Sleep Positioning

This morning, the CEO of Aspen Seating and Nathan’s durable medical equipment rep came by the house to evaluate Nathan for an Aspen custom seating system.

Tom was a pediatric physical therapist before he started his own company so he wanted to evaluate Nathan before moving forward on one of his custom chairs.

After looking at the symmetry of his body and evaluating him in many positions, he said something that thrilled me. He said that Nathan’s body is in GREAT shape given his complexity and that he only sees a tiny bit of assymetry associated with the left hip. He was pleased at how well we’ve taken care of Nathan and commended us on a job well done.

He went on to tell us that as much as he would love to sell us a custom aspen chair – that Nathan doesn’t need it. Nathan would do just fine in a regular wheelchair seating system since his body is in such great shape. I was amazed by his honesty.

He proceeded to ask me about Nathan’s sleeping habits. I explained that Nathan sleeps on his belly because he has an exaggerated startle reflex and he can’t stay asleep on his back because he startles. While on his belly, he brings his legs up towards his stomach creating an assymetrical sleeping position.

He explained to me that sleep is one area that can really affect our kids’ bodies. Since they spend so many hours sleeping, their position while sleeping can correct problems or create problems. He explained that even if we have him in perfect alignment while sitting in a wheelchair, his body could still misalign and develop problems if he is not sleeping properly.

He recommended having him on his back, with his head raised, and a bolster under his knees. He said this will help keep his back straight and would probably even help with his hips.

Proper sitting without proper sleeping alignment was like having only one wing to fly. You need both in order to keep their bodies in good shape.

Nobody had ever talked to me about this so I was very grateful for his experience and honesty.

Nathan sleeps in a tempurpedic mattress but he explained that it’s not enough – he needs something to keep him in proper alignment. So now I have to call around to find something like what he described.

I just wanted to share this because I think it is very useful information for our little ones!

PS. Nathan is feeling much much better. Unfortunately Belle is the one that is REALLY sick and miserable.


  1. Thats really interesting. I was also told that Little Man did’nt need something custom but like you, was never told about sleeping positions. He sleeps on his back but I think I may add a head riser& bolster after reading your post. Let us know what you find, I’m just now thinking about something other than a crib for Little Man.

  2. Marcela, congratulations since you did a good job with nathan, a professional told you that.
    And thank you very much!!! For sharing this information with us, we were not also considering how important is to take care of our child during sleeping. Please, please if you find some accesory to help with this, share it with us.

    We found this tutorial to take care of children like ours, on page 14 there are some instructions similar to what the CEO of that company told you:

    Best regards

  3. Wow – such honesty from the rep! I just love it when they tell us that our kiddo doesn’t need a “special” system. Love it!!!!

    On and congrats on expecting. Soooo happy for you!

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