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sleep / lifestyle

Stomach Sleeping: Mother and Baby

by BetterSleep
Jun 22 • 4 min read

As a new parent, your days will be filled with diaper changes, feeds, and trying to get your baby to sleep. The first twelve months of a baby’s life are fragile and can be when allergies and infections develop. This timeframe is also when SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a real risk. Learning about safe sleeping conditions for your baby is the best way to keep your baby protected.

Can Babies Sleep on Their Stomach?

It is recommended that a baby should not be allowed to sleep on their stomach because they will breathe in recycled air and reduce the functionality of their lungs. This also increases the risk of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends:

  • A baby should sleep on their back
  • The sleeping surface should be firm and flat
  • In a crib or bassinet, not a shared bed
  • Keep additional blankets, pillows, bedding, and toys away from the sleeping area

What Age Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach?

As long as your baby is using a crib, they should be put to bed on their back. According to research, after one year of sleeping on their back, a baby should have developed their respiratory system enough, to reduce the risk of SIDS. But to be cautious, it’s best not to allow your baby to sleep for long periods on their tummy, even after the first year.

What if Your Baby Rolls onto Their Stomach Themselves?

According to experts, the risk of SIDS is at its greatest between the ages of 2 and 4 months of age. After 6 months of age, some babies will be able to roll over naturally onto their stomachs. If your baby can roll over easily both ways, back to the stomach and stomach to back, they should be safe. If they are unable to roll both ways, it’s best to gently lift them onto their back again while sleeping. Consult your doctor and consistently monitor if you are unsure.

Is It Bad to Sleep On Your Stomach While Pregnant?

Early on in pregnancy, it is safe and comfortable enough to sleep on your belly. The fetus is protected by amniotic fluid and the uterine walls. As your belly grows, sleeping on your stomach may lead to soreness, back pain, shoulder pain, and pelvic girdle pain. If you love sleeping on your stomach, try using a pregnancy pillow with a section cut out for the belly.

If you struggle to sleep while pregnant, or after giving birth, try out the relaxation techniques and soothing meditations on the BetterSleep app. Meditation can help you cope with the various physical and emotional stresses that appear for new moms.

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