Is it safe for babies to sleep on their side? Know the Possible Risks

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Is it safe for babies to sleep on their side? Sometimes, this position is unavoidable. Because as the night passes, maybe the baby can change its position on its own. Some mothers say that their babies only sleep soundly when they lie on their side.

Then, some deliberately put their newborns to sleep on their side, for various reasons.

Actually, can babies sleep on their side? What are the possible risks due to this sleeping position? The following is a discussion from a medical point of view.

Just as adults can sleep on their backs or sides, you may occasionally want to change your baby’s sleeping position so that they don’t always face up.

That’s why there are mothers who choose a side sleeping position so that the baby avoids the condition of a paying head. However, mothers should be more vigilant when putting the baby to sleep in a tilted position, either to the right or left.

Is it safe for babies to sleep on their side, and what are the possible risks? The following is an explanation of the dangers of sleeping on your side for your little one’s health.

Can babies sleep on their side?

Is it safe for babies to sleep on their side?
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At this early age, you should not let your little one sleep in a sideways position.

This is not without reason. It is feared that sleeping on your side can trigger sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The reason is, that when the baby sleeps on his side, he risks ending up in an uncomfortable prone sleeping position.

This position can make it difficult for the baby to breathe, especially if there are many items next to him, such as blankets, dolls, pillows, or bolsters.

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The presence of these objects coupled with the baby’s prone position can interfere with the work of the nose to breathe.

Sleeping on your side, which is at risk of turning into your stomach, can hinder air exchange, thereby depriving your baby of oxygen.

So, so that your little one sleeps more comfortably and quietly, you should avoid sleeping on your side and you should let him sleep on his back.

What are the side effects if the baby is allowed to sleep on their side?
Choosing a sleeping position for a baby can be quite confusing. However, as a guide, mothers and fathers should avoid side sleeping positions, especially for newborns.

Here are the reasons why your little one should not sleep on their side.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

The Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) explains on its official website that your little one should not sleep on their side.

The reason is, that the side effect of babies sleeping on their side is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

SIDS is the sudden death of a healthy baby while he is sleeping. No one can predict these conditions.

Generally, sudden infant death syndrome occurs in infants aged less than one year, especially infants aged 6 months.

If your little one sleeps on his side, this can increase the risk of sudden death.

This is because the baby can suddenly roll over and his nose is closed so that it can make the little one short of breath.

Babies also cannot scream for help and will only continue to cry when they are in danger.

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Neck muscle disorders

Quoting from Kids Health, the baby’s side sleeping position can trigger torticollis.

Torticollis is a shortening of the neck muscle that connects the head to the collarbone.

This condition can occur when your child often sleeps on his side.

Torticollis should not be ignored because it can trigger abnormal muscle and bone development.

Sleeping on your side doesn’t prevent your head from falling

For mothers who choose a side sleeping position for their little one to avoid a paying head, you should start to avoid this position.

Sleeping on your side is not a solution to prevent a baby’s head from being irritable. It’s best if you get your little one to do tummy time or on their stomach.

This is a prone sleeping position, but with parental supervision. In addition to reducing an uneven head, tummy time is also useful for strengthening neck muscles.

Just make sure you keep an eye on your little one during tummy time, okay?

When can babies sleep on their side?

Quoting to Healthy Children, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome decreases after the baby is 6 months old.

Before recommending the supine sleeping position, approximately 5000 infants died of SIDS in the United States.

After doctors recommended babies sleep in the prone position, the mortality rate was reduced to 2300 per year.

Although the death rate has decreased, this has become such a problem that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the safest position is on the back.

If you want to train or change the baby’s sleeping position to prone, first identify the right time.

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Here’s a guide and the ideal time to train a baby to sleep on his stomach.

  • When the baby has started to roll over and is uncomfortable sleeping on his back,
  • Keep away from objects that can interfere with breathing, such as pillows, blankets, bolsters, and dolls.
  • At night the baby sleeps on his back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death.
  • Make sure the baby remains under the supervision of the mother and father.

In addition to paying attention to a good sleeping position for the baby, mothers and fathers must ensure that the baby remains safe when sleeping on his side so that he does not get caught or trapped when his little one is rolling on the mattress.


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