Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Belly sleeping? (don't throw stones!)

Alright ladies, I'm not trying to fire anyone up here... I know LO should sleep on her back.

But... she spits up A LOT and I feel like she's going to choke if I lay her flat on her back.  Sometimes I let her nap on her belly if she's next to me on the couch or something, but I'm secretly wishing I could lay her like that at night... she sleeps so much better!

Does anyone let LO sleep on their belly at night?  Is there a point at which this is technically okay?  Or is it just when they start rolling?  


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Re: Belly sleeping? (don't throw stones!)

  • The general rule is when they can roll on their own. We've let DD belly sleep if she's next to us too but I would be really scared to do that at night yet. She has really good neck strength. I've watched her wake up and she either pushes up and holds her head or turns it to the side. As far as the choking though, just make sure when you lay her on her back at night that her head is turned to the side. If she spits up it will just go onto the sheet.
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  • image Kemare20:
    Do the research. Just because others do it doesn't mean it's safe or okay. Educate yourself on the facts of SIDS and THEN decide. Not throwing stones. Just please don't blindly make a decision based solely on the fact that others are doing it and their babies are fine.


    Do your research and decide.

    I cosleep with my baby quite often. I know the risks. I also know my body and my baby. I practice safe cosleeping for our family. It works for me and we are incredibly happy.

    Do what's best for you and your baby. Gather the facts and make a decision. I'm a firm believer in that not one situation is universal for all babies.
  • Have you tried propping her mattress up? Or a Rock N play? Both are much much safer than belly sleeping at your LO's age. It is not okay for a baby to sleep on their tummy until they are physically able to get onto it on their own.
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  • As a third time mom, all my babies have slept on their bellies from birth. It's a choice I am more than comfortable with.
  • I just turn Ivy's head to the side. She almost always keeps it there. Sometimes I'll swaddle her and then roll a small blanket to prop her up on her side. A friend of DH and I lost his daughter to SIDS and the heartbreak is still very fresh around here. She was 4 months. It actually does happen..
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  • For three nights our LO would sleep from 9:30 to 6 on his stomach. After the third day I mentioned it to our pedi and he said it's actually a really bad idea to leave him at night like that. Reason a) it can build up so much pressure in their chest which causes them to stop breathing, b) higher risk of SIDS.

     Our LO would flail his arms around for hours and wouldn't sleep, hated being swaddled and so then we raised his mattress 30 degrees and put him on his back, after a few nights he than stopped moving his arms so much.

     I know the joy of sleeping through the night when they are on their stomachs but it's just a better choice if you give in and let your LO get use to sleeping on their side or back!

    Good luck 

  • My son always had troubles sleeping flat on his back, when he was first born the nurse gave us a tip to put his mattress at an incline, that worked great for a while. But at 2 months my son just decided he would not sleep at all on his back anymore, if you place him on his back he would be awake within 5 minutes. He would always fall asleep on our chest so we figured since he is on our chest just fine sleeping on his belly we were going to try doing naps on his tummy when he was next to us, and they were great! At night I was terrified to leave him on his tummy, but after a month with hardly no sleep I gave in. Our room is right next to his and we sleep with the doors open and a monitor. Since then he will only sleep on his tummy and now he is 8 months and can roll over so it doesn't matter much anymore but still he wakes up on his tummy, sometimes he rolls over if we take too long to pick him up. It worked for us, do the research but don't do it because other kids have lived through it.
  • image mabenner1:
    Have you tried propping her mattress up? Or a Rock N play? Both are much much safer than belly sleeping at your LO's age. It is not okay for a baby to sleep on their tummy until they are physically able to get onto it on their own.

    This. My DD spits up constantly, sometimes quite a lot, but I still lay her on her back. Even if she spits up in her crib, she's still able to turn her head to the side. I prop her crib with a few books and this helps immensely. 

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  • Honestly, my son slept so much better on his tummy and side since birth. He is four months now and we haven't encountered any issues when he co-sleeps or in his own crib. No one should throw stones because not too long ago "research" showed that sleeping on their tummies was the safest for babies. My advice is not to let anyone pressure you into forcing anything on your baby that you and baby aren't comfortable with. You know her better than anyone! Trust your instincts mommy ;)
  • I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with my daughter belly sleeping, but that is my choice and what I am OK with. 

    I second the suggestions of swaddling your baby, then propping her up on her side with a rolled up receiving blanket. I also think propping your mattress is a good suggestion. 


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  • I was really really paranoid about that in the beginning so I would lay him on his side and he would end up on his back eventually. Now I am confident enough that he sleeps with his head to his side and can roll enough to cough up any spit up. I don't care what anyone says we had nurses in the hospital prop him up on his side with a rolled up blanket so we continued. It was the only way I could get any sleep at night for quite a while.
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  • Definitely not. Not worth the risk. Maybe talk to your doctor about a way to provide a slight incline if it's that much of an issue. Otherwise, I'd wait-for sure!
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  • She will not choke on her spit up, it's impossible, but she can drown in her spit up if she's on her belly and unable to move her head. Get a RnP so she's on an incline and problem solved.

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  • My MIL was sitting for us one night and when I came home and checked on LO, he was sleeping on his tummy. I freaked out - all I had read my entire pregnancy was 'put them to sleep on their back'. Of course she didn't think twice about tummy sleeping - back when she raised her kids that was the recommendation. He slept very soundly on his tummy, but I still didn't feel comfortable with it. I did the research as everyone on here has already said and I always put him to sleep on his back. The only time he gets any sleep on his tummy is if he's sleeping on my chest if I'm laying on the couch, and that's only until I go put him down in his PNP.




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  • Usually when they can roll because then they are strong enough to move their face to breathe better. I say as long as you watching closely let baby sleep on tummy. I would be scared to do it at night though. I work at a pediatrician's office and we have a newborn specialist/lactation specialist who says that research has been done that shows babies turn their heads when they spit up, when laying on their back. So they won't choke on it. Also the pediatrician told me that technically babies can not choke on spit up. They may gag on it and at worst case some does go in their lungs and may cause pneumonia. Which is all bad but not a cause of death. Some theories of SIDS says babies can't turn their heads away from something too close to their face and end up breathing in too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen. The newborn specialist (who is an RN and also has 9 kids) says that studies have shown breastfeeding decreases the risk of SIDS drastically. And of course no smoking in the house. Also drinking alcohol changes your sleep cycle and anyone's sleep cycle who is watching the baby so it also causes problems. Such as the parent falling asleep while holding the baby and then the baby falls between them and the couch then suffocates. 
  • Also, if baby is really spitting up a lot you should check with the doctor about acid reflux. Zantac has helped my little one a lot. She would have forceful spit up and it would come out of her nose! 
  • I also would suggest propping on the side, or raising your mattress. I work in a daycare and took a 6 hour SIDS training and it scared the bejebus out of me. Based on that training I would also suggest not allowing them to sleep in the seats that sit and bounce/vibrate (mind is drawing a blank on the name) it allows for "re-breathing" which is a contributor to SIDS
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