Studies show bed-sharing can be unsafe. Adult beds usually have soft surfaces, comforters and pillows that can be suffocation hazards. It is not recommended that an infant sleep in an adult bed, waterbed, sofa or chair, either alone, or with other children or adults. If you breastfeed in bed, it is safest to return your baby to a separate sleep surface. Parents who are sleep deprived can be unresponsive to a baby in distress.
In large studies it was shown that babies do not choke; they will automatically swallow or cough up fluids. Doctors have found no increase in choking among babies from sleeping on their backs. In fact, studies have shown that babies who sleep on their back are healthier.
“Tummy time” when your baby is awake is one way to reduce flat spots. So the baby is not always sleeping on the same side of his head, change the direction you lay baby in the crib. Baby’s head will resume its normal shape once baby begins to sit up and roll over.
Babies need “tummy time” while they are awake for motor development of the upper body. It is normal for babies to roll over on their own around 4-5 months and then it is not necessary to keep flipping baby over onto its back to sleep. Remember, when baby begins to roll, the sleep area should be free from soft bedding and anything that could cause suffocation or entrapment.
Wedges and sleep aids are not safe and do not guarantee baby won’t roll to the stomach where the risk is greater for SIDS. Side sleeping is no longer recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Recent safe sleep updates by the AAP warn that these products have not been sufficiently tested and are not recommended.
Babies who start out on their backs will readily adapt to that position. Swaddling baby for a few days will help them to become accustomed to back position. If the baby is old enough to kick out of a swaddle, it should not be used. If this concern continues, please consult your health care provider.