might have come to my daughter had I persisted in putting her to sleep in a position that caused frequent wakings. I'm happy to put her down prone now in the knowledge that it's good for her brain development! Everyone comments on how alert she is and how responsive she is to peoples voices and smiles during the day.
Thoughts anyone? Particularly, on the rise of ADHD - any paediatricians out there want to do some research?
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