When Is Side Sleeping Safe For Children?

If you’re a parent with more than one child, you likely already know the answer to this. New parents or couples expecting babies, this post is going to be super helpful and may even provide an additional sense of safety to your baby’s sleep routine. So, when is side sleeping safe for children and how can you prevent side sleeping before it’s safe? Read on to find out…

when is side sleeping safe for children

When is it safe for children to side sleep?

Let’s cut straight to the chase here. Side sleeping is generally safe for your little one once they are able to roll over on their own after being placed on their back or their tummy. I strongly urge you to make entirely sure that your baby is able to roll over before allowing them the capability to side sleep. This will usually be around the 4 to 6 month mark, but if you wish to keep them sleeping on their back for longer, that’s entirely up to you and is probably good practice. No matter what, it’s always important to keep putting your little one to sleep on their back regardless of whether they’re at the safe side sleeping stage or not. This helps cement the fact that sleeping on their back is routine for them which means they will tend to stick to it.

Why is it unsafe for children to side sleep in the first couple of months?

The main danger of side sleeping in early stages of life is that newborns don’t have the strength or the motor function to roll over if they get stuck on their tummy. This can lead to suffocation and increases the chances of a baby succumbing to SIDS. It’s important (and sad) to note that throughout the 70s and 80s putting babies to sleep on their stomach was encouraged as it was thought this would help reduce the risk of babies choking if they vomited during the night. Unfortunately, this resulted in a sharp rise in cot death (SIDS) which was attributed to suffocation.

How can you help your little one stay sleeping on their back throughout the night?

There are baby safe sleeping bags out there that can help immensely in keeping your little one on their back throughout the night. Wrapping them securely and safely also is a good option. And as mentioned above, keep putting them to bed on their back for as long as you can.

As always, sleep sweetly and deeply (and safely) through the night! x

Click here to read about safe baby playtime and sleep setup!