Baby Rolling over at Night!!!

Updated on May 07, 2010
A.G. asks from Las Vegas, NV
21 answers

Hi ladies,
I was wondering, how do i keep my 4 month old son from rolling over onto his stomach and sleeping on it at night. He hasn't learnt to roll on his back from stomach, yet. He sleeps in his crib, and i've been using a sleep positioner, but that doesn't seem to help much. Any tips on how i can keep on his back. thanks

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answers from Los Angeles on

I know that I used to put a blanket in front of my son and one on his back so that way he could sleep on his side. The blanket would be bunched up or rolled up like a towel so that way he had some form of balance. I hope this helps.



answers from Las Vegas on

My son did the same thing at 4 months and I was so scared about him not being able to breath, but my doctor said that I couldnt do anything about it. If he is rolling over by himself you cant keep rolling him back over. My son did sleep better on his stomach as others have said.

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answers from Spokane on

Hi A.,

My ped told me that once my baby started rolling over on his own, then he would be fine to sleep on his tummy. Unfortunately, there aren't any ways to keep your little one off his tummy, unless you want to stay awake all night and reposition him. I don't think that sounds very practical. I know it's hard not to worry, but it's something you can't of the many things you will find that you can't really do anything about.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I've heard that once a baby can roll over on to their stomachs at night, they should be ok to sleep that way, though I'm not sure how long ago I heard that info or if its still considered safe. I can only imagine how aprehensive you are about him sleeping that way all night. Maybe try placing something under his sheet (like rolled up blankets) that he won't be able to "move" while he's sleeping and might help keep him from rolling over. I'll be interested to hear what other ideas you are given here on this one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

No worries. Once they have the muscle control to roll over by themselves, it's ok. Feel free to ask at your next well check, but it is OK. The worry is that they can't get to a place where they can breathe. Be happy for your strong son!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Yay for all of this good advice! I am in complete and whole-hearted agreement! Once they are strong enough to roll they are also strong enough to lift their head and all kinds of other developmental stuff and I think he is fine sleeping on his tummy. Trying to keep him on his back when he is more comfortable this way is going to only disrupt his sleep. My daughter was a horrible sleeper when I attempted to back-sleep her so I actually tummy slept her even before she could roll, but I also co-slept with her, so it was by far less scary than if I couldn't hear her breathe right next to me. But I agree, if they are strong enough to roll, they are strong enough to tummy sleep. : )



answers from Los Angeles on

hi, I don't believe there is any thing you can do. My daughter did the same thing and i was concerned because of the whole thing don't let them sleep on the stomach stuff but i asked her doctor and she told me that once they learn how to roll over there isn't anything you can do about it. i would just check him from time to time that's what i did and really all i could do. good luck!



answers from Boston on

Years ago (I'm talking 35+) we were told to never let the baby sleep on his back because they could choke if they vomited or spit up. So my two babies slept on their tummies from day 1. I guess there are arguments for both sides, but isn't it funny how the advice keeps changing?



answers from Honolulu on

I don't think there is a way to keep him from rolling over at night (the more stuff you put in his crib, the more likely he will get stuck in it - not good). I would work on his skill of rolling from front to back during the day. Since he figured out how to do it one way, it won't take him long to figure out how to return to back. Then you won't have to worry about it.



answers from Chicago on

I agree with Christina. I'd also remove the sleep positioner, as he does not really need it now that he's rolling around. Both of my kids flipped around 4 mos and have been stomach sleepers ever since.



answers from San Diego on

my baby did the exact same thing at 4 months. it freaked me out because of all the info about SIDS and sleeping on stomachs. I would sneak in there and roll him over through the night causing everyone to lose such precious sleep at this stage. i started talking to all my friends kinds and every one of them had kids sleeping on their stomachs. I had no idea. From what I learned, its really fine. Take the bumpers out of the crib for better air flow and let them roll all the like.



answers from Las Vegas on

It appears he's a tummy sleeper! It is more comforting, closer to fetal position and less startling. Do you like to sleep on your back, all night long? Neither does he:) All my kids slept on their tummies and they made it to adulthood!



answers from Los Angeles on

If he's able to roll onto his stomach to sleep, it is okay for him to sleep that way. Babies are placed on their backs to sleep because they can't move their heads well enough to move if they are not getting enough air, but if your little guy is mobile enough to roll, he should be fine. He is probably just more comfortable that way and will sleep better. Try placing a small oscilating fan in his room (doesn't have to be directly pointed at him, just somewhere in the room) to keep the air circulating. Studies have shown that doing this helps babies breathe better and cuts the risk of SIDS by quite a lot. Don't worry, you probably can't keep him from rolling, so if you're still swaddling try a sleep blanket instead and let him get comfortable.



answers from Reno on

Don't worry too much. As long as you don't have big, puffy toys or pillows he can get stuck under, the chance of sleep position leading to SIDS is small. My 2nd child (I have 4) would NOT sleep in any position except on her tummy, from the moment she was born. She would scream and scream if put on her back. She's now a happy, healthy 22 year old. Your son has figured out what's comfortable for him, and he's not likely to change easily.



answers from Portland on

Hi A.-

I've been a Nanny for may years, which means I've tried many baby products. I've found the wedges parents buy too "keep" their baby in place are placed in the top shelf of the closet quickly. Some parents use rolled blankets to "wedge" their baby, but that's a suffocation risk.

The long and short of it is, like other Mama's have said, your baby is probably ok. I worked for an OB GYN (woman), who allowed her new born to sleep on his tummy from day 1, because that's where he was happy.

The reason most recommend babies to sleep on their back is so they do not suffocate on the bedding, as long as your baby can move their head, (it sounds like he can), so it's not pressed in the bed, you should be ok.

If you want to try swaddling, it could prevent him from rolling, but it could also make a grumpy baby. But it's worth a try if it eases your mind. If you do swaddle, have a fan running in the room, or crack the window. I read a study which suggested one POSSIBLE cause of SIDS is over heating. The study said that families how used a fan in the room had less risk of SIDS.

Best of Luck!

R. Magby



answers from Los Angeles on

Hey A.,
My guy is 4 months also and just started doing the same thing. The only difference is that he is rolling onto his back. I started putting him to sleep on his tummy at 5 weeks due to the fact he hated being swaddled and he would startle himself awake. It has not been a concern for us as both my husband and myself were tummy sleepers as infants.



answers from Philadelphia on

I hope you find an answer! Both my children were rolling by 2 weeks and slept on their stomachs throughout.Eveytime I tried to switch them back they'd flip right back over.
They are both fine. My oldest daughter did vomit once while sleeping on her tummy(she was ok just messy) & that brought on the debate. When on their tummy they could lay in it n maybe suffocate nd when on the back they could choke.

I never used a wedge or blanket due to the suffocation hazards.

Good Luck!!



answers from Kansas City on

Once he can roll over, even if it is just one way, let him go! Especially if he likes sleeping on his side or belly. He'll be fine.



answers from Los Angeles on

You don't. All of my kids rolled over within 20 minutes of putting them in a crib on thier tummies. I never left stuffed animals, etc with them, but at 4 months they are big enough to lift their heads, so I never worried.

All of the "experts" for YEARS told everyone to put their babies on their bellies to sleep! and then suddenly, it was "no, we changed our minds - put them on their backs." So, which is it? I have a feeling my babies are smarter for listening to their bodies....but that's me.

My kids also don't have platybasia (flat heads) from being forced to sleep on their no remolding helmets needed there!



answers from San Diego on

Take out the sleep positioner- I've read several things that say they can be more harm than help (especially now that he is rolling). Take everything out of the crib- even bumpers especially if they are cushioned- and make sure tor sheets fit snug and the bed isn't too soft. Then enjoy letting him get himself comfortable and sleep better! I worried about it a lot with my first and always went back in to try to roll her back which woke her back up and neither of us got any sleep. My second started doing it and we had a video monitor (sooooo worth it for anyone wondering!) and I would just watch to be sure she was positioned well and I could see and hear her breathing. With my third, I was much less worried and tried to put him on his back, but he flipped himself very early and will only sleep on his side or tummy- I just let him get comfie and check him often. Good luck- almost all the mommies I know gave me the same feedback you are getting- you can't do much other than make their space safe and check on them, oh, and try to get some sleep!



answers from Provo on

Be happy about it...all my kids slept longer and better on their was torturous waiting for them to get to where they could roll over on their own :)

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