One of the most intriguing and precious gestures at the same time of every mother and recent father is to bring the hand to the baby's belly or the ear to the nose while asking: ¿Breathe?
The cause of this behavior is (I think) the fear that all parents have that the ghost of the sudden death It arrives at our homes and for that reason it is perfectly logical and normal that in those moments in which our baby sleeps peacefully, without moving, without complaining and without making noise, we ask ourselves if everything is going well.
I confess that I have ever done it with my children, basically at night. For the day there has never been a need, since they have always slept in our arms directly, but at night, when Morpheus moves us all to parallel worlds, our alert level (and above all that of men) is drastically reduced and I have seen myself in the situation of waking up for no apparent reason and reaching out to my son's abdomen to see that everything is going well.
Is it innate?
I do not know if, in the event that there was no sudden infant death syndrome, parents would do this test to see if they breathe. The truth is that I would love to know, because if the answer were affirmative, I would say a lot about the paternal and maternal instincts of protection of our offspring and make me proud (which lately costs a little) of the human being.
How long do we do it?
This gesture, this need to feel the security that our baby is well, is diluted as it grows and we gain the confidence that that small and tremendously fragile newborn begins to be a strong person.
Most sudden deaths (about 90%) occur before six months, so from that moment, probably, most parents begin to feel that their baby will be with them at dawn.
How old did you check if the baby was breathing?