how do i stop my baby from rolling over in his crib

How Do I Stop My Baby From Rolling Over In His Crib?

We know how much you anticipate every milestone your little one accomplishes. Rolling over in their crib is no different!

However, we encourage you to keep in mind that all babies are different. This means the moment when they roll over in their crib for the first time may not be when you expect it!

Generally, infants will begin to roll over in their cribs between four and six months old. They may roll onto their side, tummy (the most common), or back and forth. Whatever they do, it’s an accomplishment you should be proud of!

Rolling over in their crib is one of the first steps toward crawling and walking, so they must build enough upper body strength and muscle to propel themselves off the ground.

So if you see your little one roll from their back to their belly, resist the urge to flip them over! You can safely assume that it’ll be a breeze to turn back the other way around if they roll themselves from their back to their tummy.

The quintessential “rollover” that parents generally wait for refers to a baby rolling from their tummy to their back (but no rule says it can’t happen the other way around first!).

Rolling from their back to their side generally comes after, and most babies learn how to roll from their back to their belly around seven months of age.

Baby Nursery FAQs

Babies usually learn how to roll over between four and seven months old. When practising tummy time, your baby begins strengthening the muscles in their core, arms, and neck. As they experiment with movement, they will learn how to roll from front to back and back to front.

You may go in to check on your baby and realise they have rolled onto their side or stomach in their crib. You do not need to move your sleeping baby from another position to their back in this case. It is important to always lay your baby down to sleep on their back, but if they move on their own, that is okay.

Once your baby can roll independently, you can rest assured that they have the strength and development to move if their airway is obstructed. However, it is still important to ensure there are no suffocation or choking hazards in your baby’s crib. This includes:

  • Blankets and quilts
  • Pillows
  • Comforters
  • Toys
  • Bumper pads

Remember that professionals also recommend against sleep positioners or support pillows.

Much like a baby that gets stuck on their stomach, because this phase usually only lasts for a few weeks, the simplest solution may be to flip your baby back onto their back and use a pacifier or some shushing noises to help them fall back to sleep.

No. Rolling over is an important and natural part of your baby's growth. Most babies start rolling over on their own around 4 to 6 months of age. If your baby rolls over on its own during sleep, you do not need to turn the baby back over onto its back.

For this technique, you put the baby down in their usual position (back for a back sleeper, tummy for a tummy sleeper) and leave. If they roll over, you flip them back one time only. After that, it is up to them to either roll back or falls asleep in the new position.

What To Do When Your Baby Rolls Over In Their Crib

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What should you do when the moment finally comes, and you notice your little one belly-down in their crib?

Don’t Panic!

A flipped-over baby in the middle of the night is nothing to be inherently afraid of. It is perfectly normal for your baby to squirm while cozy and sleeping as they try to adjust to a more comfortable position.

Although there are some precautions to keep in mind, there’s no need to worry the first time you notice your child lying on their tummy inside their crib.

Stop Swaddling Your Baby Before Bed

While swaddling does a great job of keeping your baby feeling safe and secure, it’s best to opt-out of bundling up your bundle of joy!

Keeping their arms strapped to their sides can restrict your baby’s movement during sleep. If they need to push themselves away from the mattress, they won’t be in a swaddle. We don’t want them to get stuck!

If your baby relies on the comfort of feeling “encased” in a swaddle, try a sleep sack with armholes instead. This way, they’ll feel secure and bundled while still being able to move their arms freely while they sleep.

Keep A Clutter-Free Sleep Space

Those pictures of baby nurseries chock-full of blankets, accent pillows, and stuffed animals are adorable in photographs, but not when it comes to a proper bedtime!

It’s important to keep a clutter-free area in your baby’s crib — this means the super-squishy stuffed elephant your baby loves should stay outside of the crib for their safety.

Making sure that your infant’s sleep space is open and unobstructed helps reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By removing all extras from your baby’s crib, you significantly avoid the chances of something obstructing your child’s airways while they sleep.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure their sleeping materials are fitted, clean, and breathable when they flip over face-first into their mattress.

Our organic, breathable Cotton Sheets are the perfect option for a cozy, warm, and chemical-free crib sheet that will help your baby sleep and breathe easily throughout the night!

Swap The Cradle For A Crib

Although your baby may be rocking and rolling throughout the night as they toss and turn, we don’t want their bed to do the same thing.

Cradles can be wonderful additions to your baby’s sleep routine in their early life, especially if those gentle, swinging motions soothe your little one. However, cradles can be a touch more unstable than a traditional crib or bassinet when it comes to rolling over.

Cribs are sturdy and can accommodate your wriggling, growing baby. They’ll offer enough support and comfort to ensure your little one doesn’t tip their bed over with their mighty tummy rolls!

When purchasing a crib, always opt for a sturdy, smooth structure. And when purchasing a crib mattress? Look no further than our Newton Baby Crib Mattress!

Our crib mattress is 100% breathable, 100% washable, and 100% safe for your baby no matter what milestone they’re on. It’s made with your little one in mind and will last well into their toddler years, giving them the quality rest they need for their growing brains and bodies.

You’ll rest easy, too!

Always Put Your Baby To Sleep On Their Back

The National Institute of Health always recommends placing babies in their cribs on their backs. This substantially decreases the risk of SIDS, especially in the first year of life.

You may be wondering, “What if I find my baby asleep on their stomach in the middle of the night? Should I turn them back over?”

The answer is no. As long as your baby is placed in their crib on their back, it’s all right if they roll over in the middle of the night. They are likely to flip themselves back over if they want to, as it’s easier to travel from their belly to their back.

Disturbing a peaceful sleep will rouse them, which everyone knows breaks the number one rule about babies: don’t wake them up if you don’t have to!

How to Handle Your Baby Rolling Over at Night

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It can be hard to know what to do when your baby rolls over at night. When you have a new baby, it can be scary. You might feel anxious about some milestones, such as rolling over. 

If your baby can roll over, which typically happens at around four to six months of age, they may start to roll onto their stomach at night. 

In this case, you don’t need to worry about them rolling over at night. However, you should still put your baby to sleep on their back, which is the recommended practice for preventing sudden infant death syndrome.

Handling Roll Over with Bedtime Routine

Put your baby to sleep on their back. You should put your baby to sleep on their back for the first year of their life. Although your baby may roll over during the night, it is recommended to put them to sleep on their back. Putting them to sleep on their back will reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

  • Try extending one arm. If you are worried about them turning over onto their belly, you could extend one of their arms. This will make them a bit less likely to roll onto their stomach.

Avoid putting your baby on their side or stomach. When you put your baby to sleep at night, you should avoid putting them on their side or stomach. There is a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome when a baby is put to sleep on their side or stomach. 

If your baby is not yet able to roll over and has little head and neck strength, putting them to sleep in these positions can lead to smothering or suffocating.

Create a safe sleep environment. You should use a fitted sheet on a firm mattress and avoid leaving objects in the crib. Fit the sheet to the mattress and then take out any toys, blankets, pillows or other extraneous objects from the crib. In addition, you should avoid the use of a sleep positioner.

  • Avoid using a sheet that is either too large or too small for the mattress since this may disrupt your baby’s sleep and could entangle or suffocate the baby.
  • At bedtime, the crib should be empty aside from your baby. This precaution helps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
  • You should avoid using a sleep positioner to keep your baby on their back. The use of a sleep positioner can increase the risk of suffocation. If you own a sleep positioner, you should get rid of it.

Avoid relying too much on baby monitors. Baby monitors stream information on baby's sleeping position, heart rate and breathing to your smartphone. However, there is no evidence that they help reduce sudden infant death syndrome. 

You should stick to proven approaches to reducing sudden infant death syndrome, such as putting your baby to sleep on their back, keeping foreign objects out of the crib, using a fitted sheet and avoiding soft bedding.

Practice relaxation techniques. Once you have put your baby to sleep, you could try a few relaxation techniques to reduce any anxiety related to your baby rolling over at night. Take a few deep breaths, enjoy a bath with Epsom salts or do a few nighttime stretches.

  • Epsom salt baths are very relaxing and are especially beneficial for muscle aches and pains.
  • Shoulder shrugs are a nice way to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. Lift your shoulders to your ears, hold them for a couple of seconds and then let them fall back down. Repeat this stretch a few times before bed.

Assessing Roll Over Strength

Consult your doctor. You should talk to your doctor about your baby’s development. Consider asking them a few questions about handling rollover:

  • Do you think my baby is strong enough to roll over at night safely?
  • When will my baby be able to roll over during the day?
  • Should I worry about my baby rolling over at night?
  • What can I do to prevent sudden infant death syndrome?

Determine whether your baby can roll over on their tummy. If your baby can roll over onto their tummy during the daytime, under supervision, they should have enough strength to roll over at nighttime. 

If your baby is strong enough to roll over during the day, you do not need to worry about them rolling over at night. You should still put them to sleep on their back but don’t worry if they happen to roll over onto their tummy during the night.

  • Your baby should learn to roll over by about six months of age.

Notice whether they can roll over onto their back. Watch your baby play on their tummy during the day. Observe whether they can roll over from their tummy onto their back during playtime. 

If they can rock back and forth with enough strength to roll back onto their back successfully, you don’t need to worry about them rolling onto their tummy at night. They should have enough strength to roll back on their back.

Observe head and neck strength. If your baby is strong enough to hold up their head and roll over, they should be strong enough to handle rolling over during the night. You should still put them to sleep on their back but don’t worry if they roll over at night.

  • To improve their strength, you should incorporate some supervised time on their tummy during the day. By spending time on their tummy, they will develop strong neck, chest and arm muscles, which will improve their ability to hold up their head.
  • If your baby is one month old, they should be able to hold up their head briefly while lying on their stomach.
  • By the age of two months, your baby should be able to lift their head forty-five degrees.
  • At four months, your baby should be able to lift their head ninety degrees and hold their head level.

Responding to Your Baby at Night

Ask your partner for help. If you have a partner, you should consider asking them for help with the baby. If you are losing sleep, they can help you by responding to the baby some of the time. They might also put the baby to sleep some of the time. Consider asking:

  • Can you respond to the baby the next time they wake up?
  • Can you put the baby to sleep next time?

Determine whether they have rolled over on their own. If your baby is under four months of age, which is the riskiest stage for sudden infant death syndrome, they may not be able to roll over on their own. 

If they were put to sleep on their side, they could fall over onto their tummy without having the strength to roll over on their own completely. In addition, there may be some other cause for them being on their stomach. 

You should put them on their back since this is the recommended position to avoid sudden infant death syndrome.

  • Remember to put them to sleep on their back to avoid this scenario.

Relax if they have the strength to roll over. If your baby is already rolling over during playtime during the day, which usually happens around four or five months, they may start rolling over onto their stomach at night. 

If your baby has the strength to roll over and hold up their head, they will also have the strength to adjust themselves at night. You should relax and let them find a comfortable sleeping position.

Go back to sleep. If your baby is strong enough to roll over onto its stomach and back, you don’t need to worry about your baby rolling over at night. Typically, if they are rolling over at night, they are usually past the riskiest stage for sudden infant death syndrome. 

Since they are strong enough to roll back onto their back, you should avoid waking up every time your baby rolls over onto their stomach. Relax and go back to sleep.

Additional Concerns for Sleep Safety

If you’re concerned that your baby will get cold during the night, use footie pyjamas to ensure they stay warm. Many parents also use swaddles to provide babies with a sense of security and additional warmth. It is also safe to swaddle your infant until they can roll over independently.

Once they begin rolling over, stop swaddling to allow free movement if they need to maneuver out of a position blocking their airway. Swaddles should be tight fitting with no loose pieces that may cover your baby’s face.

If your baby ever spends the night away from you with grandparents, family, or friends, ensure that they have a safe place for your baby to sleep. Talk to them about the rules of safe sleep so that they will lay your infant down to sleep on their back and follow safe sleep guidelines. Remind them that these guidelines apply to naptime in addition to nighttime.

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