If your little bundle of joy is sleeping like a baby, then you must be an exhausted mess of a mother who barely remembers how to comb her hair anymore, let alone find the way to the hairdresser.
That’s fine, though, as we all look like this postpartum. Except for the Kardashians, of course, but let’s just not go there, shall we?
To make things even worse, you now have this HUGE responsibility of keeping your tiny baby alive and thriving. This is so overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. With so much information online and so little time to read everything and sift out the essence, it’s no wonder that many parents are still not sure about the best sleeping position of their baby.
The main topic that concerns parents is when (and if) it is safe for their babies to sleep on their tummies. This is a very important question as there is a proven connection between stomach sleeping and SIDS. Since it’s your responsibility as a parent to provide a safe environment for your baby, here are some things to consider regarding baby stomach-sleeping:
The Back to Sleep campaign – a victim of its own success
Did you know that more and more parents are turning their backs on the Back to Sleep campaign? Thanks to this campaign, the SIDS rates have dropped significantly in the past few years and this feeds up parents’ false sense of security.
It is every parent’s responsibility to not only carefully read the recommendations in this campaign but to also apply them to their babies.
The most important rule: Put baby to sleep on their back!
If there is only one rule you should follow, it goes like this: put your baby to sleep on their back. From birth to up until about 4 months, it is almost impossible for your baby to change the position you put them to sleep in. Luckily for all of us, parents, this is also the period that is connected with the highest risk of SIDS!
After 4 months (up until 1 year), just stick to the habit of putting your baby to sleep on their back. By the time they learn how to roll over the risk of SIDS will be considerably lower. Oh, and if your baby has already learned to roll over by himself, please don’t freak out and flip them over at night.
What about “tummy time”?
The process called “tummy time” is very important for the baby’s development as it gives your baby plenty of opportunities to enhance their motor skills and strengthen their body (especially the upper body). Baby tummy time is miles away from baby stomach-sleeping, though. First, tummy time takes place when the baby is awake, and second, the baby should be fully supervised during tummy time.
Comfort versus safety
Many parents are reluctant to follow the rule of putting their baby to sleep on their back because the baby feels more uncomfortable in this position. You just cannot be serious about this. OK, let me ask you a question: do you want your baby to be uncomfortable or dead?
Being worried about SIDS is just not enough. You should take all precautionary measures to keep your baby safe, even though some of them won’t feel that comfortable. It’s just like putting your baby in their car seat – we all know it’s not comfort personified, but it saves lives. Period.