Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/blogsgi/public_html/wp-includes/ms-load.php on line 138
Further Support for Back Sleepers | Sweet Dreams | giggle Blogs
April 6, 2011

Further Support for Back Sleepers

A study published on February 28th, 2011 in the online version of Pediatrics Journal adds weight to the recommendation that babies be laid to sleep on their backs.  The study looked at tissue oxygenation in babies who sleep on their backs, as compared to babies who sleep prone.

The study concluded, “In healthy infants cerebral oxygenation is reduced during sleep in the prone position. This reduction may underpin the reduced arousability from sleep exhibited by healthy infants who sleep prone, a finding that provides new insight into potential risks of prone sleeping and mechanisms of sudden infant death syndrome.”

In addition to reduced oxygenation, sleeping prone also increases a babies risk of suffocation, overheating and re-breathing in exhaled air, which is lower in oxygen.  Each of these is an important risk factor to weigh when laying your baby down to sleep.

I regularly consult with clients who claim that their babies sleep better in the prone position, which is often true, however the risks associated with sleeping in this position are significant and should outweigh the temporary benefits of longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep.  Most full-term babies are able to sleep soundly on their backs by 16 weeks of age and the earlier they learn to sleep on their backs, the better they sleep that way.  A quick tip for babies who awaken frequently on their backs is to swaddle them snugly to minimize the startle reflex that often awakens babies sleeping on their backs.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Comments | Post a Comment
  1. Lori Hendrickson says:

    Why, if a human infant is anatomically designed to sleep in a supine position, does that position cause such grievous pathologies such as: plagiocephaly, acid reflux, torticollis, delay in the maturation of the startle reflex, and poor sleeping habits? Positional plagiocephaly and acid reflux have become epidemic in our society since the AAP began recommending back sleeping for infants.
    All other ‘scientific’ data aside, this question needs to be addressed directly and pragmatically by the ‘authorities’ that support and encourage this practice.

  2. Mel says:

    Agree with Lori. Our daughter slept on her belly from day one as did I, my husband, my mother, his mother, our siblings, I think you get the picture. Why aren’t any of the issues being addressed? Instead mothers are being fed frightening information without proper research. As a new mother I was scolded by our pediatrician for allowing our daughter to sleep on her belly. I went home and cried but I knew that was the way she wanted to sleep. She is now 14 months and still sleeps on her belly. Always trust your motherly instincts and the magical bond you share with your baby. Needless to say I never went back to that doctor.

Write a Comment:

giggle reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.