When it comes to babies, everything has to be just the right choice - there is no other option next to the best. Babies can’t take care of themselves, they depend on you for their very basic necessities and you must ensure that they are taken care of.
From their feeding habits to the fabric of their clothing and bedding, you think about everything - but have you ever considered the sleeping position of your baby?
Oh yes, if you want your baby to stay healthy and avoid all sorts of dangers, you must pay attention to their sleeping positions as well.
Your baby’s sleeping position plays a huge role not just in the quality of their sleep, but also in their survival. Yes! A seemingly harmless sleeping position can end up being lethal for your infant. Let’s see how!
Why Sleeping Position is important
Sleeping positions are extremely important for your baby because the wrong position can literally put their lives in danger and increase the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
SIDS results from strangulation or suffocation of babies in their sleep and is related to sleep arousal and breathing problems in babies.
Several studies and research have shown that SIDS is largely influenced by the sleeping position of your baby.
As a new parent, perhaps you have been struggling with sleep - both, yours and your baby’s - for some time. And it might seem like an extra step, but merely regulating the sleeping position of your baby can help both of you sleep more soundly and safely.
Picking the right sleeping position for your baby can be quite tricky because you also have to keep in mind the prospect of physical discomfort. So what can you do?
Well, first of all, learn about the sleeping positions for your baby that you must avoid at all costs. Then we will learn what we can do to make your baby sleep soundly and safely through the night, all snuggled up in their beds safely.
Different sleeping positions for babies
Let’s start by going over the 3 main sleeping positions parents should know about:
Sleeping on the back - Sleeping on the back is found to be the least dangerous and most recommended sleep position for babies.
This sleep position keeps the airways open and is considered and reduces the chances of SIDS by 50%!
Sleeping on the stomach - Sleeping on the tummy is always discouraged by doctors and other experts as it can restrict your baby’s breathing.
Sleeping on their tummy- the baby might breathe in the dust and microbes of the mattress if their face is too close to their bed. Moreover, if the mattress is too soft, their face may sink into it, resulting in suffocation.
Sleeping on their side - Sleeping on their side is also not recommended for babies as it may result in them rolling over on their tummies.
Some exceptions to sleeping positions
As we have already told you, not every sleeping position is right for your child, but exceptions always exist in some situations.
For example, even though sleeping on the back is the most recommended position for your baby, it can be quite harmful if your baby vomits. Vomiting while sleeping on their back may cause choking.
Other than that, if your baby is always lying on his/her back, it can lead to a condition called positional plagiocephaly, a case when the back of the baby’s head gets flattened.
You can simply avoid this situation by repositioning your baby again regularly. Increase your baby’s tummy time when they are awake and play with them more to avoid them lying on their back all the time.
Some other things you can do to make your baby’s sleep time safer and snugglier:
Don’t use loose bedding for your baby and avoid an extra soft mattress, pillow or blanket. Nothing that can end up covering your baby’s face accidentally shouldn’t be in their crib.
Make sure the baby dry sheets are fitting perfectly under their mattress and not coming out easily for your baby to get tangled in.
Don’t cover the baby's head while they sleep as it can cause trouble breathing and lead to overheating.
Ensure that your baby is vaccinated for all major diseases and has been checked for allergies.
Use a pacifier as it can reduce the chances of SIDS in babies significantly - but don’t force it on your baby.
Share the room with your baby while sleeping, but don’t share the bed. It’s best to always use a crib for babies to avoid them getting suffocated by your weight accidentally - or falling off the bed.
In the end...
It’s important to remember that your baby may start rolling over onto their stomach after a few months. In such cases, it’s not dangerous for them to sleep on their sides or stomach as they will be able to change their position if breathing becomes difficult.
Sleeping positions have to be carefully decided for infants who can’t yet move to change their sleeping positions themselves.
Also, keep in mind that there are no current products available that can reduce the risk of SIDS except for some expert-recommended tips - do not invest in such useless products.
Always consult the pediatrician if you ever feel your baby has trouble sleeping or breathing while they sleep.