Infants and SIDS

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Sleeping on the back is the best position for babies to reduce the risk of SIDS. There has been an 80 per cent reduction in SIDS deaths since the introduction of prevention campaigns in 1997 that encouraged parents to place sleeping infants on their back.

Tips for tummy time when baby is awake: 

Start early. You can position a newborn on their tummy on your chest while you lie in a reclined position on a chair or bed. This is a great opportunity to encourage eye contact and bond with your baby. Dads can do the ‘warm fuzzy’ with newborns on their furry chests very well. 

On a roll. To provide support during tummy time, roll up a thin towel or blanket and place this under baby's chest, position the baby’s arms over the roll with his elbows in front of his shoulders.  Face your baby at eye level while you talk, sing, or read out loud. 

Picking up: Pick your baby up by moving them towards their side and over onto your forearm, providing support under their head, across the length of baby’s trunk and under baby’s bottom. This way baby can experience ‘tummy time’ while being carried. 

Learn with each other. Typically, it takes three months for a baby to learn to move their head to the middle and to each side. Avoid any one position for long periods of time. The way parents interact with and handle their babies can help their baby’s development of head shape and neck strength until babies can turn their head themselves.

For more information about deformational plagiocephaly, torticollis and SIDS, please see your paediatric physiotherapist

Infant feet

Infant’s feet and leg shape changes a lot after birth. Variations such as in-turned, out-turned, or flat feet are fairly normal and needn’t cause concern as they are often naturally corrected over time. However, if improvement in foot posture is slow, a physiotherapist can provide you with expert advice and treatment.   

Exercising your baby’s feet: 
Play with your baby’s feet – rubbing, tickling, encouraging your baby to push and kick all help stimulate muscle development.

How physiotherapy can help:  
assessment of foot or leg problems 
advice on management of problem

If you are concerned with the shape of your infant’s feet or legs, or if their foot posture is slow to improve, it is important to have their condition assessed by a physiotherapist