Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Infant Sleep Position
July 31, 2023

Found in age groups

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

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A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

Sleep is serious business. If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial, from the point of view of the United States of America Department of the Army. A major point, emphasized by the Army, is that more sleep produces more benefits for Soldiers. Also, more sleep produces more benefits for children. Even small amounts of extra sleep help (Blog Post 6). At every age!

Blog 142Infant Sleep Position

Deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) more than doubled in the 1970s in the Netherlands after physicians encouraged mothers to put their babies to sleep on their stomachs.

SIDS was associated with the stomach down (prone) sleeping position in the 1980s.  

Deaths from SIDS dropped by 40% between 1987 and 1988  in the Netherlands when mothers were advised to return to the traditional practice of putting their babies to sleep on their backs (supine).

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that healthy babies should be placed on their backs or sides to sleep. 

In 1996, the AAP modified its recommendation, stating that placing babies to sleep on their backs has the lowest risk and is preferred.


  1. My 7 month old girl has recently started to roll onto her tummy during sleep. She often does it multiple times after being turned back over by us while sleeping. She looks so comfortable in the position sometimes, sleeping so soundly. It often wakes her when we turn her over and I end up feeling so guilty for waking her (as well as frustrated!). If babies turn themselves onto their bellies, is it okay to leave them this way? She has strong head and neck control but hasnt fully mastered the ability to turn herself over. She will often wake herself too and cry for someone to turn her back over. It is a real pain point for us at the moment! She is waking herself or else we are waking her. I know the guidance is there but is there any grey area here?

    1. AAP: “Place your baby on their back for every sleep. If your baby is comfortable rolling both ways (back to tummy, tummy to back), then you do not have to return your baby to their back if they roll over on their own.”

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