What is your opinion on babies that sleep on their belly or on their back?


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Louise - posted on 04/29/2010




It is advised always to put your baby to sleep on there back to help prevent choking on milk and SIDS. Babies that sleep on there tummy frequently can develop a curved spine due to the ligaments in the spine not supporting the back properly. Babies under the age of about 8 months sleep in the position that there mums put them, but as soon as they can roll babies sleep how they choose.

Jaime - posted on 04/29/2010




Not one of my 3 kids would sleep more than an hour on their backs. I had to let them sleep on their tummies. You just have to monitor them a bit more. But I never let them have anything in the bed with them. Just the blanket that was covering them. They also all had pacifiers, so that helped to keep them from putting their faces in the bed. But I do know that all doctors recommend back sleep. And they have positioners at baby stores and Walmart.

Mary-Ann - posted on 04/29/2010




My little girl was colicky and definitely preferred sleeping on her tummy. We tried putting her down on her side but it didn't work. I was worried about it but we bought a monitor that detects movement while they are sleeping and sounds if they are completely still (not breathing). Also the midwife showed me that babies generally have a self preservation thing and will turn their heads if placed face down...this applies to full term baby with no neurological problem or anything like that.

Mitzi - posted on 04/28/2010




I do think she does prefer to sleep on her side or maybe even trying now to sleep on her tummy. She sleeps in her crib in my room and I feel like I am consistently looking in to make sure she is still breathing. Call me paranoid but last night she had turned on her tummy and I figured i would leave her that way. Then she started breathing harder. Maybe she just isn't used to it. I try to angle her to sleep on her side instead. I guess in time I will feel more secure that she will be fine.

Medic - posted on 04/28/2010




I agree back is best but my son slept on his stomach as soon as he could roll and he is now almost four and still sleeps the same way. My daughter on the other hand has such bad reflux it was recomended by her dr to have her sleep on her stomach because she was throwing up when she was on her back and being on her tummy pulls the opening of the stomach closed. We also have an O2 monitor on her at night and during naps so she is safe.

Andrea - posted on 04/28/2010




My son was in the NICU for 5 weeks and slept on his tummy the entire time. Sleeping on their backs is a learned behaviour and if it's not done from the start it's a hard habit to break (believe me I tried). My son is now one and he still sleeps on his tummy. We also never had a problem with him getting to like tummy time and he was able to lift his head and get up on his arms very early on.

Virginia - posted on 04/28/2010




Actually, your lungs expand to the back and out the sides. If there is NOTHING in the crib that can cause suffocation it actually makes more sense to put them on their tummies. All 3 of mine have slept better when I put them on their tummies. They started sleeping thru the night by 6 weeks at the latest, my earliest one was sleeping thru the night by 4 weeks. I put the baby in a warm sleeper so a blanket isnt necessary, and lay them down on a burp cloth so if they spit up it gets absorbed. All of them have been fine and have slept the better for it. We also have baby monitors in their rooms under their beds and they are turned all the way up in their room so the slightest noise will be heard on the receiver without the receiver having to be turned all the way up. So I always let them sleep on their tummies. What I did before I put them on their tummy was: I bought a medium-sized bean gab chair at walmart, put a soft blanket on it, then pushed the middle down and kind of made an oval "nest" for the baby to lean back in. The bean bag chair was sturdy enough that the baby wouldn't fall out of it, and it was flexible enough that it gave them support and allowed them to feel like they were still being held. I would lay them in it (more like reclining, not actually laying down) on their back and cover their lap with a blanket. This way they were partially sitting up so they wouldn't choke on spit up, they were all cozy and felt like they were being held, they were right next to my bed where I could easily reach them without having to even get out of bed, and not all their body weight was on their back (it is harder for babies to breathe when laying on their back, I've listened to different children sleeping both on tummy and back, the ones that sleep on their tummies really do breathe easier). My mother in law (a nurse) has always said she never understood why someone with any medical knowledge would say it is easier and safer for a baby to sleep on their back when anyone with a medical degree knows that your lungs expand backwards and to the side.

Joi - posted on 04/28/2010




We try and put my daughter on her back, but she much prefers her tummy. HOWEVER, she was a preemie and put on her tummy in the NICU (preemies breathe easier this way) AND we have a pulseoximeter on her (it measures her oxygenation levels). Sooo, for "normal" babies, back is definately best.

Mitzi - posted on 04/28/2010




Thank you Ladies for responding. Recently my baby girl has been rolling over on her tummy. My husband thinks that she will be fine but I get really worried so I always flip her over. once she is on her tummy she doesn't know how to roll back and I am afraid she might suffocate.

Natalie - posted on 04/28/2010




The 3 mommies that answered are right about putting baby on their back to sleep - HOWEVER - when they do roll and sleep on their tummy you SHOULD STILL worry. Its less likely baby will get "stuck" and suffocate but its probably best to still flip them once you discover it. SIDS risk is highest i believe from 2 to 6 months but babies up to age 2 have still died from SIDS.

I live in pennsylvania and know the creators of SIDS PA , you can learn more at sids-pa.org

Connie - posted on 04/28/2010




back helps with sids but i would have to say that once my girls could roll over both ways i was much less worried about it.

Dawna - posted on 04/27/2010




studies show that babies who sleep on their belly are more prone to SIDS and that the instances of SIDS are lower since the "Back to Sleep" program was implemented. that program suggests that babies always be put to bed on their backs.

i always did that with our daughter, and we told all caregivers to do the same. it's important to note that babies who are normally put to sleep on their back and then suddenly put to sleep on their stomachs may have an increased risk of SIDS, so if you put the baby to sleep on their backs all the time, tell all caregivers to do the same.

once they can roll over themselves, they should be put to bed on their backs, but it is not considered necessary to monitor them and roll them over if they end up on their tummies. they would need to have a clear bed with no loose blankets to wrap around them at that point, though.

Christina - posted on 04/27/2010




Before my son could turn over I always put him on his back (they say it is better for preventing SIDS) but as soon as he learned how to turn over and was comfortable with it I just left him to do whatever he wanted...just made sure his bed was clear of anything that could wrap around him and covered him with a light cover so that he could pull it off if he needed to

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