"My Baby Sleeps on His Tummy—So What?"


put baby to sleep on back or belly

photo by Geminiashes

The AAP recommends that babies

sleep on their backs

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be put to sleep on their backs because research shows it helps reduce the risk of SIDS. And ever since pediatricians have told moms to put babies on their backs SIDS deaths have indeed declined. The AAP also says that side sleeping is not the same as back sleeping and it's not advised. However, babies do need to spend time on their bellies so their muscles develop properly, but tummy time should take place only when the baby is awake and someone is watching them.

Okay, so we all know that's what we're supposed to do. But what do you really do?

Natalie Morales, the co-anchor of the Today show, recently confessed that she put her newborn to sleep on his stomach. She writes: "I let my newborn sleep on his stomach. I know, I know, being a journalist, I've read all the research that says to put babies on their back to sleep. But Luke was very colicky, and it turned out he had GERD, so his digestive system was really immature. Whenever he slept on his back, he'd grunt like he was in pain ... since he seemed much happier on his tummy, that's how I let him sleep. And guess what? We can both sleep better at night because of it. Is that such a bad thing?"

I put my baby to sleep on her back, but as soon as she could roll over by herself, she'd get onto her tummy as fast as she could. I think she was more comfortable sleeping that way. I sleep on my stomach too. (The AAP says that belly sleeping is okay once a baby has mastered rolling over.)

What do you think of Natalie Morales's confession? Do you let your baby sleep on his tummy? Or do you follow the AAP's recommendations?

sids, sleep


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Peajewel Peajewel

My daughter slept on her tummy from day one.  My children are many years apart and when my son was a baby I was told to put him on his belly in case he spit up.  Some where in between they changed their minds.  I was a wreck for a long time with my little one, she slept through the night at three weeks old but I did not.  I would jump up and run in and check on her all the time.  If I tried to lay her down on her back, she would not sleep one peep.

mama-... mama-nachos

My DD sleeps MUCH more when she is on her stomach, so I let her when she was about 2.5 mos. old.  I constantly checked on her, and I have one of those motion monitors under her mattress to help keep an eye on her.  Now that she's able to lift her head and I am more at ease with letting her stay on her stomach...she's one kick away from rolling over. 

However, I won't let her sleep at night on her stomach, I only do that when she's napping in the day.  I noticed when I put her on her back to nap she slept much less.  She seems to get better sleep on her stomach, and is less cranky throughout the day.

yaffa... yaffamommy

My son has always slept on his tummy. He might fall asleep on his back but out of no where he would throw his arms up in the air and scream. I've never had a problem with him on his stomach and he's 1 now. I think every kid is different.

Saman... SamanthaAgain

Luckily my DS would sleep on his back at bedtime, but he would NOT take a nap on his belly until he was almost 5 months old.  So he napped on his belly.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Considering the studies in New Zealand about SIDs, and discovering that the cause it inhaling toxins from the mattress, people in America would be stupid to let their babies sleep on their toxic beds, ESPECIALLY face down.

One thing I've never understood is if it makes your baby less likely to DIE, why would you go against it?

Kaytl... Kaytlynsmommy

I think it's the parent's decision. My daughter and son both slept on their sides from birth till' about 3 months old. They're not strong enough before that to turn their heads and stuff if they puke in their sleep. I felt comfortable with them on their sides. Now my 4 month old is on his back, but I couldn't keep him on his side if I wanted to. lol. He's strong. And by the way, back sleeping is a recommendation, not a law. Sleep your kid however you feel most comfortable. For you and the baby. Don't please everyone else.

madam... madamekatekate

At first I put my daughter on her back...And at first she didn't care.

I only really did it because of the SIDS scare, even though not too many years ago they used to tell you to put babies on their tummies to sleep. But whatever, right?

Well, she eventually she just wouldn't sleep on her back--at all. So (just a week or so before she learned to roll over) I started letting her sleep on her stomach.

Honestly, there are so many things that are thought to cause SIDS and if it can evidently happen at any time how can anyone say "You should have done this. It would have prevented it."

Laure... Lauren_83

both my kids are tummy sleepers.  I worried a little, but I would've worried just as much if they were on their backs.  I slept on my tummy, so did my husband, so why is it so bad again?... I hear the reports and research and I'm happy that there are people trying to make a difference.  The only problem I honestly see, is that there are too many people who will critisize you.  I got yelled at by my daughter's dr. everytime we went in there.  i finally told her that if she wanted to come to my house and hold my daughter tightly and upright to sleep then be my guest, because that was the only other way she'd do it.  My son started out on his back and was on his tummy by the time he could roll over, and has been that way ever since.  I don' t think there is anything wrong with it as long as you are keeping an eye on them, as you should be.

nikki... nikkit311

I dunno I had blankets in the crib b/c what are you supposed to do in the winter? make them wear a bunch of uncomfortable clothes? anyways, all my babies slept on their back till they were able to roll over, then I let them figure out what they wanted. all of them are alive and well :-)

MommyJal MommyJal

my baby's 3 mo. old, and from day 1 we have swaddled her up tightly in a receiving blanket and put her on her back.  if not swaddled, she would wake up as soon as i lay her down.  her fave position is on her tummy on my chest- that's how we nap

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