Safe sleeping posture for babies
An infant’s sleep posture is important as this is known to reduce the chances of sleep apnea (breathing cessation while sleeping). Many cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) have been observed for infants in which most cases were observed in tummy down sleeping position.The real cause of SIDS has not been found yet but has been associated with sleep apnea and occurs mostly in the tummy down sleeping posture. Premature babies are found to be at greater risk.
The safest position to sleep for a baby till one year of age is on his/her back.
Though sleeping on the sides is also ok, but the chances of moving to a tummy down position from the side position are more probable – Keep the baby’s hands in front of the chest or stomach to avoid rolling to the tummy down position.
What to avoid:
- Placing baby on large and soft pillows (risk of baby rolling over and falling from the pillow),Tucking soft toys or many small pillows in baby’s crib or sleep area (the idea is to let the place be airy and comfortable)
- Using a blanket / sheet to cover the baby when it is not required (when it is quite warm, it’s better to keep the baby in a comfy sleep suit.
- In cold weather or when A/C is on, place the blanket/sheet not too tightly on the baby and away from face, starting from shoulders. The fan should be kept off or at minimum speed when the room’s A/C is switched on).
What can help: It is always good to ask expert help and choose the best product for your baby to help him/her sleep in a desired position. To keep the baby on the back while sleeping, specially designed pillows can be used for supporting the baby so that he/she is not able to turn to the tummy down position. Baby sleep positioners are also available for the same purpose. See images below.