View Full Version : Newborn sleep help

09-30-2006, 04:32 PM

09-30-2006, 06:40 PM
well...from a SIDS standpoint...bad...

have you tried getting a sleep positioner and propping her on her side? that worked for us with DD. It sounds like it may be upset tummy that makes her back sleeping undesirable...good luck!

i know how tough it is to be sleep deprived and get to the point where you'll just do anything it takes...that is how we ended up cosleeping so you'll get no flames or judgment from me for letting her sleep on her tummy....!

09-30-2006, 06:49 PM
Are you swaddling? That can really help. Swaddle her, then feed her (if she feeds to sleep) and then lay her down. The swaddling helps them feel secure.

09-30-2006, 06:50 PM
Just throwing this out, but when my DD behaved similarly as a newborn (screamed and arched while on her back), it was a major sign of reflux. She was SO much more comfortable once we started her on Zantac and I eliminated dairy from my diet. If this continues, I would take her to the ped. Other symptoms of reflux can be crying during and after feeding, resisting being held in a horizontal position, and lots of spitting up (though there may not be any excess spitting up).

DD #1 (2/03)
DD #2 (3/06)

09-30-2006, 07:15 PM
this also crossed my mind. sleeping on an incline may help if this is the problem. i would also caution you that reflux doesn't necessarily mean spitting up. DD barely spit up at all but we discovered she had horrible reflux...it was just not making it all the way out. she had to be put on prevacid. she was also dairy sensitive and did a lot better once we got her dairy free...good luck! i hope your little one gives you some rest soon!

09-30-2006, 08:28 PM
for us, swaddling and flannel sheets helped. my DS was not a sleeper no matter what position he was in really, so it's not like i had to make the choice you're talking about. but usually the 'best' he slept was swaddled (first a miracle blanket, later the "first years" jersey/velcro ones you get in a box at target - you can get them good and snug with a few twists of the wrap before velcroing), on someone, then after that, swaddled on flannel sheets (my fav. nurse practitioner at my ob's office cued me into that one - something about their face not touching a cold sheet). i've read other people before handle this by putting a warm water bottle in the crib where their face will be while your nursing, and then take it out right before you put her down so her head goes onto a nice comforting warm spot. might be worth a try if you've ruled out the other things like reflux.

hth, lori
Sam 5/19/05 How lucky I am that you chose me.

09-30-2006, 08:57 PM
I know that this is an unpopular opinion but given that the baby will sleep in one position and NOT in another, I say that it is likely not reflux or allergies or something that needs investigation. It sounds like you have a baby that just prefers to sleep on her belly.

I would try swaddling and see if that helps. It is worth a shot to see if she will sleep on her back swaddled. If it does not help, I would let her sleep on her tummy. Donning flame suit. :P

SIDS is a risk, it is scary and real. However the risk is quite small and wieghed against you never getting sleep, I say that sometimes we are justified in ignoring the rules. And as you point out, you have a low risk otherwise.

09-30-2006, 09:11 PM
I am not here to flame you, I had a different situation, same outcome, tummy. Both of my daughters were born with hip dysplasia and wore a harness for awhile. It didn't allow them to move very much, similar to swaddling. When the harness came off they couldn't sleep on their back because when they woke they couldn't settle back down because they could move too much. I say put her in a pack n play close and put her on her tummy.

Madeline and Emily's Mom
1/20/03 11/29/05

09-30-2006, 09:16 PM
i am with you katie.

i don't want to say go for it, because i am too cautious. but i can tell you that you have very few official risks. and being able to move her head from one side to the other sounds pretty strong. and she is able to reposition herself if she is uncomfortable or covered.

i would recommend two things- one, let her sleep on her tummy for naps. you can monitor her and check on her, or even put her in a pack n play or bassinett right beside you as you read, watch tv, fold laundry... you can get an "angel monitor" that goes off if the baby hasn't moved in a certain number of seconds. (they move all the time, even when sleeping.) schuyler took EVERY nap on his tummy and went to bed on his back every night. and he slept 12 hours straight every night by 5 months old.

second- try her side. dylan slept better on his side. i used a rolled up afgan (lots of holes in it for airflow.) to prop him up, but it would probably be better to use a sleep positioner.

09-30-2006, 10:09 PM
Same thing happened with my dd. Finally at around 3 - 4 months, when I was nearly losing my mind,we put her on her tummy and she slept. She has slept on her tummy ever since.

People here will share their experiences, as I just did, but you are the one who will really have to come to terms with sleeping on the belly..Big hugs and good luck.

10-01-2006, 07:02 AM
Will she sleep in a car seat? It is a bit more contained than a baby lying on her back. My DS slept in the car seat inside his crib for the first 3 months. If you find she can sleep well in the car seat you might try this version-at least until she is a little bit older.
Barbara-mom to Jack 3/27/03, a Red Sox fan
and Anna 5/12/05, my little Yankee fan!

10-01-2006, 07:54 AM
I second the carseat sleeping. Both my kids slept in their carseats at night for months! I would let them nap on their tummys during the day and then they were in the carseats at night where they were very comfy.
They both refused, like yours to sleep on their backs.
Oh, they also napped and slept in their bouncy seats with the vibration on.

Hang in there! I know it is hard!

10-01-2006, 09:16 AM
It sounds a lot like reflux to me. That is exactly what my dd did. Like a pp said they do not have to spit up to have reflux. My dd didn't spit up much but had severe reflux. It's called silent reflux and basically they swallow it back down. It's worse for them than regular reflux because the acid travels up and down the throat twice.

Try the carseat. My dd slept in hers until she was 10 months old! We placed it in her crib so she was used to sleeping in the crib. She still didn't sleep great but she would sleep 1-2 hours in it versus the 15-20 minutes we got w/out it. Make sure you buckle her up. My dd managed to wiggle out of her carseat at 6 weeks old. I've also heard of 2 situations on the news were babies strangeled on the straps while sleeping in their carseats so please buckle her up.

My dd did sleep better on her tummy also. If you suspect it may be reflux I would go w/the carseat, tummy sleeping, or side sleeping. I put my dd on her back and didn't feel right about it given her reflux. I went to check on her and found her chocking and not breathing. I had to perform the infant heimlic on her several times to clear her before she started breathing. We took her to the ER and they told us not to let her sleep on her back. They suggested the carseat. Of course her reflux was very severe. If it continues I'd ask your dr. about reflux. Here's a great infant reflux sight if you want to read more about it www.infantreflux.org.

Good luck. I know how hard it is!

Kim and Emma 1/14/04

10-01-2006, 12:40 PM
My dd slept on her tummy from 2 weeks old. Yes, it freaked me out at first but she was able to move her head back and forth and was fine. We didnt' have any of the other risk factors either.



10-01-2006, 04:00 PM
Another reflux baby here. DS was the same as your DD. Reflux medication + sleeping in a car seat per ped's directions for 6 months. Once he could roll over, he was always on his tummy with his butt in the air. Until he could roll over the doctor didn't want him on his tummy, unless it was a last resort and it would involve a special monitor for his breathing.

Talk with your doctor.

10-01-2006, 04:34 PM
Another reflux baby here. DD acted the same too. The ped. did say that putting them on their tummy helps the reflux but he did not recommend it for sleeping bec. of the SIDS risk. We had to start her on Zantac and put the yellow pages under her mattress so she can sleep on an incline.

I honestly would not feel comfortable putting her to sleep on her tummy.

10-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Thank you everyone.

I'll talk to the doctor about reflux. I assumed spitting up would be a sign of reflux and DD doesn't spit up at all. Hasn't since she was born. She doesn't burp either, but she's quite gassy out the other end!

She actually will sleep on her back during the day sometimes for a couple of hours. So, I don't know what the problem is at night.

She hates being swaddled, unfortunately. Has hated it since birth. In the hospital, she managed to get out of the nurse's tight swaddle and pull off the mittens she had on. Stubborn kid, I guess.

We tried the carseat last night but she didn't like it. Any suggestions? Did you rock your kids in it, take them for a car ride etc?

Last night she wanted to sleep on her tummy on my tummy. I don't know if that's better or worse than sleeping on her tummy in the basinette beside our bed.

It's hard because I know that tummy sleeping is a risk for SIDS. But, on the other hand, I need to sleep at night (I have a 2 year old to take care of during the day as well). Mom said we all slept on our tummies and were fine but if anything ever happened, I don't think I would be able to forgive myself.

Thanks again for your advice and for telling me what did and didn't work for you.

10-01-2006, 05:47 PM

10-01-2006, 06:43 PM
In addition to her reflux, my DD was a baby that just needed to sleep near people. I didn't think we'd ever be co-sleepers, but she slept with DH and I for her first two months. I don't know if co-sleeping is something you want to consider, but it might be worth a try. FWIW, my DD now sleeps happily and easily in her crib at age 6 months.

Oh, and she had "silent reflux," too. She didn't spit up much, but was hoarse (another reflux symptom).

DD #1 (2/03)
DD #2 (3/06)

10-01-2006, 07:58 PM
Well, it could just be that she wants to be near you. :-) She spent 9 months with you and has only been out for 2.5 weeks. I spent alot of time with DS1 sleeping on my chest the first few weeks. I think they just have a hard time separating after being so close. If you are worried, you are not going to sleep well, so I would keep working on getting her to sleep on her back. If she can do it for naps, it might just be the time of day or some other subtle cues she is picking up.

Keep trying the swaddling occasionally, she may grow to like it. A bouncy seat can also be used instead of the carseat, that may be more comfortable. How about a swing? If you have a cradle swing, that might help. Have you read/watched The Happiest Baby on the Block? That seems to really work for alot of people.

10-01-2006, 11:13 PM
Both my kids we're tummy sleepers. I or someone held both of them 24/7 for the first 2 1/2 weeks because they woke up the minute you put them on their back. I would sleep propped up on the couch with DC on my chest. I tried everything, sleep positioners, heating pads, miracle blanket, elevating the head of crib, rocking bassinette, carseat, eliminating milk from my diet and talked to ped about reflux. I finally gave in with both at about 2 1/2 weeks because I couldn't take it anymore and let them sleep on their tummies. I did discuss it with my ped. and he said since I had tried everything he would allow it but doesn't recommend it. Both could lift their heads at this point, and DD was rolling over at 4 weeks. I finally could sleep in my own bed without a child on my chest for about 2 hours and I could get a few things done during nap time too. I hope you can get a break soon. I know how exhausting it is. Best wishes.

ellies mom
10-02-2006, 02:17 AM
When my DD was a newborn, I "confessed" to my ped that I let DD sleep on her tummy while laying on my chest at night. She told me that was different than laying her on her stomach in the crib and was OK. We slept that way for quite awhile since my DD wasn't keen on sleeping on her back at night either.

Tondi G
10-02-2006, 11:02 AM
Just wanted to say that I have a tummy sleeper here! We started putting him on his tummy at 2 weeks of age and it made a world of difference! I just kick myself for not having the guts to try it with my first.... he slept in his infant car seat till he was 9 months old and still woke up every few hours!

We moved #2 to the crib at 9weeks of age... tummy sleeping. he was fine and slept very well. If you have her in your room you will hear all those little newborn noises etc.... I'd let her sleep on her tummy if she we're my little one! You can try her side and see if that helps.... it didn't for us cause he would just roll to his tummy where he wanted to be! Aidan also had a very strong neck even at birth..... all the nurses in the hospital commented on it... so I wasn't that worried about him sleeping on his tummy and not being able to shift his head!

It is a personal decision. I asked my ped and he said he couldn't recommend it. He said chances are everything would be ok but there are those rare cases. I worried about it alot in the beginning but realized it is just where he is comfortable. Now that he can flip flop he still tends to be on his tummy mostly!

Good luck

Mommy to Mason 7/8/01 and Aidan 5/4/05

10-21-2006, 09:32 PM
Sounds like my daughter. She had reflux.

We did gave her Mylanta several times a day (when she was really complaining on her back), and before sleep.

For sleeping, we had a positioner - it was a wedge so that her head was elevated, and it also had two side pillow things. We actually always put her on the side, she could have push up against thoes pillow things with her tummy. It seemed to really work - she slept well. If she ended up on her back, she woudl cry, and we just turned her to the side (she couldn't roll onto the tummy because of the positioner). She just hated being on her back till about 4 months, now she is OK w/ it and outgrew the reflux.

Good luck!