Wondering whether you should lay your baby on their back or tummy, but don't have enough insight on it? Read more to find out what experts are saying when it comes to laying your baby down for sleep.
You’ve heard your fair share of opinions from everyone on which position to lay your baby down for sleep. At this point, the words ‘back sleeping’ and ‘tummy sleeping’ are spinning around your head like the stars that spin around the cat’s head from Tom and Jerry, when he gets a good beating. You say, ‘enough is enough, is back sleeping really best for my baby?’ We’ll tell you what paediatricians are saying about this subject.
paediatricians around the world concur that back sleeping is best for your baby when it comes to the prevention of SIDS. While it’s true that this advice comes after years of advising just the opposite (tummy sleeping), there still seem to be some concerns that keep popping up with this sleeping position.
SIDS and back sleeping
Back sleeping puts many parents on edge in regards to choking, especially if they have a baby who spits up quite a bit. Doctors will tell you babies have the instinct to turn their heads if they vomit, but if that’s so, why wouldn’t they have the instinct to turn their head if it gets ‘buried’ in a blanket?
Back sleeping does flatten a baby’s head during the first few weeks/months of life. This is usually a temporary condition and can be lessened or eliminated if you rotate the side of their head a bit when you lay them down. But you’ll have to remember which side you rotated to each time. You can also help this issue by letting your baby sleep on their stomach during nap time (when you can check on them regularly) and/or by putting your baby on their tummy during their awake time.
Back sleeping can hinder a baby’s development in regards to their neck muscles and holding their heads up. If a baby is always on their back, how are they going to build the muscle strength to lift their heads and roll from side to side?
Though paediatricians have deemed back sleeping safe, it still has many negative effects to take into consideration. It may be safer in some ways, but not in others. Some babies may sleep better and sounder when back sleeping but others won’t. In other words…find what works best for you and your baby, and go with it.
For more on laying your baby to sleep on their back, watch this video: