Your baby's sleeping position is important because it could affect her health or even put her life in danger. Sudden infant death syndrome is a rare but frightening occurrence and is sometimes attributed to babies' sleeping on their stomachs. Even if you're putting your baby to sleep on her back, she may be rolling over onto her side or stomach. This can be frustrating and frightening.
Place your baby on her back to sleep. Do not put your baby on her side because she could possibly roll on her stomach from this position.
Make your baby's bed so she can't move out of the position you put her. If your baby is at least a year old, it is usually safe for her to use a blanket. Tightly tuck in the blanket at the bottom and sides of the mattress and place her feet closest to the bottom. A tightly made bed may stop her from rolling onto her side or stomach while she's sleeping. Tuck as much of the blanket under the end of the mattress so the exposed portion is long enough to cover your baby only from her shoulders to her toes.
Wrap your baby in a blanket to sleep if she is at least a year old. If she uses her arms or legs to push herself onto her side or stomach, limiting her use of her limbs while she sleeps may help. Fold a swaddling blanket in half diagonally, then bring in each corner toward your baby so the blanket fits snugly. Fold the excess underneath your baby. Don't cover her head or wrap the blanket too tightly.
Tips & Warnings
- Put your baby on her stomach only while she is awake and you are watching. The National Institutes of Health recommends having daily "Tummy Time," when she gets to play on her stomach. It will help her neck and shoulder muscles develop and prevent a flat spot from forming on the back of her head caused by sleeping on her back.
- Consult with your baby's pediatrician for advice on your baby's sleeping habits.
- Don't use a wedge or sleeping positioner to keep your baby on her back. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warn against using positioners because your baby could accidentally suffocate if she gets trapped between the wedge and the side of her crib.
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