Sweet Dreams or Potential Dangers? Exploring the Controversy of Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach

Sweet Dreams or Potential Dangers? Exploring the Controversy of Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach

 Introduction: The controversy of baby sleeping on their stomach

 As a new parent, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is how to put your baby to sleep. While the old adage “back is best” has been drilled into our heads, there’s a growing controversy surrounding the topic of baby sleeping on their stomach. Some parents swear by it, claiming it leads to longer and more restful sleep for their little ones. They believe that placing their baby on their stomach helps to soothe them and promotes a deeper sleep. However, others warn of potential dangers associated with this sleeping position. They argue that placing a baby on their stomach increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the debate and explore both the benefits and risks of baby sleeping on their stomach, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this contentious issue. By examining the arguments from both sides, we aim to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision about how to best ensure your baby’s safety and sleep quality.

The benefits of baby sleeping on their tummy

Believe it or not, there are some potential benefits to allowing your baby to sleep on their stomach. One of the main advantages is improved digestion. When a baby lies on their tummy, it can help relieve gas and promote better digestion, reducing the chances of colic or discomfort. This is because the pressure on the stomach can aid in the movement of food through the digestive system, ensuring a smoother process. Additionally, some parents find that their babies sleep more soundly in this position, resulting in longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep for both baby and parents. This can be a lifesaver for exhausted moms and dads who are desperate for a good night’s rest, as it allows them to catch up on much-needed sleep and recharge their energy levels. So, while it is important to prioritize safe sleep practices, it is worth considering the potential benefits of allowing your baby to sleep on their stomach.

Another benefit of having babies sleep on their stomach is that it can contribute to the strengthening of their neck and shoulder muscles. When babies lift their heads to observe their surroundings, they are actively engaging these muscles, which can have a positive impact on their overall development. It is crucial to emphasize, however, that this practice should only be carried out under careful supervision and once the baby has acquired sufficient head control. By closely monitoring the baby’s progress and ensuring their safety, parents can provide an environment that promotes the healthy development of their little one’s neck and shoulder muscles.

Potential dangers of baby sleeping on their stomach

While allowing your baby to sleep on their stomach may have some benefits, it is crucial to be aware of the potential dangers that cannot be ignored. One of the most significant risks associated with this sleeping position is an increased chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a tragic and devastating condition. Numerous studies have consistently shown that babies who sleep on their stomach are at a higher risk of SIDS compared to those who sleep on their back. This heightened risk is primarily due to the fact that sleeping on the stomach can obstruct the baby’s airway, making it more difficult for them to breathe properly. It is essential for parents and caregivers to understand the importance of placing infants on their back to sleep, as this simple measure can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS and ensure the safety and well-being of their precious little ones.

Another potential danger that parents need to be aware of is the risk of overheating when babies sleep on their stomachs. Due to their underdeveloped ability to regulate body temperature, babies are more susceptible to becoming too hot while sleeping in this position. This can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other health issues. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for parents to ensure that their baby’s sleeping environment is

What if the baby rolls on their stomach while sleeping?

One common concern parents have is what to do if their baby rolls onto their stomach while sleeping. This is a natural milestone that babies reach when they start to gain more control over their bodies. Once a baby reaches the rolling-over stage, it’s nearly impossible to control their sleep position throughout the night. It’s important for parents to understand that if their baby rolls onto their stomach during sleep, it’s generally considered safe to leave them in that position as long as they have the strength to lift and turn their head independently. This shows that they have the ability to adjust their position if needed. However, it’s still important to ensure a safe sleep environment and monitor their sleep closely to ensure their well-being. By doing so, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their baby is safe and comfortable during sleep time.

Pros and cons of baby sleeping on their stomach

To help you make a well-informed decision regarding your baby’s sleep position, it is important to delve deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of them sleeping on their stomach. By considering both the positive and negative aspects, you can ensure that you are equipped with the necessary knowledge to make the best choice for your little one’s sleep habits.


  • Improved digestion and reduced colic
  • Sounder sleep for both baby and parents
  • Strengthened neck and shoulder muscles


  • Increased risk of SIDS
  • Higher chance of overheating
  • Potential breathing difficulties

Baby sleeping positions: Stomach, side, or back?

Apart from sleeping on their stomach, there are two other common sleeping positions for babies: side and back. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends placing babies on their back to sleep as it has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a tragic and devastating occurrence that can happen during sleep. However, it’s essential to note that every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Some babies may prefer sleeping on their side, finding comfort and security in that position, while others may find solace on their stomach. As a parent or caregiver, it’s crucial to pay close attention to your baby’s cues and adapt their sleep position accordingly, ensuring their safety and well-being. By being attuned to your baby’s individual needs and preferences, you can create a nurturing and comfortable sleep environment that promotes healthy rest and development.

When can babies sleep on their side?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly advises against placing babies on their side to sleep due to the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, once babies reach the developmental milestone of being able to roll from their back to their side independently, it is generally considered safe for them to sleep on their side. This significant milestone typically occurs around the age of 6 months when babies have acquired enough strength and coordination to change positions on their own. If your baby has not yet reached this milestone and is not yet rolling over, it is best to continue placing them in the recommended back sleeping position to ensure their safety and reduce the risk of SIDS.

Baby sleeping on chest: Is it safe?

Many parents find comfort in having their baby sleep on their chest, especially when it comes to bonding and promoting a sense of security. This intimate act allows parents to feel the warmth and closeness of their little one, creating a beautiful and cherished experience. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and be aware of the potential risks involved. Sleeping with your baby on your chest can increase the risk of suffocation and overheating, which can have serious consequences. To ensure the safety of your baby, it is recommended to create a safe sleep environment, such as a crib or bassinet, that adheres to the guidelines for reducing these risks. By providing a dedicated space for your baby to sleep, you can minimize the chances of accidents occurring. It’s important to remember that there are alternative ways to foster closeness and bonding, such as engaging in skin-to-skin contact and cuddling during awake times. These activities can provide the same level of connection and comfort while prioritizing the safety of your little one.

Tips for safe baby sleep

Regardless of your baby’s preferred sleep position, there are some general guidelines to ensure their safety during sleep:

  1. Always place your baby on a firm and flat sleep surface, such as a crib mattress.
  2. Keep the sleep environment free of loose bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, and crib bumpers.
  3. Dress your baby in a sleep sack or wearable blanket to keep them warm without the need for loose blankets.
  4. Maintain a comfortable room temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent overheating.
  5. Avoid smoking or exposing your baby to secondhand smoke, as it increases the risk of SIDS.
  6. Consider using a pacifier during sleep, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  7. Regularly check on your baby during sleep to ensure they are in a safe position and not overheating.

Conclusion: Making an informed decision about baby sleeping positions

When it comes to choosing the best sleep position for your baby, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and risks carefully. While some parents may find that their baby sleeps better on their stomach, it’s crucial to consider the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and potential breathing difficulties that may arise from this position. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends placing babies on their back to sleep, as extensive research has shown it to be the safest position for infants. However, it is important to acknowledge that every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to make an informed decision based on your baby’s individual needs and cues. By closely observing your baby’s sleep patterns and behaviors, you can determine the most suitable sleep position for them. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a safe sleep environment that promotes restful and secure sleep for your little one.

Ensuring that your baby is comfortable and secure during sleep is paramount. Consider using a firm mattress and a fitted sheet in their crib to minimize the risk of suffocation or entrapment. Avoid placing any loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib, as they can pose a hazard to your baby’s safety.

Additionally, it is important to maintain a consistent sleep routine for your baby. Establishing a regular bedtime and naptime schedule can help promote healthy sleep habits and improve the quality of your baby’s sleep. Creating a calm and soothing sleep environment, such as dimming the lights and playing soft music, can also contribute to a more peaceful sleep experience for your little one.

In conclusion, while the AAP recommends placing babies on their back to sleep, it is crucial to consider your baby’s individual needs and cues when determining the best sleep position. By creating a safe sleep environment and establishing a consistent sleep routine, you can help ensure that your baby enjoys restful and secure sleep, setting the foundation for healthy growth and development.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with other parents who may be struggling with their baby’s sleep position. Sweet dreams!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Infant Toddler Sleep Training

Hi there Mammas!

I’m Briana, and let me tell you, I’ve walked the night-time paths as a nurturing night nanny. But guess what? My journey has taken me to a new chapter as an Infant Sleep Expert, and I am absolutely thrilled to be here by your side, empowering families to triumph over those tricky sleep patterns. Let’s embark on this together and turn those restless nights into a symphony of sweet dreams.

Sleep Training 101

A Step-by-Step Manual to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night.

Untitled design (55)

Take a look at my favorite


Subscribe to Our newsletter and receive your FREE Nap-Time Success Checklist.

Social Media

On Key

Related Posts