Generally, quality sleep improves overall health. Therefore, it is essential to make sure your baby gets quality sleep. But are all sleeping positions safe for a baby to sleep in? Babies are different; thus, they have different preferences when it comes to the best sleeping position.
Some babies prefer to sleep on the side, while some prefer to sleep on their back. Child experts usually recommend placing a baby to sleep on their back since it minimizes the potential of getting sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
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A good percentage of parents often begin to worry when babies start rolling on the bed. To prevent falling, parents should put a barrier around the child’s bed. The best thing to do is to place your baby on their back.
Is side-sleeping safe for your baby?
Contrary to popular belief, side-sleeping is not the safest sleeping position for your child. Experts report that placing your child on the side to sleep is not safe and beneficial. You would instead place your child on their backs.
Does this apply to babies who tend to have reflux or vomit? Yes, pediatricians say that placing your child on the back puts your child at no risk of choking.
Does age matter?
When you place your baby on the side, you increase their chances of falling over the bed. Also, infants whose neck muscles have not yet fully developed might end up choking themselves when you place them on the side.
The baby’s face might end up getting stuck. Keep in mind that babies find it hard to lift their heads on their own until they get to four months.
When your baby gets to three or four months, they start rolling over. Therefore, you have to be cautious of how you place them on the bed. When your baby tosses and turns from their back when sleeping, don’t bother placing them back to their original position.
Babies who can move themselves will always lie in the position they feel most comfortable in. So, don’t wake up your four to six months baby just because you want them to sleep on their back.
How to change your baby’s sleeping positions
As a new parent, you may be wondering how you can change your baby’s sleeping position. If you want to move your baby from one sleeping position to another, the first thing to do is to place them on their back. From there, you can move them to your preferred position.
It would be best to familiarize your baby with this sleeping position by singing them lullabies or rocking them to sleep.
Parents should avoid using devices that prevent their babies from falling. This is because children may turn and end up suffocating when their face lands on their device. Such devices, therefore, end up increasing the risk of getting sudden infant death syndrome.
Restricting a baby’s movement may prevent them from getting out of an uncomfortable position.
How do you improve sleep safety in babies? 5 tips
There are specific tips you can incorporate when you want to improve sleep safety in your baby.
- The first thing you can do is to place your baby’s crib in your room. This way, you’ll be able to sleep next to your baby. Consequently, you’ll be able to monitor them while they are asleep. Always make sure that there are minimal distractions in the room. This way, your baby will be able to fall asleep much faster.
- Never smoke around your baby. Doing this automatically makes them passive smokers. In turn, this can adversely affect the respiratory health of your baby.
- Avoid using heaters to protect your baby from overheating. Heaters can make the room too warm. Also, hefty blankets may not be good for covering your child at night. Ensure your child is in light clothing when they sleep. Of course, this depends on the environmental temperatures of the room.
- When your baby can roll over from one side to another, avoid putting them on a swaddle. Otherwise, they would fall and hurt themselves.
- Ensure the baby’s sleeping area is free from all obstacles; blankets, pillows, and bumpers. This reduces the chances of your child suffocating when they sleep on their stomachs or the side.
At what age can babies sleep on their stomachs?
Typically, once your baby starts turning by themselves, you should let them sleep in the position they are most comfortable in. Even so, some child experts discourage laying your baby on their stomach.
Placing your baby on their stomachs increases their chances of getting SIDS. So, it is advisable to start laying your baby on their stomachs once they get to one year.
Can a one-month-old baby sleep on their tummy?
More often than not, experts don’t encourage placing a one-month-old baby on their stomach. The risk of SIDS at this age is very high. It is advisable to place your one-month-old baby on its back to sleep. Doing this also prevents them from falling.
Can a 4-month-old baby sleep on their tummy?
Contrary to popular opinion, it is still hazardous to place your baby on their stomachs. Your baby is too young and is still at risk of experiencing SIDS. Even so, note that babies about this age tend to be curious and mobile.
This is when they start turning. Hence, you might find them sleeping on their stomachs even when you place them on their backs. When this happens, don’t disrupt their sleep. They will change their position when they feel uncomfortable.
Nonetheless, if you are unsure of what to do, it would be best to seek professional help from your pediatrician.
Why do babies like sleeping on their tummies?
Based on recent statistics, a good percentage of babies love sleeping on their stomachs. Although experts highly discourage babies from sleeping on their tummies, they say that babies find this position very comfortable.
In fact, they report that when babies sleep on their tummy, they tend to fall asleep faster and longer.
Why does my baby sleep face down?
Since babies tend to sleep better while on their tummy, you can let them do so under strict supervision. When your baby is lying on their stomach, keep monitoring them from time to time to ensure they are okay. However, note that doing this is still risky.
If babies sleep while facing downwards, they tend to re-breath air. When they do this, they often inhale high amounts of carbon dioxide. Consequently, this may lead to suffocation of the brain and severe health complications that could cause death.
Final thoughts – From this article, it is clear to see that there are different sleeping positions for your baby. Experts often report that placing babies by their backs is the safest position for them to sleep in.
Contrary to popular belief, placing babies to sleep on the side is not a good idea since they might end up falling over. Also, placing babies on their stomachs can lead to sudden infant death syndrome. Thus, it would be best to place your baby on their backs until they get to one year.