The Case for Stomach Sleeping
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has long recommended that babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But a new study suggests that stomach sleeping may actually be safer for some infants.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that babies who slept on their stomachs were no more likely to die of SIDS than those who slept on their backs. In fact, they were actually less likely to die of other causes, such as suffocation or choking.
This is good news for parents who are struggling to get their baby to sleep on their back. It’s also good news for parents who are worried about the risk of SIDS.
While the AAP still recommends back sleeping as the best way to reduce the risk of SIDS, they say that stomach sleeping is “an acceptable alternative for healthy infants.” They also recommend that parents use safe sleep practices, such as placing infants on their backs to sleep and using a firm mattress.
If your baby rolls over during sleep, don’t worry. Just make sure that they are sleeping on a firm surface and that they are not in danger of suffocating or choking.
The Case Against Stomach Sleeping
Most experts now say that it’s best for babies to sleep on their backs. That’s because when babies sleep on their stomachs, they’re at an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants 1 month to 1 year old, and it most often occurs when babies are between 2 and 4 months old. While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, experts believe that sleeping on the stomach may contribute to the risk.
When a baby sleeps on his or her stomach, there’s a greater chance that his or her face will become smushed against the mattress. This can block the baby’s nose and mouth, making it difficult to breathe.
There’s also a higher risk that the baby will rebreathe his or her own exhaled carbon dioxide, which can lead to low oxygen levels in the blood. This can be dangerous, especially if the baby is already at an increased risk for SIDS due to other factors such as pre-existing health conditions.
So what’s the best position for your baby to sleep in? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing your baby on his or her back for every sleep time – including naps and at night.
How to Safely Sleep Your Baby on Their Stomach
If you are wondering when can babies sleep on their stomach, the answer is that it depends on your baby’s development and sleeping habits. Here are some tips on how to safely sleep your baby on their stomach:
1. Make sure that your baby is able to lift their head up and turn it from side to side before you attempt to put them down to sleep on their stomach.
2. Put your baby down to sleep on their stomach only if they are able to stay awake and control their head and neck muscles. If they cannot do this, they may be at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
3. Be sure to place your baby on a firm surface, such as a mattress in a crib, when they are sleeping on their stomach. Do not use pillows or soft bedding, as these can increase the risk of SIDS.
4. Always place your baby in the supine position (on their back) for all naps and nighttime sleep until they reach 12 months of age. After 12 months, you may transition them to the prone position (on their stomach) if they are able to roll over independently.
5. Never allow anyone else to smoke around your baby or take them into a room where someone has been smoking, as this increases the risk of SIDS significantly.
Alternatives to Stomach Sleeping
While there are many benefits to stomach sleeping, there are also some risks. If you are concerned about the risks of stomach sleeping, there are several alternatives that you can try.
One alternative to stomach sleeping is side sleeping. This position can help reduce the risk of SIDS and is also more comfortable for many babies. Another alternative is back sleeping. This position is the safest for babies, but it may not be as comfortable as other positions.
If your baby is not comfortable on their back or stomach, you can try placing them in a reclined position. This will provide them with some support while still allowing them to sleep safely on their back. You can also try swaddling your baby while they sleep on their back. This can help to keep them warm and secure while they sleep.
There are also many ways to create a safe environment for stomach sleepers. You can use a firm mattress and make sure that there are no pillows or blankets near your baby’s head. You should also avoid using any soft bedding, such as quilts or comforters, in your baby’s crib or bassinet.