Is a Baby Sleeping on Stomach Safe?

There has been a lot of research into the cause of cot death and one of those is the one when a baby is sleeping on stomach. This has been something that has been looked into throughout the world and the same results have come out. However, there are other factors to take into consideration.

Baby Sleeping on Stomach

What Positions Are Safe for a Sleeping Baby?

The best way for a baby to sleep is on the back, but it is considered safe for a baby to sleep on his or her side – just not as safe. There have been a number of studies about the safest way to lay a baby. At one time a baby sleeping on stomach was the safest option – it prevented the baby from vomiting and chocking during sleep. The idea was that a baby would not be able to turn the head to release the fluid.

However, this has been proven against. Babies will not have any difficulty when it comes to turning the head.

Why Is Sleeping on the Back Safer?

The answer to this is not quite known but there are a number of different theories. The first is that by a baby sleeping on stomach, it is close to the sheets, which means that there is not enough oxygen getting through the system.

Another problem is that there are risks of suffocation, which is something that happens with water beds.

There are also theories that the microbes in the mattress get into the baby’s lungs and affect the ability to breath.

However, all of these are just theories, and is not something that has been proven. There is still a lot unknown about cot death, so it is difficult to prevent it.

When Is Sleeping on Stomach Advised

There are still times when a doctor will suggest that a baby should sleep on the stomach – this is usually due to an infection or disease. This will depend on the type of infection that the baby has and is something that the doctor will talk to you about.

As a baby gets older, he or she will also start turning over during the night. This is nothing to worry about and you can sleep easy knowing that your baby will remain healthy.

Making the Bed Safe

The best way to prevent problems, whether your baby is sleeping on stomach or on the back, is by checking the bed and making it as safe as possible. A firm mattress is the best type and you will also benefit from having a crib that is stable. The bottom of it should be stable and made of one piece.

Avoid bars that are more than 6.5 cm apart, as this will mean that they are large enough for a baby’s head to get stuck in. You should also ensure that they are 60 cm high, to avoid your baby crawling out of the bed.

Avoid putting a lot of cuddly toys in the bed – one or two is fine but the crib should not be filled with them. These will cause similar problems to the mattress dangers. An adult sized pillow should also be avoided, to help reduce the chances of the baby suffocating.

These tricks will not prevent all problems and will not answer all questions, but they will help to prevent some of them. By doctors advising parents to stop a baby sleeping on stomach, there have been fewer cases of cot death all over the world.


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