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The Best Sleeping Position for Your Baby

by Rikke Randrup Skåning

If you’re a new parent, it may seem like there’s an overwhelming amount of information to remember to keep your baby healthy, safe, and happy. You’ll soon find that some of it will work for you, and some of it won’t. However, this piece of advice is a good one to remember. Read on to learn why your baby should always be sleeping on the back, and when your toddler can sleep safely on the tummy. 


  • You can help your baby to sound and safe sleep by:
    • Placing your baby flat on the back on a firm and flat surface for every sleep, day and night.
    • Trying to swaddle your baby in a blanket. This can help some babies feel safe, and secure.
    • Making sure your baby doesn’t get too hot.
    • Alternate the direction your baby lies in the crib to help prevent a flat head.
    • Not allowing your toddler to sleep on the tummy until he or she can roll over without your help.
  • Keep yourself updated on recommendations from the Danish Health Authority.

Back Sleeping Babies

The Danish Health Authority recommends that babies must sleep on their backs. One of the most protective actions you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible is therefore to put your baby to sleep on the back, instead of the stomach or the side. Physiotherapist, Rikke Randrup Skaaning, explains why:

“Unfortunately, sleeping on the stomach increases the risk of cot death up to 10 times, and side sleeping is associated with twice the risk of cot death. Therefore, the Danish National Board of Health recommends that babies sleep on their backs on a flat surface until they are at least one year old, and that you make sure your baby doesn’t get too hot when sleeping. Swaddling your baby might also help your baby feel comfortable, safe, and secure, and try to alternate the direction your baby lies in the crib to help prevent a flat head.”

If you follow these simple pieces of advice, you are off to a great start. A good way to check that your baby is not too hot is to check the neck or chest for dampness.
At some point, your little one will probably start rolling into the preferred sleeping position by themself even if you place them on the back. Don’t worry - this is completely fine.

Safe Tummy Sleep

So, when is it safe for your baby to sleep on the stomach? The answer is simple - once your baby is old enough to roll over without your help, there’s no need to worry if your little one flips over during sleep.

“Many babies love resting on their tummies, and this is fine when they are awake. When your child can roll over without your help, sleeping on the stomach at night is perfectly fine as well. This will probably be around 10-12 months of age if your child follows a typical development. However, you should still put your child to sleep on the back until they are at least one year old,” says physiotherapist, Rikke Randrup Skaaning.

If you are having a hard time getting your baby to calm down or go to sleep, or if you are just feeling worried, please consult with your health visitor or your doctor.

Here you can update yourself on the Danish Health Authority’s recommendations for babies’ best sleeping position. We urge you to always keep yourself informed about the Danish Health Authority’s current recommendations on this subject.


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