13 answers

5.5 Month Old Rolling over in Crib

Hi All,
My 5.5 m/o boy has started rolling onto his stomach in the crib. When he's out of the crib he's able to roll onto his tummy and then back onto his back. The problem is that when I put him down at night or for a nap he rolls onto his tummy and then gets very upset--hysterical, actually--and can't seem to roll himself back.
If I go in and roll him onto his back, he simply rolls right back onto his tummy and starts screaming again. (This could go on all night.)
I don't mind letting him sleep on his tummy, as he's a big guy and he can move around and lift his head up well, but he doesn't seem to want to!
I thought about trying a sleep positioner, but I can't use one forever. Any thoughts? Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses! I let him cry it out. It took one day, and now he's sleeping better than ever. :-)

Featured Answers

My Pediatrician said that the concerns with SIDS is mostly that they shouldn't sleep on the stomach until they can roll in and out of that position by themselves. I wouldn't worry about it if he keeps getting in that position and you know that he can roll on his back if he wants to.

More Answers

I believe the pediatric advice of back sleeping does not mean you have to turn a baby that knows how to turn over on his back... lay him down on his back then let him turn over if he knows how. The leading pediatric governing body does not advocate products to keep a baby on its back. Hope that helps..

My son did the exact same thing... could roll from back to tummy during the day and at night. But would only roll from tummy to back during the day. If he woke up at night on his tummy, he would scream.

We let him cry it out... first night, 45 minutes. Second night, 15 minutes. Third night, back to sleeping through the night (meaning 9-11 hours!).

He will figure it out. You just have to decide how quickly you want him to do so. If you are okay with the letting him cry it out theory, try it! It worked great for me! And he'll quickly figure out that it's okay to wake up on his tummy and go back to sleep all by himself.

By the way - my son is now 7 months old - and he'll roll from his tummy to his back in the night all by himself.

They are smarter than we think!


Go ahead and use the sleep positioner. Try positioning him on his side, babies often like that position and it eliminates worry for parents. You won't have to use it forever, when he is able to control his rolls from both front to back and back to front, both in and out of the crib, it won't be an issue anymore and you can remove it from his crib. He may just need a little something to help him through this brief period, and the sleep positioners aren't very expensive. Good luck!

My son did the same thing. I did not try a sleep positioner, but two or three weeks later he had figured it out and wasn't getting upset anymore. He is over 7 months now. Every once in a while I will come in and he will be asleep on his tummy, but I don't think he stays there for long.

My Pediatrician said that the concerns with SIDS is mostly that they shouldn't sleep on the stomach until they can roll in and out of that position by themselves. I wouldn't worry about it if he keeps getting in that position and you know that he can roll on his back if he wants to.

I used rolled up towels until mine were big enough to go both ways by themselves. Also, they have wedges made of foam you can use. He may be getting big enough to not like those though.

Before you run out and buy a sleep positioner, try rolling up a receiving blanket and stuff it next to him. Maybe one on either side.
Does he get lots of tummy time? I don't know if having more of that would help him feel more comfy sleeping on his stomach.

My boy started rolling at 3.5 months and would do the same thing, we went from sleeping 11 hours at night to waking every hour and having to roll him back over. After about a week he became comfortable with his tummy while in the crib and would go to sleep on his tummy. My baby is not as good at rolling from tummy to back but he is still able to do it. I was still worried about SIDS though, because he is so young. I asked my pediatrician about it at the 4 month appointment and he said he would use a sleep positioner until he is out of the major SIDS risk.
The first couple of days in the sleep positioner were hard because the baby was so used to being able to move wherever and whenever he wanted, so we were still waking up each hour just to comfort him back to sleep. Luckily he has given in to his mothers will and is sleeping 11 hours a night again. I don't know when the SIDS risk ends but as tummy sleeping has been linked to SIDS in a major way, I will be using the sleep positioner until he is out of the danger zone.

I still have to use a sleep-sack during the day for my 5mos. daughter. It makes her feel cozy and safe. Otherwise I notice she does the same thing and will never actually go to sleep.

Hi L.,
When our 2 boys were that age of rolling over on their stomach's in the crib, we'd roll up 2 of their little blankets that babies have and set one along side of him and other blanket we set along side of the other and usually this worked. I hope this helps for you :)

Enjoy the day,

I always used a sleep positioner. I got one for about three dollars and have used it with all four of my kids. It is very thin material on the bottom, so it doesn't bother them. My kids would turn to their side, but the sleep positioner would prevent them from going all the way to their tummy. At least for a while. It really helped me, I hope it helps you. Like I say, I used the cheapest one possible, it was adjustable for how big your baby is with velcro.

If he is strong enough to roll over I doubt a positioner will hold him. I would say you will have a few restless nights but let him learn to go back to sleep himself.
My son was on his stomach by about 5 mos too, and you are right if they are strong enough to get on his stomach there isn't much you can do about it and he will be fine.
Try the positioner, just so you know you tried it, hee hee, but my son would roll over the top of it and still end up on his stomach. He will just need to learn to get himself to sleep by himself, which takes lot's of patience!! HUGS

Use the sleep positioner until he is a few months older, then start taking it away for naps, and the once he is comfortable remove it at night.

I think it startles them to suddenly be on their stomachs, they aren't aware that they have rolled over and then all of a sudden they are on their tummies.

Just a thought but have you tried to lay him on his stomach when you lay him down? Maybe this will stop him from startling awake.

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