Popular Questions Sleep Tips & Techniques

Letting Baby Sleep Upright: A Guide to Safe and Comfortable Sleep

Letting Baby Sleep Upright


As parents, we always strive to provide our little ones with the best care, especially when it comes to their sleep. If you’re considering letting your baby sleep upright, this article is here to guide you. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of letting baby sleep upright, its potential benefits, safety considerations, and tips to ensure a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your little bundle of joy.

What Does it Mean to Let Baby Sleep Upright?

Letting baby sleep upright refers to allowing your baby to sleep in an inclined position instead of lying flat on their back. This can be achieved by using various devices or methods that provide support to keep the baby’s head and upper body elevated during sleep.

The Potential Benefits of Letting Baby Sleep Upright

  1. Reduced Reflux and Colic Symptoms: For babies who experience gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or colic, letting them sleep upright can help alleviate discomfort. The elevated position can prevent stomach acids from flowing back into the esophagus, reducing symptoms such as spit-up, fussiness, and excessive crying.
  2. Easier Breathing for Congested Babies: Babies often experience nasal congestion due to allergies, colds, or other respiratory conditions. Allowing them to sleep upright can help open up their airways and make breathing easier. Gravity assists in draining mucus, reducing congestion and promoting better sleep.
  3. Enhanced Digestion: By sleeping in an inclined position, babies may experience improved digestion. This can be particularly beneficial for babies who struggle with indigestion or have a tendency to spit up frequently after feeding.
  4. Reduced Risk of Choking: When baby sleeps upright, the angle helps prevent the pooling of saliva and mucus in the back of the throat, reducing the risk of choking during sleep. This can be especially reassuring for parents who worry about their baby’s airway being compromised.

Safety Considerations for Letting Baby Sleep Upright

While letting baby sleep upright can have potential benefits, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Consider the following guidelines to ensure a safe sleep environment for your baby:

  1. Consult with Your Pediatrician: Before introducing any new sleep position, it’s important to consult your pediatrician. They can provide personalized guidance based on your baby’s specific needs, health conditions, and age.
  2. Choose Safe Sleep Devices: If you opt for a sleep device designed for upright sleep, ensure it meets safety standards and is age-appropriate for your baby. Look for devices with proper support and harnesses to keep your baby secure.
  3. Supervise Sleep: It’s essential to closely monitor your baby while they sleep upright. Regularly check on them to ensure they are comfortable, well-positioned, and not in distress. Avoid leaving your baby unattended during upright sleep.
  4. Maintain a Safe Sleep Surface: Whether you choose a sleep device or other methods for upright sleep, ensure the sleep surface is safe and free from hazards. It should be firm, flat, and provide ample support to avoid the risk of suffocation or falls.
  5. Transition to Flat Sleep: As your baby grows older and develops, aim to transition them to sleeping on their back on a flat surface. Around four to six months of age, most babies can sleep comfortably on their backs without the need for an inclined position.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a baby carrier or sling for upright sleep?

A: Baby carriers and slings are not recommended for unsupervised sleep, including upright sleep. These devices are designed for close contact and carrying, but they don’t provide the necessary support and can pose a suffocation risk during sleep.

Q: Is it safe to let a newborn sleep upright?

A: Newborns require extra care and attention when it comes to sleep. It is generally not recommended to let newborns sleep upright without proper guidance from a healthcare professional. Consult your pediatrician for advice tailored to your baby’s needs.

Q: How can I ensure my baby’s head and neck are supported during upright sleep?

A: Proper head and neck support are crucial during upright sleep. Avoid using additional pillows or cushions, as they can pose suffocation hazards. Instead, look for sleep devices that provide built-in support or consider using specially designed infant pillows that are safe and suitable for upright sleep.

Q: Will letting my baby sleep upright prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

A: There is no guarantee that letting baby sleep upright will prevent SIDS. The safest sleep position for infants to reduce the risk of SIDS is on their back on a firm and flat surface. Follow the guidelines provided by reputable organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, for safe sleep practices.

Q: Are there any potential risks associated with letting baby sleep upright?

A: While the benefits of letting baby sleep upright can be significant, there are potential risks to consider. These include improper positioning leading to compromised airways, the risk of falling if the baby is not securely positioned, and the possibility of the baby sliding down in certain devices. Always prioritize safety and closely monitor your baby during upright sleep.

Q: How long should my baby sleep in an upright position?

A: The duration of upright sleep can vary depending on your baby’s age, health, and comfort. It’s essential to follow your baby’s cues and consult with your pediatrician to determine the most suitable duration for your little one.


Letting baby sleep upright can be a helpful approach for addressing specific concerns such as reflux, colic, or nasal congestion. However, safety should always be the top priority. Consult with your pediatrician, choose safe sleep devices, and closely supervise your baby during upright sleep. As your baby grows, encourage the transition to flat sleep on their back. By following these guidelines, you can create a safe and comfortable sleep environment for your little one.


Related posts

Tips for Soothing a Fussy Baby to Sleep


Tips for Encouraging Sleep for Your Baby in the Womb


Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Earlier


1 comment

Baby Only Sleep Upright: Exploring the Concept and Considerations - BABY MUSIC LULLABY June 24, 2023 at 10:17 am

[…] Letting Baby Sleep Upright […]


Leave a Comment