ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SIDS and Bellysleeping

Updated on September 17, 2012

Yesterday, my daughter, Shannon, was completely miserable all day. At first, I thought she had constipation and I tried a few things to help her; I put a little extra water in her bottles and massaged her tummy. She was fine... then I figured it was gas that's been keeping her cranky for days. I put her on her stomach on her lion playmat and she fell right to sleep. She hadn't been constipated and she may have been a little gassy but I think she was mostly tired and that was the problem. So here comes the question... is it safe for infants to sleep on their stomachs since SIDS has been linked to stomach sleeping?

I have done a little research and asked a lot of moms, so here goes. This is not medical advice nor expert advice but I know a lot of moms and their babies are still alive and well. Overwhelmingly, everyone (but one so far) said that they started their babies on their tummies weeks or a month or two after birth since that was the only way they could sleep. Also, a friend said her pediatrician said it was fine once your baby has pretty good neck control. My mom said my brother and I never slept on our backs, since in the time, they were told to lay babies on their stomachs to sleep. How did an entire generation survive sleeping on their stomachs if SIDS is link to sleeping on their stomachs?

I read somewhere that the cases of SIDS have gone down 50% since they started instructing parents to lay babies on their backs to sleep. SIDS peaks in prevalence between 1 month and 4 months (which coincides with head and neck control). I have a theory, it totally makes sense too. Maybe, since SIDS doesn't have a certain cause or signs after death, they were confusing SIDS with suffocation? In that case, one could start belly sleeping when head control was present and everything was cleared from the crib. SIDS, in reality, is very, very rare and unpredictable. The cause isn't completely known so they just try to keep you from doing something that, in the off chance, may trigger SIDS.

ALTERNATIVES to stomach sleeping if your baby is having sleeping difficulties in a crib or bassinet:

1) Try swaddling your baby on her back.

2) Sleeping in a swing may help a baby sleep more soundly.

3) A friend's advice was to roll up two receiving blankets and place them on each side of her while she is sleeping on her side to prop her up, they did it in the hospital for her daughter.

THINGS to try before putting baby on her tummy:

1) a sound machine with soothing sounds

2) take time to slowly wind baby down, rock her to the point of drowsy (not sleeping, or she may develop a pattern of only being able to sleep if rocked to sleep), try a feeding schedule that feeds her right before bed, make sure she is dry and clean for comfort, try a warm bath with lavender soap

3) gas drops if she's soothed on her stomach because of gas

4) laying her on her belly supervised for tummy time to encourage movement, which can help gas and constipation

5) massage her belly if it is gas/constipation related.

So what I've learned:

1) It is best to lay your baby down on her back to sleep, and HIGHLY recommended.

2) If you are going to lay your baby on her tummy, do so ONLY when she has good head and neck control.

3) Always keep the crib cleared of dibris; no pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals.

4) Use only a hard mattress and fitted sheets in the crib.

5) Try stomach sleeping during a nap with constant supervision.

I have not tried stomach sleeping yet, since I am a chicken. I have found that her swing helps her sleep rather well, it's 9:45 am and she's still sleeping in her swing. If that ever stops working I'll try swaddling then stomach sleeping. Laying her on her stomach helped her get her to release her built up belly troubles, too.

When did you start belly sleeping?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Just what I've been told by my son's pediatrician... SIDS only affects 1% of babies who slept on their tummies; now that they are "required" to sleep on their backs, it is down to .5%. So yes, technically its gone down 50% but it is really only half of a percent. So it isn't something that is common to begin with. Belly sleeping is perfectly healthy and my son has ONLY slept on his tummy since he was 4.5weeks old. He occasionally rolls onto his side but thats about it. He wont sleep on his back at all. Good blog btw, i enjoyed this one :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)