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When Babies Can Sleep On Their Sides | BabyGaga

One of the most important things that parents learn before a baby is born is to lay them down to on their back to . But for some babies, they refuse to fall asleep unless it is on their sides or wind up on their sides at some point during their slumber. And this can leave parents wondering when it is safe for their babies to sleep on their sides.

When babies are born, it is easy to put them to sleep on their backs and know that when they wake up, they will be in the same position. That begins to change when the babies transfer out of the newborn stage and are more active when they sleep. As such, parents may find themselves consistently checking the video monitor to ensure their remain on their backs and may wonder if they need to reposition their little ones during the night when they wind up on their sides.


Here is when it is safe for babies to sleep on their sides.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, , babies should be placed on their back to go to sleep for naps and for the evening on their backs 100 percent of the time. This is because when placed on their backs, the risk of is dramatically decreased.

Some parents are concerned that when their babies have reflux that they will choke if they are placed on their back. As such, they believe that positioning them on their side will keep them safer.

However, according to , there is no evidence that babies who are placed on their back with reflux are at any higher risk of choking than were they placed in a different position. But, because it is well documented that sleeping any other way than on the back can be life-threatening to babies, the recommendation is to ALWAYS place them on their back for sleep.

When babies are placed on their sides, according to the , they are at a higher risk of falling victim to . This is because when babies are on their sides and asleep, the incidence of rolling onto their stomach goes up dramatically.

When babies roll onto their stomachs, they do not have the muscles built up in their neck to be able to move their face away from the mattress. As such, they face the very real risk of suffocation.

Therefore, babies should never be placed any other way to sleep but on their backs.

Try as parents might, some babies just do not stay on their back while sleeping. As they become older, they wind up rolling onto their side with every sleep session. When this happens, what are parents to do?

According to , babies can begin to roll around in their sleep around five months of age due to their overall strength growing. This means that parents may begin to find their babies on their sides even though they were placed on their back to sleep.

As long as babies can roll from one side to the other while playing, according to the publication, they are fine to sleep on their side IF they rolled into that position themselves. They still should not be placed on their side initially to sleep.

If there is any concern about babies being able to roll over, parents can gently roll their babies back to their back to sleep to ensure that the risk of SIDS remains low.

When babies become fully mobile is when they are the safest to sleep on their sides.

According to , when babies are 12 months old, they are safe to begin sleeping on their sides. This is because muscle strength in their necks and the rest of their bodies is that which they can not only roll from side to side but can push up with ease.

Therefore, it may be preferable to still start babies on their backs when they turn one but there is less to be concerned about regarding SIDS when they roll out of that position during sleep at that age.


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