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How to Position Your Baby for Sleep

Learn how to position an infant for sleep from parenting coach Tammy Gold in this Howcast baby care video.


Now that your baby is swaddled and ready for sleep, there are different positions that you can do to figure out what’s most comfortable for your baby. It is always the most safe to put your baby to sleep on their back. That’s because it lowers the incidence of SIDS. It is much, much safer for your baby. However, there are lots of different ways your babies can sleep on their back. Some babies can sleep upright if they’re in their swing, if they’re in a glider, if they’re on a bouncy chair. As long as they’re swaddled on their back, you can position them in different ways, and in different apparatus you may have in the house that will make them the most comfortable. Some babies are perfectly fine being swaddled and placed perfectly on their back. Some babies prefer to be on their side a little bit, and by doing this you could roll a towel or two and place it behind the baby this way. So this side may be comfortable for your baby or this side may be comfortable. It takes a couple times of trial and error for you to figure out what’s the most comfortable for your baby. There are also items called crib wedges that go underneath the crib sheet that elevate the baby’s head. So they’re still on their back, but their head is elevated a little bit, and this is also helpful for babies who have reflux or colic. It helps the contents of their stomach stay down during sleep, and usually provides better sleep for the baby. You wouldn’t use a sleep positioner, because those have been actually outlawed now by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But this wedge goes under the sheet within a crib, and simply elevates the baby’s head. So whatever position you find works for your baby, just make sure that the baby is swaddled, that their areas for breathing are completely clear, and that they’re always in some form on their back.

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