Babies need to be placed on their back for every sleep until they are 12 months old. Whatever position they get themselves into after that is safe as long as the sleep space is following the ABC’s of safe sleep.
Even if they are capable of rolling, they still must be placed on their back – this reduces the risk of SIDS.
- They need to be able to get into the position themselves, to get themselves out of it if need be. If they roll over after you’ve put them on their back, that’s fine (as long as they are not swaddled- which needs to stop at 8 weeks old or first signs of attempting to roll).
- They might be extra tired or unwell that day and placing them in a position that they would usually be fine with, could be dangerous as they may be too tired to free themselves if they are in a compromising position.
- The back to sleep campaign in the 90’s reduced the number of SIDS cases dramatically. Evidence proves that this is the safest way to place your baby to sleep (1).
- Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths: updated 2016 recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. Pediatrics. 2016 Nov 1;138(5).