Manipulating baby's FACE (not head) shape???

Hyeyoung - posted on 11/26/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! I am a new mom to a 2.5 month old baby girl. I have been strictly placing her on back for sleep. She moves her head around a few times in her sleep so the back of her head is not flat. But that isn't what I'm here to talk about... my MIL INSISTS I place her on her tummy or her side to sleep or her FACE will become wide and flat. She says that if baby sleeps on her tummy or side the sides of her face will pushed inwards from the mattress causing her face to be formed narrowly. I don't know if this is just one of MANY Korean Old Wive's Tales or if there is any validity to this? I know tummy and side ways sleeping is a big no-no so I would never allow her to sleep this way... without my supervision. If maybe there is a possibility of this being true, I would allow her to sleep this way when I can be watching (the entire time... maybe during naps?). What do you guys think? Does anyone have any advice from experience or from a book/article? Thanks!

P.S...
I think her obsession with this whole sleeping on tummy thing stems from cultural roots... Korean people believe smaller, narrower (more western looking) faces are beautiful--where as Korean faces tend to be on the flatter side. I've actually gotten this annoying and unsolicited advice for tummy sleeping from quite a few older generation Korean women.

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Tabitha - posted on 11/27/2009

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I would have to go with old wives tale. My little girl is mixed Samoan and Caucasian. Her face is a wonderful mixture of both. Not flat, but I understand Korean faces run on the flat side and that is just genetics.

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My son always slept on his back until till he could roll over. He never had any issues with a deformed face. It is unsafe to sleep them on their tummies, esp if they can't roll over again. It sounds like an old wives tale to me.

Lady - posted on 11/27/2009

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my children have always slept on their back until the time they choose to roll over and sleep on their tummy's usually about 8 months none of them have wide faces - i have four - i have never heard of this before and don't believe that the way we let our chilren sleep influences the shape of their head or face. even children whose heads are flattened a little at first soon even out over time as they grow and develope. babies grow so much and change so quickly that what you do in the first few months will not make much difference. my youngest son had a very odd shaped head as he always used to lie with his face facing left but he is 8 months old now and it had evened out nicely.

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