Baby Sleep Advice from Physiotherapist & Pediatrician Meike Göhler
Bedtime is an important time for both babies and parents. While good-quality bedding and a healthy nursery environment will help your little one sleep peacefully, it is vital that your baby is in a safe position every time they go to sleep.
Lay baby on his/her back to the reduce risk of SIDS
It’s recommended to lie your baby exclusively on their back, for better breathing and temperature regulation, to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Unfortunately, this safe position can lead to plagiocephaly, or “flat head” syndrome. In the first months of a baby’s life, their bones are still relatively soft, so when your baby spends long periods of time in the same position, the pressure on part of the head can cause the skull to flatten slightly.
Preventing flat head syndrome
Some cases of flat head can require long physiotherapy sessions to resolve, and in the most extreme cases, therapy with a helmet can be needed. However, there are several preventative solutions that can be used during the first few months of baby’s life to help avoid flat head occurring.
Pediatrician Meike Göhler recommends using specific baby cushions and supportive pillows to avoid flat head, such as the Lovenest Pillow. Lovenest was developed and patented by pediatrician Dr Maidenberg.
When your baby is awake, we strongly recommend that you encourage them to change position often, to reduce pressure on a single point of their head. Some tips include:
- “Tummy time” - playing with baby where you’re both lying on your front
- Moving your baby between flat surfaces, slings, and sloping chairs so there isn’t constant pressure on a single point
- Alternating the sides you hold baby when carrying and feeding
Encourage babies to sleep on their back
During sleep, you can support your baby’s back position using sleeping aids like the Cosydream. With a built-in head support, memory foam padding and an adjustable leg roll, the Cosydream promotes a healthy sleeping position on the back and helps prevent plagiocephaly. The leg roll elevates your baby’s legs to reduce uncomfortable stretching of the stomach muscles. The Cosydream is recommended from birth up to 4-6 months or until baby is capable of turning over on their own.