After a marathon breastfeeding session, you are bound to be exhausted. The act alone is soporific. But the feeling of release and the sheer exhaustion from no longer sleeping through the night combine to make post-breastfeeding time ideal for a nap.
But is it safe to cuddle with your newborn during this nap?
He's all curled up on your chest like a little frog. He smells so yummy. His shallow breaths are lulling you into dreamland. Would it be so bad if you just close your eyes for a bit?
Some parents would likely tell you to go for it and take a nap with baby. Others would warn you about smothering and advise against it.
For me, I'm so hyper aware of the baby that I don't think I would move an inch during such a nap but I'm too afraid to test my theory. And so I resist the urge to sleep with my infant on my chest. Especially if I'm alone with him.
As new parents, we are bombarded by scary scenarios from the moment of birth. You can't leave the hospital without watching morbid videos about shaken baby syndrome and other potential hazards.
We come home to our once comfy abodes to find there are all these potentially baby-injuring items. How dare we have purchased that glass coffee table?!? Do we really need all those electrical outlets?!?
Suddenly we are living in a baby booby trap and we must fix the situation pronto.
The crib we decorated so carefully may look like it fell from a Pottery Barn Kids ad but now we must strip it bare for baby's safety.
Staircases are a no-no and must be blocked by gates at all times.
Even our beloved pets must be reigned in. Fido needs to smell his new little sister's blanket before she comes lest he attack her upon homecoming. And don't you dare leave the baby unattended within his reach in case he turns on her.
The bottom line is that there are so many issues, so many possible hazards that parents can drive themselves crazy trying to prevent every problem and injury that could arise.
We really have to get to a point of trusting our instincts where baby is concerned. I will still refrain from sleeping with a cuddly infant on my chest but thousands of people likely do it everyday and that's ok too.