Why Do Babies Need to Sleep on Their Back?


Why Do Babies Need to Sleep on Their Back? Did you even know “Back to Sleep” was a thing?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about stay tuned because we’re going to cover all of that.

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Tips and advice for new moms and news dads who are new parents. Find out why your baby needs to be sleeping on their back. From the podcast Your Baby Questions. #firsttimedad #newmom #newdad #newbaby #firsttimeparent #newborn #babysleepingtips

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Hey guys,

My name is Thomas Uzuegbunem, and this is Your Baby Questions Podcast brought to you by parentspluskids.com.

In today’s question, we’re going to discuss sleeping.

Specifically, how you’re supposed to lay your little one down when they’re sleeping.

Before we get to that, I want thank you for joining us today.

Also, if you would like to ask a question and have it possibly featured in Your Baby Questions Podcast go to yourbabyquestions.com


Here’s the question:

I hear all the time babies are supposed to sleep on their back. I get it, but I’ve always been curious why babies need to sleep on their back?

Why Do Babies Need to Sleep on Their Back?

Some of you probably remember at one point laying your baby on their stomach was the recommended thing to do.

This has been the thing moms and dads were told to do for years.

Then you start getting told don’t do that.

Instead, lay them on their back.

Confusing right?

There are actually some good reasons for those changes.

One of the main reasons for your baby sleeping on their back has to do with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Or more commonly referred to as SIDS.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics laying your baby on their back is by far the safest position your baby can be in to avoid SIDS.

What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

You’re now probably wondering what the heck is SIDS.

Well SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as I previously mentioned is defined as the death of an infant who’s under one year of age.

It’s further defined as the death of an infant whose death is unexplained after a thorough examination upon death.

SIDS also remains by far the leading cause of death in infants from one month of age to one year of age in the United States.

A definite cause is not 100% known.

Many studies appear to be showing some link between a baby not laying on their back and poor oxygenation to the body and brain.

Some of the thoughts on this include your baby rebreathing his or her breath that they exhaled if he or she’s sleeping on their stomach.

Since we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide you can start seeing how this could cause an increase in carbon dioxide buildup and a decrease in the amount of oxygen your baby inhales.

The other reasons mentioned are risks of upper airway obstruction and risk of overheating.

Other Benefits to Your Baby Sleeping on Their Back

I’ve mentioned a lot about SIDS, but there are other benefits to your baby sleeping on their back.

Babies who sleep on their back are less likely to develop:

  • ear infections

  • stuffy noses

  • and fevers.

Just looking at some of the research there’s a lot of benefits for babies sleeping on their back especially in those first 6 months of life when SIDS is more likely to happen.

I know it’s hard at times but that’s one of the blessings and curses of modern science and medicine.

There’s new research constantly happening, and sometimes old methods or old ways of thinking and doing things are made obsolete by new research that’s discovered.


It looks like our time is about over with I hope you found this helpful and informative as well.

I want to thank you guys so much for listening to the show.

To get the show notes for this episode along with the sources we used for this you can go to yourbabyquestions.com/01.

Also if you’re not already subscribed go ahead and take a moment to hit the subscribe button, so you don’t miss any of the updates.

I’m going to leave you with a quote by Josh Duhamel:

Episode Quote:

This is your baby quote from this article. To inspire and give you a laugh.
They tell you that at his age, all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. And what I’ve learned is they can actually do all three at the same time. Who knew?
— Josh Duhamel

Who knew indeed.

Until next time.



As always these are general thoughts and should not be taken as professional advice. See our disclaimer and terms of use.

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Sources/links mentioned in this episode

The American Academy of Pediatrics
Safe to Sleep: National Institutes of Health

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