You might think that the safest place for a baby to sleep is in your arms, or maybe you have been told that babies feel most comfortable on their bellies - but they are wrong. The wrong sleeping position for your baby could pose a risk on their life.
A recent survey conducted with 3,297 mothers, indicated that only 77 percent of put their babies to sleep on their backs - most of the time, but not always. In addition to that, the study also found that if the mother felt that the sleeping position of her baby was the decision of another family member (or the baby), she three times more likely to place the sleeping baby on its stomach.
"What was new and hadn’t been explored before was this idea of what people intended to do versus what they actually do," co-author of the study, Dr. Eve Colson, professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine in the US, told CNN. "What we found was that people intended to put their baby on their back but didn’t always do that."
Colson explained that mothers explained to the surveyors that they fear the sleeping baby will choke on its back, and worry that their position (on their backs) is less comfortable than having the baby sleep on their stomachs. A pediatrician at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone Health in the US, Dr. Robin JAcobson stated that new mothers are usually influence by culture, family, or lack of education - which often leads to this misconception.
"Grandmothers and aunts and everybody have told (mothers), if they have babies sleep on their bellies, they’re more comfortable; they’re not going to choke, and because of that, a new mom who doesn’t really have a lot of information is using information from everybody else in their life." Robin told CNN.
It is recommended by experts to place the baby on their backs before they fall asleep. As this could reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - an unexplained fatal condition that occurs during sleep of a child less than one year of age. Babies who slept on their backs also had lesser chance of encountering other sleep-related infant deaths such as suffocation.
If you are still in doubt, then it is best to seek advice from your doctor.