Although not always controllable, it is best to have your infant sleep on their back for their first nine months. Research suggests this is the best way to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) -- in fact, there is a whole “Back to Sleep” campaign that has reduced the occurrence of SIDS by 40-50%. There are a few theories as to why this may be a safer way for your baby to sleep. Firstly, babies tend to have a deeper sleep when they are laying on their front preventing them from waking themselves up if there is an issue. Secondly, on their tummy they are less likely to be able to cool down if they become overheated. Lastly, it is thought that being face down into the mattress may increase the amount of carbon dioxide they are breathing in reducing the fresh oxygen available. Do not get too anxious if your baby tends to be a tummy or side sleeper. If on their side, pull their arm forward so they are less likely to roll to their front in the night.
Dr. Pamela Smith, ND
Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.
Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.
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