Stomach-sleeping for infants is a very controversial topic. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting a baby to sleep on their back for the first year of their life. Most parents agree with and follow this recommendation. No one wants to take the risk when it involves SIDS as a possible outcome – even if the chance is very slim.
Sometimes babies just sleep better on their tummy. For the first few sleep-deprived weeks of my youngest’s life my husband and I took turns letting him nap on our chests at night while the other parent slept. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, but we could both rest easier – during our designated turns anyway – knowing that the baby was sleeping safely and comfortable.
There are some sleep positioners that you can purchase to make sleeping safer for infants. It works very well for the first five or six months, saving parents a lot of worry and grief. After baby can start rolling over on their own, things get a little more complicated.
Recently, my previously back-sleeping seven month old discovered that he could easily roll onto his stomach when he’s trying to fall asleep. No matter how many times I place him on his back – or as a compromise, his side – he just ends up on his belly, snoozing the night away.
Our pediatrician told me that as long as he can roll over himself, the risk of SIDS is significantly lowered. I’m doing what I need to do by placing him on his back, but he is going to sleep however is most comfortable. Sometimes it feels like a constant battle – checking on him and putting him on his back only to come back to find him on his stomach with his bottom up in the air.
How does your baby prefer to sleep?