I know I'm supposed to put my baby on her back when she goes to sleep, but what if she rolls over in the night or spits up?
By having your baby sleep on her back, you decrease her chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS, the leading cause of death in babies younger than 1 year old, has been linked to infants sleeping on their stomachs.
Although your concerns about rolling over and spitting up are legitimate, there's good news — by the time your baby can roll over by herself, her chances of SIDS are greatly reduced. Plus, by putting your baby to sleep on her back, she'll get used to this position and probably prefer it.
As for spitting up, there is no increased risk of choking for healthy infants who sleep on their backs. If your baby has chronic gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or an airway problem, your doctor may suggest another sleep position.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: July 2013
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Sleep and Newborns Newborn babies may wake up often at night. Their internal time clocks are not yet set, and their small stomachs are often hungry for milk.|
|Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly) Babies can develop a flat spot on the back of their heads, usually from sleeping in the same position too long. Alternating your baby's sleep position and providing lots of "tummy time" can help.|
|Gastroesophageal Reflux When symptoms of heartburn or acid indigestion are frequent or can't be attributed to spicy ingredients, it could be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). And it can be a problem for kids - even newborns.|
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|All About Sleep Getting enough sleep can be a problem for children of any age. Read this article to learn tips on bedtime schedules and routines for your child.|
|Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant's risk.|
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