Every since I was young, I've had a fear of pregnancy. And not just being pregnant myself, but being around anyone who is pregnant. Though I know the babies are safe in their mothers' womb, I've always worried the slightest touch would cause them to be harmed. Similarly, I've grown fearful of newborn babies because there are so many things that can happen to them, too — especially while they're sleeping. With co-sleeping becoming more popular for parents, one of the main questions I, and many others may have is, "is it safe for a newborn to sleep on my chest?"
Though many parents let their newborns fall asleep on their chest, WebMD noted that when your baby sleeps on their chest, their risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) becomes higher. According to the site, when your baby is in this position, it increases the chances of them being smothered because their face may be covered. This usually occurs when the parent falls asleep while the child is sleeping, too.
On the other hand, Parenting noted that letting your newborn sleep on your chest actually improves the relationship between baby and child because of the skin-to-skin contact. According to the site, the carbon dioxide that mothers release while sleeping near their babies can help stimulate their breathing. Likewise, La Leche League International noted that skin-to-skin contact helps reduce apneas, birth-related fatigue, and acts as a painkiller for newborns.
So, what should a parent do when looking at the debatable facts of each option? Although sleeping with your baby on your chest may be quick and convenient, parents should take the advice of their doctor and adhere to straying away from this. If you must place your baby on your chest to get them to fall asleep, try transporting them to their bassinet and placing them on their back after they've drifted off.