Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Butt in the Air? 5 Fun Facts

why do babies sleep with their butt in the air

When a baby sleeps, they constantly toss around or change positions a lot. This is very common and something that every sleeping baby does. However, a baby’s sleeping habits can be due to certain other reasons too. A common pose for many babies when they sleep is the butt in the air position. This one is actually more beneficial for the baby, and we will see how.

Sleeping with your butt in the air can have benefits for your body and brain. This position, as well as the crawling or prone position, can be more relaxing and help relieve stress. Babies often prefer this position because it can soothe them and promote better sleep.

Baby Sticking Bum in Air Myth

The baby putting bum in air myth, also known as “Infantile Arching” or “Sandifer Syndrome,” is a normal behavior among newborns. It is a position in which babies, especially newborns, arch their backs and elevate their butts high into the air, usually with a twisted smirk. For parents who take this behavior as a warning of their baby being in pain or discomfort, this might be alarming. In most situations, however, it is a harmless and self-limiting habit that ends on its own as the baby grows up.

While being a common newborn behavior, the true reason for the baby putting bum in the air myth remains unknown. Many explanations for this condition have been suggested, including gastric reflux (GER), an underdeveloped neural system, and infantile colic.

The most frequently reported reason for the baby putting bum in air myth is GER, which is said to cause discomfort and pain in newborns, triggering the arching habit. According to the idea of the underdeveloped nervous system, newborns’ brains are still growing and may not have complete control over their motions, resulting in the arching habit. Lastly, the baby putting bum in air myth has been related to infantile colic, a disorder that causes excessive sobbing and crankiness in newborns.

Contrary to popular belief, the baby putting bum in air myth is usually thought to be normal and doesn’t call for medical attention. If the habit also shows other symptoms like fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, this could point to a deeper medical issue, and parents should contact their doctor.

When Do Babies Stop Sleeping With Their Bums in Air?

Newborns sleep in many different positions, with their butts in the air being one of the most common, often known as the “Infantile Arching” or “Sandifer Syndrome.” This is considered normal activity and is not a reason for alarm.

Parents may, however, question when their newborns may stop sleeping in this position. Throughout the first several months of their lives, babies sleep with their bottoms in the air. This habit is thought to be a reflex that helps babies alleviate discomfort or pain produced by gastroesophageal reflux (GER), a frequent disease in babies. Babies extend their back muscles and relieve tension in their digestive tract.

Usually, around six months, most babies change their sleeping positions as they get better control over their muscles. Gaining better control over their muscles not only makes them control their positions when sleeping but also makes them comfortable in different sleeping positions.

However, not every baby stops sleeping like this at the age of six months. Some babies, either due to differences in development rate or maybe merely just muscle memory, continue to sleep with their bums in the air because they find this position familiar and comfortable.

What Are The Reasons Behind This Sleeping Position?

A child sleeps in whichever position feels most comfortable. Since the conscious brain tells the body that certain positions are more comfortable than others when sleeping, our sleeping positions are not controlled by us. And this is even harder when you are a baby who is just learning what is comfortable and what is not. Sleeping with their butt in the air could be caused by the following reasons; however, none of these have been proven to be the guaranteed reason for this.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)

Although it is not confirmed, it is a popular belief that the most common reason for newborns sleeping with their bottoms in the air is gastroesophageal reflux (GER), a common disease in infants.

As stomach acid runs back into the esophagus, it causes pain and discomfort. The infantile arching action helps newborns to extend their back muscles and relieve pressure on their digestive tract, alleviating part of the pain caused by GER.


Another possible reason why it is common for parents to see babies sleeping with their butts up is that this position might be more comfortable for them. With so much time spent in the womb when they did not have much space to move around, this position could remind them of the familiar feeling of being in the womb.

In this position, they bring their knees closer to their chest and take up much less space than they would have if they had been sleeping ‘normally.’ Sleeping in such a position could make them feel more comfortable because this is what they are used to.

Muscle Development

Sleeping with their bottoms in the air can also help newborns’ muscles develop. This position helps with the development of their neck, back, and shoulder muscles, which are necessary for their physical growth.

Sleeping in this posture might also allow newborns to have better control over their movement. This is because this pose allows for better control of their center of gravity, which makes it easier for them to understand how to control their muscles.

Temperature Regulation

Not only does this position help babies to relax and relieve stress, but it can also help them to regulate their body temperature. When babies sleep in this position, their bums are up in the air, which allows for better air circulation and prevents them from overheating.

This is very important for newborns who struggle with regulating their body temperature. So, if you have a little one, consider trying this position out for a better night’s sleep and peace of mind.

Is It Normal for Children of Age 2-4

Babies and young children usually sleep in many different postures, which includes having their butts in the air. This is actually very common in babies and does not need any medical attention or even a need to worry.

At the ages of 2-4, children’s sleeping patterns start to mimic those of adults, and they sleep for longer periods of time. Nonetheless, children in this age group continue to sleep in various postures, including with their bottoms in the air.

A kid who is just two years old might not want to change his or her sleeping habits because, just like every other person, a change could feel intimidating. Staying in one’s comfort zone is a very nice thing, and while for adults, it is important to step out of one’s comfort zone to bring change, kids do not need to worry about it.

Kids between ages 2-4 can sleep in this position or in any other position as long as they are comfortable. A 2-4-year-old can still be considered a baby, and a baby’s sleeping position may stay the same all throughout their childhood. There is nothing to be concerned about here unless you notice some other signs when your baby falls asleep, like your baby groans in its sleep or has a fever etc. In that case, you need to call your doctor immediately.

You must remember that every baby is different, and what might be unusual to some babies might be perfectly normal for others. A child’s pose when sleeping could be whatever makes sense to his/her mind and body. As long as the position keeps the baby safe, it is fine.

What Are The Benefits of Sleeping With Bum in the Air

What Are The Benefits of Sleeping With Bum in the Air

Sleeping with the bum in the air is a common position among infants and young children. While it may seem unusual to some parents, this position can offer several benefits to babies and children.

Relief from Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)

Your baby sleeping with bottoms up can relieve them of GER, a common condition in which stomach acid rushes back up into the esophagus and causes pain. This posture can really help alleviate some of the pain.

Babies can relax their back muscles as well as relieve tension in their digestive tract by sleeping with their bum up in the air. And less pressure equals less GERD discomfort.

Muscle Development

Sleeping with the bum in the air can help newborns’ muscles build up. This position helps to strengthen important muscles, including the neck, back, and shoulders, which are necessary for physical growth.

The prone or crawling pose helps newborns to elevate their heads, which can develop their neck muscles and improve their head control. It can also help them build their back muscles as they need to put in a little work to maintain the position.

Additionally, when newborns learn to balance and shift their weight, resting in this posture might help them develop better control over their movements. It can also encourage proper spine alignment and avoid flattening of the back of their head, which may happen if they spend too much time on their back. This position can be effective in encouraging good muscular development and physical milestones as babies grow and develop.

Comfort and Security

Sleeping with the bum in the air can bring emotional perks for newborns and young toddlers. Babies sleep in this position with their limbs curled in and their heads down, mimicking the fetal position.

For newborns, this is a natural and comforting position since it reminds them of the warmth of the womb. As a result, resting in this position can offer to bring peace of mind to newborns and young children, leading to a better night’s sleep.

Sleeping with their bottom in the air can also give a sense of normalcy and comfort to young children who are adjusting to sleep in their own beds. This can offer to reduce any fear or worry they may have about sleeping in a new area or alone. Generally, crawling or prone sleeping positions can help newborns and young toddlers feel safe, comfortable, and secure.

Improved Airflow and Temperature Regulation

Babies can control their body temperature and enhance airflow by sleeping with their bums in the air. Babies sleep in this posture with their butts exposed, allowing for improved air circulation and preventing overheating. This can prove to be very beneficial for newborns who do not yet understand how to effectively manage their body temperature.

Reduced Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sleeping with one’s bum in the air may lower the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is a disorder in which an otherwise healthy newborn dies prematurely and suddenly while sleeping, and it is a major cause of concern for parents and caregivers.

While the precise origin of SIDS is unknown, doctors believe that certain sleeping postures and settings might raise the risk. Sleeping with the bum in the air may lower the risk of SIDS by improving ventilation and lowering the likelihood of overheating.

Babies sleeping in this position have their bottoms up in the air, which provides for better air circulation throughout their bodies. This can also avoid carbon dioxide buildup around their face and lessen the danger of asphyxia.

Additionally, this position helps in the prevention of overheating, which is a known risk factor for SIDS. Babies who manage their body temperature are less likely to have respiratory issues, which otherwise can raise the risk of SIDS. While further research is required, sleeping with the bum in the air is thought to be a safe and effective way to lower the incidence of SIDS.

Bottom Line

Babies love to sleep in positions we grown-ups would find extremely uncomfortable. Some common poses are the baby bootie pose, legs underneath the chest pose, sleep sack, and the frog position. When sleeping, the baby rolls around, makes a frog-like pose, flops forward, or you may even find your baby curled like a roast chicken.

All of these poses are normal for them, and any myths surrounding these being bad are just old wives’ tales. So when you see your baby fall asleep in a weird position, let them have their comfortable baby sleep because they need it for proper development.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

Recent Posts