Baby Sleeping on Stomach: Is it Safe?

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Baby Sleeping on his/her Tummy: FAQs

Once your baby starts to roll over, he may develop a habit of sleeping on his stomach with head rested on one of the cheeks/side. If you wonder, is it safe or healthy for him, go through the FAQs below.
NOTE: The information given below is of general opinion and research and experience based. It should not be treated as medical advice.

My baby sleeps on his tummy, is it okay?

No. Babies often find it comfortable to sleep on their tummy but it is not very healthy (if slept for long time). Safe sleeping is very necessary for the babies as their body is still developing and In worst case, they may choke or face breathing troubles while sleeping on their tummies. The risk of SIDS makes sleeping on tummy for the babies a dangerous sleeping position.

What is the safe and comfortable sleeping position for my baby?

Sleeping on his back can be a suitable sleeping position. When babies are asleep, they can breathe easily while sleeping on their back. After waking up, they can see the entire room and move their legs and hands easily. This offers a sense of comfort and happiness to the babies.

If someone is there for supervision, can my baby sleep on his tummy?

It is ok for a while especially if you are working on this stomach ache due to gases. But do not encourage this habit. Even if you keep an eye on him, it is not at safe for him to lie down on his tummy for long duration. Be it during the naps or sleep at night, parents should always encourage sleeping on the back to avoid the unnecessary circumstances.

Why prefer sleeping on back than on tummy?

Sleeping on back cuts down on the risks of SIDS. When A baby sleeps on his back, he breathes and re-breathes which restricts the elimination of Carbon dioxide and the acceptance of Oxygen is also restricted. Also, facing towards the bed or pillow makes it difficult for him to take Oxygen. According to some studies, the heat dissipation in the body of a baby is more than the adults. Facing the bedding or pillow while sleeping generates higher temperature in the baby’s body which is not healthy and can couse dehydration. Whereas while sleeping on their back they can breathe easily. Lesser will be the chances of stuffy nose and respiratory issues.

How to make him sleep on his back?

Always try to put him in the position where his back is lying on the bed whenever he tries to sleep on his stomach. This will surely cause inconvenience in his sleep for few days or say a week. Practicing this everyday will make him realize the right position of sleeping.
What is the right time for my baby to sleep on his tummy?
If you ask, my baby is few months old now and is it ok to let baby sleep on his belly?
Again, you should avoid letting baby sleep on tummy even if he turned 1 year old.
When a baby is 6-month-old he/she learns to roll down on his back and then again on his belly. This ability shows his better physical strength and the capability to turn on the other side by himself when he feels suffocated or faces breathing issues.

Can sleeping on back too cause choking?

No. The reason is simple. When your baby sleeps on his back, the position of Trachea (opening to the lungs) and Esophagus (opening to the stomach) is perfect for the reflux and hence the chances of choking are very less. The same thing completely reverses when he sleeps on his tummy. The position the stomach and lungs tube are not in a position to help the reflux process.
When all your happiness kicks off with your baby’s smile then it’s your responsibility to check whether he is lying on his bed or crib in the right position. Just by making him sleep on his back you can ensure his safety to a large extent in night as he can’t roll back on his stomach or change his position on his own if he is below 6 months.

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Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

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  1. Pingback: Why a Baby Needs To Be Swaddled? | GoMama 24/7

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