Is It Safe For A Newborn To Sleep On My Stomach? It Depends On The Situation
One of my favorite things about the newborn stage is when babies become milk drunk and pass out literally anywhere, like squishy, sleepy little angels. Because I breastfed, that meant my daughter was almost always asleep across my stomach. It's literally the best snuggle in the world, but I was curious — is it safe for a newborn to sleep on my stomach? Experts advise against sleeping surfaces that aren't firm and, let's be honest, my stomach was far from firm, especially in the weeks after delivery. (Also, I had no plans to make it firm. Still don't.)
With so many breastfeeding positions calling for a baby to be against your stomach, it's definitely worth finding out if this position is safe. But if you're following safe sleep guidelines, you'll want to move your baby once they've passed out. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back, on a firm sleeping surface, with no loose, soft bedding or objects like toys and blankets. The guidelines are there to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other crib-related deaths like suffocation. It's a terrifying thing to think about, but the back-to-sleep campaign has made a huge difference and every pediatrician associated with the AAP will advise against your little one sleeping on top of you.
But if your baby passes out after a bottle or breastfeeding? Don't feel as though you have to wake them immediately. Kelly Mom suggested holding your baby in a football hold rather than a "cradle" hold as the former is a little less cuddly and might keep your baby from falling asleep. If your baby just loves to snuggle and often catches up on their ZZZs by relaxing on your stomach, you can enjoy the snuggles, but be prepared to put baby in their own bed if their sleep takes longer than you think. It's too easy for them to roll off of your stomach or to be squeezed between your body and a bed or couch.
Also, if following the AAP guidelines, you should also be sure that you remain alert while letting your baby snooze on your stomach. Bed-sharing or having your baby sleep on you is not recommended, but sleeping in the same room as your baby is. Soak up those tummy cuddles, then put your baby on a safe sleeping surface so both of you can get some rest.