When I got pregnant and started reading up on all things baby, I quickly realized that I knew little to nothing about babies. On my quest to be a balanced parent who doesn’t fall prey to the latest “flash in the pan” parenting trends, I’ve done quite a bit of reading on a variety of topics; birthing choices, vaccinations, parenting styles, sleep training, etc. It is my goal to read a lot, and then make informed choices that work best for our baby and our family as a whole.
BUT, all of that said, one thing I have been very “by the book” on is keeping Fern on her back to sleep. I heard the phrase “back is best” about 18,000 times, so I figured there was probably some merit to it and decided to follow that rule.
But last week, Fern decided that she hates that rule. Her new sleep motto is: “Back sucks. Stomach is best.”
It started out last Tuesday. We went through the usual bedtime routine; bath, bottle, nursing, rocking and then I laid her on her bed, kissed her goodnight and left the room. An hour later when I poked my head in to check on her, she had turned herself 180 degrees and was lying on her stomach sound asleep! I went in and flipped her over onto her back, but when I went in to check on her again before heading to bed she was on her tummy AGAIN! I flipped her and then went to bed, but slept terribly all night. I kept going in to check on her like every 18 minutes, worried that she would stop breathing. Finally, around 4:00 AM, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until 7:30. Fern was still sleeping! Fern sleeping in until 7:30 hasn’t happened in MONTHS. I repeat, MONTHS. I went in to check on her and there she was again, peacefully sleeping on her stomach.
That afternoon, when it came time for nap, it was the same story. Usually, I lay down with Fern in our bed until she falls asleep and then sneak off, but after an hour she still wouldn’t fall asleep, so I laid her in her pack and play, hoping she’s eventually zonk out. Well, zonk out she did. ON HER STOMACH. This time, I just let her be and checked on her 8,392 times, but she was totally fine and napped for a record 4 hours! Absolute insanity.
When bed time came that night, I followed the same routine and laid her down to sleep on her back. And I made the decision not to worry if she flipped over. My first check-in came and there she was on her stomach and happy as a clam. I left her and she slept for 12 hours! I did check on her often, but I realized that there’s really nothing I can do to keep her from rolling over now and, at 6 months, she is strong enough to turn herself if she should need to.
I called my pediatrician to ask about this and they said that I should definitely try to keep her on her back as much as I can, but it’s pretty obvious that she prefers stomach sleeping and there isn’t much else I can do about it. I will continue to lay her down to sleep on her back, but if she rolls over on her tummy I’m not going to stress about it. She is obviously sleeping better this way and we’ve experienced much less frustration at bedtime. I still may continue to check on her 8,392 times each night for awhile, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be ok.
Do any of you have stomach sleeping babies? Does it stress you out, or are you ok with it?