A Very Important Note About Newborn Sleep Positions
One of the things that drastically increases the risk of SIDS is suddenly putting an infant on his tummy when he is accustomed to sleeping on his back. Research has found that this sudden change can dramatically increase risk.
Why is this important? You need to be firm and clear with anybody else who watches your child. Tell your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, daycare workers, and babysitters that you always want your baby going to bed on his or her back every time. Do not compromise and dont feel guiltythis is well-researched and clearly documented, and will help keep your baby safe.
Benefits Of Sleeping On Stomach
- Sleep on stomach is calm and deep. In this position the body is able to get rid of gas and thus diminish colics.
- In this position the baby feels safe, as his nose is close to the pillow. As you know, newborns perceive the world through tactile sensations. If the baby is surrounded by the warm soft linen, he sleeps calmly.
- According to statistics, babies sleeping on stomach better keep up their heads.
- Sleep on tummy in babies contributes to the correct formation of the bones and joints.
- The baby sleeping on tummy, unconsciously makes himself a massage that has a positive influence on peristalsis of the digestive tract.
- Sleep on tummy provides freedom of movement for arms and legs. In this posture the baby wont wake himself up by an awkward movement.
A Quiet Revolt Against The Rules On Sids
Danica Stanciu was commiserating with her friend Natasha who, like her, had recently given birth.
“She called me in the throes of sleeplessness, ” Mrs. Stanciu recalled, “so I said, ‘Do you want to know my deepest, darkest mothering secret? I put Elena to sleep on her stomach.”‘
Natasha, Mrs. Stanciu said, gasped, “and I said, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have told you about that.”‘
In homes across the country, parents like Mrs. Stanciu are mounting a minor mutiny against the medical establishment. For more than a decade, doctors have advocated putting babies to bed on their backs as a precaution against sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Increasingly, however, some new parents are finding that the benefits of having babies sleep soundly — more likely when they sleep on their stomachs — outweigh the comparatively tiny risk of SIDS.
Every parent lives with the specter of the sudden, inexplicable death of a healthy baby during the infant’s first year. In 1992, after reviewing British and Australian research on SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents put babies to bed exclusively on their backs in their first year.
In 1994, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development followed that recommendation with a far-reaching federally financed Back to Sleep public education campaign.
At the time, 70 percent of infants in the United States were sleeping on their stomachs. By 2002, that figure had plummeted to 11.3 percent.
Tips for Better Sleep
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What If My Baby Can’t Get Used To Sleeping On His Or Her Back
The baby’s comfort is important, but safety is more important. Parents and caregivers should place babies on their backs to sleep even if they seem less comfortable or sleep more lightly than when on their stomachs.
A baby who wakes frequently during the night is actually normal and should not be viewed as a “poor sleeper.”
Some babies don’t like sleeping on their backs at first, but most get used to it quickly. The earlier you start placing your baby on his or her back to sleep, the more quickly your baby will adjust to the position.
Can I Swaddle My Baby To Reduce The Risk Of Sids
There is no evidence that swaddling reduces SIDS risk. In fact, swaddling can increase the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death if babies are placed on their stomachs for sleep or roll onto their stomachs during sleep.
If you decide to swaddle your baby, always place baby fully on his or her back to sleep. Stop swaddling baby once he or she starts trying to roll over.
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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.
The Most Serious Risk: Sids
Lets get this beast out of the way from the get-go: Putting babies to sleep on their back is definitely safer than sleeping on the tummy. Stomach sleeping increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and suffocation, and its an easy roll from side to stomach gravity means very little effort on babys part.
SIDS is the
- baby is sleeping in the same bed as the parent
- baby is sleeping in a car seat or on a sofa or couch
- parents drink alcohol or misuse drugs
- baby is bottle-fed instead of breastfed
- there are blankets or toys inside the crib or bassinet
Not all of these are within your control and for the ones that arent, you should never feel guilty or let someone shame you for it. Most babies born prematurely do quite well, and a fed baby breast or bottle is a healthy baby.
But that good news is that some of these factors are within your control. First off, the safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your bedroom with you, but in a separate bassinet or crib.
Second, place baby on their back to sleep. Early swaddling is fine preferable, even, since it mimics the safety and security of the womb until your little one can roll over. Then, they need to have their arms free to lower suffocation risk should they roll over onto their tummy.
The risk for SIDS is highest for infants aged
National Institutes of Health a very reliable source with many years of research behind it its a myth that side sleeping can prevent choking while sleeping.
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Is It Safe For Your Baby To Sleep On His Stomach
It isnât safe to put babies to sleep on their stomachs. Thatâs because this position increases the risk of SIDS. The same goes for placing your baby to sleep on his side. From the side-sleeping position, your little one can easily roll onto his stomach and end up in this unsafe sleeping position.Itâs important to reposition your baby onto her back if you see her change to a side or stomach position. However, some older babies are able to roll themselves back onto their backs after rolling onto their sides or stomachs. If youâre older baby is comfortable rolling in both directions , then you do not have to reposition her. Always make sure that there is nothing in the crib besides your baby. Some researchers believe that sleeping on the stomach face down can block airways and impair a babyâs breathing. Stomach sleeping may also increase the chance of your baby ârebreathingâ the air he already expelled. The chance of this increases if your babyâs crib contains a soft mattress, bedding, stuffed animals, or a pillow near his face. Rebreathing expelled air causes a decline in oxygen levels and an increase in carbon dioxide.Until your baby reaches her first birthday, always place your baby in her crib on her back. Make sure the crib has a firm crib mattress thatâs covered with a tight-fitting sheet.The crib shouldnât contain any loose bedding, bumper pads, blankets, quilts, pillows, or stuffed animals. It should be completely empty.
Will My Baby Choke If Placed On The Back To Sleep
No. Healthy babies naturally swallow or cough up fluidsit’s a reflex all people have. Babies may actually clear such fluids better when sleeping on their backs because of the location of the opening to the lungs in relation to the opening to the stomach. There has been no increase in choking or similar problems for babies who sleep on their backs.
When the baby is in the back sleep position, the trachea lies on top of the esophagus . Anything regurgitated or refluxed from the stomach through the esophagus has to work against gravity to enter the trachea and cause choking. When the baby is sleeping on its stomach, such fluids will exit the esophagus and pool at the opening for the trachea, making choking much more likely.
Cases of fatal choking are very rare except when related to a medical condition. The number of fatal choking deaths has not increased since back sleeping recommendations began. In most of the few reported cases of fatal choking, an infant was sleeping on his or her stomach.
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Other Safe Stomach Sleeping Habits:
Assuming your baby is now old enough and turning well enough to sleep on his stomach, here are a few more safety tidbits to remember:
- Use a firm sleep surface
- Do not put anything else in the crib with baby
- Avoid overheating baby
- Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke
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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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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.
What Should You Do If Your Baby Prefers Sleeping On Her Stomach
Some babies seem to fuss less on their stomachs, perhaps because it feels more secure to cuddle up against the mattress. But its important to start your baby on back sleep early. That way shell get used to and feel comfortable in the position from the very beginning.
If your baby startles frequently, try swaddling your baby or using a sleep sack, although you’ll have to stop swaddling when baby is active enough to kick off the swaddling blanket or has started trying to roll over.
Also consider offering your baby a pacifier when you put her down. These steps may help provide the comfort shes seeking to hopefully sleep better.
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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.
How Old Are Babies Who Die From Sids
The majority of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age, and the number of SIDS deaths peaks between 1 month and 4 months of age. However SIDS deaths can occur anytime during a baby’s first year, so parents should still follow safe sleep recommendations to reduce the risk of SIDS until their baby’s first birthday.
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Baby Sleeping On The Belly: Safe Sleeping Guidelines
There are multiple ways to ensure your baby is safe and well-rested, and that your babys sleeping position on the stomach doesnt cause any harm.
- Use a firm mattress: Using a firm mattress will ensure that your little one gets all the support he needs. Do not put him down on a pillow, waterbed, couch, or any other soft surface as it may encumber the quality of the air he breathes in. Experts also recommend that you do not place anything inside the crib while your baby sleeps.
- Remove bumper pads: These accessories are quite common, and almost every crib will come with the option of having the pads fitted. However, it is recommended that you avoid installing these in your babys crib as they can be a suffocation hazard.
- Dont let your baby become too warm: Knowing the right temperature for your baby to sleep in can be daunting. However, if you feel comfortable in the room in short-sleeved clothing, then the temperature is ideal. It is generally recommended to keep the room temperature between 23 and 25-degree celsius.
- Avoid covering the babys head: The light blankets you use for your baby should only cover him up to his chest with his arms outside the blanket. This ensures that the blanket doesnt shift towards the babys head.
- Use a pacifier: These devices can be a great tool to calm your baby enough to let him get good quality sleep. However, if he is uncomfortable with it, or if it falls out while he sleeps, do not force it.
Putting Your Baby To Sleep
How do we apply this knowledge to real-life? Its simple: put your baby to sleep flat on their back, right from the beginning, and make sure that every person caring for your baby does the same.
While the supine sleeping position is a very important part of safe sleep for an infant, its only part of it. Other factors go into creating a safe sleep environment as well, like:
- Place the baby on a firm sleeping surface
- Keep soft objects, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals, out of the babys sleeping area
- Do not allow your baby to sleep for a prolonged period of time in a car seat, carrier, stroller, swing, or anything that keeps them from lying flat on their back
- Be aware of cords in the babys sleeping area, including those for window coverings or lighting, which pose a threat of strangulation
- Do not allow your baby to sleep in your bed this increases risk of suffocation and SIDS
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When Can My Baby Start Sleeping On Their Side
When Can Babies Sleep On Their Side? Babies should be made to sleep on his back till they complete 12 months , after which he can sleep on his side . By this age, your babys esophagus, trachea and overall breathing mechanism are fairly developed. Thus, it is now safe for him to sleep on his side.
Is Learning To Sleep On Their Back Difficult For Babies
A lot of babies seem to naturally prefer sleeping on their stomachs. Many experts believe that this is caused by their desire to feel secure and bundled up, which is how they felt inside the womb. However, most babies will get used to sleeping on their back as long as you make it a habit to put them in that position.
In rare cases, babies can have undiagnosed physical conditions that make it uncomfortable for them to sleep on their back. If your newborn won’t sleep on their back and becomes irritable whenever you place them that way, talk to a pediatrician to rule out any anatomical problems.
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