Why Should Babies Sleep On Their Backs
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of when your baby can start catching ZZZs on their tummy, lets first talk a little bit about why its so critical that they sleep on their back.
Sleeping face up, on the other hand, is thought to allow your little buddys respiratory system to strengthen and develop naturally, helping them to breathe in more oxygen as they snooze and therefore reducing the risk of potential harm.
Encourage Side Or Back Sleeping
In light of new research, its best to try to get baby accustomed to sleeping on her back or side. Newborn babies tend to get in the habit of sleeping the way they are first put down. The older babies get, the more resistant they seem to be to changes in sleeping position. Newly-born babies do well sleeping on their tummies. They also do well on their sides, since both positions allow a baby to assume the fetal position, which is more soothing than back-lying. Thus, if you have been putting your baby down on her stomach and now wish to get her used to sleeping on her back or side, it may take some patient conditioning.
If youve made a diligent effort to encourage back-sleeping and your baby still sleeps best on her stomach, let her, and dont fear that she is going to die of SIDS, especially if the other risk factors are not present. Studies on large numbers of babies show a statistical increase in SIDS if baby does sleep on tummy but your baby is an individual. The front-sleeping risk factor for SIDS doesnt mean that you should worry every time you place your baby down to sleep. Just be sure to place your baby to sleep on a safe bedding surface. After all, over 99.9 percent of tummy-sleeping infants wake up every morning.
How Should Babies Sleep
The American of Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing until the first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDs is highest.
While room-sharing is safe, putting your baby to sleep in bed with you is not.Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
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Why Shouldnt Babies Sleep On Their Sides
If your baby falls asleep on his side, he can easily end up rolling onto his stomach, a sleeping position that can block the airways and impair your babyâs breathing.Sleeping on the stomach may also increase the chance of your baby ârebreathingâ the air she has already expelled, leading to a decline in oxygen levels and an increase in carbon dioxide. This can result in your baby not being able to wake herself up.Until your baby turns 1, be sure to place her to sleep on her back for every sleep, including naps.
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Create A Safe Sleep Space
A firm, safety-approved sleep surface like a crib or bassinet ensures that an infant gets the appropriate support they need. The infants mattress can be covered by a fitted sheet. However, toys, pillows, blankets, bumper pads, and any other soft objects or bedding are not recommended in an infants sleep environment.
Some products for infants, such as cribs and mattresses, are marketed with the claim that they reduce the risk of SIDS. To date, there are no commercial products that can prevent SIDS, and experts suggest avoiding any product that contradicts safe sleeping recommendations.
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All Caregivers Should Know The Rules
In addition to placing your baby on her back to sleep, make sure that everyone who cares for her knows that she should not sleep on her stomach. In some cases, certain medical conditions can prevent your baby from sleeping on her back. If this is the case, her doctor will help you decide the best sleep position.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep On Their Back
Consistency is the best technique to get your baby to sleep on their back. Swaddling your baby can help them feel more secure, which is one of the things they seek when they roll on to their stomach. Use a swaddling blanket until your baby is old enough to remove it on their own. Once this happens, which could be as early as two months old, you can use a sleeping sack meant for babies, which they won’t be able to take off.
To help your baby sleep on their back, try rocking them in your arms before placing them in their crib. If your baby falls asleep in their car seat, sling, stroller, or any other surface, make sure you place them in their crib as soon as possible. The crib should have a firm mattress and fitted sheet.
To make sleeping in a crib safer for your baby, avoid using blankets, comforters, or pillows. You should also keep their crib clear of other objects such as bottles, cups, toys, and teethers. Additionally, making sure that your baby isn’t exposed to smoke can further decrease the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk of SIDS. If you’ve already stopped breastfeeding, it’s even more important to take preventative measures against SIDS.
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What To Do If Your Baby Rolls Onto Their Stomach
Many parents lose sleep during the early days of their babys life, and not just because theyre waking up to feed them every three to four hours.
Its completely normal to feel the need to check on your babys breathing patterns and sleep position throughout the night. So what do you do if you see that theyre sleeping on their stomach?
As long as your little one is showing the four signs we mentioned above and is at least four to six months old, you can leave them in this position.
If your baby is younger than four months old or theyre not showing all the signs mentioned above, youll need to place them on their back again if they roll.
This is also why its important to have a breathable mattress, like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress. Not only is it safe for your baby it also provides you with peace of mind.
Additionally, many parents might be concerned about their child getting whats called a flat head from lying on their back too much.
This is where tummy time comes into play. Your baby needs lots of it during the day, and tummy time helps round out your babys head if it does get a flat spot in the back.
Dont let the possibility of flat head stop you from placing your little one on their back to sleep!
What Is Safe To Sleep
Since the AAP’s recommendation, the rate of SIDS has dropped greatly. Still, it is the leading cause of death in young infants. The Safe Sleep campaign reminds parents and caregivers to put infants to sleep on their backs and provide a safe sleep environment.
Here’s how parents can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths:
For parents and families who have experienced a SIDS death, many groups, including First Candle, can provide grief counseling, support, and referrals.
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Should I Ever Put My Baby To Sleep On Their Stomach
The answer? No.
Unless advised by your pediatrician, you should never ever put your bundle of joy to sleep lying face down during their first year, as this can greatly increase the risk of potential dangers.
Some parents believe that putting a baby on their back can cause them to aspirate their own vomit and not be able to breathe, but this myth has long been disproven. That said, there is really no reason why your infant should ever snooze belly-down before their first birthday.
Unless, of course, youve got a rolly-polly baby on your hands that has mastered the art of rolling and can roll in both directions with ease, then its generally A-OK to let your wriggly tot sleep in this position.
But even if it seems as though they have rolled down to a science, keep placing your little buddy on their back to sleepat least for the first 12 months.
Is It Safe For A Baby To Sleep On The Stomach
It is theorised that a baby in the first twelve months of his life should not sleep on his stomach because he will re-breathe his own air. This makes him breathe recycled air, which contains less oxygen and reduces the functionality of the lungs. This can also lead to SIDS. Thus, one risk of the baby sleeping on the stomach is fatality due to a lack of oxygen. It is recommended by doctors that parents be cautious not to let a baby sleeping on his belly stay in this position for more than a few minutes.
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I Put My Baby On Her Back To Sleep But My In
Unfortunately, no. Babies who usually sleep on their backs, but are occasionally placed on their tummies for a nap or a nighttime sleep are actually at very high risk for SUID. Its extremely important that everyone who cares for your babya partner, grandparents, babysitters, daycare workersalways place them on their back for all their sleeps to reduce their risk of sleep death.
Baby Sleeping On Stomach: As Always Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines
It is always important that you follow safe sleeping guidelines with your baby but if your baby will be spending any time sleeping on her stomach, then its downright crucial.
Heres a quick overview of safe sleeping recommendations that youll want to follow in your home:
- Your baby should sleep on a firm surface thats covered by a tight-fitting sheet.
- There should be no loose bedding, soft pillows, or stuffed toys in your babys sleeping area.
- Its safest if your baby is sleeping near your bed , but not sleeping in your bed, which carries risks of suffocation.
- Try running a fan in your babys room theres evidence that it can reduce SIDS risks by up to 72%.
- Speaking of fans overheating is linked to SIDS, so dress your baby in light layers for sleep, and keep the bedroom temperature on the cool side.
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Myth : Your Baby Sleeps Best In A Silent Room
Not true. In fact, total silence can make it hard for your baby to doze off. Remember, the womb is noisy: louder than a vacuum cleaner and running 24 hours a day. For nine months, your little oneâs been lulled to sleep by the rhythmic whooshing of the blood flowing through the placenta. To her, the quiet of the average home is jarring. Plus, in a silent room, sheâs more likely to wake up when a loud truck on the street or any other bump in the night breaks that silence. The truth is, your baby will sleep best if you play loud, rumbly white noise during all naps and nights.
Baby Sleeping On Stomach: If My Baby Rolls Can I Just Leave Her On Her Stomach
This is a question that our consultants hear quite often in the Helpdesk, so we thought wed take some time to answer it for you here. The fact is, while it may be relatively easy to place your baby on her back for sleep when shes a newborn, that newborn will quickly become mobile: by about 3-4 months of age, many babies are learning to roll, and while rolling is an important milestone that paves the way for even greater mobility in the coming months, it concerns many parents when they check in on their babies and find them sleeping on their stomachs.
So whats a safety-focused parent to do? Do you leave your baby on her stomach, or do you roll your baby over again onto her back, and risk waking her up?
Again, its important that you talk to your healthcare provider about your babys sleeping position, particularly if your baby is premature or has health problems. That said, its widely accepted that if your baby has the ability to roll from her back onto her stomach, she likely also has the muscle control and neurological maturity to regulate her breathing well, and to shift her position if she is not getting enough oxygen. In other words, a baby who can roll onto her stomach can no doubt sleep safely that way. It is recommended that you start each sleep time by putting your baby down on her back, but then, if she rolls onto her stomach, you can leave her to sleep that way.
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Side Sleeping And Torticollis Risk
Torti, what? It may sound unfamiliar, but if youve ever woken up with a sprain in your neck from sleeping funny, you already know what torticollis is. Unfortunately, newborns can also get a kind of torticollis .
It most commonly happens from birth but can develop up to 3 months later. When it develops after birth, it can be because your baby sleeps on their side, which is less supportive for the neck and head.
Torticollis in babies can be hard to miss because they dont yet move their necks very much. But if your sweet little one has this neck condition, you may notice signs like:
- tilting the head in one direction
- preferring to breastfeed on one side only
- moving their eyes to look over their shoulder at you rather than turning their head to follow you
- being unable to turn the head completely
Torticollis can also affect how your baby sleeps. Your baby may prefer sleeping on one side or turning their head to the same side every night to be more comfortable. But this isnt ideal. Continue to place your baby on their back.
Talk to your babys pediatrician if you notice any of the symptoms of torticollis. It can often be treated with neck-strengthening exercises that you do with your baby at home. A physical therapist can also help. Youll need follow-up appointments with your babys doctor.
Harlequin color change happens because blood pools in the smaller blood vessels on the side that the baby is lying on. It goes away as the baby grows.
Rolling Onto Tummy In The Middle Of The Night
The last sign that your baby is ready to sleep on their stomach is when theyre already rolling onto their tummy while theyre sleeping! It means your little one has mastered the skill to sleep in this position.
Again, always place your baby on their back to sleep at least until their first birthday, but if your baby is already rolling to their stomach, theres no need to turn them onto their back.
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What Should You Do If Your Baby Rolls Onto Her Stomach Overnight While Shes Sleeping
By all means, let your sleeping baby sleep. Once babies learn to roll over onto their tummies, a milestone that typically happens between 4 and 6 months, there’s usually no turning them back especially if they prefer snoozing belly-down.
Babies who can change positions easily usually have the agility to protect themselves from whatever it is about tummy sleeping that increases SIDS risk, say experts. If your baby is rolling onto her tummy to sleep, it also means you should stop swaddling her.
That said, you should continue to put your baby to sleep on her back until her first birthday. And always abide by other safe sleep tips, including putting her down on a firm sleeping surface and keeping all other objects out of her crib.
Myth : Putting Babies To Sleep On The Back Has Solved Sids
The National Institute of Health-led Back to Sleep campaign quickly reduced sleep deaths from 5,500 in 1994 to 3,500 in 1999. However, for the past 17 years, progress has completely stalled. The tragic truth is that 3,500 infants die during their sleep each and ever year. Although more babies are sleeping on the back, the rate of accidental suffocation and strangulation infant deaths has quadrupled since the mid-1990s. Whatâs behind this alarming trend? Unsafe sleeping practices. Seventy percent of all sudden unexplained infant death victims are found in adult beds, sofas and other risky locations.
A recent study revealed that while most parents fully plan to follow the ABCs of safe sleep , less than half actually do it. And by the end of the night, about 60% of babies have migrated from their bassinet to their parentsâ bed, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Lactation.
The terrible, unintended consequence of the Back to Sleep campaign is that it has worsened infant sleep. Babies just donât sleep well on their backs in still, quiet cribs. And as discussed in myth 5, when babies donât sleep well, parents resort to bed-sharing, which leads to many more infant suffocation deaths.
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