As adults, we tend to sleep in a position comfortable for us. Babies also assume roles that are comfortable for them.
Naturally, babies exhibit pure joy and are seen to be adorable when awake and even in their sleep. Babies tend to adopt a funny habit of sleeping with their butts in the air.
An adult’s sleeping position can be considered funny, weird, or sometimes a cause for concern depending on the sleeping position. But for babies, it’s just adorable.
Though scientists have proven with evidence why babies sleep with their butts in the air, they also explain why it is comfortable and less dangerous for babies.
Reasons Why Babies Sleep With Their Butt In The Air
We always wonder why babies sleep on their knees, even if we find the sleeping position funny and adorable.
The reasons are;
- That is the position they attained pre-birth. It induces their cozy days in the womb.
- Sleeping with their butt in the air reminds them of their time in the womb.
They may likely be dreaming of their most loved place, which is the womb.
The younger babies may have spent much more time curled up inside the womb than they may have spent in the real world. This is because babies are used to staying that way in their mother’s womb.
A newborn baby may get cranky if they aren’t in that position when he eventually wakes up. This position is what the baby is most used to.
This position attained by babies is mainly called the “frog position.” It isn’t anything new, so there is no need for concern.
The frog position isn’t a permanent position; babies will eventually outgrow it and probably be replaced with a new position. It may even turn out to be as funny as the previous one.
- It helps babies to ease stress
It’s funny how babies undergo stress, though, in a different way from adults.
Remember that the fetal or frog position reminds us of safety. It also helps in easing stress and tension in the body.
Just like doing exercises or trying to find a particular position to attain relaxation of the mind, the frog position is most commonly used in yoga for relaxation and relieving stress.
For babies experiencing colic, this position helps them to relax. After all, the baby wants to fall asleep fast after a stressful day of crying. Colic is a period where a well-fed and healthy baby experiences significant distress. Colic can be predictable and occurs in the first six weeks of their life but goes away when they are about 3 to 4 months old.
Colic can be prevented by ensuring the baby is comfortable, giving the baby a warm bath, ensuring that the baby sleeps comfortably, or giving the baby a back rub.
- It shows that your baby is growing
This reason is quite common and understandable. When babies sleep with their butts in the air, it shows that they are growing. Their body muscles and motor skills start transforming and becoming more assertive. And when this is done, they become strong enough to start crawling.
Change, as is always said, is constant. It will take some time before babies get to adjust to this level of change and other changes that they will experience.
Your baby will be stuck in this position for a while. This is because the baby’s muscles, bones, and ligaments aren’t strong enough to enable movement with the legs. So until the baby develops a more advanced method, his butt remains in the air either due to sleep or crawling.
When the child gets older, around a year old, the sleeping and walking position changes, and they tend to adapt to a new position. And these positions are closely associated with the way adults walk or sleep.
I’m sure you’ll love to show your baby the transition stages of his growth. So endeavor to take lots of pictures of every adorable and silly moment.
- It gives a reminder of how his mother held him
A mother’s influence on her child shouldn’t be under-emphasized. Your baby remembers how he’s held by you and tends to attain that position while sleeping.
Babies sleeping with their butts in the air resemble the way their mother’s held them close, making them feel secure and safe.
- Babies may be scared
This may hurt the feelings of parents who ask questions like this; “why do babies sleep with their butt in the air, no
Rest assured that your child is safe and that they are just imitating their position in the womb. The practical reason for this is that the baby may be afraid of the dark, so he takes a defensive place which makes him put his butt in the air.
- Request for a sibling
Imagine having a newborn baby, and then you are told that You’ll likely have another because your baby’s butt is in the air!
This is quite funny and is considered an old wives’ tale. Even at that, most people still believe it to be true.
It’s good to know that nearly all babies put their butts in the air, and it has been proven countless times that it’s just a myth.
- The baby may be Bow-legged
So far, we’ve seen different reasons why babies sleep with their butts in the air. Though some are scientific reasons, few are old wives’ tales, and this is one of them.
This is just a myth about a baby’s butt in the air, which says that a child becomes Bowlegged because of his sleeping position.
The reason for this is that due to still growing bones of the baby, strain or tension on the child’s lower legs may make the child Bowlegged. Theoretically, this can cause a baby to be bowlegged.
But come to think of it, if this was the case, many of us won’t have the kind of body we have now. So let’s be clear on this, for an infant, if a baby’s butt is in the air, it doesn’t cause the baby’s leg to be misshapen.
It is also advised that babies should always be put to sleep on their backs.
Should Mothers Be Concerned About This Position?
In most cases, no. It’s only natural for babies of that stage to behave this way.
It is believed that once your child assumes this position, he is comfortable and can adjust himself if need be. This reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies.
What is SIDS?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) formally called ‘cot death’ refers to the unexpected demise of a baby and the cause of death remains unknown. The baby’s death is mostly through suffocation.
Parents and guardians are been educated by SIDS researchers on the need to ensure that their child/ children sleep with their backs on the bed and that their faces and head should be kept uncovered to avoid suffocation.
Though with the help of researchers, the number of babies dying of SIDS has dropped.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 500 babies died a sudden death due to SIDS in 1989 then in 2003 the number reduced drastically to 73 babies.
SIDS is caused by the increase of carbon dioxide when children with insufficient sleep re-breath exhaled air trapped by the closeness of other sleeping family members.
Airflow should be increased near a sleeping child to help protect against SIDS.
The majority of babies that die of SIDS are six months of age. Though the common cause of death in babies is between the range of one month to one year of age.
Currently, the cause of SIDS hasn’t been discovered and it’s unlikely to predict which baby will be affected.
Notwithstanding, some factors have been discovered that can reduce the risk of SIDS.
Through the educational program introduced by SIDS researchers to parents, awareness is created and the factors are made known to them.
SIDS is associated with a baby’s sleeping habits. It can be due to his inability to turn over if he ends up with his butt in the air and the absence of someone to flip him over to his back.
This is a great risk for a child and parents should endeavor to work hard to prevent it.
According to experts that know about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and its relative, sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC), pillows should be introduced to babies’ sleep routine when they reach 1/ 2 years old or 18 months old.
Visit a pediatrician or any certified health care professional for preventive measures and more knowledge on SIDS
Babies spend most of their time sleeping, parents should be aware that there are sleeping habits that are not safe for their babies and can increase the risk of SIDS.
Thankfully, research has found ways to reduce the risk of SIDS and enable a safe sleeping environment for babies.
Things To Do To Reduce The Risk Of SIDS In Babies
- Ensure that babies are laid on their backs. This will reduce the chances of sudden death in infants but if they are allowed to lie on their tummy or sides, it increases the chances of them dying of SIDS.
- Enlighten those who take care of babies on the dangers of SIDS, its causes, and preventive measures. Do this before your baby is kept in their care.
- Even though SIDS affects babies between the age of six months to one year, older babies should also be made to sleep on their backs to avoid the risk of SIDS.
- Research shows that babies who sleep with fans in their bedrooms have a lower risk of SIDS. While babies that sleep in rooms that are less ventilated are prone to have a higher risk of SIDS.
- Another way to reduce the risk of SIDS is by letting babies sleep in a room with the windows open. Sleeping with a fan or an open window reduces the risk of SIDS by 70% or more.
- Babies should sleep in the same room as their parents. Very deep sleep is prevented when babies sleep in the same room with their parents. This is a result of stirrings and other sounds from the background. This way, babies are kept safe and breastfeeding which is protective against SIDS is made easier.
From all that has been said, some parents may think that all they need to do is to put a fan in their baby’s room, which may not be solely true.
In addition, babies should be given a pacifier while they are taking a nap or sleeping at night.
Babies should not share a bed with their parents when they are sleeping, though they can be brought into their parent’s bed for comfort or probably nursing.
A firm mattress should be used to put infants to sleep and a sheet should be used to cover them.
It is advised that babies should be clothed in light clothes and the room they are to sleep in should be properly ventilated to avoid overheating.
Expecting mothers are advised not to smoke during pregnancy or stay in an environment that is void of oxygen.
This is because smoking during pregnancy is a major risk factor for SIDS.
Your baby’s face must remain uncovered while he’s asleep. To ensure that this is made effective, the baby’s feet should be put at the bottom of the cot to prevent him from slipping down.
Bedclothes should be tucked in tightly so they don’t become loose.
Things like pillows, duvets, quilts, doonas, and lambskin shouldn’t be put under the sheet covering the mattress as it can increase the risk of SIDS
A safe sleeping bag can be used to aid in keeping your child’s bedding in place. This shouldn’t be used as an alternative to bedding but with bedding.
It may be unsafe for a baby to be taken into an adult’s bed. The reason is that the baby may be caught under the pillow or bedding, trapped between the bed and the wall, or even fall off the bed and most importantly, the adult could roll on the baby.