Have you ever fallen asleep unaware, with your infant still in your arms?
Most of us moms are guilty of doing so. As a new mom, you are exhausted and overwhelmed. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Though, doctors warn us of the risk of sleeping with your infant arms, as well as in bed with you. These risks include: SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), suffocation, strangulations, and other death related illnesses.
For safe guidelines from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) click here. They offer safe guidelines of how to co-sleep, and what to do if you feel yourself falling asleep with your baby.
From the moment my first born came into this world it was the most breathtaking (both beautiful and exhausting). As every mother knows it takes time to adjust to your newborns’ wild and crazy schedule. It can be overwhelming for the first couple of weeks of your baby’s precious life. I will admit, I am one of those mothers who have drifted off to sleep while still holding my child unknowingly and knowingly.
Does that make me a bad mother? No, I’m human just like you. I make choices (don’t we all.) Yes, I’ve chosen to fall asleep with my kiddos still wrapped in my arms, just as well as I’ve chosen to have each of my kiddos, sleep with me. Just like I’ve chose to have them sleep on their bellies.
Yes, I knew the risk. Yes, I’ve heard of mothers losing their child because of this. About 3,500 babies per year have died because of this action. I’d craved sleep and just wanted my kiddos to sleep too. Is that selfish of me?
I remember when I fell asleep in the hospital the night of the day my first daughter was born with her still in my arms. A nurse walked into the room to do her usual routine check. She advised me not to fall asleep with my daughter in my arms because we wouldn’t want anything to happen. She may fall and so on. She suggested laying her down. “If you need a break, I can take her to the baby care unit,” she said. As a new mom I didn’t want my baby to leave my side, so I kept her and followed the nurse’s advice the rest of my stay.
After continuously putting my child in his/her bassinet just to have them wake up soon after was frustrating. Believe me, I tried swaddling and ended up with the same result. Before leaving the hospital, I had nurses demonstrate how to swaddle my baby. I even referred to the internet for further instructions, just to ensure I was doing it the correct way. No matter how tight I wrapped the blanket, my kids were not comfortable.
As they wiggled and made little sounds letting me know that they were about to wake. With the lack of sleep, sometimes I could not resist drifting off to sleep with them in arm. When I awoke, I would feel some regret, but still relieved that my babies were fine.
As a new mom for the first, second, third or umpteen time you are tired and restless and just want to catch up on sleep. Babies need attentive care from changing diapers and feeding them to entertaining and comforting them. So yes, you guessed it. . . babies require a lot of your time.
There have been plenty of times I’ve fallen asleep with my kids on my lying on my chest because of exhaustion or lack of sleep.
How do I stop falling asleep with my child on my chest?
Well, I’d decided to lay my child on their bellies. At night I’ve noticed that my kiddos slept better and longer on their bellies. Aware of the risk and the fact, doctors recommend that infants should sleep on their backs. Atleast, until they’re able to roll over successfully on their own.
My first born sleeping on her belly.
I always monitor my child as they slept. Any little sound or slight movement had me alert of my child safety. Since I’m a light sleeper (I get it from my momma,) I feel that’s why I was literally okay and believed that my child would be safe sleeping with me. Anytime, my kiddos moved, I’m up! Anytime, my mister moved and had his arm covering the kids, I moved his arm. Cover over head, moved it. Yes, it happened once I admit. It’s scary, but I made sure it would not happen again. Having our kiddos sleep with us (well me mostly. . . the mister decided to sleep on the couch at times,) was a relief. It’s what worked for our family.
I am not a doctor. This is not advice for you to follow. I just wanted to share my experiences with what worked for me and my family. Just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Every situation is different. As a precaution, it is safer for you and your child to co-sleep in the same room, but separate from your bed. So many have lost their child because of this.
I am so thankful that nothing terribly bad ever happened. Always be safe and do what’s best for you and your child. Listen and talk to your child doctors if you have any issues getting your child to sleep. Has this been an issue for you? If so, how did you fix it? I would love to hear from you.
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