Is it much safer for baby to sleep on his back or side? New Zealand studies show that SIDS is least likely to occur when babies sleep on their backs, and more than likely when sleeping on their tummies. Sleeping on the side falls someplace between. This analytical distinction is inadequate that parents ought to avoid putting babies to sleep on their sides.
Sleeping on the back, nevertheless, is a more steady position than on the side. Numerous infants do not develop the desire or the motor capability to roll from back to belly up until around five or 6 months, when the risk of SIDS starts to reduce. Yet even newborns have the ability of rolling from side to back or side to stomach. While most babies less than six months who are put to sleep on their bellies or backs tend to stay there, many babies who are put down to sleep on their sides will change position, most of the time rolling onto their backs rather than onto their stomaches. Yet the number of SIDS infants who rolled from their sides to the front position in the Avon study, led professionals in England and New Zealand to recommend that the risk of SIDS for side-sleeping may be two times that of back-sleeping. (As soon as again, parents ought to be aware that these are purely statistical findings and of doubtful meaning for people.) At present, many authorities concur that research only supports discouraging the front position, which both side- and back-sleeping are safe alternatives.
To lower the risk of unexpected infant death syndrome (SIDS), specialists advise that you put your baby on his back when you put him down to sleep during his first year. The risk of SIDS peaks in between 1 and 4 months of age however remains a hazard until babies are 12 months.
To minimize the possibilities of a side-sleeping baby rolling onto his belly, stretch his below arm forward. This arm can function as a stabilizer to keep baby from rolling onto his stomach. If the baby’s arm stays closely tucked into his side, it will be much easier for him to roll onto his tummy. Wedges to keep baby sleeping on his side are valuable, but never ever use just a back wedge. Rolling up a towel as a wedge between baby’s back and the bed may encourage baby to roll from side to stomach instead of from side to back. Make certain not to use props that completely limit the infant’s movement. Liberty of breathing indicates freedom to change body position as required. I’m worried that the multitude of industrial baby wedges may be more restrictive than needed, and they have actually not been shown either safe or effective. For these reasons, SIDS companies and scientists do not endorse these products. If you choose to use a wedge to keep baby on his side, it appears the most practical to use a front wedge only, which allows baby to roll onto his back if wanted.
If your baby is experiencing increased drool related to teething, or mucous from a breathing infection, the side position may assist him handle it. The excess mucous is likely to collect in the lower cheek pocket or run out of the mouth instead of puddle in the back of the throat, as may take place when baby is sleeping on his back. So, if your back-sleeping teether is having difficulty clearing the mucous (evidenced by coughing, noisy breathing, and night-waking), try the side position.
Don’t over-bundle. Best not to restrain baby’s upper extremities. This permits baby to adjust himself to the safest position for breathing.
It is not likely that the warning against front sleeping is simply a passing trend. In view of what we know at this time, sensible parents ought to prevent placing their babies in the tummy-sleeping position for a minimum of the first 6 months.