You can read about crib death in many parenting guides. How to put the baby to sleep to minimize the risk of SIDS?
Laying a newborn baby to sleep on their back reduces the occurrence of crib death (SIDS). It is very important to put the newborn to sleep on a firm mattress without a pillow under the head. It is also not recommended to lift the mattress under the head
It is worth checking at night whether the newborn has turned on its stomach or side. Sleeping on the tummy or on the side increases the risk of crib death, so babies should not be put to sleep in this position. The exception is when recommended by a pediatrician, neurologist or physical therapist to be placed in this position.
Many parents mistakenly believe that a baby can choke while sleeping on its back. But the baby will not choke on his food. Even if he or she starts to bleed, gravity will pull the food down the esophagus – and the trachea is above the esophagus.
Doctors do not recommend laying a baby on his or her tummy to sleep for two important reasons. The first is that the baby breathes stale air, i.e. the air released earlier from the mouth. This situation can be life-threatening for the toddler, as some newborns have an abnormal reaction to less oxygen in the body. This can interfere with the proper functioning of the circulatory system and the brain.
The last reason is that lying on the stomach can contribute to the baby overheating. Because it breathes heated air, which can lead to an increase in its body temperature.
Many recent studies have shown that it is just as dangerous for a newborn to sleep on their side as it is to sleep on their stomach. Most toddlers who died from SIDS were placed on their side. A newborn placed on his or her side can turn belly while sleeping. This is very dangerous because he does not have full control of his body. If this happens, suffocation can occur. Sleeping on the side can additionally contribute to hip dysplasia in a newborn.
Many parents believe that if their baby has reflux, they should not be placed on their back, as this exacerbates the symptoms of the disease. However, recent studies show that the position does not affect gastrointestinal reflux. However, when a toddler has reflux, it is not recommended to lay him on his side.
If you are worried that laying a newborn on his back will cause a flat head, it is worth to position it, i.e. turn the baby’s head once to the left and once to the right. If the baby is not sleeping, it is recommended to lay him on his stomach in the frog position.
A newborn baby should sleep on their back until 3-4 months of age, as only this position protects the baby from the occurrence of crib death. This position is also recommended for newborns struggling with reflux.
Main photo: Felipe Salgado, source: unsplash.com