Newborn babies spent most of their time sleeping, which is important for their overall health and growth process. Besides, while the babies are off to sleep, the mothers, too, can take a huge sigh of relief and enjoy some time in peace and relaxation. Nevertheless, what is most important while your little one is dozing off is to ensure that it is safe while sleeping. Sounds weird and out of place, right? How can a baby not be safe while sleeping? Well, the piece that’s missing here to fit into the puzzle is that while a baby is sleeping, its sleeping position is of utmost importance. For, if it is not lying in the correct position, your baby is at the risk of suffering from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although very few babies die from SIDS, it is a matter of concern for all new parents. You cannot compromise with the sleeping position or sleeping place of your baby, since it is fragile and sensitive. For this reason, it is extremely crucial to put your baby to sleep in the right position, to prevent any kind of health risks. By practicing some simple guidelines, you can lay your baby down to sleep in the most comfortable and safe position. Read on further for information on different baby sleeping positions.
Baby Sleeping Position
Do you easily fall asleep on your back? Not, really. For, it is not a comfortable sleeping position for most people. Not for most babies, either. However, to protect your baby from the risk of SIDS, you need to teach your baby to fall asleep on its back. Also, this position reduces the chances of your baby choking.
Putting your baby to sleep on tummy has the highest risk of SIDS for babies. Although you may have put baby to sleep on back sleeping position, it is likely to turn its face to the side while sleeping, resulting in getting its nose pressed to the mattress, thereby leading to suffocation. Besides, your baby is also at the risk of inhaling harmful germs present in the so-called clean mattress. You can let your baby lie on its stomach when it’s awake, though you should keep a constant eye on it. Parents are recommended to put their baby to sleep on its tummy, only if the little one is suffering from respiratory problems, upper airway malfunctions, and if it spits a lot. Though this sleep position can strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles of your baby, it is a big ‘NO’ as a general sleeping position.
Even though side sleeping is considered a safer position than prone sleeping, it carries a higher risk of SIDS than back sleeping, since the baby can roll over to its tummy in sleep. Extend out the dependent arm out from the body and keep it in front to prevent the baby from turning prone. Initially, parents used to position the baby on its side and extend its lower arm in the front. A towel was then rolled and placed behind the baby or the baby was propped against the crib and another rolled up blanket or towel was placed in the front to prevent the baby from rolling over. However, this isn't considered safe by medical practitioners as the towel/blanket can unroll and cover the baby’s face anytime. A safer approach to this is a crib sling. Place your baby in the sling on its back and roll it on its side. Place a swaddle blanket behind it to prevent it from rolling over on its back. The sling will ensure that the baby does not roll over on its tummy and no blanket is ahead of it to cover its face.
Things to Avoid
While your baby is fast asleep, there are certain things and tips that you should bear in mind to ensure the safety and health of your little one. Things, such as pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft or furry items should be removed and cleared off from the sleeping area of the baby. Keeping such items near the baby can lead to suffocation and choking for the baby. Also, never position your baby on a waterbed, sofa, or any other soft mattress, soft surface, or pillows, for sleeping. This, too, is another factor for causing suffocation. If you are making your baby sleep on the bed you are nursing, you should take care that your baby isn’t sleeping in a risky position. Thus, remove any soft surface or loose covers.
Sleeping on the back is the best recommended guideline for babies, but with the consultation of your pediatrician, you can evaluate your baby and its sleeping habits, thereby giving it the best and most comfortable sleeping position.