SIDS and Other Problems
The risks of letting a baby sleep on its stomach are serious, and parents should never allow it. It is best practice to always place infants on their backs to sleep. Babies who sleep on their stomachs can have an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Furthermore, when babies are placed in the prone (stomach) position, they may become overheated as they do not have a normal body heat transfer mechanism like adults do. This can lead to an increase in the baby’s core temperature, which has been linked to SIDS incidents.
Other potential risks include rebreathing, which occurs when breathing into bedding causes both insufficient oxygen intake and carbon dioxide buildup leading to suffocation or sudden death because airflow is blocked around the face and nose area. Babies who regularly sleep on their stomachs may also develop plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) due to pressure being constantly applied unevenly across one side of the skull during sleeping hours. Other than this, young infants could be more prone to repositioning events such as rolling over from front-to-back or side-to-side within beds that do not feature adequately fitted deep mattresses or proper guardrails, thus increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
Stomach Sleeping Can Have Serious Implications
Letting a baby sleep on their stomach is not recommended as it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This is because the infant’s airways may become blocked, leading to suffocation. Other risks associated with stomach sleeping include an increased chance of developing a flat spot on the head due to lying in one position for extended periods, as well as a greater risk of choking and skin irritation. Since babies are unable to move around while they sleep, they may be more likely to overheat if they’re dressed too warmly or if the room gets too hot.
Three Reasons Babies Should Not Stomach Sleep
Letting a baby sleep on their stomach increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). This is because when babies sleep on their stomachs, they may rebreathe the air they’ve just exhaled, which can cause a buildup of carbon dioxide in their blood. This can lead to suffocation, low oxygen levels, and even death.
In addition, when babies lie on their stomachs with their heads turned to one side, they can develop an exaggerated flat head (plagiocephaly) due to uneven pressure being applied in that area over time.
Furthermore, when a baby sleeps face down, it reduces airflow around the nose and mouth, leading to difficulty breathing, and also carries a higher risk of smothering while sleeping in blankets or other bedding materials. Therefore, parents should not let infants sleep on their stomachs as this could potentially be dangerous for them.
A Higher Risk of Re-breathing and SIDS
● Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Leaving infants to snooze on their stomachs applies a substantial amount of pressure from their weight on their chests and abdomen, more than their tiny anatomies can handle. Due to the sensitivity and fragility of their developing systems, their bodies require the security and steadiness that sleeping on the back delivers. By allowing them to sleep on their stomachs, their airways are subject to a high risk of getting blocked as the baby lacks the capability to move their heads away in order to grasp for air.
● Re-breathing – Sleeping on their stomach, face down on their crib’s mattress, and unable to move their heads, babies are left with no other choice but to re-breathe the built-up carbon dioxide they exhale. This means a sleeping position like this essentially leads to low oxygen levels, suffocating infants the more they breathe.
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