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Decision-making is a crucial aspect of becoming a parent. New parents have to deal with numerous tough decisions, and one of them would be whether or not to let your baby sleep with you. You might have already decided your baby’s place of sleep, but some babies might insist on sleeping with you!
Should Infants Be Allowed to Sleep on Your Chest?
Newborn babies should not be allowed to sleep on your chest because this increases the chances of tragedies like SIDS. It is best to establish a rule of not letting your baby sleep on your chest. Letting your baby sleep on your chest, or co-sleeping might seem like a very good way for you to bond with your child, but it can be dangerous. You might be rocking the baby to sleep, but as soon as you lay him, he might wake up. This is why many people let them fall asleep on their chest or co-sleep, but it can be really dangerous for the baby. Apart from increasing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it also increases the risk of accidents or suffocation.
What Can You Do If Your Baby Wants to Sleep on Your Chest?
Here are a bunch of things that you can do if your baby wants to sleep on your chest:
You should definitely try swaddling your baby if you had not already done this before. He was living in your womb for so many months that he is used to the snug and comforting feeling. Wrapping your baby or swaddling him will help replicate that amazing feeling, which will help your baby sleep well.
Some babies find the crib to be ‘vast’ to sleep properly. This could be another reason why infants prefer sleeping on their parent’s chest. For many families, bed-sharing or co-sleeping might is an option, and you can use a Dock-A-Tot, an in-bed co-sleeper to help your baby sleep with you safely. This way you will be able to share your bed safely with your baby.
If your baby is more than four months old or if swaddling the baby is not working, then you could try using a swaddle transition product like Zipadee-Zip. This is useful when the baby’s Moro reflex is still strong.
Many families try this ‘Rock-N-Play’ method when their babies are really young. If the baby is younger than 4 years old, then this method might be really helpful for you. However, there are chances that your baby might face problems later since he will be accustomed to sleeping using the Rock-N-Play technique. But note that this method is not considered to be the safest of all the other sleep surfaces since it is not flat and firm. You should check with your doctor if you feel like there is not enough space for the baby to sleep.
5. Heartbeat While Noise
The sound of your heartbeat might be one of the reasons your baby might like to sleep on your chest. If it is the mom’s chest the baby is sleeping on, then it was your heartbeat the baby listened to for many months. So, you could consider using the white noise machine that has the heartbeat sound. This might not be the ultimate miracle solution, but it might help to a certain extent.
6. Sleep Training
If your baby is older than 4 months, then you could try sleep training him. You baby will be capable of sleeping on another surface since he does not know the difference or that there is something wrong with it. Many babies need to learn how to sleep well independently in other spaces.
It is advised not to co-sleep or let your baby sleep on your chest if either you or your partner smoke or consume alcohol. You should not do it even when you are extremely tired or if the baby was born prematurely. It is best to make him sleep in a crib without any blankets or pillows, so the risk of suffocation is reduced. The best way for parents who want to be with their babies while sleeping is to sleep in the same room with them. Place the crib beside you so that he is near you, and this way, you are also decreasing the chances of SIDS.