Monday, March 17, 2008

open to suggestions

Here's the deal:
My beautiful, precious baby daughter, light of my life, apple of my eye... absolutely detests sleeping on her back. She falls asleep like a champ curled up on your chest or snuggled in your arms, but within minutes of laying her down on her back (in the crib, in the pack & play, on the Boppy, on the floor... doesn't matter), she's awake and unhappy. I am afraid that we have a tummy sleeper on our hands. And since every doctor and website out there pretty much tells you that you're a bad parent if you put your baby to sleep on his/her tummy, and scares you with statistics about SIDS - I'm at a bit of a loss.
Now - we've tried swaddling, tried laying her down slowly and not taking your hands away for awhile, tried letting her cry a little to see if she goes back to sleep... nada.
I have no idea how many mamas and daddies read this blog, but I'm ready (begging) for any suggestions - because I'd love to be able to sleep in my own bed again. Instead of in the bed in my daughter's room. With my daughter.
Any good ideas for a sleepy mama?

9 thoughts:

Bethany said...

I have a suggestion as a mommy of a tummy boy! I got him a little thing we dubbed his "nest" and it got us through until he could flip over on his which point you can't help it anyway! I would put him on his side on this little thing. It's memory foam and the best thing. But, I made my own little customizations!

I got some little waterproof lap pads and wrapped it around the memory foam that way when a diaper leaks (do girls do that???) you only have to take if off and change the pad in the middle of the night. Then, on top of the pad, I wrapped a receiving blanket tightly around it, tucking it all in underneath, so there was no loose bedding. I put him on his side, and adjusted the little pad thing where it was lower on his tummy and higher on his back.

To top it all off, I wrapped another receiving blanket around him from his midsection down, since they say no loose bedding, and tucked all of that underneath the little memory foam dealy, too.

You end up with this little tight package of a baby. He LOVED it. The velcro on the pillow parts wore out after a while, so I got something similar to this and put it on top of the memory foam.

Each night, I laid him on a different side, but I always liked him looking out at me, so I would alternate him sleeping on the head end and foot end of the bed. This was so he wouldn't get a smooshed head. He always had a round little noggin.

Sorry for the LENGTHY comment, but from the moment he was born, he wanted to be on his tummy...I was way too scared! Plus, he always looked so vulnerable in his bed just loose. This made it comfy and snuggly!

I have a picture of it, but it won't let me paste it me for it at

Julie said...

Both of my babies were tummy sleepers. We started Michael when he was just a few days old. I cried for a day straight sure that he was going to die... he's now 6.5 :)

With Maggie I think we waited a little bit longer. Maybe a month or so. But, once we put her on her belly she was a happy little bundle all the time!

We are both non-smokers, their cribs were completely empty, the sheet was very tight, and we didn't wrap them in any blankets. Just their sleepers.

Obviously, this is purely your decision. This is just what worked for us.

Mary C said...

Bless your heart! Oh, do I remember the quest for sleep! My daughter (who's 4.5 now) was the same way. Cried cried cried if we dared to put her in her bed. (The nerve of us!) We, too, ended up spending many nights in the twin bed in her room.

The only place she would sleep, other than our arms, was her bouncy seat (the fisher-price one that vibrates). I was terrified it would "spoil" her and she would never sleep in her bed, but it only lasted for a few weeks. If Hazel will sleep in her swing or bouncy seat, then use it! My kids both did that as newborns and they are both fabulous sleepers-it didn't spoil them at all!

Also- We would put a heating pad in the crib and let the bed warm up while I nursed. Then, when it was time to put them back in, we took it out and slowly put them down on the warm spot. It worked! The cold sheet didn't startle them into realizing they were no longer in my warm arms!

Good luck. These early days are tough-you get so much advice and it's hard to tell what to weed out. I would give everything a try-maybe you'll hit on what Hazel likes!

meghan said...

Our second was a tummy sleeper and loved to be tightly, tightly swaddled. We bought velcro swaddle wraps from babies 'r us and would alternate sleeping her on her side, with her "daddy bear" resting on her about mid-belly (that way she'd be more inclined to flip onto her back is she stirred) and and her tummy. My nephew was a tummy sleeper too, and his aunt is a pediatrician and said as long as he is healthy (not even a cold) tummy sleeping would be okay if that's the only way he'd sleep.

Wendy said...

Jake wouldn't sleep on his back flat, but he would sleep propped up. So he slept in his papsan bouncy seat. He's long outgrown it, so I'd be happy to let you try it and see if it works. It also vibrates.

Anonymous said...

I have three boys 7,6 & 3.5 ALL tummy sleepers. I just put a flannel waterproof pad under them so it would not wrinkle like sheets. I had the oldest sleep in our room for a couple nights to make sure I could hear him breathing and that was it. They started sleeping through the night because they felt cuddled and they would not "startle" themselves if they woke up like they did on their backs. Good Luck!!

Kaycee said...

I am not a mommy quite yet (come on April 5th!) but we got the Angel Care Deluxe Baby Monitor for Madison due to Cam's massive breathing issues when he was little (and his asthma, it makes him nervous for the girl). We are not expecting her to have any breathing issues, but it monitors their breathing just in case. There is an alarm that goes off if the baby stops breathing (or moves off the sensor) so that you can run and check on them. If you do decide to tummy sleep with Hazel maybe this would help you feel better about it? It is a bit pricey and I have not used it yet but it gets great reviews from other parents.

Kristi said...

My son would not sleep on his back either. We used a wedge that was adjustable and he slept mostly on his side. When he got a little older I did let him sleep on his stomach. He was in our bedroom until he was close to a year old though.
A lot of these other suggestions sound good too!

Sarah said...

Katie, I feel your pain. My son Kyle, who is now 11, hated sleeping on his back with a passion. He screamed his head off and for the first month I slept in my bed with him on my chest. Knowing I had to go back to work in a few weeks and rest was required, I had to make the change to his crib. I talked to my doctor on a personal level about letting Kyle sleep on his tummy. Being the doctor he is he couldn't say that it was ok to do so, but he did say all three of his kids were tummy sleepers and they are now all grown adults. I was also a tummy sleeper. Like Julie said above, I kept the crib empty and didn't make the room overly hot. Kyle slept great and he still sleeps on his tummy. :)
On a side note, I did try the wedge thing for my son Evan and he loved it. That keeps them on their side which is better than the tummy.
~Sarah from MHC