If your baby is sleeping while sitting up, you’re probably wondering if that is even normal. This article will help you to understand why it happens and what to do about it.
If you’re a new mom, you’re not sure what is normal and what isn’t. Babies are small creatures full of surprises and curiosities. Even if you’ve already raised a child, some things may come as a surprise.
Every baby is different, and it takes a while to figure out what to do in certain situations.
Why Is My Baby Sleeping Sitting Up?
First of all, it’s important to understand that babies sleep a lot more than grown-up people. They simply need sleep. Because of that, it’s normal for a baby to sleep between 14-17 hours.
Even though they sleep a lot, their sleep cycle is a lot shorter than ours. Their sleep cycle lasts around 50-60 minutes, which means they wake up often. Their brain is still developing, and they’re eating every 2 to 3 hours.
Because of their sleeping pattern, there will be times when your child will sleep during a walk or during a visit to the doctor. So, if your baby is sleeping while sitting up, you shouldn’t be surprised.
Why Does It Happen?
The most common reason why babies do this is that they can. Your baby is still growing and developing. Sleep regression is normal and expected to happen. Sleep habits are being made. That being said, babies are learning new moves every day. Their body has a natural instinct for trying different positions and movements.
Just like adults, sometimes babies feel more comfortable in a certain position. They feel better when they’re sitting up and sleeping at the same time. It’s not a reason to be worried if there are no health issues that could be a reason for your baby sleeping while sitting up.
Of course, you should always lay down your baby. If the baby is sleeping and sitting up and the same time, that won’t do good for their spine and posture. The natural position for sleeping is laying down and it’s important to include that in your sleep training.
Other Reasons For Baby Sleeping While Sitting Up
As I’ve said, the most common reason is comfort and preference. However, there are some other reasons for this action.
Sleeping can be problematic if your baby has breathing problems, a cold, or apnea. Also, if the baby is teething, having acid reflux, or has cramps, you should pay attention to that.
Sometimes, the baby feels better while sitting up, and since laying down is not an option, the baby falls asleep in a sitting position. Another reason for baby sleeping while sitting up is their fear of waking up.
If your baby has some health issues, and sleeping is often a challenge, they avoid sleeping which leads to falling asleep while sitting up. Their brain simply memorizes that sleeping ends up with crying and waking up, so they are trying to avoid it.
Unfortunately, some of these health issues are natural and they happen to every baby. However, if it’s something serious, you should see a doctor. Sleep apnea is dangerous and you should treat it as soon as possible.
What To Do When My Baby Falls Asleep While Sitting Up?
When your cute, little baby is sleeping, you don’t want to ruin it. You probably feel that moving your baby will be the end of sleep.
This is an even bigger dilemma if your baby is not a good sleeper. Maybe you couldn’t wait for these magical hours of sleeping, and now your baby is sleeping while sitting up.
You will definitely be tempted to leave your baby alone. However, even though one time of your baby sitting up and sleeping won’t be a problem, you shouldn’t let it happen too often. The sitting position is not recommended for sleeping.
You should move your baby. So, gently lay your baby down. It’s possible that your baby will start waking up, but calm down, and move away as soon as you are done. This is not the time for cuddling or hugging. Sleepy baby will fall asleep again in no time.
Even if your baby is interested in contact, try to resist and leave the room, especially if it’s time for a nap. You know how babies are when they haven’t slept enough. Therefore, stay serious about this.
There will be times when your baby will get up again, and continue sleeping while sitting up. Again, gently lay your baby down. Eventually, the baby will give up. I know that it seems unnecessary, but it’s important to keep an eye on your baby’s sleeping / sitting position.
If your baby is sleeping while sitting up a lot, that could leave a flat spot on their head. It’s important to lay your baby down and promote that kind of sleeping.
Babies are easily amused and everything is new to them. As I’ve said before, they need a lot of sleep, so there will be many times when your baby will sleep while sitting up. Simply, your baby will be so amused and distracted by something, that there will be no time to lie down and sleep.
Besides, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that if the baby is sleeping while sitting up, it can be bad for breathing. It means that the baby sleeping and sitting up causes difficulties with getting enough oxygen.
If you’re having trouble with your baby’s sleep in general, try to find effective sleep training that will change that. A Dark, private room or a white noise machine can do wonders as a sleep solution.
Of course, adjust your sleep training according to your baby’s age. There is a difference between a toddler’s sleep and a 3-month-old sleep. Baby’s sleep is important for you and your little one.
Another thing that should be mentioned is the baby’s crib. If you’ve recently moved your baby from the crib, this could be the reason for sleeping in a sitting position. Your baby is adjusting to the new environment.
My Baby Is Sleeping In A Sitting Position All The Time?
If your baby is sleeping while sitting up all the time, you have to stay persistent in stopping this. You’ve figured out by now that the sitting position is not good, and you have to break that habit.
There will be times when your baby will cry and sleeping won’t be an option after waking up. You will feel awful and you will regret waking your baby up. However, if your baby is sleeping while sitting up without any medical reason, you’re the one that has to fix this, so toughen up.
You’re the one that has to train your baby. Just like you decide about the food and clothes, you should decide about this. It will be hard and frustrating if your baby is sleeping and sitting up while enjoying it.
You just have to be patient and consistent. It will change soon, just don’t give up. Remember that it’s for your own baby’s well-being. Just like you have to give a certain medicine – there will be crying and screaming, but mom’s got to do what mom’s got to do.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position?
The sitting position is not the best one for your baby. If your baby is sleeping while sitting up, and you’re eager to change that, you’re probably wondering is the best position.
The answer is – on the back. Just like with adults, sleeping on the back is the best position. However, with babies, this is even more important.
Placing a one-month-old child in this position will lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). When your baby sleeps on the back, they can’t suffocate or anything similar.
Of course, when your baby is older than a few months, rolling over and finding the best position will be normal. Babies want to be comfortable and that’s okay. If you have a toddler, you know that they have the weirdest sleeping positions.
Just make sure that the sleeping surface is flat, without too many things, and you should be fine. I always suggest placing your child on their back when you’re putting them to bed. Maybe they will get used to it and choose that position on their own.
NOTE: If a doctor suggested a certain sleeping position because of a certain illness or condition, listen to your doctor.
As you could’ve learned from this article, if your baby is sleeping sitting up, it’s nothing to be worried about. It’s normal and very common. It doesn’t look strange and unnatural, but now you know that your baby is not the only one.
Even if there is an important reason for this, it’s nothing that can’t be easily solved. As a new parent, you’re struggling every day, and that’s okay. You’re not alone.
Thankfully, there are many available information that will calm you down and teach you some important things. No matter how many parenting books you’ve read, your baby can always surprise you with something.
Even if most of these things are common and normal, it’s okay to ask. It’s good to know. Things like this will calm you down, and you shouldn’t feel silly for searching for this kind of information. It just means you’re a good mom that wants what’s best for her baby. I am happy to help you with ordinary and unordinary things.
Hi all, I am Sidney, a nutritionist by education, a hobbyist photographer, and a mother to two sweet girls who are my motivation. I love sharing the tips and tricks I gained all these years I’ve been a mother. I hope it will help you!