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Back to sleep: Why should babies sleep on their backs?

What position do you sleep in? Sprawled out like a star? Curled up in the duvet like a human burrito? Or the super comfy little spoon? Sleep is a luxury for new parents, and we’re happy to get it in whatever position will let us drift off quickly. But what about babies? How should they sleep?

The Bluebell baby monitor can help baby sleep more safely

Of course, we want to do what’s best for our little ones and make sure they’re as safe as possible. But it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with all the information out there. When it comes to keeping baby safe while they sleep, The Lullaby Trust is an excellent resource to check out.

The Lullaby Trust is a leading authority on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death. They work with scientific advisors to give parents the latest advice on safer sleep and SIDS. SIDS is a scary subject that goes through every new parent’s mind as there’s no clear cause or treatment. Luckily, it’s been found that there are some things you can do to help prevent it. This includes things such as keeping the room temperature at 16-20°C, keeping a clear cot and, of course, putting baby to sleep on their back.

Why on their back?

Lying on their back with their face upwards is the safest position for baby to sleep in (unless your doctor has told you otherwise). You’ve probably heard this loads, but you may not know why. Since The Lullaby Trust introduced the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign 25 years ago, the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped by over 80% - that’s huge! It shows the effect that just a small (but mighty) bit of information can have on our lives.

Although it’s not completely clear why sleeping on their backs reduces risks of SIDS, it’s thought that it may be because:

  • Front sleeping makes it more difficult to respond to sleep apnoea, making it harder for them to start breathing again normally.
  • Front sleeping can lead to more nasal congestion which can disrupt their breathing.
  • Front sleeping babies have been found to sleep deeper and be less reactive to noise.

When can they sleep on their front?

As your bundle of joy develops and grows into an incredible little human, they’ll be able to do more things on their own. At around 4-6 months, babies will learn to roll over by themselves. Once they can roll over by themselves, the SIDS risk from sleeping on their front reduces and they’ll be able to find their own comfortable sleeping position.

Bluebell is for both parents and babies - monitor them 24/7 and rest easy

Tips on getting baby to sleep on their back

  • Put them to sleep in a cot in the same room as you for at least the first six months.
  • Put them on the back for every night time sleep and daytime nap from birth so that sleeping on their back becomes a normal habit – get it locked into your routine!
  • Be persistent – if they roll over, turn them gently onto their back. They’ll soon get used to it.
  • Use a firm, flat mattress and keep the cot clear from any blankets, pillows, wedges, etc. (these can be dangerous).
  • If using a blanket, make sure it’s tucked into the sides of the mattress and doesn’t go above their shoulders.
  • Even when they’re able to roll over by themselves, keep putting them to sleep on their back (although they might be on their front within seconds, it’s just a good habit to keep).
  • Schedule plenty of supervised tummy time into their daily routine. This can help to develop their muscles so that they’re able to roll back by themselves.

How can a Bluebell Smart monitoring system help?

We’ve designed Bluebell to help with many of the common challenges that new parents face (and we have experienced ourselves). There’s so much going on when you have a new baby to look after, and worrying about them rolling onto their tummy can lead to (even more) sleepless nights for you.

One really cool feature of our baby monitor is that it detects when your baby rolls onto their tummy. If they do, you’ll be notified on your Parent wristband and Mobile app to let you know. This means that you can rest easy and won’t have to constantly worry about it. Once your little one is able to roll back themselves, you can switch these alerts off while still using the rest of the features. It simply works as you need it to fit into your daily life. You can order yours now from our website.

We get that things to do with baby safety and baby sleep can be tough. And we know how much worry it can cause. But just hang in there, follow the rules and do your best – no parent is perfect! And your baby will soon be able to roll back by themselves and even be moved into their own room. That means less worry and more sleep for you! We could all do with some extra Zs, right?

Let us know if you’ve got any questions about how to help your baby sleep safely!