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Sleeping postures in babies, lack of oxygen supply , asphyxia - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Excellent Posted in: Sleep Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hi doctor
User :   I have some questions regarding my baby
User :   He is 9 months old
Doctor :   please go ahead
User :   and early on Saturday morning, he was sleeping
User :   I found him burried his nose and mouth into the pillow
Doctor :   ok go on
User :   I am scared whether he would be suffocated
User :   I moved him immediately
User :   didn't notice obvious face color change
Doctor :   how is the baby now?
User :   but he took a few heavy breath after I moved him
User :   and continued sleeping
User :   he is fine
User :   On Saturday, I felt he was a little bit unhappy
Doctor :   where did the baby sleep?
User :   He slept with me
User :   I didn't feel he struggled or even moved
User :   My husband said at 9 months he couldn't suffocate himself, is it true?
Doctor :   ok it is very common for children to sleep on their back
Doctor :   yes it is true he cant suffocate himself.
Doctor :   I would suggest you have baby sleep on a crib
User :   he was sleeping on his side, he has the bad habbit to touch his mouth on some soft things to fall asleep
User :   He normally sleeps in his cot
User :   but we were on holiday and was in a hotel that night
User :   he refused the travel cot provided by the hotel, that's why I slept with him
User :   Doctor: yes it is true he cant suffocate himself
Doctor :   it is advisable to be extra carefull when sleeping with the baby.
User :   Really? I am still worried
User :   I would be more careful
Doctor :   you dont have to worry anything about baby right now regarding this episode. I would suggest you be careful when you sleep with him the next time.
User :   He looks fine now
Doctor :   if at all the baby sleeps with you on the bed make sure there is enough space for the baby and you.
Doctor :   he will be fine.
User :   I think he probably won't suffocate himself to death
Doctor :   that wont happen.
User :   but could it still cause some oxy deficency to his braid?
User :   sorry, I mean to his brain
User :   could that episode do any harm to his brain?
Doctor :   no
User :   could you explain a bit more?
User :   that's what worries me the most
Doctor :   there will be no effect on the baby as far as the episode is concerened.
Doctor :   baby has inherent reflex which will prevent him self suffocate.
Doctor :   reflex is protective but if any external force prevents him to turn then it can cause damage.
User :   I was beside him and didn't feel he struggled or even moved
User :   does it mean he is not uncomfort at all?
Doctor :   so it is advisable to make him sleep in his cot and if in case sleeps with you on bed make sure there is enough space for him to move.
Doctor :   he is now or was?
Doctor :   is your question whether he is uncomfortable now or at the time of episode?
User :   was. I mean before I noticed he burried his nose and mouth into the pillow
User :   He didn't struggle
User :   at the time of episode
Doctor :   if you or your husband has put pressure unknowingly then he might have struggled otherwise not.
User :   No, he didn't struggle. I fell asleep but not deeply. If he moved, I would know
Doctor :   while in sleep we unknowingly put hands on people who sleep along with us thats common.
Doctor :   then he didnt struggle
User :   You mean if I put my hands on him, he would not struggle, even if he is uncomfortable from oxygen deficency?
User :   Well I think I should make my question clear
User :   I mean, if he was uncomfortable because of lack of oxygen, he would move and struggle, wouldn't he?#
Doctor :   yes he would move
User :   I was beside him, and didn't feel he was struggling for air
Doctor :   then he was not suffocating.
User :   does it mean he was not lack of oxygen at all?
Doctor :   yes he was not lack of oxygen then.
Doctor :   To make it very clear
Doctor :   that was a random act by your son and should not worried at all
Doctor :   and these kind of acts by your son should not worry you
Doctor :   Keep a watch from distance
Doctor :   Are you with me?
Doctor :   Did you follow?
User :   yes
User :   I should say, I put the pillow to his side to let him sucking on it
User :   and let him fall asleep
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   Do not worry by this age, the babies know what is making them uncomfortable and they do not repeat the same acts
User :   I thought I would stay awake and then moved the pillow away once he fell asleep
User :   but I fell asleep before him :(
Doctor :   No worry
User :   and woke up found he burried himself in it
Doctor :   If your baby would have felt short of air, he would immediately move away from pillow
User :   I am blaming myslef so much
Doctor :   and does not repeat such acts of burrying under the pillow
User :   thank you for your comfort
User :   So you mean at his age (9 months), it's impossible for him to be suffocated, if he can move his head and body freely?
User :   He was not suffocated at all?
User :   No harm to him from that episode?
Doctor :   No harm at all
Doctor :   Be rest assured
User :   He took a few heavy breath after I moved him
Doctor :   That is normal and expected
User :   could he slept so deep and didn't feel the short of air?
User :   really?
Doctor :   Not really, they tend to move when they are comfortable
Doctor :   so if you baby was not getting enough air than what he wants, they move to a comfortable position at this age
Doctor :   becasue by this age, he would have acheived the milestone of turning the head and rolling over
User :   Yes, he has good head control and can roll over.
Doctor :   That is it, so you should not worry over it
User :   Ok, thank you doctor. But I would be more careful in the future.
Doctor :   Perfect resolution
Doctor :   All the best in your child rearing
Doctor :   You will be a good mother
User :   thank you.
Doctor :   Bye for now
User :   Bye
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