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We have a 4 month old baby and she is starting to turn around. We are worried when she goes to bed now that she might turn on her front (she never turned around 100% yet, only to her side) at night when she is sleeping in her bed and might suffocate then.

When I put he on her belly, she will hold her head up quite nicely for a minute or so, but then get tired and put her head face-down on the carpet.

Is there an actual risk that she might suffocate in bed? How would the baby react if she turns on her belly with her face downwards? Where would I be able to read more about this online?

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There is little risk of suffocation so long as you place their feet to the foot of the bed, use a hard mattress and keep the bed/cot free of obstructions.

The advice for placing a child on their back to sleep is due to a correlation between that and the number of deaths attributed to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). SIDS is not suffocation and it is recorded separately. Correlation is also not causation and, despite a great deal of research, scientists still know very little about the causes. What are the risks of putting a newborn baby to sleep on their front? is a good starting point.

Once a child is old enough to turn themselves over then they have the strength and mobility to control their own position enough that any risk factors decrease greatly. You can't reasonably be expected to stay up all night watching them to flip them back so as long as you put them to sleep on their backs that's enough.

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