Is this what the perfect parent police are leaving us with? A generation of new mums too scared to follow their own instincts?
A new mum has turned to MoM answers to ask if she is doing the wrong thing by allowing her 8 week old baby to sleep on her chest.
The worried mum posted, “OK my 8 week old Angel had tummy issues early on. Reflux and wind which she doesn’t seem to have too much trouble now. Some but not bad.
“She only sleeps on me at night and wants the boob to fall asleep. She could be asleep 10 minutes and then searches for it again. She will literally suck sleep suck sleep for hours.
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“It’s 10pm now and she has been at this since 7.30pm. If she does finally stop and is fast asleep. If I lay her down she stirs instantly.
“I’ve tried heating her bed… will she grow out of this? I’m worried I’m doing the wrong thing. I’m just giving her what she needs.”
Mums have shared their thoughts advising the new mum to do what feels right and know she is definitely not doing anything wrong and she is a great mum for doing the best thing for her tiny bubba.
“They are all so different you can only do what you think is right for your child. Some will grow out of it and some will keep going until you’ve had enough. If it is working for your family and you then it’s fine if not then see the health center and they can help you with a sleep specialist,” responded one mum.
Another said, “Babies change all the time, she will change.”
“Yes! I help my baby to sleep a lot at first, he is 3 months old now and getting better at sleeping in his bassinet. My other two kids sleeping their beds and go to sleep on their own most night! PLUS, you don’t see many 20 year olds sleeping on their parents chest! lol So they all grow out of it at some point. Just try get them sleeping in the cot as much as you can and thats all you can do. 8 weeks is very young,” wrote another.
Do what you feel is right said another, “If you are happy doing what you’re doing then by all means keep going! You are supporting your baby. Personally, I found with my daughters relux elevating her cot helped a lot. Also, persistence in getting her to sleep in the cot was important to me as I didnt feel safe with her sleeping on my chest and also I couldnt get sleep. Sometimes just trying something else like patting or sitting beside the cot and it may take a little longer but they will adjust. With the falling asleep feeding, you could try feeding, change nappy then settle to break this association, but again depends what works for you.”
Another shared, “Your baby is still very young and might go through a growth spurt which often goes hand in hand with fussiness. It sounds like cluster feeding to me and this is totally normal.”
What the experts say
Pamela S Douglas, General Practitioner, Researcher, at The University of Queensland says Australia is failing new parents with conflicting advice and it’s urgent we get it right.
She claims our health professionals often recommend approaches to behaviour problems in infants – such as with breastfeeding, crying and fussing, or sleep – that have been demonstrated to be ineffective. Some recommendations actually risk worse health outcomes for both the mother and baby.
She added, “Australian parents receive vastly conflicting advice from different health disciplines, or even from different health professionals in the one discipline. Confusion during an already challenging life transition drives parents to seek opinions from multiple providers.”
Did you struggle with conflicting advice as a new mum?
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