When we have just had a child, what most pops into our heads are questions about what is right or wrong to do. Often, we have the impression that we are doing something wrong, and this concern is very normal, but when parents have a lot of doubts, the best thing to do is to clear the doubts with professionals who can give the best advice on specific situations, as is the case of the doubt whether the baby can sleep on his stomach.
This doubt is very valid and can raise several other types of questions, which have to do with the baby’s sleep. Depending on the stage, the child’s average sleep time will vary , as will the number of times he will sleep, as it takes a while for the baby to get into the habit of sleeping together with everyone in the house.
Baby Sleep Phases
Check out how the baby behaves during sleep at each stage:
- Up to 3 months: Sleeps about 17 hours a day, varying between several naps and a great sleep, which usually occurs at night, but not always.
- From 3 to 6 months: Sleeps about 15 hours a day, usually 10 hours at night and another 5 divided between naps during the day.
- From 6 to 9 months: The picture does not change much, although it does decrease the time of naps a little, dropping to 14 total hours in a day.
- From 1 to 1 and a half years: Usually sleeps 11 hours at night and usually takes a nap of about two hours in the middle of the day.
- 2 years: Maintains practically the same rhythm, but with naps that are a little shorter.
- 3 years: Maintains a very similar rhythm too, but the time of the mid-day nap is much shorter, coming to be only 1 hour.
Knowing about all these babies’ sleep time, the question that doesn’t stop is: But, after all, can the baby sleep on his stomach? Now it’s time to analyze:
Risks of Baby Sleeping Face Down
It is not recommended that babies sleep on their stomach. Generally, this position can be dangerous and is associated with the syndrome sudden infant death , a phenomenon that occurs when babies die without explanation during sleep.
Although it is not certain that this will happen, figures prove that children who sleep in positions other than prone, tend to suffer less from such a syndrome. When a child begins to have more control over the movements of his body, more or less close to 6 months of age, it is normal for him to turn over in his sleep and sleep face down a few times.
This is not a cause for concern, as, as we said earlier, just the position in which you sleep is not a certainty of problems for the baby. The most recommended thing to do in these cases is to turn the baby to another position whenever you notice that he is sleeping on his stomach.
What is the Best Position for Baby to Sleep?
If the baby can sleep on his stomach is a question that has already been answered, what is the best position for him to sleep? There is no general consensus among doctors on this issue, but there are known benefits and harms that certain positions can bring.
For a long time this was the position most recommended by doctors for babies to sleep, as it was believed that this way there was less chance of the baby choking when regurgitating some food. Over time, it was realized that this is not true, since even on the back, the baby’s head is still on its side.
From Belly Up
This is the most recommended position today, primarily because it is the most guaranteed position so that the baby does not turn on his stomach while sleeping. For a long time it was believed that this position could cause the baby to choke if some food is regurgitated, but as we said earlier, it is already proven that this is not true.
In addition, recent studies point to the belly-up position as a way to prevent ear and nose problems , that is, this ends up being the best option.
What is the Best Baby Pillow?
Now that we understand whether a baby can sleep on his stomach or not, there are also other issues, such as where he will sleep, especially on the pillow. After all, what will be the best type of pillow for the baby to sleep in a safe and healthy way?
Firstly, as babies’ heads are a very fragile part of their bodies, the ideal is that the pillow does not have any harder features that make it possible for the baby to hit his head or have problems at bedtime.
It is also important to pay attention to the amount of foam or pillow filling, as a small amount can cause the baby’s head to “cross” the pillow and in a very large amount it can end up suffocating the baby.
The ideal is really the middle ground , which combined with a good position, guarantees a good night’s sleep and good naps for babies.
Doubts and questions about how babies should sleep are very common, especially in first-time parents, but it is still important to relieve our anxieties and know the best ways to deal with these small issues that seem simple, but that generate a great deal of concern.
Whether the baby can sleep on his stomach is a normal question and it is important to know what are the risks and benefits that each position brings to the baby so that he can have the best sleep possible.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.