Many parents become concerned
about their baby's sleeping position in the cot. Orthodox
cot death (SIDS) prevention advice states that babies within
the cot death risk age must always sleep face-up. However,
continuous face-up sleeping poses risk that babies will
develop head flattening or head distortion (plagiocephaly).
Also, many babies prefer other sleeping positions to
A baby sleeping on a BabeSafe mattress or mattress
cover (and using the specified bedding) does not need to
sleep face-up, because the baby cannot become exposed to
the gas/es which cause cot death. The baby can sleep in any
sleeping position at no risk of cot death.
If a baby is sleeping on a mattress
which is not wrapped for cot death prevention,
face-up sleeping is essential, because it reduces cot death
risk. The reason is that the gases which cause cot
death are more dense than air; they diffuse away from the
baby's face, so a baby sleeping face-up is less likely to
However, if a baby is sleeping on a
mattress or mattress cover, the impermeable
cover has the result that even if gas generation is
occurring within the baby's mattress, no gases can reach the
baby. Furthermore, use of the specified bedding has the
result that this gas generation cannot occur on top of the
mattress or mattress
On a BabeSafe
mattress or mattress cover, side sleeping is strongly
recommended (alternating from side to side for consecutive
sleeping has the following benefits:
(a) The risk of head flattening or head distortion is
(b) If the baby has reflux, this is likely to be dribbled
out onto bedding. A reflux choking episode is less likely
to occur if a baby is sleeping on his/her side than if the
baby is sleeping face-up.
To side-sleep your baby, place the baby on the lower cot
sheet on his/her side, and extend the lower arm diagonally
across the mattress. Then tuck the baby in using the upper
To avoid cot death (SIDS) and head flattening (plagiocephaly),
sleep your baby on a BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover, and
use the side-sleeping position.
Head flattening and distortion in 30% of all babies [where]
~ 26 Aug. 2001 ~
Dr Jim Sprott
today released information and figures obtained from a reliable
source which stated that 30% of all babies presented at
Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland had distorted heads,
brought about by face-up sleeping. The NZ Ministry of Health,
and other bodies, advocate face-up sleeping as a means of
reducing cot death. Previous statements from Middlemore
Hospital describe these deformities as an epidemic.
“This is a
ridiculous situation” said Dr Sprott. Provided some simple,
100% effective cot death prevention methods are adopted, babies
can sleep safely on their sides and head distortion will
Plunket and others recommended side-sleeping, said Dr Sprott,
and no one ever heard of either cot death or head-flattening.
“Morning, noon and night – put your baby on its right” went the
old saying. And it worked.”
In the 1960s
paediatricians told mothers to sleep their babies face-down, and
cot death soared as a result. Now they tell parents to sleep
them face-up, and distorted heads resulted. “These
paediatricians need to listen to some science, said Dr Sprott.
They’ve made two disastrous mistakes in the space of 30 years,
and that’s enough.
called again for the Ministry of Health to admit their error,
and to adopt the proven method of cot death prevention –
distorted heads will be a thing of the past, just as cot death
will” he said.