why should babies sleep on their back

Why should babies sleep on their back

Babies have different sleeping postures. Some babies sleep on their side, some sleep on their tummies, and some sleep on their backs. However, best practices dictate that a baby sleeps on their back to prevent many complications that could arise in the future. You should, however, know that getting a baby to sleep on their back is not going to happen suddenly.

This is especially true for tummy sleepers. Since babies do not understand any of these, you can’t simply command them to sleep on their backs. Instead, you have to put up the appropriate materials, clothing, and many other structures in place to make them comfortable with safety.

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Before we delve into corrective approaches for babies who don’t sleep on their backs,  so let’s see why it is good for babies to sleep on their backs.

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Reasons why your baby should always sleep on their back


1.   It prevents Suffocation

When babies sleep on their backs instead of their bellies, they are less likely predisposed to sleep suffocation. The idea behind this is simple when a baby’s mouth and nose are too close to the sheet or the cot or the pillow prepared for them, they become more susceptible to yielding to suffocation.

As parents, If you notice your babies are predisposed to having panic attacks (this happens, by the way, though it is rare), you should particularly try everything possible to make them sleep on their backs.

2.  It allows your child to get more oxygen

Sleeping on the back allows more ventilation and gives the baby access to more oxygen. Compare this to other sleeping positions like sleeping on the tummy or sleeping on the side.

As a result, the baby is facing upwards and can breathe as freely as possible. Consequently, the baby is not predisposed to complications due to low oxygen levels and accumulation of carbon dioxide.

3.  It prevents choking and food regurgitation

In the case of indigestion, or just in case your baby’s food has not been digested, it is safer than your baby sleeps on their back. For your child to regurgitate in a supine position, that would indicate the presence of an active irritant. However, when babies sleep on their bellies, their oesophagus is positioned on top of their airways. Therefore, it is easier to vomit in this condition.

4.  Your baby is protected from germs

The truth, dear parent, is that you cannot guarantee the safety of wherever your baby sleeps at every point in time. Since germs are invisible and you can’t just wish them away, wouldn’t it be safer if your baby sleeps in such a way that their mouth is not in contact with infected surfaces?

For example, if a baby sleeps in a supine position, they are safer because their mouth is not in contact with the surface on which they are lying.

5.  Your Baby is protected from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

The connection between sleeping positions and sudden infant death syndrome was first consigned to the oblivion of skepticism.

However, more recent studies have grouped sleeping in a supine position as part of preventing babies from this mortal syndrome. Therefore, to simply put it, your baby is more likely to survive infancy if they are consciously made to sleep on their back.

6.  Decreased risk of airway obstruction

Sleeping on the back makes a baby less susceptible to obstruction of the upper airway than sleeping on the tummy or sleeping on the chest.

7.  Your baby is more protected from cardiovascular complications

There are certain cardiovascular risks associated with continuously sleeping on the tummy or the side. Babies who do this for a prolonged time are predisposed to abnormally high heart rate and blood pressure. Sleeping on the back serves as some insurance against these risks.

8. Heat circulation is easier sleeping on the back

Both adult and baby bodies can distribute heat easily when lying in a supine position than when lying on the belly or the side.


How to keep baby on back while sleeping

As mentioned above, you do not just command your baby to start sleeping on their back. And you sure can’t wish that into existence. So what are the necessary steps you can take to ensure your baby sleeps on their back?

The Swaddling method

Swaddling is simply wrapping a baby in a way that allows the baby to sleep comfortably. It is being used over the years and has happened to be very instrumental in correcting the sleeping posture of babies. For example, when babies roll on their tummies or sides, they often try to find comfort. With the help of swaddling blankets and some choice diapers, you can help correct the way you sleep by providing the comfort that they need.

Rock and Crib method

Using the rock and crib method is another way to correct your baby’s sleeping posture. For this, you need a baby crib with a well-fitted mattress and a good sleeping sheet. In doing this, you need to make sure you rock your baby to sleep and place the baby in the crib without waking or disturbing the baby. The baby is likely to sleep in the position that you place them (especially when you are consistent with this method). Finally, you must make sure that your baby’s sleep crib is free of disturbances like toys, bottles, and the like.

Temperature Regulation

Babies often shift to sleep on their tummies when they feel cold. You must ensure the temperature of the room is not too hot. More importantly, you need to ensure that the room is not too cold. After you have placed your baby in a cot, make sure to allow ventilation and, at the same time, prevent the cold breeze from blowing upon the baby.


Have You Read These Yet?

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As an inherent part of human physiology, sleep is associated with good health and cognitive capability. Therefore, as parents, it is necessary to help your baby achieve the optimal rest state while sleeping. You must be consistent if you intend to correct a baby who does not naturally sleep on her back. In the same vein, you need the patience to shape your baby into perfection.