Which Positions Are Healthy For Babies To Sleep In? Why?
When it comes to infant sleep, always remember that back is best.
Newborn babies have very different sleep requirements than adults and even older children. Placing your newborn in the right sleep position is about more than comfort–it’s also about safety. An improper sleeping area can become a suffocation hazard, so it’s critical to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations about baby sleep.
Back sleeping is the absolute best and safest position for your child to sleep in. Side sleeping might be comfy for adults, but most babies won’t be ready for that until they are over a year old. This is also the age at which children start to naturally roll to sleep on their side or belly.
Creating a Safe Sleep Environment
Although we grown-ups prefer to sleep on soft bedding and under blankets, it’s important to understand that your baby will be safer and more comfortable on a firm surface that will provide proper head and neck support.
You should only use properly fitted sheets in your little one’s crib. That means absolutely no loose blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows. If you are worried that your baby is cold, they can be safely and carefully swaddled.
If you’re not sure how to safely swaddle your baby, you can follow our guide here. If you do choose to swaddle your baby, be sure to securely tuck all corners of their swaddling blanket so that they will not come loose if your baby wiggles around. Check on your baby regularly to make sure they don’t get too hot while swaddled.
There are few things more magical than the feeling of holding your newborn child in your arms. As parents, we instinctively want to stay close to our tiny angels to ensure their safety and happiness. Parents should always sleep in the same room as their newborn, but they should never ‘co-sleep’ or hold their child in their arms while they sleep.
While falling asleep with your sweet baby in your arms may feel natural and comforting for both parent and child, it can also be dangerous if the parent unwittingly rolls over in their sleep.
Hold your baby as often as you want, but don’t do it if you’re in any danger of accidentally dozing off. This advice is particularly critical for tired nursing parents who might unintentionally fall asleep when feeding.
What about Tummy Time?
Your child can and should get their belly time when awake.
Pediatricians recommend that babies get a bit of ‘tummy time’ every day. Turning your little one on the tummy for a few minutes each day is an amazing way to develop your baby’s motor skills and muscular development, but it should be kept separate from their sleep practice.
Be sure to place a blanket or mat between your little one and the floor and keep them closely supervised the entire time.