Rolling over in Sleep. .HELP!

Updated on April 24, 2010
M.P. asks from Orem, UT
13 answers

My son has been rolling over for about two months now, and he finally figured out how to do it in his sleep about two weeks ago which he loves. BUT about every two hours he will wake up now and start screaming. This has gone on ever since he started to sleep on his tummy. I would put him in a sleep positioner, but he HATES it more than he does waking up on his tummy. I would let him CIO but he doesn't do well. (I have tried it for a week despite the fact I don't believe in it but I was so tired I was willing to try. That time it didn't work, and I've tried it multiple times since and he just doesn't do what everyone says and eventually is able to soothe himself. Some babies just can't handle CIO method and now that we have moved our room is under my parents. Yes, I still live with them. Will move out ASAP) ANY SUGGESTIONS? He hasn't attached himself to anything to be able to use a lovey. Although I am wrapping him in a blanket that would be a great lovey (it's freezing in our room so I have to since I can't afford to get a sleep sack, but I am going to make him one soon since I found a pattern. And it stays around him since it's big. )

*I'm not worried about SIDS, I just want him to sleep longer than two hours at a time and i have to rock him back to sleep, Oh and he is 6 months. Please actually read my post and not just the title!
**I don't mind him sleeping on his tummy. It's just I dont want him waking up every two hours because of sleeping on his tummy.I tried the positioner just to see if he needed guidance to stay on his back since it was upsetting him to be on his tummy. But he refused that. AND he doesn't have a infant seat anymore since he grew out of it two months ago and I had ti get a convertible seat..

What can I do next?

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answers from Washington DC on

When my kids were able to roll to their fronts but not back again we had the same issue , I used to roll crib blankets length ways and posistion them either side of them so they were unable to roll over. It may work for you.

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answers from Portland on

I agree with you, CIO doesn't work with many babies. Actually I recommend not using it at all but understand that sometimes one is just too tired to deal.

Do I understand this correctly. He starts out sleeping on his back but rolls over onto his tummy and can't get back onto his back. He cries because he's on his tummy?

IF that's the case, I suggest rolling up blankets into firm "logs" and putting them against his body on both sides. This should prevent him from rolling over.

I'm not sure what you mean by a sleep positioner. All that I can think of is the two wedges connect with a flannel spacer. If this is what you're referring to he's out grown it. It was intended for the first couple of months. He may feel too constricted.

Another idea is to put him to sleep in his car seat. Both of my grandchildren preferred sleeping that way for several months. For them, they had respiratory and GERD issues but I also think they felt more secure.

I agree with Laurie in that I suggest that you try patting him instead of picking him up and rocking him. By leaving him in his crib you are helping him to learn that he can be soothed while he's lying down. If you put the crib next to your bed you won't even have to wake all the way up.

Pat him for 5 or so minutes and stop. Wait 5 minutes before patting him again. Gradually increase the amount of time in between patting times. The idea is to reassure him that you're there while giving him a chance to discover self-soothing.

As for him having a lovey, have you tried having him hold a soft, cuddly stuffed animal while you rock him? Use the same animal all of the time. Perhaps keep the animal under your night clothes for a night so that it has your smell. Perhaps he will come to rely on the stuffed animal with time.

Is he sleeping on a very firm surface? If the surface is too soft he may have difficulty breathing freely. As adults, some of us like a soft bed but babies don't.



answers from Austin on

I can tell you that like pretty much all things baby/kiddo related, this too shall pass. My son did the same thing and we were so exhausted for about 3 weeks due to all of the sleep interuptions. He too would not go back to sleep once he rolled over onto his tummy, so we had to keep flipping him back over throughout the night. Rolled up blankets didn't help a bit. He just pushed them to the side somehow. However, a few weeks later he figured it out and has been a stomach sleeper ever since. He's 2-1/2 now.

I guess what I'm saying is that as parents we are many times stretched so thin and are so tired that we are looking for a quick fix for the problems we encounter, and many times the situation resolves itself with a bit of patience. Hang in there!



answers from New York on

Maybe you can do a bunch of tummy time during the day, so that he gets used to being on his belly???


answers from Austin on

If I understand correctly you keep trying to put him to sleep on his back? Just let him sleep on his tummy. If he keeps flipping to his tummy, on his own, let him do this.

If he wakes up and cries, do not pick him up, instead pat his bottom (in a soothing way) so that it gives him a small motion to sooth him. It will almost be like a rocking motion for his body. This rhythm is like rocking him without holding him.



answers from Denver on

this phase will pass quickly - although when it's you getting up in the middle of the night it doesnt feel that way. Babies start by rolling one way but it takes a little time to figure out how to roll over both ways. Give him lots and lots of floor time and tummy time during the day so that he is very familiar with that position and rolling over. When you're on the floor with him, teach him and talk to him about how to roll back over from his tummy to his back. You might also try some baby massage or putting him on his tummy when you are cuddling so he knows how to relax in that position.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Just wanted to offer you some support--good for you for going with your instinct and not forcing the cry it out method. I agree with you that you have to go with what your instinct says is right for your child. Good luck!! Each stage is temporary, and this will pass. Hope you get better sleep soon; sleep deprivation is really hard, but it'll get better.



answers from Denver on

I don't have any advice... just here to say my 7 month old is doing the same thing! Driving me nuts the past week! I will be curious to see what others say. At least you know you aren't alone.
The only thing that gets me through it, is that they will learn to sit up soon and hopefully this phase will be done and over!



answers from Denver on

My 6-month-old son is similar -- though he is usually able to soothe himself back to sleep by sucking on his fingers.

Honestly, I don't know that there is much you can do, except hope he outgrows this soon. The only thing I can think of is wait 5-10 minutes before you go in and maybe he'll start being able to soothe himself. Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

I don't know how old your baby is but if he is able to turn over then he is able to sleep however he wants. Babies older than a few months old can sleep however. SIDS is related to sleeping positions, or so they think now, so that is why the "back to sleep" thing got started. But you can't force your baby to stay on his back when he is able to turn over. You would be up all night every night and that just can't happen. If he can't turn back over yet then perhaps when you check on him you could gently turn him onto his side or back. My best friend from a few years ago lost her baby to sids but it was RSV related. I have a hard time until the kids are at least 6 months old and am constantly waking up and listening for their breathing.



answers from Boise on

This may have been suggested, but have you tried going in and rubbing his back, maybe even rolling him back onto his back rather than picking him up and rocking him? It may include a bit of CIO (depends on your definition), but you gradually lengthen the time between the soothing.



answers from Minneapolis on

I tried CIO with my son when he was younger and it didn't work (he cried for three hours solid before I finally gave up). However, I tried it again when he was 12 months and it worked fine (only took 3 nights). With my daughter it took 7 nights when she was 9 months. However, I had a talk with everyone in the house first (easy with #1 as it was just hubby and I, with #2 it included our son too) to make sure everyone was on board (son had no say, but wanted him to know what was going on as he's very protective of his baby sister). Then I continued to touch base with hubby with my daughter since it took longer. Perhaps you could eventually let him cry it out (when he's a little older) after talking with your parents about what you're trying to do.

In the meantime, you could consider co-sleeping. I co-slept with my son until 6 months and my daughter until 9 months because that's the only way I could get sleep. I used a firm air mattress or futon and kept covers away from the babies (slept in a robe and a stocking cap so I wouldn't be so cold). I know it's tough. Hang in there. Hope you all get sleep soon.



answers from Indianapolis on

So the truth is that NO ONE knows what causes SIDS.
Here's some recent research (2/10) that may link SIDS to babies with low seratonin levels in their brains:

When our son was born almost 4 years ago, the nurses in the hospital couldn't swaddle because the American Academy of Pediatrics passed a policy against it to avoid lung compression and SIDS. That policy has since been reversed.

In reading your message, I don't have any concrete advice, but since you have other family members in the house who need the sleep, I'd personally choose to grab him, soothe him and probably let him sleep in bed with me for the time-being.

Our pediatrician had advised us that it's OK for them to be on their stomach as long as they start on their back and have the ability to roll back over (to prevent smothering themselves).

Good luck. Hopefully this is a phase that's temporary, and everyone will be able to get back to sleep soundly soon.

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