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Is Sleeping On The Tummy Safe For Babies?

Babies have a tendency to flip themselves onto their stomach and sleep on their tummy. Moms often find it difficult to decide whether they should leave their babies that way or not because sleeping on the stomach can hinder the airflow. Whether you’re about to deliver your baby or have just brought your baby home from the hospital, sleeping positions really matter for your baby. Babies should never sleep on the tummy as this can lead to suffocation and breathing problems. Here are few other reasons why it’s not advisable for babies to practice tummy sleeping. 

Chance of SIDS

While you position your baby for a nap in a crib, it is firmly recommended that you shouldn’t let the baby lie on his tummy as it prevents airflow and in severe cases can also lead to sudden infant death syndrome. Since babies aren’t able to breathe well when they lie on their stomach, it increases the risk of choking. You should, therefore, turn your baby back onto his back whenever he rolls down onto his stomach. This will help your baby lie safely the whole night.

Poor oxygen intake

Your baby’s face will stay close to the bedding if he’ll lie down on his belly. This can lead to poor circulation and breathing problem which means that he’s not able to have the intake of oxygen properly and breathes in the exhaled air that is having a high percentage of carbon dioxide. If sufficient amount of oxygen won’t reach the baby’s lungs and cells of the body, it’ll cause problems in cellular metabolism. It can lead to suffocation and even restricted breathing.

Interference with effective body heat dissipation

Your infant’s body is sensitive to thermal regulation as they have more surface area of their skin in proportion to their body weight. This literally means that their body loses four times the body weight in comparison to the adults. Tummy sleeping interferes with your baby’s body heat dissipation leading to an increase in your baby’s body temperature. It is therefore important to train your baby to sleep on his back and avoid putting your baby on his tummy for sleep.

Sudden decrease in blood pressure

Tummy sleeping in babies can also interfere with the functions of their body, making them fussy and uncomfortable the whole night. It has also been noted in recent studies that the babies who sleep on their stomach experience a sudden decrease in heart rate and blood pressure. They have also been observed to be less little reactive to sound if they have been sleeping on their tummy for a long time. A baby sleeping on his belly also takes a longer time to wake up in the morning and has restricted body movement. 

It is therefore recommended to avoid belly sleeping in babies completely if they’re below one year. You can leave your baby to sleep on his tummy only when he reaches up to the age group of one year when he can roll on to his back by himself.

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