What To Do When Baby Will Only Sleep On Your Chest

What To Do When Baby Will Only Sleep On Your Chest

Parenting comes with a lot of decision-making for your little one. Your aim is to ensure that your baby is not exposed to any risk that could lead to a complication. The decision you would make as a parent includes how to keep your baby safe even while sleeping. Different recommendations on the proper way a baby should sleep can also get you confused as a parent. As parents, you love to hold your baby close to you and this creates a bond. Your baby might get used to sleeping on your chest and refuse to sleep in any other place. But, is this safe for your baby?. It is essential to know if it is safe for your little one to sleep on your chest and also what you can do when your baby would only sleep on your chest.

Is it ok to allow your baby sleep on your chest?

Pediatricians recommend that you should hold your baby to your chest after birth to develop the bond between parent and child. Although, it has been advised by pediatricians that newborn babies should not be allowed to sleep on your chest. This is due to the increase in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Although you might enjoy the bond you experience while your baby sleeps on your chest, it would end up putting your little one at risk of different complications. It has been researched that the exception to your little one sleeping on your chest is if you are awake. When you are awake, you are conscious of your baby’s movements and can easily notice when your baby is uncomfortable. Sleeping with your baby on your chest looks cute but doctors sternly warn against it because many babies die every year due to sleeping on their parent’s chest.

Can a baby suffocate on your chest?

The number of babies suffocating from sleeping on the chest of their parents each year has gone up by 50%. Yes, a baby can suffocate while sleeping on your chest due to accidental suffocation. While your little one is on your chest, you might fall asleep and accidentally roll over on your little one unconsciously which would result in infant suffocation.

Your little one can also be trapped in between the cushion of your couch which can put him/her at risk of sleep-related death through suffocation. The first 4-6 months after birth is the most crucial time to ensure your baby’s sleeping environment is safe. Therefore, it has been recommended by the association of pediatricians that to prevent putting your baby at risk of suffocation, you need to create a safe and conducive environment for your baby while sleeping. Also, experts have recommended that parents need to be very cautious and ensure that they are awake while their little one is on their chest.

What to do when baby will only sleep on your chest

To ensure that your little one still enjoys his/ her sleep without being on your chest, you need to know the safe alternatives. Highlighted below are a few things you can do when the baby will only sleep on your chest.

  • Use a Dock-a-Tot: Some infants find their baby crib too wide and this might be the reason he/she enjoys sleeping on your chest. Using a Dock-a-Tot while co-sleeping allows you to share your bed with your baby and keeps him/her near you. This prevents the fear of putting your baby at risk of accidental suffocation.
  • Swaddling: Babies are used to the comfort of the womb and would want to be snuggled to feel warm. This could be why your baby would only prefer to sleep on your chest. You can replicate this feeling by swaddling your baby. Hence, allowing your baby to enjoy the snug warmth needed while sleeping.
  • Sleepsuit/ Zipadee-zip: If your baby is above 3 months old or is transitioning from swaddle but still loves to sleep on your chest, putting him/her in a sleepsuit/ zipadee-zip can induce a more comfortable sleep. Ensure that your little one’s startle reflex is strong before introducing a sleepsuit/ zipadee-zip.

Sleep training tips for babies

Sleep training helps your baby realize that he/she can fall asleep independently. This would prevent your baby from getting used to falling asleep on your chest and having the risk of Sudden Infant death syndrome (SIDS).

  • Ensure your baby is fully fed before sleeping: This prevents your baby from waking up after a while and becoming fussy.
  • Establish a comfortable sleep routine for your baby: This allows your baby have a relaxed mind before bed, hence, ensuring your baby doesn’t have frequent wake-ups at night. You can bathe your baby, give them a massage, gentle rocking, and a swaddle.
  • Use white noise: You can place a white noise machine that has a heartbeat sound beside your baby’s crib to replicate the sound of your heartbeat. Although it is not advised to use this every time, it can be used to a certain extent to calm your baby down.
  • Patience: Sleep training is not an instant thing and you should be ready to be patient while your baby learns to sleep independently. Babies are different and should not be compared. Hence, do not show your frustration when you think your baby is not picking up the sleep training as another baby would.

Parents love the bond they get when their cute newborn sleeps on their chest. But, is it safe for your baby to sleep on your chest? Highlighted above are all the answers you need to ensure your baby is safe even while asleep. It is perfectly fine to allow your baby to stay on your chest if you remain awake but ensure your baby gets used to sleeping independently through other ways. The content also contains alternative ways your baby can sleep comfortably without sleeping on your chest and also sleep training tips to ensure your baby learns to sleep without the feel of his/her parent. Ensure your baby has a safe sleep pattern to prevent putting your baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or other complications.

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