One of the biggest worries for new parents is what is the baby’s healthiest and safest sleeping posture. And it can give them more anxiety after learning about the sudden deaths of infants while sleeping on their stomachs. In this article, you’ll get all your answers from the best sleeping positions and what to avoid while making your babies sleep. So, continue reading to find out more.
What Can Sleeping On the Stomach Do To A Baby?
Babies should never be put to bed on their stomachs because SIDS is more common and severe in this position. However, if you place your infant to sleep on their side, they can roll onto their stomach from the side-sleeping posture and wind up in this dangerous position. Let us learn more about SID and ways to fix your baby’s sleeping position.
What Is SIDS And Its Causes?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) refers to the unexpected, inexplicable death of a baby between the ages of one month and one year. Unfortunately, 70% of infants who die from SIDS are under six months old, with most dying between the ages of two and four months (1). Most of these infants pass away when sleeping, sometimes between midnight and six in the morning, and show no signs of pain.
The most popular explanation is that babies who die from SIDS have inherent risk and are affected at an initial phase of growth of the brain or immune system (e.g., a dangerous sleeping posture or napping surroundings, smoking cigarettes, disease, or other fatigue) (2). But unfortunately, you cannot predict one or more of these weaknesses in a newborn in advance.
So When Can Infants Sleep On Their Stomachs Without Risk?
Regulating a baby’s sleep posture is easy. They’ll probably stay on their back if you place them there. But there comes a time when you can no longer manage your baby’s sleeping posture. When will you be able to stop thinking about this issue at night?
The age range where SIDS is most likely to occur is one to four months. Your infant must sleep flat on their back in the supine posture at all times during this stage. Your baby may roll over from its back to its stomach at night when it first tries to roll over, typically around six months (3). When this occurs, you still need to lay your little one on their back, but you shouldn’t be concerned if they turn over on their own when you aren’t around. (Again, be careful not to place delicate items in the crib.)
SIDS continues to be a threat up until your child turns one. Therefore, your infant should always be placed to sleep on their back until that time. After that, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to dictate how your kid sleeps, so feel free to respect their wishes.
What If Your Baby Keeps On Rolling Over To Their Stomach
If you see your baby shifting to its stomach position, it’s crucial to put them back in place. However, some newborns can roll from their stomachs to their backs. You do not need to adjust your older baby if they can move back to belly and from the tummy to back. Ensure there is no crib next to your child.
Safe Baby Sleeping Practices
- Put your infant on a secure sleeping surface. Use firm bedding with a bed sheet only in a crib or cot that has received safety approval. Don’t use water mattresses, pillow tops, or soft surfaces. Keep pillows, quilts, cushions, and plush animals out of the bed because they could obstruct your baby’s airway and hide their head. Also, avoid covering your baby’s head or face with caps or hooded clothes while sleeping.
- If possible, breastfeed your child. Along with the numerous other health advantages for both mom and baby, nursing for at least 6 months of a baby’s life has been linked to a lower risk for SIDS.
- Make the area drug- and smoke-free. Avoid smoking both before and after the birth of your child. Do not let anyone smoke around the infant. Limit your alcohol or drug usage before and after the delivery of your child because both have been linked to an increased risk of SIDS.
- Warm up the sleeping space to a pleasant level. Keep your kid from overheating while they are sleeping. Maintain a cozy ambient temperature and outfit your infant in as many or as few clothes as you desire.
- At naptime and at night, provide a pacifier. Studies have shown that sucking a pacifier reduces the incidence of SIDS, although the actual cause is unknown. In addition, if the baby is resting when the pacifier falls out, it doesn’t need to be replaced. Also, avoid using pacifiers with soft toys or conditions attached, as they pose a risk of choking or suffocation.
Your little one should sleep on the back the first year after birth since it is the most comfortable and secure position. SIDS risk can rise when a baby sleeps on their stomach. This is why putting them to sleep on their back is crucial. Reposition your baby if they roll onto its stomach or side while sleeping. Keep this routine until your baby can move in both directions safely. You are doing great! Happy Parenting!