Is it possible for a newborn to lie on his stomach?

The benefits and harms of sleeping on the stomach for babies

Disadvantages of baby sleeping in the tummy position

Sudden respiratory arrest in newborns

Many parents have not heard of sudden infant death syndrome, but are afraid of their baby sleeping on their stomach precisely because the mattress or pillow will prevent the child from breathing. The danger lies in stopping breathing, which often happens unexpectedly. The infant has imperfect breathing skills and small nasal passages. In addition, he simply will not be able to react correctly to the situation, that is, raise his head or roll over if there is difficulty breathing.

The syndrome can also manifest itself provided that the child is in a normal position on his stomach or side, because even crusts or mucus in the nose can become a serious hindrance. The relationship between sleeping on the stomach and SIDS has not yet been conclusively confirmed, but caution is still necessary.

Burping up of small children in their sleep

Arguments often given for sleeping on your back include the possibility of choking on vomit and suffocation. This possibility actually exists, however, the risks are much greater in the “supine” position. So the best solution would be to turn the baby on his side, perhaps with bolsters on both sides.

Chest compression when baby sleeps on stomach

A very common myth is that if a baby sleeps on his stomach, this puts stress on the chest and makes breathing difficult. However, this point of view is fundamentally wrong. This can be determined by the baby’s even breathing.

The benefits of baby sleeping on their stomach

Sleeping a baby on his stomach has many benefits that have a positive effect on the well-being of the newborn:

  1. easy release of gases due to self-massage of the abdomen;
  2. Fewer involuntary hand movements ensure a restful sleep;
  3. The muscles of the neck and abdomen are strengthened faster, which allows you to start holding your head earlier;
  4. in this position, prickly heat appears less often on the skin;
  5. the minimum pressure falls on the hip joints and skull bones, which continue to form;
  6. blood flows better to the brain in the “embryo” position;
  7. the baby feels comfortable because, having buried his nose in the mattress, he is warm. Tactile sensations are a way to experience the world;
  8. minimum possibility of suffocation from regurgitation.

Sleeping a baby on its stomach: can be both harmful and beneficial, depending on what conditions the parents create

Can a newborn sleep on his stomach? This and 5 other sleeping positions with a pediatrician

With the birth of a child, young parents have many questions: about care, feeding, daily routine and where, how much and in what position the child should sleep. Especially if it's their first. Mothers often wonder if a newborn can sleep on their stomach? Answer: no, you can't! Let's find out why.

A newborn is considered a baby from birth to the 28th day of life. The main feature of this period is that the child cannot yet hold his head up on his own. This means that if an infant sleeps on his stomach, he can suffocate by burying his nose in the mattress or in the fold of the sheet.

He still lacks self-preservation skills, he cannot breathe through his mouth, his body does not listen to him, and he will not be able to react correctly to a lack of air. From the first days of a child, it is important to find contact, to feel what he needs, he must bask in his mother’s love. The baby may cry constantly, and in order to somehow calm him down, the mother puts him to the breast.

Having eaten, he calms down and falls asleep. Is it possible to leave a newborn like this so that he continues to sleep and enjoy the warmth on his soft belly under the sensitive control of the person closest to him - his mother? Better not.

Mommy gets very tired while caring for the child, and she will most likely fall asleep herself, and this is very dangerous, since there is a chance that the baby will “fall asleep.” Therefore, it is better to wait until he falls asleep more soundly, and then put him in his crib. It is safer for your baby to sleep alone.

Pros and cons of different sleeping positions

The situation is good, the most common. But not the safest.

When regurgitating, vomit will enter the respiratory tract when inhaled. At best, aspiration pneumonia will develop. At worst, the child will simply die if not noticed in time.

In this regard, sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to the side is even safer. Of course, before you put your baby to bed after feeding, you definitely need to hold him upright for some time until belching appears.

But this will not save you from regurgitation one hundred percent. Because the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus is still weak. And if there is anxiety, especially on a full stomach, the baby will most likely burp.

Another disadvantage of sleeping on your back is the flattening of the back of the head when this position is abused.

This seems to be the best sleeping position for a baby. In this position, regurgitation is not scary. The only thing is that you need to change sides to again avoid deformation of the head, as well as load on one or the other hip joint.

As mentioned above, sleeping on the stomach is contraindicated for very young children. This position is allowed only when they learn to hold their head and can turn it to the side on their own. This will happen closer to 1 month.

But in order for the child to learn to hold his head, he must be laid on his stomach. This is a very useful procedure, and pediatricians tell all mothers about this during their visits.

Posting helps:

  • strengthening the muscles of the neck, back, abdomen;
  • prevention of hip dysplasia (spread the legs at a right angle when laying them out);
  • development of crawling skills (the palm is used to bring the legs into a bent position, and the baby tries to push off);
  • release of gases.

You need to lay it out daily, before each feeding for about 10 minutes. To make the child less worried, at this time you can stroke his back, legs and speak gentle words.

What age is safe for sleeping on your stomach?

Let's figure out at what age a baby can sleep on his stomach. At 1-2 months, when the baby has learned to hold his head, sleeping on his stomach is no longer so dangerous. But you still need to keep an eye on him from time to time.

At 3-4 months, the muscles of the neck and shoulder girdle will become stronger, and the baby will not only hold his head, but also try to push off the surface with his arms. From now on, you don’t have to worry about your baby.

At 5 months, babies begin to turn from back to stomach and back and choose their own position.

What are the benefits of sleeping on your stomach?

If an infant sleeps on his stomach, then:

  • he feels protected, the feeling of a warm crib gives him confidence in safety;
  • the handles are spread out in different directions and will not disturb his sleep. After all, children often wake themselves up, since any irritant triggers the Moro protective reflex, in which they sharply spread their arms, and then can hit themselves in the face with them;
  • self-massage of the abdomen occurs, peristalsis improves - this is a good prevention of colic and, therefore, the key to a restful and sound sleep;
  • there is no deformation of the bones of the skull and hip joints;
  • The neck muscles are trained, and the child holds his head better.

What sleeping conditions should be?

The room temperature is no more than 20 degrees Celsius.

If it is winter, then be sure to ventilate before going to bed.

In summer, you can sleep with the window open, avoiding direct drafts.

Optimal humidity in the bedroom is achieved by ventilation and installation of special devices for air humidification.

There should be nothing unnecessary in the crib (diapers, blankets, soft toys, etc.), this is especially important if the baby sleeps on his stomach, in which case he can bury his nose in them.

The mattress on the baby's bed is preferably hard, it is better to remove the pillow completely, it will definitely not be needed until the child is a year old.

Avoid smoking in the apartment, even in the room next to the child’s bedroom and on the balcony.

Before laying down, be sure to clear the child’s nasal passages of crusts and mucus so that nothing interferes with breathing through the nose.

The doctor says

Even the well-known pediatrician Komarovsky expressed his opinion on this matter: “If there is at least one point - a pillow, a dry room, a soft and crooked mattress, smokers in a close environment - you cannot sleep on your stomach!”

The decision whether an infant can sleep on his stomach, of course, is made by mom and dad. It is important that they have information and read specialized literature.

As they say, forewarned is forearmed. You need to consider all the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach. There is nothing cuter than a sweetly sleeping baby. Love your children, and they will thank you with their sincere smile.

How to ensure safe sleeping for babies on their stomach?

With all the pros and cons of any position in the child’s sleep, parents are obliged to take every precaution to ensure that nothing threatens him. If your baby sleeps on his stomach, consider the following rules:

  1. organization of a sleeping place - a mattress of moderate hardness without a pillow. You only need to periodically turn the baby's head from one side to the other;
  2. If you are concerned about your baby sleeping on his stomach, turn him on his side and secure him with soft bolsters. Do not forget to specifically place the baby on his tummy during the day;
  3. Give your baby time to burp. To do this, keep him in an upright position for some time after feeding;
  4. Always clean your child's nose of dry crusts and mucus. In order to breathe comfortably, you need to humidify the air in the room and maintain a temperature of about 22 degrees;
  5. since the child often turns towards light, sound and people in the room, change his position in the crib;
  6. linen in a child's bed should always be clean;
  7. If your baby prefers to sleep on his stomach, you will need to monitor him more closely while he sleeps.

Should you always sleep on your tummy?

There are hypotheses that do not have an evidence base, although they are based on medical cases.

  1. It is believed that the respiratory reflex in infants is in an immature state, therefore, if oxygen does not enter the lungs, the baby simply stops breathing and does not experience any accompanying protective reflexes.
  2. A baby should not sleep on his stomach if he has any abnormalities in the functioning of the central nervous system, because such sleep can lead to the sudden death of the newborn.
  3. If you constantly place your baby on his tummy, you need to remember that often during the REM sleep phase, the baby, buried in the pillow, does not realize that he does not have enough air. This has a detrimental effect on the functioning of the heart, breathing becomes faster, the pulse jumps, and possible suffocation.
  4. In one position, the child’s neck becomes numb, so during sleep the baby needs to be turned from one side to the other several times and the room ventilated so that the lungs are saturated with clean air and their ventilation is of high quality.

Bedding for a baby
Bedding for a newborn should be almost sterile, linen is changed every three days and ironed on both sides. The mattress must be chosen with a certain rigidity so that the spine takes the correct position in any position, and to avoid allergies from the pillow when sleeping on the side or tummy, natural or artificial filler is also selected with special care.

If your baby independently rolls over onto his tummy and sleeps only in this position, you have nothing to worry about, because before you is a person who has his own character, temperament, he has habits and preferences from birth. Be kind to your baby and don't worry if no one in your family sleeps on their stomach. Remember that each person has his own sleeping position, and it is formed from infancy.

Contraindications for infants sleeping on their stomachs

If your baby likes to sleep on his stomach, then you need to follow certain safety rules. Only then will such a situation be beneficial for the child’s health. Unfortunately, this position is not acceptable for all children. In case of disruption of the central nervous system, birth injuries and pathologies, it is better to follow the recommendations and advice of the pediatrician.

In addition, sleeping on your stomach is excluded if:

  1. there is a pillow in the crib;
  2. parents have a bad habit of smoking;
  3. the room is very dry and hot;
  4. The crib has a soft mattress.

Long-term sleep of a child on the stomach is contraindicated for all children, because in this position the neck becomes stiff, which can have a bad effect on blood circulation and the formation of the spine.

Be sure to watch your child, even if it is a very small baby. Children themselves choose the positions in which they feel comfortable sleeping. If the baby sleeps on his stomach, then this is the most comfortable option for him. However, you have a huge responsibility to ensure its safety. In addition, everything should be limited to reasonable limits. You should not allow your child to sleep on his stomach or in another position for a long time; it is best if he changes it, even if you have to help.

When should you not allow your baby to sleep on his stomach?

You should know that after an infant learns to independently roll over from side to side, the danger of suffocation remains behind him.

This occurs at approximately 4 months, but before this period it is necessary to monitor his condition during rest very carefully. The problem is that younger children do not respond to lack of air. Such a child will not turn his head or breathe through his mouth when his nose is blocked.

It is imperative to ensure that your child rests on his back if he:

  • has a cold;
  • suffers from a runny nose;
  • has any problems with the heart or lungs.

Also, do not allow your baby to rest on his stomach immediately after eating.

Sleeping on your stomach: pros and cons

  • ensures sound sleep;
  • development of back muscles;
  • is a self-massage pose;
  • relieves intestinal colic.

These are all the positive aspects that a baby gets if he sleeps on his stomach. If a child prefers to sleep on his stomach, he develops physically faster: he begins to lift and hold his head earlier. There are different ways to sleep on your stomach.

When a baby sleeps on his tummy, with his pelvis raised, his arms resting on the bed (in the fetal position), with his head turned to the side, it is believed that this is the best position for the baby to sleep. Because:

  • the baby presses his hands with his body, he, shuddering, will not feel himself as a result of the Moro effect;
  • in this position, minimal pressure is applied to the pelvic joints, which are not fully formed;
  • pressure on small and thin bones of the skull is minimized;
  • blood quickly and easily flows to the brain (no hypoxia);
  • the risk of choking is minimal;
  • intestinal colic is less of a concern.

However, this position is not approved by official medicine for a newborn. Because it is believed to be associated with SIDS. This is a syndrome that describes the sudden death of a baby in its sleep. The connection with sleep posture is indirect, so this issue is still controversial. There is an alternative opinion that sudden infant mortality is caused by the removal of the mother (her being in another room). The severance of energetic, psychological and physical contact is perceived by the baby’s body as stress, which not every child experiences. In addition, being at a distance, the mother may simply not notice any negative changes happening to her baby. The reasons why up to 30% of seemingly healthy infants die in their sleep are not fully understood. Breathing stops, not necessarily in a prone position, by the way, and the child dies. Although, if the baby sleeps on his back, according to statistics from European countries, the risk of premature death from SIDS is reduced by up to 2 times. For some reason, boys die more often. In newborns, even healthy ones, short-term arrhythmias (irregularities in heart rhythm) and interruptions in breathing are possible. Additional pressure on the chest or a position where the baby rests his face on the sheet can negatively affect his well-being, even to the point of stopping breathing.

In connection with the above, a legitimate question arises: is it possible for a newborn to sleep on his stomach? A healthy, strong newborn should sleep on his stomach, at least several hours a day. There are no strict contraindications to this position. The key word in this case is “healthy”.

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