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Stomach Or Back And What's The Big Deal?

Trying to twist onto his stomach... as usual.

Henry never liked to be swaddled.  From day one he’d flail his walnut fists until any and all blanketing was reduced to a heap around his feet.  Violet was the same way except she kicked the blankets away.  I don’t produce swaddle lovin’ offspring, I guess.

I’ve had a hell of a time figuring out what positions Henry finds most comfortable.  It wasn’t until I put him on his stomach and he zonked out in 2.5 seconds flat that I realized the boy is just like his mama; a stomach sleeper.

In previous generations, stomach-down was the preferred sleeping position.  My mom constantly tells me she put all her children to sleep on their stomachs and we loved it.  We aren’t alone.  As Babble reports, stomach sleeping is conducive to better sleeping:

Stomach sleeping makes sense in a lot of ways. For one, babies often sleep better that way. When a baby is on his back, a reflex causes his limbs to fly up in a disorganized fashion. This is fine for an awake baby, but a lot harder for a baby trying to shut down and go to sleep. Babies are affected by this in varying degrees, but some are constantly awakened by smacking themselves in the face, or just by the abrupt movement of their bodies. On the stomach, the baby’s body is tucked away and the view of the world is limited, making it easier for the baby to shut down and tune out

We all know they tell us to put our kids on their backs because stomach sleeping puts a baby at risk for SIDS but not everyone is buying it. A cursory glance around the internet shows hundreds of mamas revealing their “dirty, little secret” of putting baby down on its stomach – including our own Roni who has this to say about babies on bellies:

I’m tired of feeling like a bad mother becuase my instinct is to lay the baby down on his tummy. He’s more comfortable on his tummy. He spits up less on his tummy. He sleeps longer on his tummy. Why wouldn’t I let him sleep that way?

Being a parent is hard. We constantly get bombarded with information, opinions, and recommendations. Everything from breastfeeding to sleeping to carrier choices are up for debate.

I’m so tired of it. Aren’t you?

I couldn’t agree more. Bumpers put a baby at risk for SIDS as well and you have those don’t you?  Blankets too.  Now that Henry son is nearing three months-old and has demonstrated he has a really strong neck, I plan to put him on his stomach to sleep if it helps him sleep better. I’m not worried at all.  In fact, I’m waiting for the next study out of the chute that will contradict the Babies On Backs study that’s causing us all to be paranoid about sleeping positions.  It’ll happen, I guarantee it.

What about you?  What’s your take?

Global Sleep Solutions: How they do it in Japan

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