When babies get tired they may settle in bouncy chairs, swings or their buggy but they should always be moved to a firm, flat sleep space.
When babies falls asleep in a seated position…
- Their heavy head is not supported and can roll forward
- Their chin tucks into their chest and their narrow airways become kinked
- Move them to a firm, flat sleep space to keep their airways clear
How heavy is a baby’s head is in relation to their body? The answer is 25%!
To put this into perspective…
- An adult’s head is only 6% of their overall body weight
- We have strong neck muscles while a baby’s are still developing
- They cannot lift their own head up like an adult can
If a baby’s narrow airways become kinked (like the tube shown in the photo) then this means they may not be able to breathe in enough oxygen. If the air reaching their lungs is restricted this could result in positional asphyxia. #KeepItClear by moving them to a firm, flat sleep space if they drift off to sleep elsewhere. Many products do state in the small print that they should not be used for unsupervised sleep.
Try it yourself: Close your eyes and sit upright in a seat. Drop your chin down to your chest. It won’t be too long before it becomes quite uncomfortable. You might want to lift your head back up but remember that a baby can’t do this themselves. This quick demonstration helps people to understand the impact that different sleep positions can have on a baby’s breathing. The safest place is always for baby to lie flat on their back on the firm flat surface of a cot, crib, moses basket or carrycot pram.