Most Recommended Sleeping Positions for Your Baby

A lot of new parents don’t put much thought into their newborn’s sleeping position. Inexperienced parents might allow a baby to fall asleep in any position. The truth of the matter is that your baby’s sleeping position is of the utmost importance! Babies can suffer injuries or even die due to an improper sleeping position. The following recommended sleeping positions will keep your baby safe and healthy.

Also, while the back is the safest sleeping position, you should make sure that your kid is placed in a flat, firm surface, like a crib or bassinet. It is important for your child to feel comfortable during his sleep.

Who is the Safest Sleeping Position?

The safest sleeping position can depend based on what age your baby is. If your baby is under one year old it is a must that he or she sleep on their back. Back sleeping reduces the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) occurring. Educational efforts about the benefits of back sleeping have reduced SIDS related deaths.

The Advantages of the Fencing Position

When most babies sleep on their back they will move their body into a “fencing” position. Babies will tilt their head to one side and extend an arm and leg in the same direction. This is a good thing! Experts believe this involuntary action helps keep babies on their back. If you see your baby exhibiting this type of movement try to not inhibit it. Your baby is on the right path to safe sleeping!

The Problematic Prone Position and Side Sleeping

Pediatricians and other health professionals do not recommend prone (or stomach) sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that it increases the chances of SIDS. When a baby sleeps on its stomach it is easy for his or her face to fall into the mattress. Babies don’t have the neck strength to move out of the position and they can suffocate.

Side sleeping is also dangerous because of what it can lead to. When babies sleep on their sides it is very easy for them to roll over onto their stomachs. Once they are on their stomach they are subject to the dangers mentioned above. Thus, it is wise to prevent side sleeping along with prone sleeping.

What About Babies With Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Some might think that babies with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease should side sleep. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. It occurs when stomach acid or content flows back to the body’s food pipe. The reflux (Backwash) irritates the food pipe and causes GERD.

Babies with this condition are likely to spit up or vomit while laying down. Yet, it is actually safer for these babies to sleep on their back. Babies have an inherent ability to move their head to the side when they feel sick. It is easiest for them to do this when they are on their back and have full range for head movement. In reality there is no scenario where a baby shouldn’t sleep on his or her back.

Don’t Be Afraid to Swaddle

Swaddling is a safe and effective way to ensure your baby stays on his or her back. A swaddle is a wrapping made of soft material that folds around a baby’s arms and legs to reduce movement. Applying a swaddle (snugly but not too tight) and placing the baby on his or her back will help with back sleeping. Swaddling also works at nap-time for the same purpose.

Co-Sleeping Doesn’t Help

Some parents feel more secure allowing the baby to sleep in bed with them. This is often referred to as “co-sleeping” and it is not recommended. Although it seems that co-sleeping can allow you to keep an eye on a sleeping baby it is actually dangerous. Adult beds are often less firm than their baby counterparts. The softness of the sleeping surface makes it more likely that the baby’s movements cause a roll over.

There are other threats to babies in adult beds. A parent’s bed likely has several pillows and blankets which pose a risk to the baby. Infants can become tangled in bedding and cannot free themselves. Adults sleeping with babies also risk hitting or squishing the child as they sleep. Furthermore, adult beds without guardrails make it easy for a baby to fall off the mattress. In the end there are too many risks involved in co-sleeping.

A Clear Crib is a Happy Crib

Most of the parents feel more secure when they are close to their baby and as a result, they like to take their baby on their bed. But, different health professionals recommend that babies sleep in their own crib. Yet, it is also necessary to clear the crib of all objects to ensure that it is safe for sleeping. Toys, blankets and pillows can trap or strangle a baby or even choke him if they are small.

Big objects, such as toys, big pillows etc. can make your baby uncomfortable and as a result he may change his sleeping position from his back to something not safe. Keeping the crib clean and clear will help your baby keep sleeping on his or her back.

Also, there are some situations when blankets can become uncomfortable or cover the baby head, thus resulting in breathing difficulties. If you feel your baby needs a blanket to stay warm it is best to use wearable blankets that resemble sleeping bags. These blankets have head and arm holes to prevent the material from rising over the baby’s head.

Final Thoughts

The best sleeping position can vary based on your kids age. The only surefire way to keep a baby safe while sleeping is to use back sleeping. Years of medical research and first-hand experience support this position as the safest. When it comes to raising a baby it is important not to rely on anecdotal evidence or guesses. Your baby’s future depends on you creating a safe environment. Safety doesn’t stop just because you put the baby to sleep for the night!

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