Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

What to do if Your Baby Rolls Over in Their Sleep - Don't Panic!

Rolling over is a major milestone in any baby’s development. It can be an exciting time for parents, however it can also raise some justified concerns. Rolling over means that the baby can now change positions during the night resulting in them sleeping on their side or tummy.

Rolling over while sleeping can be alarming for many parents.  Especially if it happens while your baby is sleeping on their tummy. This is because it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In this article we address the concerns many parents have with their baby rolling over in their sleep. We look at what it means now that your baby is now able to roll, and some actions you can take to discourage your little one from rolling over while they sleep. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - Should I be Worried?

Baby Rolls Over While Sleeping

Rolling over is an important milestone for young babies.

It can be a curious stage of development for them.   It indicates that their bodies and muscles are developing. Rolling over is often a milestone that lets parents know that their little one is ready to start moving around and becoming mobile. This is a good thing. 

But what about when baby rolls over when they are sleeping? This can be a bit concerning during the initial stages when they may not have the necessary strength to push themselves back onto their sides or back onto their backs. 

However, during the later stages of development when they have learned how to roll back and forth and gained the core strength, letting your precious one sleep on their stomach becomes considerably less risky. 

In fact, some babies prefer to sleep on their stomachs.  They find it comforting and soothing, allowing them to get a better, more sound, sleep. 

What to Do if your Baby Rolls Over in their Sleep

Babies roll over in their sleep no matter how much you watch them. Don't worry, it's normal and nothing to be worried about.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if your baby starts rolling over:

  • Make sure you're using a firm and flat crib mattress with no extra bedding or soft objects. This will ensure that your baby can't roll off the edge of the mattress or wrap themselves up in any loose sheets or blankets.
  • Put something like a quilt under your baby's head for cushioning as they sleep. 
  • Consider putting your baby on their back to sleep during naps and at night. If you want to try swaddling, make sure

What NOT to do when your baby begins to roll over in their sleep

Like we've said before...first thing NOT to do when you see your baby sleeping on their stomach is panic.  Check that they are breathing and then take one breath for yourself. When you panic, your body jumps into a fight or flight response and your thinking isn't as logical as normal.  Therefore, it is easy to jump to conclusions and accidentally wake your baby up from a restful sleep. 

You also need to fight your impulse to box your little onein with cushions surrounding them, so they cannot physically roll over.  This actually creates more of a hazard and is potentially harmful to your sleeping bubs. If a cushion accidentally falls on top of your baby's face, it could result in it smothering them resulting in suffocation.  Alternatively, if your baby is beginning to roll in their sleep, they may roll onto their side and push their face against a cushion - again resulting in suffocation. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - How to Stop Them & Reduce the Risk

Earlier we touched on a few things you can do to stop your baby from rolling while asleep. Let's elaborate a bit more on the tips we mentioned earlier. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep
  • Teach them early - try to get your baby accustomed to sleeping on their backs.  Now we are well aware this advice may be coming too late in the piece for your current bubs who want to constantly roll onto their stomach, but you can store this in the back of your mind should you decide to have another baby later on.  Get your little one used to sleeping on their back when they are young - this way they won't know any other way. 
  • Pacify your baby - babies often roll over because they are bored or frustrated when they are put down for sleep.  By soothing your baby with a pacifier while they drift off, you can often distract them long enough to allow them to sleep - resulting in them being less likely to fall asleep on their tummy. 
  • Swaddles are your best friend - you may have used swaddles early on in your baby's sleeping routine for comfort reasons, or even to prevent them from scratching themselves.  However, here is another use for swaddling your baby.  Swaddles can be used to prevent them from pushing themselves over onto their stomachs.  A baby requires freedom to swing their body over in order to shift their center of gravity for a roll - swaddling prevents this. 
  • Build their muscles - at Baby Care Tips we also recommend continuing to develop their muscles and bodies while they are awake - this allows them to be able to push themselves back onto their backs (or side) during sleep. To help new parents with exercises and tips for building your bubs muscles head over to our article Help Baby Roll Over.  

Key Takeaways from Baby Rolling Over In Sleep

We understand seeing your little bubs sleeping on their stomach can be an unnerving picture for any parent - however before you panic about your baby rolling over in sleep and decide to jump in and save them, there are some things you should consider. 

Depending on their age and stage of development, a baby sleeping on their stomach isn't necessarily as risky as it may seem. 

If your little one is strong enough to roll themselves back onto their side or back, it is quite possible that you should leave them be. 

However, if you are insistent on stopping them from sleeping on their tummies, there are a few things you can do. Things like swaddling, pacifying and helping them develop their bodies will lead to a safe sleeping environment for your baby. 

Let us know your opinion on babies that roll over in their sleep - what did you do?  Or maybe you did nothing. Leave us a comment below.  

Article written by Best Baby Care Tips

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