The right sleeping position is not only important for the baby’s development but is also a safety concern. There are several cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome cases reported each year, related to the sleeping position of the baby. There are some sleeping positions that are riskier than others and you need to learn all you can about them if you are a new parent.
Sleeping positions or habits you should avoid
Never put the baby to sleep on the side.
The baby should not be left on any soft surface like a waterbed, sofa, pillow or mattress unattended.
The face and the head of the baby should not be covered with any blanket or bedding as it can lead to overheating or suffocation.
Best sleeping positions for the baby
Sleeping on the back
According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, this is the safest sleeping position as the airway of the child is free. However, keeping the child on the back for too long also leads to flattening of the back of the head. To avoid this, the baby can be allowed tummy time when he or she is awake, holding the baby in your arms more often and even distracting the child so that he moves his head to look in different directions.
Bad sleeping positions
Sleeping on the tummy
Babies should be made to sleep on the stomach if they have health issues like gastro esophageal reflux or any obstruction in the airway. However, this sleeping position is never recommended. The risk of vomiting and choking is very high in this sleeping position. It also blocks the airway. The baby’s head is often buried in the bedding making him inhale microbes and even breathe the same air constantly.
Sleep on the side
This is very risky for babies as they may end up sleeping on the tummy and be at the risk of suffocation.