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Sleeping positions are as important as the sleep itself for a baby. While some positions are safe, some may have to be avoided as they could lead to suffocation or other breathing problems. One such position is the baby sleeping on tummy.

The sleeping-on the-tummy position poses certain risks to the baby. In this post, MomJunction answers some essential questions on a baby sleeping in this position.

Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach?

Doctors suggest parents not to make their babies sleep on their stomach until 12 months of age. It is also not the correct way to position a baby in a crib during naps. Pediatric experts recommend making the baby sleep on the back (1). You may ask your doctor before making the baby lie on his sides. Tummy sleeping is quite normal for adults but is not advisable for babies due to potential risks. As a parent, you can help the baby sleep on his back.

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What To Do If The Baby Likes To Sleep On Stomach?

2 month shots baby sleeping all day 🔴how to 2 month shots baby sleeping all day for Train the infant to sleep on his back. Some infants may find it comfortable to sleep on their tummy rather than the back. If that is the case, put the baby on his back whenever he sleeps on his stomach. The baby will certainly be fussy and wake up abruptly during your initial efforts. However, continue to do that until the baby is conditioned to sleep on his back (2). Pediatric experts state that while the infant may find it uncomfortable at the beginning, most get used to it quite quickly (3).

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2 month shots baby sleeping all day 👍how to 2 month shots baby sleeping all day for

What Could be The Risks Associated With A Baby Sleeping On The Belly?

A baby could face the below risks:

  • Low oxygen intake: When a baby sleeps on his belly, his face is bound to stay close to the bedding, which can cause poor air circulation around his nose. It means he breathes in the exhaled air that is rich in carbon dioxide. It could reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the baby’s lungs, and cells of the body, which can cause problems in cellular metabolism.
  • Obstructed breathing due to possiting: Possiting happens when the baby regurgitates some semi-digested food from the stomach usually along with a burp. When a baby sleeps on his stomach, the possited food from the esophagus, can go downwards due to gravity, and obstruct the trachea (4). It can lead to restricted breathing and even suffocation. For this reason, babies with reflux need to especially sleep on their backs and not tummies to mitigate the risk of obstructed breathing (5).
  • Excess heat: A baby’s body is sensitive to thermal regulation. Infants also have more surface area of skin in proportion to their body weight. It means they generate and lose about four times the body heat when compared to adults (6). Stomach sleeping has been shown to interfere with effective body heat dissipation among infants (7). This leads to an increase in the baby’s body temperature, especially during the summers. This excess heat can lead to fever and dehydration.

Interference with some body functions: Some studies have noted that babies who sleep on their backs experience a sudden decrease in blood pressure and heart rate (8). Belly-sleeping infants are also less reactive to sounds, have restricted body movement, and take longer to wake up (9). These factors have shown to increase the chances of sudden death in infants.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): The above risks of belly sleeping together contribute to an increased possibility of SIDS. The death may be due to no apparent reasons, and may occur even in a healthy infant. The for 1 last update 2020/07/13 US National Institute of Health (NIH), states that sleeping on the belly is one of the contributing factors to SIDS (10).Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): The above risks of belly sleeping together contribute to an increased possibility of SIDS. The death may be due to no apparent reasons, and may occur even in a healthy infant. The US National Institute of Health (NIH), states that sleeping on the belly is one of the contributing factors to SIDS (10).

Sleeping on the back is thus safe for a baby as it presents no risks. However, he may not always have to sleep that way.

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When Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach?

You may leave the baby to sleep on his belly when he can roll to the belly by himself, which usually happens around six months (11). But, while putting the baby in bed to sleep, put him on his back. When he is capable of rolling, he can handle stomach sleeping better with a lower risk of SIDS, as he can roll and lie on his back again.

You could check on your baby and see how he is sleeping, especially during the nights.

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Should You Place A Baby On His Back If He Rolls To Stomach?

2 month shots baby sleeping all day 👍how to 2 month shots baby sleeping all day for You don’t have to place a baby on his back. A newborn and a baby younger than six months are not likely to roll themselves from back to belly during sleep. It means, if placed on the back for sleep, he will continue to stay in the same position. As mentioned earlier, a baby rolls from back to tummy around the age of six months (12).

A baby who is able to roll can continue to sleep on the belly without any possible risks. As the baby is old enough to move by himself, he moves freely if he finds the position uncomfortable in any way.

Supervising the baby when he is asleep may be a good the 1 last update 2020/07/13 idea. But, can you let the baby sleep on his stomach, under your supervision?Supervising the baby when he is asleep may be a good idea. But, can you let the baby sleep on his stomach, under your supervision?

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Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach If Supervised?

No. A baby should not sleep on his belly even if you keep a watch. In fact, you should never place the baby on his belly. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends parents to only place their baby on the back for sleep during naps or bedtime (13).

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Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach On Your Chest?

Avoid this too. Parents make their baby sleep on them as long as they (the parents) are directly observing them. But as soon as the parent gets sleepy or is not directly observing the baby, then they have to put the baby on for 1 last update 2020/07/13 his back.Avoid this too. Parents make their baby sleep on them as long as they (the parents) are directly observing them. But as soon as the parent gets sleepy or is not directly observing the baby, then they have to put the baby on his back.

Sleeping on the back, in a crib is the safest way for a baby to sleep even for short naps. However, if you intend to breastfeed a half-asleep baby, then place him on his back on the bed, lie on your side beside him, and breastfeed in side-feeding position. It will help you slowly withdraw the nipple from the infant’s mouth while leaving him asleep on his back.

2 month shots baby sleeping all day 🔴how to 2 month shots baby sleeping all day for Sleep is essential for a baby to grow both physically and mentally. When a baby sleeps safely, he not only enjoys the benefits of sleep but also has a reduced risk of fatal conditions such as suffocation and SIDS. Once he can roll on his tummy or back by himself, you can leave him to sleep on his belly all night. But, sleeping on the back is the best position for infants younger than six months.

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Did you have to train your baby to sleep on his back? If yes, tell us how you did so, in the comments section below.

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