When Back Is Best Is Cause For Stress
You carefully put your baby down at bedtime, keeping in mind that back is best. However, your little one squirms in their sleep until theyve managed to roll onto their side. Or maybe your baby refuses to fall asleep at all unless you put them on their side to begin with.
That bundle of joy has turned you into a bundle of worry and all the warnings about safe sleeping positions and SIDS arent helping.
Take a deep breath and look away from the baby monitor for a minute or two. Youre doing a great job even if your baby isnt a natural-born or serene back sleeper.
Its true: Back sleeping is best when it comes to babies. Side sleeping can also be safe as your baby grows and gets stronger. Youll find your baby gets more and more active during sleep as they near their first birthday which, thankfully, is also when a lot of these sleep-position worries go away. In the meantime, there are several ways to help keep your little sleeping beauty safe.
Heres a look first at some of the reasoning behind back sleeping for babies and when its safe to allow your little one to side sleep. Spoiler alert: The risks we talk about below do pass, and both you and baby will be sleeping easier before you know it.
Do Not Let Anyone Smoke Near Your Baby
Babies exposed to cigarette smoke before and after birth are at an increased risk of SIDS. Do not let anyone smoke in the house, including visitors.
Ask anyone who needs to smoke to go outside. Do not take your baby into smoky places.
If you smoke, sharing a bed with your baby increases the risk of cot death.
What Age Do Babies Start To Roll On Their Side
Well, there is this thing called the newborn curl which is just physiological flexion. Meaning, this is the position they were likely in while in the womb so it is a normal position for them to assume when lying down.
Can a swaddled newborn sleeps on side? Is it okay if newborn baby sleeping on side? What if baby rolls over on side when sleeping? My newborn rolling to side in bassinet!
Before we dive into more details about this normal activity for newborns, check out this blog about how to swaddle baby.
You also do not have to stop swaddling if your newborn is doing this unintentionally. You can read more details about when to stop swaddling your baby, but the summary is that you will need to stop when your child is showing the first signs of intentionally rolling which can happen as early as 8 weeks.
When that happens, you can definitely make the switch to baby sleep sacks!
So here is the break down on the newborn curl. In the third trimester of pregnancy, muscle tone begins to develop, which reinforces the fetal position. This is essentially physiological flexion, or the newborn curl seen once a baby is born.
Before this point, in preemie babies for example, the are typically floppier and have less of that fetal position preference.
Once those muscles develop, they are lengthening the muscles on the front of the body and gets them ready to work to create movements like intentional rolling from back to belly, which happens around 6 months of age.
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When Can Babies Sleep On Their Sides
After the age of 1, you can let your baby sleep on her side.However, it’s important to always place your baby in his crib on his back onto a firm crib mattress thatâs covered with a fitted sheet.In the first year, the crib shouldnât contain any loose bedding, bumper pads, blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals. It should be completely empty.
Safe Swaddling And Sleeping Practices For Babies
May 24, 2016
Swaddling can seem like a miracle cure for a fussy baby. Many exhausted parents have found that wrapping their infants snugly in a blanket to resemble the feeling of a mothers womb is an effective method to help babies calm down, fall asleep, and stay asleep. Based on their personal experiences, even our own doctors swear by it, recommending special swaddling blankets as gifts for new parents.
So its understandable if you were alarmed by recent headlines exclaiming, Swaddling babies may increase risk of SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby, usually during sleep. It is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 and 12 months old. In Texas, the infant mortality rate due to SIDS is about 37 per 100,000 live births. This is just below the national average of nearly 40 per 100,000 live births about 1,500 infants die in the United States from SIDS each year.
However, if all you heard was the 60-second version of this story on the nightly news, you may not have gotten all the facts. Before you unwrap the blanket from around your newborn, take a moment to learn more about the study, safe swaddling tips, and how to reduce SIDS risk factors.
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Myth : You Should Never Wake A Sleeping Baby
Nope. You should always wake your sleeping baby using a little technique called wake and sleep. It gently teaches your child the important skill of self-soothing. Heres briefly how it works: Starting as early as the first day of life, wake him up the tiniest bit after sliding him into bed. Just tickle his neck or feet until his eyes drowsily open. Very soon after, hell drift right back into slumberland. In those few semi-awake seconds, hes just soothed himself back to sleep the first step toward sleeping through the night.
‘safe Sleep’ Products That Aren’t So Safe
Since 1994, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended babies be put on their backs to sleep to prevent sudden infant death syndrome . Shortly after the “Back-to-Sleep” campaign began, a new product entered the market: an infant sleep positioner, designed to keep babies from rolling over onto their tummies while they are sleeping.
Instead of making babies safer, however, these sleep positioners are a suffocation hazard that has been linked to more than a dozen infant deaths and even more consumer complaints.
In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that infant sleep positioners can be dangerous for babies.
In addition, the AAP’s 2016 updated safe sleep guidelines warn against using commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS, including wedges or positioners and soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, and soft toys.
The bottom line: Do not use an infant sleep positioner, pillow, or stuffed animal to keep your little one from rolling over in their sleep.
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If You Experience Heartburn
When people with GERD sleep on their left side, they experience fewer instances of heartburn than when they sleep on the right side or on their back. Not only are heartburn episodes more frequent on the right side, but they also last longer.
Pregnant people can also experience heartburn, since pregnancy causes the digestive system to move more slowly. Sleeping on the left side can relieve their heartburn, while also making it easier for their heart to pump blood to the fetus.
Is Sleeping A Baby On Their Front Better For Babies With Reflux
All babies should be slept on their backs unless there is medical advice saying something different. If your baby has reflux, or any other on-going health condition, speak to your doctor about the best care for them.
You should not sleep your baby on their front unless you have been advised to do so by a medical professional.
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How To Reduce Sids Risk Factors
The stories surrounding the study remind us that not everyone is aware of current safe sleeping guidelines.
In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new recommendations that infants should be placed on their backs to sleep, not on their sides or stomachs. Since then, SIDS rates have plummeted, from around 130 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to less than 39 deaths per 100,000 in 2014. However, some people may not realize that advice about infant sleep positions from well-meaning parents and grandparents may not be the best practice now.
Follow these safe sleeping guidelines to help reduce the risk of SIDS:
- Place baby on his or her back: Do not lay your baby down on his or her side or stomach.
- Keep the crib free of blankets, pillows, or toys: These items can cover your babys face, or your baby could become trapped up against them, causing suffocation or strangulation.
- Keep babys room cool: Contrary to popular belief, babies dont need super warm rooms. Signs that your baby may be too warm include sweating, flushed cheeks, heat rash, or rapid breathing.
- Place baby on a firm surface with a single sheet: Cushy mattresses or couch cushions or fluffy carpets may look nice in photos, but they can block your babys face and impede their breathing.
- Give baby its own space: Your baby is safest in a crib or bassinet, not in bed with you. Try room-sharing instead of bed-sharing.
Q Is A Reclining Sleeper Ever Safe To Use
A. Any of the products like the Rock n Play Sleeper are safe to hold a baby under the observation of a parent or caregiver who can respond to their needs. They are not designed for safe infant sleep when no one is watching them.
Its all right to use these kind of products to soothe your baby and help her to fall asleep, but only if a caregiver is watching and only if the child is then moved to a crib or other safe sleep space.
In general, though, I think its one of those devices thats not necessary. Most people dont want to move a baby after shes fallen asleep, so its not realistic to expect people to move an infant from a reclined sleeper to a crib.
A lot of these devices are still available through the second-hand market, such as resale stores or garage sales. Parents need to be very aware of the risks and dangers when they make these purchases for their babies.
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How To Reduce The Risk Of Sids
To reduce the risk of SIDS:
- place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in the same room as you, for the first 6 months
- keep your baby’s head uncovered their blanket should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders
- if wearing your baby in a sling or carrier, do not cover their head with the sling material or with a muslin
- place your baby in the “feet to foot” position, with their feet at the end of the cot or moses basket
- do not let your baby get too hot or cold
- do not share a bed with your baby
- never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair
- do not smoke during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and do not let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
Putting Babies To Sleep On Their Back
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics, babies should be placed on their back to go to sleep for naps and for the evening on their backs 100 percent of the time. This is because when placed on their backs, the risk of SIDS is dramatically decreased.
Some parents are concerned that when their babies have reflux that they will choke if they are placed on their back. As such, they believe that positioning them on their side will keep them safer.
However, according to healthychildren.org, there is no evidence that babies who are placed on their back with reflux are at any higher risk of choking than were they placed in a different position. But, because it is well documented that sleeping any other way than on the back can be life-threatening to babies, the recommendation is to ALWAYS place them on their back for sleep.
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Keep Altering The Babys Sleep Positions:
If your baby sleeps on his back, then switch the position of his head every alternate night. For example, if he sleeps on his back with his head rested a bit towards the left side then the next night gently shift his head to the right side. This will help prevent the development of flatheads. Also, put your baby to sleep in a separate crib or cradle in the same room where you sleep. Do not put unnecessary bedding or padding in the crib that will make the baby slip into side-sleeping position.
In the initial months, the babies do not move much. But once their mobility improves, it could be difficult for you to make him sleep on the back. So, for how long should you make an effort to make him sleep straight?
Dont Let Your Newborn Sleep In The Car Seat
This is a contentious one, because weve all been there: Your baby conks out in the car seat while youre driving home or running errands, and the beauty of the bucket seat is that you can pop it out and transfer your sleeping infant inside for the remainder of her nap. But according to the AAP, allowing an infant to sleep in a bucket car seat thats been placed on the floor or clicked into a stroller is a safety hazard, as the babys head can fall forward and cause something called positional asphyxiation. Due to the angle of the seat design, its much safer to let your newborn nap in the car seat while its attached to the base and installed in the car. Letting your baby sleep in a car seat overnight when youre not awake enough to check on her is a serious baby sleep mistake. In fact, experts actually recommend limiting the time your baby spends in a car seat, bouncer or swing to 30 minutes, mostly for developmental reasons and the risk of developing positional plagiocephaly . However, wed like to acknowledge that this 30-minute maximum is downright impossible on road trips, for parents who have long work or daycare commutes, or when the swing is truly the only place you can get your infant to nap. Wed love to see some more research on this recommendation.
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