Risks and when it’s okay

The topic of babies sleeping on their stomachs has been around for ages. And if you’re a new parent, the conflicting information out there can be overwhelming.

You have probably received lots of advice from your mother or grandmother, who swears by letting babies sleep on their stomachs. Recent research, however, shows that this is not a safe sleeping practice for your toddler.

To help you ease your mind, we will discuss some of the risks associated with letting babies sleep on your tummy and what you can do to ensure the safest sleeping environment for your little one.

Baby sleeping on tummy: Is it really insecure?

The short answer to this question is yes! It is absolutely unsafe for babies to sleep on their stomachs before they turn one. This includes letting the little ones sleep on their side because it is easy for them to roll up on their stomach from this position.

Why is it so uncertain? In a nutshell, stomach sleep increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is one of the leading causes of death for babies in their first year of life and affects approx 3,400 babies in the United States each year. While there may be various contributing factors to SIDS, letting babies sleep on their stomachs is a leading culprit.

As parents of young people, one of our most important tasks is to create a safe sleeping environment for them. So where do you start?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published one political statement in 2016. This statement outlines recommendations for a safe sleeping environment and to reduce the risk of SIDS.

These recommendations tell parents about putting babies to sleep:

  • On the back
  • In a common room
  • On a flat and firm lying surface
  • In a crib or crib that does not have soft objects around it

“Soft items” can be anything from pillows and blankets to stuffed animals and loose bedding; they are all choking hazards for babies. This means that apart from a sheet, your baby’s crib or crib must be empty.

Whether you have put your little one on a sleep plan or you are allowing them to guide their sleeping hours, always remember to apply these recommendations for both nap and night sleep.

In addition, some researchers claim that letting babies sleep on their stomachs may increase the chances of “respiration“It’s when babies breathe the air they have exhaled.

The chances of breathing are also increased when babies sleep on a soft surface or have stuffed animals, bedding or pillows near their faces. When a baby breathes in their exhaled air, it lowers the oxygen level in their body and increases the carbon dioxide level.

While well-meaning family members may try to give you their own advice when it comes to sleeping positions for infants, it is the only safe option to put your baby to sleep on its back.

If you’re still worried about their comfort, one of the best ways to keep your little one comfortable on your back is by wrapping them. This can relax your baby and keep him feeling warm and safe while he sleeps. (More on this a little later.)

When can babies start sleeping on their stomachs?

    baby sleeping on the tummy

As parents, we want our little ones to sleep comfortably. While it may be tempting to give them a stuffed animal or blanket, keep in mind that guidelines for safe sleep are there to protect your baby. And keep in mind that the infant and high-risk SIDS phase does not last forever.

At around the one-year mark, the risk of SIDS decreases dramatically in babies who do not have health problems. This makes it an ideal time to start placing your little one on his stomach (or side) to sleep.

Why does age matter? As babies get older and become mobile, they gain enough strength to roll back to a safe position.

But the little ones are starting to develop some mobility skills earlier. For example, at about four months, some babies start rocking from side to side and roll from tummy to back. At the six month mark, most babies can tip over in both directions.

What if your baby prefers to sleep on his stomach?

Some babies prefer to sleep on their stomachs. You know this because they will generally bother less while they are on their stomachs compared to when they are in other positions.

If you notice that this is your little one’s preference, it’s important to still put them to sleep on their backs so they get used to it.

Wrapping or choosing a sleeping bag can give your child the comfort they need while sleeping. Just keep in mind mobility requirements and safety considerations when deciding what is best for your baby.

If you are having trouble encouraging your child to sleep comfortably on their backs, you can start a calming and soothing routine to help them calm down and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Before starting the routine, you can:

  • Dim the lights
  • Check the room temperature – it is recommended that babies sleep in a room between 68 ° and 72 ° F
  • Make sure your child’s clothes do not overheat them
  • Use a white noise machine to help remove outside sounds (especially when you have older children or pets)

When considering a bedtime routine, choose one that you can consistently follow every night. This will help set the mood for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Start with a gentle bath with our Gentle Cleansing Gel or Foam Shampoo For Newborns to soothe your baby’s small body.

We also recommend following this with a massage with our baby oil. It is composed of 99% plant-based ingredients, so it is gentle enough for newborns without yucky ingredients. It also has a soothing scent that can comfort and soothe babies.

You can also try our Melting Massage Balm. Composed of 100% ingredients of natural origin, this conditioner has a luxurious texture perfect for baby massage.

After all the cleansing and massaging, do not forget to also care for their little bottom!

When you put them on for the night, use Mustela Ble Cream With Olive Oil And Aloe, which moisturizes and soothes your little one’s delicate diaper area.

If your baby has a rash, it can also be extremely uncomfortable and make it challenging for them to get a good night’s sleep. Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3 helps relieve diaper area and relieve irritation and redness.

Finally, our daily moisturizer, Hydra Bebe Body Lotion, is packed with jojoba oil, sunflower oil and vitamins E and F to leave the skin soft and moisturized.

When they are all squeaky clean and snoozy, you can choose to read to your baby, breastfeed them, or rock them gently to snooze them to sleep.

What if your baby rolls down on his stomach during sleep?

    baby sleeping on the tummy

The good news is that you do not have to worry too much if your toddler manages to roll up on his stomach while you sleep. SIDS is significantly lower in children who have mastered the ability to turn themselves from back to stomach.

When a child has enough strength to easily change position, they can feel problems and better protect themselves by returning to a safer position.

It is important to note here that when you notice that your toddler is becoming more mobile, it is time to stop swaddling.

While the wrapping technique helps keep babies comfortable and protects them from their natural scare reflex, it can be dangerous to continue wrapping them when you have a mobile baby.

At this point, they may turn from the back to the abdomen and not be able to turn themselves back because they are firmly attached to the wrap material.

Note: It is important to continue to lay your baby on his back to sleep until their first birthday. But if your little one can roll over on their own (which typically happens around six months), it’s OK to leave them in this position.

The back is best

baby sleeping on his back

As we have seen from research, it helps to allow babies to sleep on their stomachs for SIDS and other dangers in the first year of their lives. The best way to ensure safe sleep for your child is to place them on their backs to sleep.

Even if your baby seems to like being on his stomach, reserve this position to cuddle with mom or dad, and always put them on your back when you put them to sleep.

We know that following all these rules can be a challenge, especially when it’s late at night and you have a lack of sleep. But just hang on to the fact that the newborn phase will soon pass and you do not have to worry about all these worries forever.

For more on caring for newborns and the exciting stages your toddler has to go through, check out our blog!