Friday, August 1, 2008

Back to sleep?

Look at my little angel...when she would sleep on her back, no problem.
Like every new mom, I'm scared to death of SIDS. I'm guilty of constantly checking to see if Alessia's breathing, waking her up sometimes with my efforts, and of course being crazy about her sleeping on her back. Then she turns 1 month, and BAM! "I HATE sleeping on my back mommy!!" She could be in a deep deep sleep in my arms, and I put her down oh so gently and POP! the eyes open and the screams ensue. So now she only sleeps if I hold her up against my chest. This drives me mad, because she also does it at night. So I buy a mobywrap to help my little one sleep on my chest while I can at least have some breakfast in the morning and do laundry, etc. That's when the co-sleeping started as well (though I do love having her with me all night - it makes nursing in the middle of the night so much easier), but she had to sleep on us. Then she appeased us by agreeing to sleep on her side, but only in our bed and up against me.
Then one day while we were doing some tummy time, she started sucking her thumb and fell fast asleep in minutes. She looked the most peaceful she had in weeks. So I started putting her on her belly for naps and staying in the room with her so I could constantly check on her. What great naps! Not to mention she could soothe herself to sleep when on her tummy. But this didn't solve the problem of her sleeping at night. As soon as I put her down, even on her side, she wakes up and won't go back to sleep. So the past two weeks, she's been sleeping horribly at night, even when in our bed. She kicks and punches and tosses and turns. The other night, my husband managed to get her down on her side, and she turned onto her tummy during the night. I heard her move and saw her and freaked out. But she looked so peaceful, I let her stay - I was up every 10 min to check on her, but she slept for hours! (she was in her bassinet, not our bed)
So am I a horrible mother for letting my little one sleep on her tummy? This is the inner turmoil I've been dealing with. Although how many of us slept on our tummies and are alive to talk about it? So I brought this up at my mom's group at Postpartum Place, and the director, Maria, brings up the fact that the fetal position is so important for our babies and we're robbing them of it by putting them on their backs. So many children have had sleep problems since the back to sleep campaign started. All the sleep books out there also started popping up at this time too.It's still a lot of theory regarding what can lead to SIDS, which I think is why it scares us to death. Babies with severe acid reflux are sometimes put to sleep on their tummies...why is that okay? Alessia can pick up her upper body and move her head from side to side when on her tummy, so I'm not too concerned about her getting stuck face down. Even though I know at some point she would be able to put herself on her tummy during the night, I'm still so nervous about her sleeping this way at night. But I feel like I'm doing her a disservice by not allowing her to be comfortable at night and therefore not sleeping. So do I keep her uncomfortable and up all night, or help her to roll onto her tummy and sleep?

***Postpartum Place does not necessarily advocate putting babies to sleep on their tummies.


Danielle said...

Welcome! Whatever gets her to sleep! haha

Mommy-to-Be Stacie said...

I slept on my stomach...and I am freakin' perfect! hahahha! I hate sleeping on my back, so I understand why Alessia hates it too. Is she still sleeping on her back or on her tummy? You'll have to keep me updated!