Sicher schlafen: Die richtige Schlafposition für Babys

The right sleeping position

Should babies sleep on their stomachs, on their sides or on their backs? It used to be common practice for babies to sleep on their stomachs and this is what the experts advised. Because the assumption was that babies lying on their backs choke on their vomit.

Table of contents:

1. What is the best sleeping position for babies
2. Reasons for the supine position
         1. Prone position
         2. Lateral position
3. So much for the theory


1. What is the best sleeping position for babies

Today we know that the sleeping position is not decisive. The risk of choking on vomit is equally high/low in all sleeping positions. Today, the very clear recommendation applies from all directions: the supine position is the best sleeping position for babies, and at best for the entire first year of life. But why is that so?


2. Reasons for the supine position

It suggests that sudden infant death syndrome is related to the wrong sleeping position. Since the supine position has been advised, the number of sudden infant deaths has decreased significantly. Although the actual reason for the sudden infant death has still not been clearly clarified, it is easy to explain why the other two sleeping positions are dangerous:

2.1. Prone position

Babies are not yet able to roll over, let alone turn their heads. Their neck muscles are simply not that developed, so they simply lack the strength. Over the course of the first few weeks they start to be able to hold their heads up and turn them, but still not as controlled as in older children or adults. So if you lay the baby down on its stomach, it can happen that it eventually lies on its face by turning its head slightly. As a result, it can happen that it can no longer turn its head on its own or simply falls asleep on its face and does not notice that it is unable to breathe. As a result, the baby suffocates.

2.2. Lateral position

The side position is also often disputed. Often used to avoid or compensate for the one-sided flattening of the head. However, there is also the danger here that the child will turn onto its stomach and thus onto its face. There are special side sleeper pillows or towels that you roll up and wrap around your child so they can't roll over. On the one hand, the pillow/towel can slip, on the other hand, there is a risk that the baby will bury its face in it. Both increase the risk of suffocation. Therefore, the safest method remains the supine position.


When it comes to sleeping, the recline is actually the best sleeping position. Nevertheless, you should generally make sure that the baby is always put down in the tummy position when awake, so it trains its muscles and also avoids the head flattening unattractively. But also not to be neglected, you don't get very far in life in reserve, crawling and crawling only works when lying on your stomach. Therefore, the prone position is very important for the development of children.


3. So much for the theory

In fact, my mother also told me that my sister and I slept on our stomachs, with the addition, I quote, "Everything is better known today, in the past children didn't die lying on their stomachs either." Yes, earlier, earlier, earlier... Me I myself see that such studies are not in vain and this is not about sweets that might cause a hole in the tooth. But this is a matter of life and death. When I was pregnant, I thought to myself that I would of course pay meticulous attention to it. As always, the reality looked a little different.


In the first few days in the hospital, lying on my back worked quite well. Once home, however, sleeping became more and more of a struggle. In the end, Leon only slept on me for the first few weeks, lying on his stomach. I also read somewhere that you should never let the child sleep on you, as this also increases the risk of sudden infant death. But honestly, what should I have done? Leon only slept with physical contact and it wasn't enough to lay him next to me, he wanted to lie on me, day and night. So during the day I sometimes sat for hours on the sofa with Leon on me. All around I was equipped with a mobile phone, food and drink, so I didn't have to move. I mean, most of the time I was awake and able to check if everything was fine with Leon and if he was still breathing, and I actually did that a lot. But that night I slept myself, me on my back and Leon lying prone on my stomach. He could have slipped down, he could have buried his face, I could have covered him too far with my blanket, or I could have accidentally crushed him. Yes, I knew all that, but that was the best solution for us. Of course I also tried to put him to bed, but he woke up immediately (!) as soon as I somehow moved him away from me and he immediately screamed. So he slept on me and it didn't happen, toi toi toi.


Over time I managed to get Leon to sleep in his little bed. Then I made sure that he was sleeping on his back. That also worked very well. Leon hated lying on his stomach during this time. It doesn't matter whether you're awake or asleep. Since he slept on his back at night, I naturally tried to put him on his stomach during the day. Catastrophe! He hated it, I didn't even put him down properly on his stomach before he started crying. So he lay on his back day and night and who would have thought it - his head isn't unevenly flattened. That's why I've actually done everything right to date when it comes to sleeping.


But the development of the little ones is rapid, so when Leon started to turn from his back to his stomach, his sleeping position gradually changed too. At about 8 months he discovered sleeping on his stomach. I always put him on his back in bed, but he would roll over right away. I let him sleep like that, what should I have done? I can hardly, permanently turn my child from the prone position to the back position. So the time for back sleepers was over. By the way, he still sleeps on his stomach to this day, always with his poppes up 😀


I also know from many other mothers that some babies only sleep on their stomach from the start. It just seems to be her favorite position. Sure, one should try that they sleep babies on their backs. But if that ends in hours of screaming, I'd let them sleep as they please. I'm also a stomach sleeper and couldn't sleep on my back and would be pissed if I had to. I can therefore completely understand the babies 😉

Häufig gestellte Fragen zu Sicher schlafen

Was soll ich tun, wenn mein Baby sich im Schlaf auf den Bauch dreht?

Wenn sich dein Baby von selbst auf den Bauch dreht, ist das in Ordnung, solange es stark genug ist, den Kopf zu drehen und frei zu atmen. Ansonsten wird dringend empfohlen, Babys nicht auf dem Bauch schlafen zu lassen, denn diese erhöht das Risiko des plötzlichen Kindstods (SIDS).

Welche Maßnahmen kann ich ergreifen, um das Risiko von SIDS zu reduzieren?

Neben der Wahl der richtigen Schlafposition gibt es weitere Maßnahmen, die Sie ergreifen können, um das Risiko des plötzlichen Säuglingstodes zu verringern. Dazu gehören, nicht in der Nähe des Babys zu rauchen, die Raumtemperatur zu regulieren, das Baby nicht zu warm anzuziehen und regelmäßige Vorsorgeuntersuchungen beim Kinderarzt.

Ab welchem Alter kann mein Baby auf der Seite schlafen?

Es wird empfohlen, dass Babys ausschließlich auf dem Rücken schlafen, bis sie in der Lage sind, sich eigenständig umzudrehen. Dies geschieht normalerweise im Alter von etwa sechs Monaten. Bis dahin ist die Rückenlage die sicherste Schlafposition.

Kann ich ein Kissen oder eine Decke in das Bett legen, um mein Baby in der richtigen Position zu halten?

Nein, es wird nicht empfohlen, Kissen oder Decken in das Babybett zu legen. Diese Gegenstände können das Risiko des Erstickens erhöhen. Verwenden Sie stattdessen einen Schlafsack oder eine spezielle Babydecke, die für die Verwendung im Kinderbett geeignet ist.