"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


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

RanaA... RanaAurora

nikkit, you make their room warm and put them in jammies in a blanket sleeper, or when they're smaller, swaddle them.  That's why those things exist. :)

Until your baby is big enough to roll over, the back is safest.  Wouldn't you hate for your baby to be a victim of SIDS, and always wonder if you'd done the suggested "Back To Sleep", if your baby would still be alive?  I know that'd haunt me forever.

Stephy89 Stephy89

my daughter has slept on her tummy since day 1. we always went to sleep together like that, i co slept till 3 months. now shes 7 months, in her own crib..sleeping which every way she puts her self..she goes on her tummy, than flips over where everr!!

sapph... sapphirechan87

Mine prefers being on her back anyways. I had no intention of putting her on her stomach to sleep anyways, but she wouldn't stand for it now if I did. She will be alright for tummy time at first, but she gets frustrated quickly, and will only stop fussing if I move her to her back. I don't think it's so terrible to let your child sleep how he or she prefers, honesty. I slept on my stomach as a baby, and I'm still here. My close friend put hers to sleep on his stomach, because his cousin got terrible flat-spots from back sleeping, and has to wear a helmet that makes him look.. well, not using the word offensively, but, retarded. he looks like he has to wear a helmet to keep him from hurting himself, when he really needs it to fix his skull. my friend says "they know enough to move their head when they can't breath, so I'm not worried." Her boy's perfectly healthy, so whatever, I'm fine with it.

sapph... sapphirechan87

In response to an earlier comment... sleeping with baby on your chest belly down is a completely different situation than sleeping belly down on a mattress. Period. Baby is much less likely to suffocate when on your chest because of her neck and spine position. Also, it's not just suffocation that's a risk.

Oh, and BTW, my daughter was turning her head while sleeping on her back since she came out of the womb, they aren't stiff dolls, they can move their head. She spits up all the time during sleep. At first my husband was worried, but she will either spit up with her head turned, or will cough twice, turn her head, and be fine. I've watched to confirm my own worries.

But like I said, you can do what works best for you, I know some babies prefer stomach sleeping for various reasons.

zaybaby zaybaby

Since day 3 out of the hospital my son has slept on his tummy. I've tried to put him to sleep on his back and he will remain asleep or get good sleep 1 out of 10 times. Its easier and I presume, more comfortable. Many tell me not to but he gets cranky, wakes up or tries to turn over and gets stuck n mad trying.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Yes folks, almost all infants sleep longer and more soundly on their stomachs.  That's part of the PROBLEM.  Babies are prone to sleep apnea and when they're in a much deeper sleep, are less likely to wake up and resume breathing.  They also inhale toxins from their mattress and re-inhale their exhaled breath when sleeping on their stomachs - both deadly.

jemam... jemamaof2

You all have good points however my son had to undergo phototherapy treatments for jaundice when he was born and the nurses in the baby unit allowed him to sleep on his stomach matter of fact the actually put him to sleep on his belly now that is the only way i can get him to sleep for more than five mins. he also rolls himself over and i do worry about him doing that because  i think he might suffocate but i am learning to relax and become more comfortable with him doing that.Just  do what you feel is best for your little ones and forget what anyone else has to say.baby gift  

G-maT G-maT

I'm old school. Mine were tummy sleepers. However, my hubby fed our son blueberry food before nap. I started out with a blond little baby, and he woke up as a Smurf. After washing his hair, it turned green. Needless to say, babies should sleep however they are most comfortable, less fussy, and won't get vomit in or on themselves.

Jaice... JaiceeRose

mine tummy slept from day one! :) and hes still alive and kicking at 11 months!

he was born preemie and he had severe tummy issues--so sleeping on his tummy helped calm him... putting both warmth and pressure on it.

mom4l... mom4life86

my son slept on his side for a while cuz i was BF him at night. and then once i stopped BF he went from the side to the back and then somehow one day he went from his back to his stomach and now since he's 2 he'll lay whichever way but mostly he's sleepin on his stomach with butt up in the air and his arms are crossed on his chest as he's sleeping so there's no way to cut his fingernails unless he's awake lol.

My daughter always slept on her back and then once she learned how to roll over... she just slept on her stomach ever since. butt also up in the air. lol

21-30 of 51 comments First 12345 Last