Newborns: backs or tummies?

Should Newborn Babies Sleep on Their Backs or Their Tummies?

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's (NICHD) "Back to Sleep" Campaign, healthy babies should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between the age of one month and one year. Research has not determined what causes all cases of SIDS; however, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition to putting your baby to sleep on his back, the NICHD recommends you:
  • Check baby's bed. Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress. Don't let your baby sleep on a water bed, sheepskin, pillow, fluffy blanket, comforter, or other soft material.
  • Keep your home smoke free. Don't let anyone smoke around your baby. Babies who are exposed to smoke have an increased risk of SIDS.
  • Turn down the heat. Babies should be kept warm, but should not get overheated. Your baby's room should not be any warmer than the rest of your house.
If you have any questions about your child's risk for SIDS, check with your pediatrician or nurse practitioner. If you would like more information about the "Back to Sleep" campaign, call 800.505.2742.

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