The Ideal Sleeping Position for Your Baby

The Ideal Sleeping Position for Your Baby
Nelton Ramos

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Nelton Ramos.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Parents often try different postures to get their baby to sleep quickly and help them rest properly. In this article, we’ll look at the ideal sleeping position to get your baby to sleep.

The key: combine comfort with safety

There are some sleeping positions that your baby will prefer over others. You will notice this instantly.

The more comfortable your baby feels, the less they will move around, trying to get you to change their position.

Pay attention to your baby’s body language. If they start to wriggle, whimper, struggle or cry, this means they feel uncomfortable or unsafe. When this happens, it’s important to stay calm and try a different position. Show your baby that everything is okay, and that you understand what they’re trying to tell you.

It is also important that you, as a mom, feel comfortable, so you don’t tire yourself out trying to get your baby to sleep.

The key for both of you is to combine comfort and safety. Little by little, you will see that both you and your baby know how to adapt easily, taking these factors into account.

So, what is the ideal sleeping position to get your baby to sleep?

Face up: the ideal sleeping position

Putting babies to sleep on their backs has always been one of the most popular ways to put babies to sleep. 

Although this position fell out of favor among parents for a time, today it is one of the most highly recommended by pediatricians. This is the ideal sleeping position for babies.

Today we know that this is one of the safest positions in case a baby spits up during the night. Since the child is horizontal, their mouth is completely uncovered and they can expel the fluid completely.

Putting babies to sleep on their backs also helps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

When your baby lies on their back, they have a much broader field of vision. This means they can watch you, move around and kick their legs in response to the stimuli in their environment.

Your baby will feel more comfortable in this position. They are free to stretch out their arms and touch whatever they want. Watch out, though: overusing one position can lead to flat head syndrome.

ideal sleeping position for your baby

Other possible positions

On their side

Another way to put your baby to sleep is on their side. In this position, babies feel comfortable and can expel any vomit without the risk of swallowing or choking on it.

On their side, infants also have the ability to move around and look around if they wake up. Additionally, in this position, babies don’t feel suffocated in hot weather.

Some experts say that sleeping this way imitates the fetal position that babies had in inside the womb, and this is why they feel so comfortable.

Being cradled

There are many babies who can only get to sleep in their mother’s arms. Moms tend to hold babies in their arms, facing up, and rock them gently.

In this position, you can put your cheek against the top of their head and whisper to them until they fall asleep. This position is warm and cozy, and strengthens the bond between you. The only risk is that your baby could become accustomed to it.

Our advice is to not let your baby get used to a single sleeping position. This will make things easier for both of you.

We should take into account that at some point, babies need to learn to get to sleep on their own. If you always rock your child to sleep, in the long term, you won’t be doing them any good.

Some parents also put their child in a cradle, a stroller or even a special hammock, allowing them to rock their baby softly until they close their eyes. This is a great technique, but try to use it in moderation.

These positions are good for getting babies to sleep, particularly because they strengthen the bonds between mother and child. The baby feels close to their mother, just like they did in the womb.

strengthening the bond between mother and child

Other positions

  • In your arms, facing upwards, while you cuddle them, kiss them and watch them sleep
  • On your chest. Your baby will be stable and you will be able to keep an eye on you.
  • Leaning on you. That is to say, with their head on your shoulder, supporting the weight of their body. This is another ideal sleeping position for your baby.
  • On their back on your lap, with their head on your knees. It’s best to put a blanket or coverlet under their head so that they are comfortable.

What about face down?

These days, putting babies to sleep face down is not recommended until they are at least a year old.

However, some parents find that, however much they try to stop it from happening, their baby gets into this position while they sleep. Some parents even find their child sleeping face down, with their head on their side and their knees underneath them.

Sleeping face down is seen as the least suitable position due to the fear that it could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, if babies sleep on their front, they do it under supervision.

Sleeping face down strengthens the baby’s muscles, helping them to hold their head up and allowing them to gain fine psycho-motor skills earlier. But it’s best to avoid this sleeping position when your baby sleeps alone.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.