I am sure you have heard about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). As a parent, you need to take all measures to prevent this from happening to your baby. You can avoid this by adopting proper baby sleep positions when putting your baby to sleep. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that infants who sleep in the prone position are more likely to experience this problem. The question remains, what are the best baby sleep positions for your baby?
Baby Sleep Positions to Consider
The Back (Supine) Position
Studies recommend that putting the baby to sleep on their backs is the most comfortable and safest position. This reduces any risk of suffocation and rolling over.
The Side Position
This sleeping position is less dangerous that prone (sleeping on the tummy) position though it also increases the risk of suffocation. This is linked to the baby rolling on their tummies easier when in this position.
The Tummy (Prone) Position
You should settle your baby in this sleeping position only when recommended by a physician. Some babies that come with rare medical conditions need to sleep on their tummy for recuperation.
Baby Sleep Positions vary according to the age and condition of your baby
Low Birth Weight Infants
Babies who have been retained in hospital for intensive care often are nursed in a special position to get special support. The position can be used according to the medical needs at that particular time. Before being discharged back home, the babies need to get used to the supine sleeping position. This needs to be done as early as possible.
As babies become older, they start becoming more active and tend to move around a lot. This time is when the baby is at high risk of rolling over or getting their limbs caught in slats. This stage needs you to place the baby in the crib and let them adopt a position that they feel comfortable in. it is vital to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your baby.
Babies Experiencing Reflux
To avoid gastro-esophageal reflux, you need to place your baby on a firm, flat mattress on their backs. The mattress should not be elevated. When placed in a supine position, the airway of your baby is protected. This is advantageous and reduces the risk of SIDS.
Some simple guidelines will make sure your baby is in a proper position to enjoy their sleep as well as be comfortable. These include:
- Make sure the baby sleeps in a position whereby his head and face uncovered.
- Provide a safe sleeping environment, whether day or night, for your baby. This includes a safe mattress, safe crib and safe bedding.
- Sleep the baby in an ideal position in his own cot in the same room you sleep in
- Make sure the bedclothes are securely tucked in so that it is not loose. This may affect the sleeping position of the baby.
- Make sure you supervise the baby at night to make sure he is in a proper position throughout.
- Even if the baby is sleeping with you in the same bed, make sure they maintain the safe and comfortable position.
Each baby has different sleeping needs, and you need to treat them accordingly. There are many baby sleeping positions, but the supine position is the guideline. Before you adopt any other position, make sure you have consulted with the pediatrician.