Infants who learn to crawl after some time tend to sleep with face down in mattress. Babies try to understand their comfort zone by moving their bodies and sleeping on their tummies. However, sleeping on the tummy or with face down can cause serious problems for babies.
When Can A Baby Sleep With Face Down
Actually, there is no rule that anyone can sleep with their face down after a certain age. Even adults are suggested to avoid sleeping face down.
It is never recommended to sleep on the stomach as accidents can happen at any time and for anyone. Usually, the risks of a baby sleeps with face in mattress are high.
Below 3 Months
A baby sleeping face down below 3 months is riskier. At this stage they can not lift their head to breathe appropriately. Swaddling can be the best way to keep them safe from sleeping with their face.
Between 3 to 5 Months
A baby sleeping face down in between 3 to 5 months is unsafe. You can do more tummy time at this age to strengthen their head and neck. Thus, they will have the physical strength to move their head and breathe properly.
The AAP latest sleep related guidelines 2022 published where they recommend– at least 7 weeks tummy time for 15 to 30 minutes total.
6 Months and Above
At the age of 6 months, you can practice rolling over frequently so that your baby will be comfortable enough to sleep on their back. Also, their muscles will be stronger.
However, the risks are still there to the age of at least 1.5 years. We suggest allowing your baby to sleep how they want until they can roll over or lift their head to breathe.
Additionally, sleeping on a breathable mattress can reduce the chances of SIDS or any other harm. However, we always recommend monitoring the baby while sleeping.
Why Do Baby Sleeps With Face In Mattress?
Children used to sleep with their faces down in mattresses for some reason. They curl their leg and sleep with their tummy because this is the exact position they have been in their wombs.
Remembering Their Womb Position
Generally, we all want to move or stay in a position that is most comfortable to us, and so as for babies. Babies are usually lying most of the time. So, when they start to move or crawl, they want to be in the safest position.
Babies stay in their mother’s womb for a long nine months. They get used to the curled-up position as they usually stay in the womb, their favorite place. It takes time to strengthen the muscle to be in a normal position.
As soon as the babies learned to crawl on their knees, they started to sleep their faces down on the mattress. They learn to go forward by crawling on their knees and find it the best position for themselves. Also, babies sleep fast in this position.
As they start crawling, the muscles stretch with time. Day by day, they learn how to sit and find a new comfortable position. Before that, babies know the stomach position the best and try to sleep with their face.
Finding a Comfortable Position
There is a specific yoga style called “Child’s Pose.” If you are into exercise or yoga, you already know about this. This pose is usually done at the end of the exercises to calm the body and reduce stress. The reason why this position is famous is that it is so comfortable.
Babies try to find out the best comfortable positions to lay. They want to reduce the stress on their body. Thus, they tend to lay or sometimes sleep with face down in mattress.
Dangers Of Sleeping With Face
Previously, it was said that it is better if babies are sleeping with their stomachs. But as of now, researchers have found that a baby sleeping on its stomach can even cause death.
- Suffocation Due To Lack Of Oxygen
Sleeping with the face in a mattress can cause suffocation. As adults, we may have experienced sleeping with face down, but for a baby, it is not very usual. As infants, they are unaware of sleeping on their stomachs.
We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. While sleeping with face down, babies can not inhale oxygen properly as they are not able to lift their heads. Moreover, carbon dioxide stays in the space while the face is in mattress.
- Abnormal Development
Lack of oxygen can cause serious problems, which can lead to abnormalities. While sleeping with face down, oxygen cannot reach the brain properly. As a result, the neck and head cannot move and cannot respond to the body.
Researchers have found that oxygen deficiency can increase the chances of abnormality. Additionally, if the baby is premature, it can lead to sudden death.
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS, can occur because of many factors such as infection, low weight, and abnormality. But the crucial factor is the position of the baby sleeping. SIDS can happen so unexpectedly that one cannot find the actual reason immediately.
If you are a parent of an infant, you must be very careful about SIDS. The baby needs to inhale oxygen perfectly so that it can reach to brain. If they are sleeping with their face in mattress, the probability of not getting oxygen to the brain is high.
Tips For Avoiding Baby’s Sleeping With Face
Infants are not aware of what is good or bad for them. So, here we are to give you some tips about how you can avoid your baby’s sleeping with face in mattress.
Making The Baby Habituated
The best way to avoid sleeping on face is to make it a habit to sleep on the back. Sometimes, babies can be comfortable with sleeping with their faces down. Also, rolling on the stomach while sleeping is quite common for babies. You can roll back immediately to make them comfortable to sleep on their back.
While putting your baby to sleep, always keep their face up so that they can get used to it slowly. Moreover, keep the back on the mattress while keeping them down. After some time, they will get comfortable with sleeping on their back.
More Tummy Time
Proper tummy time helps the baby to develop more strength. It will help the baby to build more physical strength along with strong neck muscles. Thus, the baby will be able to avoid any dangerous situation that will come their way.
We recommend doing tummy time when the baby is awake and in a happy mood. You can add some fun toys to make this time more enjoyable.
Breathable Sheets and Mattresses
Whatever you do, the baby will sleep or rest with their face on the mattress no matter what. Recently, experts have designed some breathable mattresses so your baby can breathe fine while sleeping face down.
Moreover, babies tend to sweat on the back while sleeping. Using a good-quality mattress or sheet will eventually reduce the chances of sweating.
However, a good-quality breathing mattress or sheet can be expensive for some people. If you are on a budget, we suggest you use cotton sheets. Cotton sheets are breathable enough to make your baby comfortable.
Rolling Over is the Key
Rolling over frequently is the best way to avoid the baby sleeps with face in mattress. If the baby refuses to sleep on their back, rolling them back every so often is the key. When your baby is over 5 months old, they will get used to it and sleep on their back.
However, make sure there are no sharp toys or any materials that can harm the baby. Practicing rollovers will make them stay on their back for a long time.
When to Start Stomach Sleeping?
Generally, you cannot avoid the stomach sleeping of a baby. You need to be careful while the baby is napping on its tummy. Infants are able to sleep on their backs. But as they get a little older and learn to roll over, they want to sleep on their stomach.
Understanding the Development
Infants develop every second since their birth. They try to move their body and head to understand everything around them. When they can move their head and neck properly, it is safe to stomach sleep.
The baby Can Roll Over
Rolling over your baby is the key to keeping them safe. Whenever your baby is sleeping on their stomach, try to roll them over to their back. When they are awake, practice tummy time. However, you should not permit your baby to roll over until they have a strong neck to move their head on their own.
Can Babies Sleep Face Down on Chest?
It is quite natural that parents keep their babies on their chests to make them comfortable. Almost cent percent of parents try to make their baby fall asleep on their chest. Also, this can be a way to connect with your baby quickly.
Baby can sleep face down on your chest as long as you are awake and alert. This is not considered harmful. But, if you are feeling sleepy, we suggest you transfer the baby to the mattress. Otherwise, suffocation or breathing problems can happen to the baby.
Which Products Will Help Your Baby?
To make your life a bit trouble-free, we are here to recommend some products which will help your baby to sleep well. But, make sure to use these products at a suitable time for the baby.
Professionals suggest swaddling clothes for the babies. These clothes will not allow the baby to move frequently or roll over on their tummy. Wrapping the baby with a swaddling cloth will make them comfortable and allow them to sleep peacefully. However, you need to ensure that the baby is breathing perfectly.
A steady surface will keep the baby’s face from indenting. Usually, the baby’s face can go deep into the surface if the mattress is soft and bouncy. So, you can use a firm mattress to avoid SIDS.
When the baby starts to sleep on its stomach, breathing will be interrupted. Although, you can keep an eye on your baby while sleeping. But, it is not always possible, so that a breathing monitor can help you in this regard. This product will help you to know if your baby is breathing properly.
The Best Sleeping Position For The Baby
We think the most peaceful scene for parents is watching their baby sleep. But, it can be harmful if the baby’s face is planted in the mattress. If your baby is old enough to move the body or can lift the head on his or her own, it should not be a severe problem. Otherwise, you need to check on your baby during sleep.
According to the experts, the best sleeping position for the baby is to sleep with the back. Additionally, babies can change their position for some time and sleep on their sides. Professionals suggest that it is best to train the baby to sleep on the back. Thus, the possibilities of SIDS can be reduced.
We hope we have covered the essential information regarding baby sleeps with face in mattress. If you are taking care of your baby full time or have a nanny, try to avoid the baby’s sleeping position with face. We suggest to sleep with the back for babies, as sleeping with the face may cause various health issues.
Enjoy parenthood! However, we do not want to scare you, but things might worsen. In that case, seek professional help as soon as possible to avoid any severe issues.