I often get questions about babies and sleep positioning. I know there is all kinds of information out there about how we must put our babies on their backs for sleeping. I am not going to go into large lengths of researching to argue one way or the other, I am simply going to share my experiences with you and YOU be the judge and take responsibility for the choices you make as a parent.
I put my babies to sleep on their bellies. There, I said it. With my first child, I laid her on her back only. I will tell you that she startled easily, woke herself up constantly, and had difficulty settling herself to sleep consistently until she figured out how to roll over and then she chose to sleep on her belly anyhow. I guess Daly Kay at four months old had not yet read all the evidence that said sleeping on her belly was dangerous, but I was sure not going to go wake her up from her nap to move her!
Ryli, on the other hand, would not sleep on her back. I tried for two months to get that baby to nap on her back, and one day David just marched in her nursery, put her on her belly, and in one minute she was out cold. Snoring even.
From then on in our family, every new baby seemed to just sleep easier on their tummy. As newborns, I would rotate them from one side in the morning nap, to the belly in the afternoon nap and then the other side during their evening nap. I was always concerned about them getting a flat or misshapen head.
But then by three to five months of age, moms are presented with another challenge. Baby has learned to roll over, and is now stuck either on their back when they are used to sleeping on their belly, or on their belly when they are accustomed to sleeping on their back. Oh no! Now what?
Heartless as it may seem, unless you want another full time job constantly going in there and repositioning them, you are going to have to let them fuss it out. In general, it only takes a few days for them to learn to deal. Yes, it may involve crying, but going in there only delays the inevitable necessary nap. At worst this teaches them that rolling over, fussing or all out screaming can possibly deter you from getting them to nap…which is a necessity for healthy growth and development—not to mention your sanity.
Remember what I told you, sleep is a skill. And most new skills take time and effort to acquire.