"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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Jessy... Jessy0419

Mine side slept then tummy slept. 

jenna... jennagale76

I think the AAP is about as clueless as the FDA. 10 years ago they were supposed to sleep on their tummies. Mine slept on their backs or sides until they could roll over.

Lokis... LokisMama

My son pretty much always side slept til he got into his own bed.  My daughter on the other hand, sleeps much better on her belly.  But when she wakes up she gets mad.

Lanasmom Lanasmom

Dd always slept on her back until she could roll over, then i let her sleep however she wanted. --I want to do whatever i can to keep my kids safe--i mean i wouldn't take drugs that i knew would harm them, so why would i let them sleep in a position that could possibly cause harm too?

merec... merechele

I tried to make Abigail sleep on her back or side with a support, but we had many many sleepless nights.  We even secured her in a travel swing in her bed to keep her slanted, which helped some.  But not for long.  She was diagnosed with GERD also.  I let her sleep during the day on her tummy so I could watch her.  Once I realized that she always made sure she had her airways clear then I was fine with letting her sleep that way at night.  By airways clear is that if her face got turned into the mattress she would turn her head to the side to make sure she could breath. 

.Beth. .Beth.

My son gets too frustrated when he is on his stomach for too long, so i let him lay on his back with occasionally putting him on his side as long as I'm sitting next to him, He sleeps perfectly well on his back..but i have never attempted putting him on his stomach to sleep,so maybe that's why he prefers sleeping on his back.

prego228 prego228

My daughter is 4 months old and has slept on her tummy since she was a month old that's the only way she'll sleep

rachelo rachelo

the thing about SID's decreasing in occurance since they started encouraging women to have babies sleep on their backs is that they also encouraged a lot of other things too. . . like not putting heavy blankets or a lot of loose bedding and pillows in the bed with them. they highlighted the fact that breastfeeding cuts down on SIDs dramatically and that the use of pacifiers helps too. so it's hard to say what exactly caused the decline in SIDs.
as for me, i just did what my kids were comfortable with. both of them slept on their sides and/or backs and as they got older they both proved to be crazy all-over-the-bed sleepers. . . like my husband. haha.

heath... heatherama

Mine have always slept on their sides or backs next to me until they were able to roll over onto their tummies.

To me, it's not so much an AAP suggestion as it is common sense. If baby is in a position that he or she is unable to get out of then I wouldn't feel comfortable allowing them to sleep that way.

tgiamt tgiamt

My DD slept on her side until she was 3 weeks, then she flat out refused to sleep unless she was on her belly. I did as much research as I could find on it, and felt confident with my decision to let her sleep as she felt comfortable.

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