32 answers

My 7 Month Old Prefers to Sleep on His Stomach - Is This Ok?

We always put our son to sleep on his back, but starting this week each morning he is face down asleep in the crib. I'm worried that this isn't safe and he could be at risk of SIDS - is that possible with this age? Last night I went in several times before I went to bed to flip him back to his back and each time he flipped right back to his stomach with face buried in the mattress. My husband says I am just being paranoid. Has anyone else experienced this with their baby?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the feedback, makes me feel better to know he's not the only kid doing this. We don't keep anything in his crib and since I stopped trying to flip him back over, he's slept much better - all the way through the night the past few nights, which is a first. Guess he prefers to sleep on his tummy with his face buried, but he's sleeping well.

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I was just as paranoid with my first child when I went in to find him on his belly. My Dr. told me that as long as they were rolling over that it would be ok. I found that he slept so much better too! I know at the child care center we have strict rules about putting babies to bed. They say that we must place them on their backs but if they roll over it is ok.
Hope this helps

I think its fine, my 6 month old sleeps most comfortably on his stomach, when I was preggie, I read all the books saying not to do this, and I watched him very closely when I started doing it, but I think 7 months is fine, he's more alert now, so he will be fine

It is okay for babies to sleep on their stomach, as long as THEY roll over themselves. When they are old enough and strong enough to do that, it is safe. Don't worry. :) My daughter did the same thing, and STILL sleeps that way.

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J.,
I know this is probably not going to be accepted advice (medically speaking anyway) but, both of my kids slept face down from the day they came home! My first actually slept face down while we were still at the hospital - the nurses would lay her on her back and even bundled up like a burrito she'd roll over onto her tummy. My kids would not sleep on their backs. They still don't (I've got a 3 year old and a 1 year old). I tried, I really did. I'd lay them on their backs and they'd either wake up and have to be consoled back to sleep or they'd roll themselves over within minutes after being laid down.
I personally think that as long as you make sure the sheet on the bed is tight, that his blanket isn't too heavy, and that their are no toys in the crib he'll be fine, even if he rolls over. The tight sheet and light wiight blanket help ensure that he doesn't get tangled up while turning over. No toys help ensure that nothing can fall down and cover up his face during the night.

~A. C

I'm sure he will be fine, especially if he can lift his own head. I have 2 kids, a five year old and a 2 month old and both of my children slept on their stomachs from the time they were born. They just would NOT sleep on their backs. Of Course, I worried about SIDS then too, but before they discovered SIDS babies slept on their stomachs for years. I have also read somewhere that SIDS isn't caused by just putting them on their stomachs. It also has some mitigating factors, and when you add those together with putting them on their stomach they are at rick for SIDS. I don't know if that helps.

I was just as paranoid with my first child when I went in to find him on his belly. My Dr. told me that as long as they were rolling over that it would be ok. I found that he slept so much better too! I know at the child care center we have strict rules about putting babies to bed. They say that we must place them on their backs but if they roll over it is ok.
Hope this helps

At 7 months, he is old enough to roll himself over if he has any problem breathing, and he will do it if needed. He's old enough to have a preference in sleeping position, just like you would have a preferred sleeping position yourself. Try not to worry too much about it. Just make sure he isn't sleeping on top of extra plush bedding that his face will sink into, and he will be fine.

I am 40 so came along WAY before SIDS. I always slept on my stomach and still do. My daughter (28months) always did/does and I never worried about it b/c I knew I did it and I am super healthy!!! Some kids just prefer it. Baby mattresses are supposed to be firm so that babies cannot "sink" down into them. Also, be sure there are no pillows in his bed. My guess is he will be fine - he is just exercising his right to be comfy! L. :-)

Our pediatrician always told us that if they are strong enough to get to their stomach on their own, it's OK. Just don't start them out that way.

My son is 5 1/2 months old and has been doing the same thing for about a month now. I asked the pediatrician about it and they said that as soon as the baby can turn over on his/her own, there is no reason to put them back on their back.

my son did this.....our pediatrician said that once they can turn over on their own they ar ok. Call your pediatricians office and ask someone to call you about this to ease your mind and heart.

I agree with everyone else. If he can turn over himself, it is ok. My 2 has never slept on their back as newborns. They just would not sleep that way. We would be up all night when I laid them on their backs. So they are tummy sleepers until this day. Well, my son is an all over "wild" man sleeper. :)

Don't worry, he's fine.

When my daughter was newborn we had to put her on her side because she had reflux really bad and she always tried to get on her tummy. I even had to put her on her tummy some (during naptime) as a way for her and me to get some sleep sometime. Then when she could turn herself over she always slept on her tummy. I was always a nervous wreck. I was so scared that she would quit breathing and be a SIDS statistic. But thank heaven that she was always fine. The doctors and most everyone I talked to were against babies sleeping on their tummies. My brother's daughter was the same way. She wouldn't sleep unless she was on her tummy too. I have read in one of my parenting magazines that it is believed that a child that takes a pacifier was less likely to die of SIDS. I can't remember all the exacts. Something about the pacifier keeping their nose from being buried so they don't stop breathing. I wish I could tell you the exact article but I can't find it. It was from either the Baby or Parents magazine. My baby girl (22 months) still prefers to sleep on her tummy! Hope this helps.

I think its fine, my 6 month old sleeps most comfortably on his stomach, when I was preggie, I read all the books saying not to do this, and I watched him very closely when I started doing it, but I think 7 months is fine, he's more alert now, so he will be fine

Hi J.

Just to let you know both of my little ones slept on their tummies. Now 2 & 3 and perfectly fine. I just made sure there wasn't anything they could grab and put in their faces or basically lay them in an empty bed with just a sheet, using warm jammies to keep from using a blanket. Hope this helps. You are a mommy you are aloud to be paranoid all new moms are and if he likes his tummy just make sure he is safe while sleeping and if you have to check on him more often to make it better on you then do so. Nudge him a couple times at night he'll go back to sleep. A. www.busymomsworkathome.com

I have a 5 month old that sleeps on his stomach because of reflux disease and he does fine. We are looking into getting an Angelcare Motion Monitor by Bebesounds to go under his matress. It alerts if no motion including breathing is sensed for 20 seconds. I was also told that once babies are able to turn over they are going to sleep in whatever position they prefer and will be fine. Good luck
K.

Hi.

I am an educator for a local hospital system. One of the classes I teach is Newborn Care. The Back to Sleep campaign is targeted for newborns (0-3 months old). Continue to put your baby to sleep on his back. If he rolls over, he's fine!

The definition of SIDS that I provide my classes is that it's any death of a baby in which the cause is unknown. If we know the cause, it's not SIDS. So, all babies are at risk. However, there are things parents can do to lower that risk. Putting your son to sleep on his back is one way. Keeping pillows, blankets, toys, stuffed animals, etc. out of the crib is another. Never falling asleep with your baby on a couch, Never leaving your baby on an elevated surface without your hand keeping him on it are two more ways. For more info on SIDS and ways to lower your son's risks, go to www.aap.org. That's the American Academy of Pediatrics website.

S.

my doctor told me that after my son was able too turn over that she was not worried...so my son sleeps both ways and he is 1 year

Our daughter has been doing that since very early on. I've read not to bother rolling them over...just always put them on their backs to go to sleep. No worries!

I won't say that it is okay but i will tell you that both my kids did it and they are now 4 and 2. My daugther starting flipping on her stomach at 4 mths. Now when i lay her down she just automatically lays down on her face and stomach. I actually think it is genetic. I sleep that way. It will be very hard though to keep an older baby from flipping. Just relax. When he gets sick and can't breath you will notice that nature takes over and he will sleep on his back. You can even prop with pillow and he will sleep on back. I have learned being a mom that god built in a lot of rescue things about babies. If my kid gets hold of something bad, i can pretty much count on them throwing up a second later. Don't drop your guard totally but let him be.

It is okay for babies to sleep on their stomach, as long as THEY roll over themselves. When they are old enough and strong enough to do that, it is safe. Don't worry. :) My daughter did the same thing, and STILL sleeps that way.

Hi J.! I have a stomach-sleeping son as well! Since the day he was born he's been prone to sleep on his stomach. I always laid him on his back, but somehow he would end up on his stomach! It scared me as well for a while. I'm not a doctor, bit I believe that at 7 months your son is pretty much out of risk of SIDS. And I think that as soon as your baby can roll over it's ok for them to sleep on their stomach, but I would check with you pediatrician. My son, who will be 3 in July, still sleeps on his stomach with his face buried in between his pillows (just like his daddy!). Good luck and I wouldn't stress out too much about it :o)

Oh yeah its perfectly fine. SIDS is pretty much a mystery. No one knows why new borns die in their sleep but the whole "Back to Sleep" thing is just incase they are accidently suffocating. If he rolls to his stomach all on his own, than dont worry about it, if he gets uncomfortable he'll just roll back or turn his head. No need to be concerned. At 7 months they still throw up, but not as much in their sleep since its time to start weining from the bottles at bed time.
Dont worry he's fine :)
-N.

Hey J.,

I know that the peds. stress that we should put our babies on their backs to sleep, but there is other research about SIDS and sleeping that says differently. I did my own research and decided to put both of my children on their stomachs to sleep. My little boy is now two and my daughter is 7 months, same as your baby. I put my son on his back at first because the doctors scared me so bad, but once I read up on the subject and tried putting him on his stomach, he slept so much better, and so did I!

Look for a book by Leila Daughtry-Denmark (Dr. Denmark) called "Every Child Deserves a Chance." There is also a book called "Dr. Denmark said it!" that was written by one of her long time patients with like 13 kids or something. Dr. Denmark is a ped. in the Atlanta area who practiced for many decades. She is over 100 now and still living and seeing some patients by appointment. She is no nonsense and isn't swayed by medical fads.

I know that they like to quote statistics about SIDS and the back to sleep program, but it is failed logic, because they can't isolate that one factor. There are many other things that have been changed in the past ten years or so, like removing heavy bedding and toys from baby beds and using tightfitting mattresses and sheets. Also, babies feel like they are falling when they are on their backs, but they feel safe on their stomachs and they even digest their food better this way (according to Dr. Denmark).

I know that my opinions are very controversial, but despite all that, even my pediatrician says just to start your baby on their back and if they roll over it's okay. We can't stop them. And I'm pretty sure that SIDS is most common from 0-6 months, boys, in the winter, so I'd say you're in the clear.

I wouldn't worry about it. My daughter has been turning over on her own since she was around 5 months old. As long as he is able to lift his head, I don't think he is in danger.

I don't blame you for being nervous, but I don't think there's much you can do if he's flipping by himself. As long as the mattress is firm and there's not a bunch of blankets/pillows, etc... in there, I'm sure he's fine.

Place pillows around him ,however if he likes a certain position it's not much you can do.God will take care of him.

Hi J., I too was very concerned when our daughter started sleeping on her tummy at I think 4 months but I simply couldn't make her stop without waking her and that completely defeated her good nightly sleeping habits. She is now 3 and there were no incidents to mention and now she's like a little tornado when she sleeps sometimes I find her completely fliped around from head to toe. If your very worried I think they have sleepers that keep your baby in the back postion but I'm sure their for newborns. Do what feels right and talk with your pediatrician for medical insight.

My son has alway prefered to sleep on his stomach. Our pediatrician said that once he was strong enough to roll over it was fine for him to sleep on his stomach. My son is almost 2 now and still prefers to sleep on his stomach!

Both of my children would only sleep on their stomach. They say if they can roll over it's okay for them to sleep that way.

Neither of my girls would ever sleep for more than 20-30 min on their backs. I read up on it and they said to take the bumper pads out of the crib, keep it cool in the room and make sure air is moving in the room as well. Also all the pediatricians I spoke with said that if they can roll over by themselves, they let them sleep! My girls are both fine and healthy. They are 6 years and 13 months. I say if your little guy can roll over without help then leave him be and let him sleep. Hope this helps.

I definitely experienced this with my son around the same age. I was also very concerned and checking on him late at night with a flashlight to make sure he was still breathing. Everyone assured me that if he was able to get himself into that position on his own, it means that he is able to move himself out of danger if his breathing became compromised. The danger with younger babies is that they may not be able to lift or move their heads due to limited neck strength, but a baby that can turn onto his stomach can turn over to his back again with no problem. I would not worry anymore - my 13-month-old still prefers his stomach!

Hi J., yeah I think we as mothers are just being paranoid. My little one is just 4 months and when he started rolling over a few weeks ago that is exactly how he sleeps every night now with his face burried in the mattress. I thought the same thing but my husband reassured me that since they are able to turn over on their own then they will not allow themselves to suffocate, they can now roll back over or turn their head sooo rest assured I'm sure your little one is just fine :-)

Doctors tend not to worry about baby's dying of SIDS once their past 3 months. If he is flipping himself over and can hold his head up on his own then he is old enough to be alerted if something smothers him and is old enough to manuver away from it. Just make sure that there are no loose blankets or anything that he could wrap up in and become trapped. My 8 month old also sometimes rolls on his stomach but he can also flip right back over if necessary.

My first daughter sleept on her stomach from the minuite she popped out. My second daughter just recently started doing that. I talked to the pediatrician and she asked me, " Are you sleeping?". I said yes, and she then said, "So what's wrong?". I also talked to a nurse who is also a lactation specialist. She said we know nothing about SIDS and the rule about sleeping on the back is to make moms, who wouldn't otherwise pay attention to their children, pay attention. So, don't worry, he is fine. Hope this helps with peace of mind.

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