HEALTH WATCH - Babies: Sleep and Play

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about caring for infants. Previously, we talked about measures for preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Infants should always be placed on their backs to sleep, both at night and for naps. But what about when the baby is awake?

Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says babies can be placed on their tummies for play time when an adult is there to supervise. This position helps infants strengthen their arm, neck and shoulder muscles. It also encourages healthy brain development. Babies can be brought to the parents’ bed for feeding but should sleep in their own cribs and not in an adult bed, in a chair or on a sofa, where soft cushions can create a suffocation risk. SIDS most often affects infants between 2 and 4 months of age, and the risk appears to rise in cold weather.  

Visit  to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.


November 2009

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