The best sleeping position for your baby

You should always place your baby on their back to sleep, not on their stomach or side.

Getting your baby to sleep on their back (known as a supine position) every night is one of the most effective protective measures you can take to ensure your baby sleeps safely.

There is plenty of evidence around the world that shows that putting your baby on their back at the start of every sleep or nap (day and night) significantly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Baby Sleeping Position: Important Things to Know

You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side (unless your doctor has advised you to do so for medical reasons)
Putting a baby to sleep on their stomach or side significantly increases the risk of SIDS
It is important that you always place your baby on their back as part of their regular sleep routine. The risk of SIDS is especially high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.

If your baby rolls over on his tummy

Once he can move from his back to the front and back again on his own, he will be able to find his own sleeping position .

The first few times he rolls on his tummy, you may want to gently roll him over, but don't feel like you have to get up all night to check. Give him time to play on his tummy when he's awake to help his development, but be sure to watch him when he's on his tummy.

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The importance of routine in reducing the risk of SIDS

The best way to ensure your baby sleeps on her back is to do so from day one and continue to sleep on her back every day and night.

It's also important that you keep the same routine for your baby, as babies who normally sleep on their backs, but sometimes sleep on their stomachs, are at greater risk of sudden death.

FAQs: The safest sleeping position for your baby

My baby was born prematurely and slept on his stomach in the hospital, can he also sleep on his stomach at home?

Some babies who were born very prematurely and spent some time in a neonatal unit may have slept on their stomachs for medical reasons. Remember that babies in neonatal units are under constant supervision. By the time your baby comes home, he should be sleeping on his back.

Babies can have a hard time adjusting to a sleeping position they're not used to, so persevere and talk to your pediatrician if you're concerned. Stomach sleep should only be pursued for permanent medical reasons, on the advice of your pediatrician.

Is a baby who sleeps on his back more likely to choke on his own vomit (if that happens)?

Some parents worry that by laying their baby on their back, they are more likely to choke on their own vomit. However, no research has found this to be the case, and we now know that babies are much safer when they sleep on their backs.

My mum says I was a front sleeper and that was the advice she gave me at the time, why has that changed?

Many parents slept on their stomachs when they were babies, as that was the advice before 1991. However, research since then has shown that the risk of SIDS is much higher when a baby is placed on their stomach to sleep. .

We know that in the early 1990s, thousands of babies around the world died suddenly and unexpectedly every year. If the number of deaths is now much lower, it is thanks to the new advice followed by parents, such as for example laying babies on their backs to sleep.

My baby loves to sleep on his front, how do I put him on his back without him waking up?

We sometimes receive messages from parents who say that their baby prefers to sleep on the front. If a baby has a choice, he may very well prefer this position, but unfortunately it is not a safe position!

That's why we encourage all parents to adopt this position from day one. It can be difficult to get your baby to sleep on their back once if they've tried sleeping on their tummy, but they'll get used to it eventually.

Is putting a baby to sleep on the stomach better for babies with reflux?

All babies should sleep on their backs unless medical advice indicates otherwise. If your baby has reflux, or any other persistent health problem, ask your doctor about the best care for him.

You should not lay your baby face down unless advised to do so by a healthcare professional.

I hope this article has enlightened you on the subject. Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments.

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