The debate is eternal despite the opinions of doctors. Should babies be forced to sleep on their backs? How to avoid sudden infant death syndrome while favouring comfort for the child? The occasion to make the point.
Why should baby sleep on his back?
From the very first moments spent in the maternity ward, the young mother receives "instructions" to ensure the safety of her newborn. Among them, the baby's sleep. It is forbidden to have the baby sleep on his stomach. The position lying on the back is strongly advised, not to say mandatory. Indeed, it was noted in the 1990s that the figures for cot death are higher when children sleep on their stomach
What if the child prefers to sleep on his stomach?
Many parents are faced with the same problem, after birth, at 2 months, 4 months, or 6 months, baby prefers to sleep on his side or on his stomach. Indeed, after nine times months spent snuggled up in his mother's belly, it is easy to understand that the child is not comfortable lying on a firm mattress (as recommended by the health authorities), without any object around him, stuck in a position he did not choose. Many babies also suffer from reflux or digestive problems. They fall asleep better on their stomachs.
It is now known that a baby lying on his stomach can crawl into bed and be more easily put in a bad position during the night. It is also more difficult for him to eliminate his excess heat, which is even more dangerous when he is too hot or has a fever.
There is also a risk of confinement, especially if the bed is soft: with his nose facing the mattress, the baby inhales the air he has just exhaled and it only takes a few breaths to run out of oxygen.
If this is the case at home, do not leave your baby alone in this position
Why not allow your baby to lie on his stomach during naps or when he is awake on the play mat? This way you can keep an eye on him, be reassured and help him relieve his tummy aches.
Tips for a safe sleep
The conditions to allow your child to sleep on his back (or to nap on his stomach) in complete safety are not difficult to apply, but they do require rigour. You need a firm mattress that fits the bed (with no space between the mattress and the bars) and nothing else in the bed but your blanket No duvet, no quilt, no blanket, no sheet, no pillow. All this could suffocate the child. Baby sleeps in a sleeping bag or a pyjama. The ideal room temperature is between 18 and 20°C. At this stage, the baby is not yet regulating its temperature and hot weather increases the risk of SIDS.
What if Baby rolls over in bed?
He's growing up, you have to let him. His muscles are beginning to form, and he has enough strength to position himself as he wishes. Most babies start to roll over once they have acquired head support. But before he's a year old, it's still too early to let his guard down!