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Will sleeping on her back increase my baby's risk of choking?

Many parents place babies on their stomachs to sleep because they think it prevents them from choking on spit-up or vomit during sleep. In fact, the opposite is true; babies are less likely to choke when sleeping on their backs. When babies sleep on their back, the esophagus (food pipe) is below the trachea (wind pipe.) As a result, the spit-up or vomit cannot be breathed into the wind pipe. When a baby sleeps on his stomach, the food pipe is above the wind pipe. Gravity would then allow for the spit-up/vomit to be breathed in, causing the baby to choke. Since babies have been sleeping on their backs, studies worldwide have not found any increase in the incidence of aspiration, choking, pneumonia or other problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.