Is it True That Baby Sleeping Face Down is Probable Risks to SIDS?

Is putting your baby sleeping face down really dangerous for the baby? A battered question from worried moms a long time ago, now, and for sure in the future.

Priority number one: “Moms motto is to keep the safety of their baby.”


With the disturbing news about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or “crib death” circulating all around, we could never be sure. Let us not dwell with fear all along and learn to know the facts on different risks associated with baby sleeping on their stomach. Our babies will be safer if we will educate ourselves properly.

Why is Letting My Baby Sleep on Her Tummy Risky?

​Hold on to that thought!

​As our research progressed, we found out that there are certain factors or situations that can lead to risks when the baby is sleeping on her tummy. Let us go about it one by one and know why they are risky. Learn how to avoid them.

1. When Baby is Sleeping on a Soft Mattress

For us adults, it is a luxury to sleep in soft beds, quilts, blankets, and pillows. On the other hand, for babies, these are extremely dangerous. Parents should make sure that these soft materials must not stay inside the baby’s crib since it threatens risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.

Your baby is sleeping on her tummy; she might not have the strength to push herself up in the process of suffocation.

The safe way for a baby to sleep is on her back, with a firm, flat sleeping surface, sheets that perfectly fit the bassinet or crib and no more additional beddings.

2. When Baby is Sleeping While Swaddled

I was kind of worried when I learned about this since I love swaddling my baby to sleep. It seems like the warmth makes them sleep nicely and it will give me extra time to move around the house for chores. I wondered why there are situations that babies can sleep on their stomach while swaddled.


“If the temperature really calls for swaddling, make sure that you know how to do it properly.”

Baby rolling over is more dangerous. Babies can change positions sideways to lying face down while sleeping. When swaddled blankets get loose, it can make movements easy for them. If caught up with blankets covering their face, they can’t move their hands up to take it off. Loose blankets may end up, strangling or covering your baby’s face, giving her difficulty to breath.

Swaddling could increase body temperature making it hard for the baby to breath that would lead to suffocation. Before swaddling, make sure that the weather is really chilly that the baby needs extra warmth through swaddling

3. When Baby is Sleeping with Cold and Other Infections

Take Note:

“Babies who were allowed to sleeping in a prone position with nasal congestion and other infections problem are 10x higher at risk compared to swaddling.”

Nasal congestion is increasing baby’s spitting when they swallow a lot of mucus. When the nose is congested, and at the same time they have frequent spitting, the baby would be struggling to breathe, and it is much tough for them to do it when sleeping in a prone position.

​Always check your baby regularly to ensure she is safe. Letting her sleep on her back in a slightly elevated position is advisable.

4. Carbon Dioxide Poisoning

This condition is often diagnosed when the baby is in a position that prevents her from breathing. Usually, this situation is associated with baby sleeping face down. During the findings, babies do not have enough strength to push themselves up for them to be able to breathe.

Another research has shown that baby sleeping in the prone position may end up poisoned with too much inhalation of carbon dioxide. Everyone knows that we breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide exhaled by babies may be trapped in the mattress, pillows or blankets thus making the baby inhale continuous carbon dioxide.

5. When Baby is Using a Sleeping Positioner in Her Sleep


For the past few years, reports have shown that there are incidents that babies who were provided with sleeping positioners were at risk to suffocation.

Although the best position for baby to sleep is on their back, it does not guarantee that they will not roll over the side by side or turn over to the prone position. If this happens, babies will find it difficult to move since positioners usually have barriers at each side.

This baby sleeping positioners are already banned by FDA and no longer available in stores, but you can still find it anywhere on online stores or second-hand outlets

6. Baby Sleeping Face Down on Mom’s Chest

Letting your baby sleep on your chest is a superb way of mom-baby bonding. However, this is only best if moms would be awake the whole time.

What would be the risk?

If your baby is still too young to roll over, and still do not have enough strength to turn his head while sleeping, he might get into such position that both his mouth and nose will be muffled into your skin, such that he can no longer move for proper breathing.

All the while your baby might already be suffocating, but you would not notice because you are fast asleep. At the same time, he is not capable of crying or moving to warn you.

Do not worry, you can still do this to your baby when he is old enough to maneuver around.

Final Thoughts

Were you satisfied with the reasons given why baby sleeping face down is not safe?

As we have brought up in the discussion, prone sleeping is dangerous only if you did not heed attention to the risk factors associated with it. However, I know that we take care of our baby as the number one priority, but sometimes it is better safe than sorry.

Based on the studies, it suggested that airway protection is compromised during prone sleeping during active sleep.

Comparing to babies who sleep on their backs, babies who love prone positions have these characteristics:

  • Babies do not react much to noise around the surroundings
  • Blood pressure and heart rate control are not stable.
  • Is less active and usually sleep for a longer time.

If you have more questions about this topic, feel free to drop a comment, and we will be very glad to talk about it. You can share this article to all moms out there who are facing the same uncertain thoughts in connection to risks of baby sleeping face down!

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