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A Shifting Certainty

When my eldest child was born, my midwife, GP and health visitor all urged me to lay him down to sleep on his stomach, with his head turned to one side. Together with the baby care books of the time, they informed me that, if I placed him down on his back, he would choke if he brought back any of his feed. There was no doubt about it: any sleeping position other than flat on the stomach was dangerous, and I would be taking risks with his life if I didn’t pay enough attention to this.

Fast forward thirteen years, to the birth of my youngest child. I was told, by every doctor, midwife and nurse we met during routine appointments and at the baby clinic, that lying a baby down on their stomach was irresponsible, as research showed that this increased the risk of SIDS. I was urged to place my baby down on his back: this, they all agreed, was the safest position. Read more