Baby Sleeping on Tummy? - Allen Park,MI

Updated on February 18, 2011
A.U. asks from Allen Park, MI
27 answers

My almost 4 month old daughter is rolling pretty well now, both ways, for aprx a month now. She will be 4 months as of the 21st of this month. Well, currently I'm still letting her sleep in her swing at night and still swaddled .... i know i know, sleeping in a swing is not ideal, but it works for us and I get aprx 10 hours of sleep out of her.. I also know that she is getting too big for being swaddled and I need to stop that, and she even broke out of it this morning :) I've noticed that during the day when I lay her in her playpen, she'll roll over on her tummy and go to sleep and she seems to sleep really well like that. Since she can roll well now, is it ok to let her sleep like that at night? I'm definitely the paranoid kinda mommy :) I also have a 6 yr old and 2 yr old daughter and with them I would wedge them in one of those sleep positioners, usually on their side(to help with small flat spots on the back of the head). I had no problems, but i later read somewhere that wedging them in one of those after they know how to roll can also be a hazard (yikes)..
She has a mild case of gerd and on prevacid, just wanted to throw that in here in case it matters for your answers

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So What Happened?

I did read about the New Zeeland studies of toxins in mattresses and ended up getting one of the organic naturepedic mattresses when my 2 yr old was born :)

And No i definitely don't swaddle when shes on her belly... I was just doing it in the swing :)

Yikes I didn't know that sleeping with motion wasn't good sleep... I have been leaving it on all night since she seems to sleep better that way?
Thanks everyone and more comments are definitely welcome and appreciated :)

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Detroit on

If she can roll over and back then its okay to let her sleep on her tummy, you can't control it in a crib unless you tie her down, right?! :)

Mine was swaddled until about 4 months as well, she didn't sleep w/o it. Removing it was tough, BUT I knew it would be no matter what age, and wanted to get it over with sooner rather then later. Once she outgrew the swaddling blanket, we didn't replace with the next size bigger. She was sleeping through the night before, and it took a while for her to relearn that. But not forever.

Best wishes!


answers from Dover on

You put them on their backs to sleep. If they roll on their own and you do not have things in their crib/sleep area that could cause a problem (toys, stuffed animals, pillows, heavy blankets, etc) than they are fine to stay on their stomachs. Otherwise, you would have to stay awake all night to keep rolling them back (and in my case get no sleep because my kids refused to sleep on their backs).

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answers from Portland on

I tend to take lightly what the "experts" say because they seem to be always changing ideas ect..."Back-to sleep" is soooooooo over-rated...
If she has gurd then you wouldn't want her laying flat on her back because she could choke if the spit up, ect...
Some babies don't mind swaddling at all, others get to a point where they want only there bottom half swaddled, and then again, some like being swaddled even up to a year or more durring naps or bedtime (or being in a sleeping bag type blanket as they get older)--each child is different so as long as you can "read" you kid you should be okay...
Those sleep positiong things are so crapy and made me even more nurvous (even when they were real little) so I never really used one...I have heard what you said about them being dangerous for older babies too...
Probably 80+ % of the babies I have worked with including my own have slept on there tummies as soon as they could roll over themselves...and some like to pull their blankie over there head if they are on their back (trying to keep face warm or block out light maybe?) and so as long as they don't have a heavey or very large blanket (ie. they can malipulat/move it on their own verry well) then they are okay...
As far as sleeping in the swing goes--that is okay...a lot of babies do well in a swing, and the increased hous of sleep is better for all of you...Just try to switch arround where she sleeps (ie. bed in swing, nap in play pen , ect) or you might try moving her after she falls asleep...
Hope this helps. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

Belly sleeping was the only way my kids would sleep. My mom used to put me & my siblings on our bellies. Belly sleeping has always been done w/ babies and it won't hurt so long as there's nothing in the crib with them to block their breathing. She'll be fine :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

I have put my 3 kids on their tummy almost from birth. They sleep better and they don't get woke up by involuntary kicking and twitching like they do when they are on their backs. To ease my fear of suffocation, I place 3-4 thick bath towels in between the mattress and the sheet. That way, if they get stuck face down they can breath through the towels. Making time for tummy time during the day helps strengthen their neck and upper body so they can turn their head independently when they are sleeping. Try this technique during a nap until you feel more comfortable with putting her to bed on her tummy at night. Hope this helps.

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answers from Springfield on

Nothing wrong with baby sleeping in the swing, especially with reflux. Many babies sleep better that way. With ours it was the car seat. You can transition her when she's too big for the swing, she doesn't like it any more or it's not safe. Right now it works, so try not to worry about that.

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answers from Orlando on

My daughter did the same thing, she had reflux and I think that the pressure on her stomach made her feel better. As much as I would flip her back onto her back she would always turn back over or just scream and scream until she flipped. If your daughter is rolling back to front and front to back she should be fine. It is so hard to do something that you are told over and over not to do. Talk to your daughters doctor and see what they say.

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answers from Austin on

I am a former Respiratory Therapist. Yes, sleeping on her tummy is fine. Once a baby can turn its head from side to side there is no need to make them sleep on their back to decrease SIDS. All three of mine slept on their tummy.


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answers from Chicago on

My ped said if they can roll, don't worry about it. Still put them down on their backs, but if they roll over on their tummies -- let them go. She might find it more comfy to have that gentle pressure on her tummy sleeping because of her GERD issues than sleeping on her back anyway.

My 2nd (he is now 2) had reflux and we would let him sleep in his car seat while I passed out on the couch beside him, so I totally understand the temptation to use something other than the crib....but motion while sleeping is not good sleep so I am hoping you don't actually have the swing on all night. Best wishes.

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answers from Los Angeles on

ALL of my kids slept on their stomachs. No matter how many times I flipped them over, they ended up on their stomachs and slept well, so I finally left them on their stomachs.

We have this Back To Sleep campaign based on some "experts" advice, but 20 years ago, the "experts" were harping about how the baby HAS to sleep on their stomachs. I'm sure the "research" will change again.

My commom sense advice would be to make sure the mattress is well aired out, so they aren't sucking in chemicals....AND make sure the mattress isn't too soft, other than that, I think you should be an aware parent and pay attention to YOUR daughter's needs.

Also, I found that babies who have stomach issues, sleep WAY better with some pressure on their stomachs, so you are not alone - at all.

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answers from St. Louis on

My son slept on his belly from Day2. He would not sleep any other way - he just cried and cried. I was so hesitant and worried until he was really good about turning his head and rolling over but I also kept him in a cosleeper playpen next to our bed for the first six months. I also swaddled him but he didn't like his arms to be swaddled so I just swaddled his lower body and left his arms out.

I think she will be fine!

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answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter had some digestive issues for the first couple months and our pediatrician recommended propping up the crib on one end (with some books or anything really) and that seemed to help. She was also an earlier roller and our pediatrician assured us if she can roll well and has good head and neck control, she's fine on her belly.

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answers from Austin on

Our daughter began sleeping on her tummy really young. She just slept so well.

Since your child can roll over, of course she can now sleep on her tummy. Call the pedi, they will tell you the same..



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Sleeping on the belly is fine but only if the baby is truly rolling both ways well. My son was able to roll both ways at 3 months too, but it wasn't an every day thing until 5 months when he started crawling... so just make sure it's an every day thing. Sleeping in a swing probably IS ideal if your baby has gerd or any reflux.. it'll help her with the acid. And babies are safe to be swaddled until 6 months, as long as they will tolerate it.


Sleeping on the belly is fine but only if the baby is truly rolling both ways well. My son was able to roll both ways at 3 months too, but it wasn't an every day thing until 5 months when he started crawling... so just make sure it's an every day thing. Sleeping in a swing probably IS ideal if your baby has gerd or any reflux.. it'll help her with the acid. And babies are safe to be swaddled until 6 months, as long as they will tolerate it.


answers from Bloomington on

Both of my boys were/are tummy sleepers. (3 1/2 and 1) I bought a baby monitor that has a movement sensor that goes under the crib mattress. There is an alarm that goes off if they stop breathing. If your baby can roll over, you should be fine...but you could check with your Ped. to be sure.



answers from Chicago on

I broke the rules during the day because I never napped. To avoid the flat head business and to be sure my son's muscle tone was developing, I had him sleep on his tummy during the day where I could watch and check on him regularly. Mind you I did not swaddle him while he was on his tummy. At night he was swaddled and placed on his back. It worked out great for us because we did not have to battle with the tummy time business and he didn't cry because he got used to it.

Once your baby is able to flip over like that I would leave her as is. At night definitely put her down on her back. If she is flipping herself avoid the swaddle because you don't want her to get stuck. Sleeping on her tummy may even help her Gerd???



answers from Indianapolis on

As soon as a baby can roll it's safe for them to sleep on their bellies :)



answers from Detroit on

Our daughter, A 2nd child, did the same thing in her playpen! Once she napped 3 hours on her stomach one day, we had no problem laying her on her stomach. She's 11 months now and we'll put her down on her back for nap and bedtime, but as soon as we walk away from the crib, she rolls onto her stomach. I say, let them sleep.



answers from Phoenix on

My son had severe GERD and on prevacid as well. He spent most of his first year sleeping in the swing, infant car seat or vibrating bouncy seat. It is perfectly fine sleep and what all of his doctors recomended so that he could get good rest with the reflux. There are items you can purchase called a tucker sling and wedge for her crib that she is strapped into (like a bouncy chair/swing) and it puts them at the right angle to keep the reflux down as well they can't roll over. You can also visit here for home made ideas/instructions as well
Its a great site for other reflux support also.

Once my son could roll over he would prefer to sleep on his tummy as well, I think it helps them feel better if stuff starts coming up and they way I looked at it as well is that when he started "refluxing" or "spitting up" his head was already to the side. He used to gag and choke on it when flat on his back. I think once they can roll it is fairly safe for the to sleep on their tummys and really there is not a safe way to stop them if that's how they prefer.

Good luck!



answers from Miami on

Hi A.. 2 answers.
the american pediatric association will say not to put babies asleep on their tummies because of fear of SIDs....

Some mothers where I live do the following...they let their babies nap on their tummies (mostly in the carriages that are like a baby tub...) so they can check on them frequently....

Some other mothers i know use a co-sleeper -- that is a bed attached to theirs or next to theirs and thus can monitor baby during the nite...

whatever u do, consult with ur dr.

hth jilly



answers from New York on

My son started rolling to his belly around 3 months... there is no stopping them once they start. I checked with my ped who said if he is rolling on his own its fine, just keep putting him to sleep on his back and let him roll on his own. In fact the first time he rolled onto his belly was at night, he woke me up screaming and I found him on his tummy.

It took about a month before he could roll back but every night he would roll to his tummy and at some point would want to go back and couldn't so he would scream till I turned him back over.

I did notice that if I rolled him over right away he would go back to sleep quicker. So for that month the pack n play was right next to my side of the bed so as soon as he woke me up I'd flip him right back over. This meant I got more sleep too.



answers from New York on

I was paranoid about this when my baby started rolling to his tummy to sleep. I asked my pediatrician that told me that when your baby is able to roll on his own, you know longer have to keep him on his back. I tired rolling my son over to his back but he would just roll on to his tummy anyway like 5 mins later.



answers from Detroit on

I am all for whatever works best for you and baby! Infants have been sleeping on ther tummies for centuries. The new thing about putting them on their backs seems to be causing many babies to have flat heads. When mine were infants ( they are 32, 29 and 27 now) it was always tummy to keep them from suffocating in case they spit up in the night. They slept with no pillows or blankets. We had little sleep sacks with arms that zipped up the front.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I've always heard if they can roll it's ok. Just make sure the mattress is firm and there's not any pillows or blankets under her head.



answers from Dallas on

I think the key is that they can roll from the tummy to their back. My son is 2 months and prefers to sleep on his tummy. I don't let him yet, but it has meant that getting him to sleep has been challenging at times. When I was young there was no best on back and generations of kids were put on their tummies and survived. Do what you think is best and your instincts will guide you.



answers from Augusta on

Tummy sleeping was the only way either of mine slept.
It's fine. You get them to sleep how you can
They don't really know what causes SIDS. 15 yrs ago it was put them on their tummies so they don't choke on saliva of spit up. Soon they will be saying side only to sleep.
Really they don't know what causes it.

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