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Home : Specialty Care : Newborn Intensive Care Unit : Positioning

Positioning

Newborn Intensive Care Unit

202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI 53711
NICU: (608) 417-6215 or
1-800-261-2229
General Information: (608) 417-6000
Location: Meriter Hospital - 7 North

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Can I lay my baby down on his stomach?

  
Even though preemies may be positioned for sleep on their stomachs in the nursery while they are on monitors, your baby should not be positioned on his/her stomach or side for sleeping at home unless specifically requested by your baby's doctor. You should put your baby lying down on his/her back for sleep.


While awake your baby can be either on his/her stomach or side lying. Tummy time is important for infants because it helps babies develop strength in their neck, legs and upper body. To help a baby with side lying, place your baby on either side with his bottom arm pulled slightly in front of him. This will prevent him from turning over to his stomach. It is also helpful to put a small blanket roll behind and next to his back to help support the side position. As babies get older they will roll to their back.