Newborns sleep on their side: Pros and cons

Sleep is extremely important for the health and development of children. Putting babies to sleep on their side is now the choice of many parents. Is this a good sleeping position for babies? The following article will analyze the pros and cons of this sleeping position.

1. How important is a good lying position for children?

For children, sleep is just as important as food and water. Deep sleep is an essential condition for children to develop comprehensively physically and mentally. Sleep is especially important for babies. Sleep is when the baby's brain develops, about 80% of brain cells are born in the first 3 years of life. When sleeping, the body's growth hormone secretes 4 times more than when awake.
The need for sleep in newborns is very high, on average, children sleep for 16-18 hours a day, sleep both during the day and at night, they only wake up for a few hours during the day to breastfeed and play. Therefore, sleeping position is an important issue affecting the growth and development of children. Good lying position for children, helping children to be comfortable, deep sleep will make an important contribution to the growth of children. On the contrary, when the child's sleeping position is not correct, it will make it difficult for the child to fall asleep, wake up easily, cry, be tired, etc., thereby leading to anorexia, slow weight gain, and reduced immunity.
Newborns do not know how to turn on their own, so their sleeping position is mainly determined by their parents. Newborn sleeping on their side is a fairly common position, this position has a number of advantages but also many disadvantages.

2. What are the advantages of an infant sleeping on their side?

If the infant sleeps on his side when sleeping for not too long, not lying on his side continuously, it will not only not affect the health but also have many good benefits for the child such as:
Newborn lying on the side helps to reduce choking, vomiting milk while sleeping. When the child vomits, lying on his side will help the vomit in the oral cavity to flow out of the mouth, not into the throat, helping to avoid the phenomenon of coughing and choking. If the child has the phenomenon of snoring while sleeping, turning the child to sleep on his side will disappear, and the child's breathing will also be more favorable. Newborns sleeping on their side will reduce pressure on the heart, digestive system also works better.
Trẻ sơ sinh nằm nghiêng khi ngủ giúp bé giảm sặc sữa

3. What are the disadvantages of an infant sleeping on their side?

3.1. Flat head syndrome

At the beginning of life, the skull bones of babies are still quite soft. Therefore, if pressure builds up at certain points on the skull for a long time, it will cause this part to sink inward and cause flat head syndrome. Flat head syndrome, if severe, will limit the brain's ability to expand and make the brain underdeveloped. Babies sleeping on their side for a long time also cause their ear loops to be compressed, changing the shape of the ears.
These phenomena usually occur when the infant sleeps on his side frequently and on the same side. Therefore, if the child sleeps on his side, parents need to pay attention to alternate sides for the child.

3.2. Torticollis

Torsion of the neck due to shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle that connects the side of the head to the scapula is also possible when the baby sleeps on his side. The cause of this phenomenon is because the baby's muscles are still soft and developing, the muscles are negatively affected when the baby is lying on his side. Symptoms of children with torticollis are often inclined to tilt the neck to one side and turn the face to the opposite side. If your child has a right-sided torticollis, his head will tilt to the right and his face will often turn to the left. When breastfeeding, babies only like to suck on one side because when they turn to the opposite side, they will feel uncomfortable. When detecting that a child has the above symptoms, parents need to take the child to a medical facility for examination. The doctor will guide parents to stretch and stretch exercises so that parents can practice at home for their children.

3.3. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of a child under 1 year of age, usually while the baby is asleep, for no apparent reason. This is considered the most dangerous risk for infants. The cause of this phenomenon is not known, but the risk factor is increased when the baby is lying on his side or stomach. Because babies are so young, they can't turn their heads and bodies on their own when they're choking.
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4. Advice on good lying position for children

Despite some advantages, lying on the side is not recommended as a frequently used position for children. Sleeping on your back is still considered the safest sleeping position. Parents often worry that putting their baby on their back will cause a flat head, but this usually goes away on its own when the baby starts to roll over. When the baby is about 4-6 months old, the baby can roll over, know how to turn over and over. At this time, the baby can change his/her own position to his/her side or stomach while sleeping. Mothers do not need to frequently change positions when the baby is sleeping because the baby can turn over on his own when he feels uncomfortable. However, the mother still needs to put the baby in the supine position when putting the baby to sleep.
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