What’s the best sleeping position for baby?

It’s a question that many new parents ask themselves: what position should baby sleep in? On this point, doctors are unanimous: the only position for sleeping is on the back, despite possible discomforts.

The dorsal position: preventing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

It’s definitely safer for babies to sleep on their backs than on their stomachs. Sleeping on the stomach increases the risk of cot death and suffocation.

But stomach sleeping is not the only factor. The risk of cot death also increases if :

  • mom smokes during pregnancy or baby is exposed to tobacco smoke after birth
  • baby is born prematurely
  • baby sleeps in the same bed as parent(s)
  • blankets or toys are in the cot, with the risk of baby’s head becoming completely covered.

The possible discomforts of baby sleeping on his back: harmless and avoidable

You may have heard that letting your baby sleep on his back or in only one position can cause a flat head or protruding ears.

It’s true that babies are born with softer ears and skulls. What’s more, during the first few months of his life, his neck muscles are weak. This limits his ability to move his head. Sleeping for long periods on his back can flatten his head and damage his ears if they remain folded for several hours.

To prevent your baby from folding his ears while sleeping, opt for a hat that keeps his ears flat. This will keep your baby’s ears well positioned during sleep.

As for skull deformity, this is completely normal and usually goes away on its own. However, if you’re worried about it, or if the flat head is very pronounced, there are a few tricks you can try.

To encourage your baby to move his head, place toys at different angles above his cot. By attracting his attention in this way, you encourage him to move his head. This helps to “distribute” the pressure on the skull and prevents it from always being stressed in the same place.

Around the age of four months, it’s best to play with your baby in the prone position during the most exciting times of the day. Lie your child on his stomach while he plays and observe him. This strengthens their neck muscles and prevents their head from coming into contact with a surface. This undoubtedly helps prevent a flat head. Not only are his neck muscles strengthened, but also those of his arms and upper body.

Even if the back position can sometimes cause discomfort, it remains the indisputable option for ensuring baby’s safety. It reduces the risk of cot death and promotes optimal breathing.

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