Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

Most parents are worried when they see their baby rolling over in sleep. When a baby gets to this point, she is no longer at risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that occurs mostly between two to four months. It is now okay to let your baby find a comfortable sleeping position on her own. When sleeping on her tummy, she can turn her face to the side to keep her nose and mouth free.

Should I Worry If My Baby Rolls Over in Sleep?

You don’t need to worry about your baby if she rolls from her back to her tummy while asleep. The rolling means that she is strong enough to hold her head and she is able to roll back onto her back. Your baby will usually first know how to roll on her stomach and eventually will learn to roll on her back as well. With time, she will learn to stay in different positions.

If your baby is in her first year, professionals advise that you should lay your baby on her back when sleeping to avoid sudden infant death syndrome. So when you find your baby rolling over in sleep, you can slowly put her to sleep on her back. Luckily SIDS is most prevalent between the ages of one to four month after which the risk decreases. After the first year, the risk is as good as gone.

What Can I Do for Baby Rolling Over in Sleep?

1. If You Baby Has Just Started Rolling

When the baby rolls, you should turn her back to her usual sleeping position. If she turns and looks upset, wait for a maximum of 15 minutes. If she is still agitated, give your baby a chance to learn how to sleep in the new position but still roll her back to her usual sleeping position in the end.

2. If Your Baby Has Been Rolling for a While

When you put your baby to sleep, place her in her usual sleeping position. If you find your baby rolling over in sleep, roll her back to her usual position. If she gets upset, try soothing her till she falls asleep in the new position. If the baby wakes up before midnight, she can choose to either sleep in that new position or roll back to the usual position.

3. Practice Rolling During the Day

During the day, help your baby practice rolling. You can try to put her on her tummy up to 15 to 20 minutes per day, which builds up the strength of her back. You can also roll her from her back to her tummy and back. You can do it more often before her napping time or bedtime at night. In this way, she can remember how to roll back to her usual position if she is not comfortable in the new position.

Tips for Safe Sleep Practices

  1. For the first six months, ensure that the baby sleeps on her back in a cot. It is the safest to put her in your room.
  2. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, do not smoke and make sure that people do not smoke next to your baby. Smoke increases the risk of SIDS.
  3. Never sleep with your baby on the bed, armchair or sofa if you have taken alcohol or drugs.
  4. Do not put extra things in the baby’s crib like stuffed animals, pillows and blankets which she can roll onto because they can pose a risk of suffocation.
  5. Ensure that your baby does not get too hot. Keep her at room temperatures between 16 °C- 20 °C.
  6. The head of your baby should always be uncovered. Tuck the blanket just past her shoulders.
  7. If you feel that your baby is not getting enough sleep due to waking up at night and you have ruled out all the external reasons, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
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