Updated at: 29-07-2022 - By: Jane

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is preventable if you follow the “ABCs” of safe sleep and place your baby to sleep on her back (SIDS). But what if your infant does end up rolling onto her stomach in the middle of the night? Does your baby have the ability to sleep on her back?

What to do if your baby rolls over in the night and when it’s okay for her to sleep on her tummy?

When can babies sleep on their stomachs?

For the first year of a baby’s existence, he or she must be put to sleep on their back. Experts suggest that if your baby is able to roll from her back to her stomach on her own throughout the night, it’s safe to let her do so (which drops significantly after babies turn 6 months old).

4 Signs Your Baby Is Ready

When it’s time for your baby to sleep on their stomach, they’ll let you know. Here are some telltale indications to look for.

1) Good Head Control

Your baby must be able to hold their head up for at least a few minutes before they can safely sleep on their stomach. They have good head control if they’re always keeping their head up.

Make sure your baby’s airway isn’t obstructed by doing this. Because they can’t move their head to open their airway when lying on their stomach, babies are at risk of suffocating.

It is only when your child has developed adequate head control that they can move their head in a safe manner. (This is also the reason why a breathable mattress is so crucial from the beginning!)

2) Rolling Over Both Ways

Before your baby may sleep on their stomach, they must be able to roll from their back to their tummy and back again.

It’s critical that your infant masters this skill so that they can reposition themselves out of a dangerous breathing posture if necessary.

You may help your baby attain this aim by giving them plenty of tummy time during the day. This strengthens a wide range of muscles, including those in the neck and back, which are critical as kids mature.

Your infant is gaining strength by the minute. They’ll be rolling over in both directions before you know it! The only caution here is that once your baby starts rolling, they won’t stop.

Your kid could roll across the room if you leave the room for for a second!

up-close of baby sleeping on stomach

3) No Longer Using A Swaddle

A swaddle is an excellent way to keep a newborn snug and warm, just like they would be in the womb. When it comes to swaddling your tiny one, our Organic Swaddle Blankets are the right solution.

When your baby begins to roll over, you should stop swaddling them even though our swaddles are breathable. It is impossible for them to roll back over since their hands are swaddled close to their sides.

No matter how old your child becomes, they should never sleep in a swaddle on their stomach.

4) Rolling Onto Tummy In The Middle Of The Night

The final clue that your baby is ready to sleep on their stomach is when they are already sleeping on their belly! It’s a good sign that your child has learned the art of sleeping in this position on their own.

At least until their first birthday, you should always put your baby on their back when they sleep, but if they’re already rolling over, there’s no reason.

Benefits of Your Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach

It’s not surprising that many newborns prefer to sleep facing down. They’re on to something, at least based on intuition.

It’s More Comfortable

If your infant has begun sleeping on his or her stomach, there’s a good probability that he or she enjoys it. There is nothing unusual about babies sleeping on their stomach, explains Becker Freidman. Many people prefer it to back-sleeping since it’s more pleasant.

Don’t flip your baby over or use an infant positioner or nest if they’re still uncomfortable on their back. Becker Freidman warns that “they are not safe and have been linked to baby deaths.” 2 You can help your baby learn to sleep on their back by limiting the amount of time you carry or wear them during naps.

Potentially Longer Sleep Cycles

Becker Friedman claims that babies who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to sleep for longer periods of time. Pre-term newborns, in particular, have been proven to benefit from the prone position in terms of sleep duration and quality.

Should I roll my baby back over if she rolls onto her stomach in her sleep? | Stuff.co.nz

Risks of Your Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach Too Soon

In addition to breaching widely accepted guidelines, placing your infant on their stomach to sleep early might have serious implications.


Infants are particularly vulnerable during the first six months of their lives and stomach sleeping has not been confirmed to cause SIDS.

It is obvious from the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome’s anti-stomach-sleeping guidelines that there is a substantial link between stomach sleeping and SIDS. As a result, SIDS deaths have decreased dramatically in nations that have implemented programs encouraging parents of infants to put them to sleep on their backs.

According to Becker Freidman, doing up to 30 minutes of tummy time per day will help your baby build neck, shoulder, arm, and back strength—all of the muscles needed to roll back to front and front to back independently. The infant can turn to one side, move around, and breathe more readily with their nose and mouth on the mattress this manner.


In Dr. Murray’s opinion, it is a suffocation risk if a baby without appropriate head control rolls onto its stomach. Pediatricians advise against putting a baby to sleep on his or her stomach or propping him or her up on his or her side because doing so could lead to an accident. When your baby is 12 weeks old or older, it’s time to remove your child’s arms from their swaddle or convert them to a sleep sack that doesn’t restrict their upper body.

A baby could end up face and nose down on the mattress if they are swaddled past the point of rolling, says Becker Freidman, who adds that weighted sleepsuits pose the same risks to rollers as swaddling.


Breathing in trapped air can lead to carbon dioxide buildup and low oxygen levels in babies who sleep on their stomachs, explains Becker Freidman of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As a result, she explains, most newborns will wake up and get some fresh air. Rebreathing is thought to be a possible SIDS trigger in some newborns because they are less responsive or unable to roll over.


Low-birthweight babies’ ability to emit heat and control their body temperature may be inhibited when they sleep on their stomachs, according to research. Another risk factor for SIDS is overheating.

Keep your baby’s head and face uncovered to prevent overheating, and be on the lookout for signals that your baby is getting too hot while wearing a lightweight wearable blanket. Remove a layer or change the thermostat if they are sweating or feel hot when you touch their chest.

Upper Airway Obstruction

As a result, many parents believe that putting their babies to sleep on their stomachs reduces the risk of them aspirating or inhaling fluid accidentally. In fact, according to Becker Freidman, the exact reverse is true. Those who sleep on their backs are less prone to aspiration because of the trachea and esophagus’s position, she explains.

What should you do if your baby rolls onto her stomach overnight while she’s sleeping?

Let your infant sleep as long as he or she is able to. As soon as a baby is able to roll over onto his or her stomach, a milestone that normally occurs between the ages of 4 and 6 months, there’s usually no going back.

When it comes to reducing the danger of SIDS, scientists indicate that babies that are able to shift positions quickly are more likely to be able to do so. You should cease swaddling your baby if she’s sleeping on her belly, as well.

However, you should continue to put your baby to sleep on her back until her first birthday. Put her down on a hard sleeping surface and keep all other objects out of her crib (such pillows, blankets, bumpers and loose-fitting sheets and plush toys) as well as following other safe sleep practices.

Is it okay to put your baby down to sleep on her stomach?

She won’t be old enough for that yet. After 12 months, even if your baby rolls onto her stomach at night, you should always put her back to sleep. As a result, SIDS, one of the major causes of mortality in a baby’s first year of life, can be greatly reduced by following these simple guidelines.

In addition, encouraging back sleep is a healthy practice. Fever, nasal congestion, and ear infections are less common in back sleepers. As for spit-up, they’re no more prone to it than babies who sleep on their backs.

When are babies not at risk of SIDS when they sleep on their stomachs?

Your baby’s high-risk period for SIDS is often gone when he or she can turn his or her head from side to side. As a result, until your child turns one, you should maintain her sleeping on her back.

Should you worry if your baby rolls onto her stomach at night?

Try not to lose sleep yourself if she rolls onto her stomach during the night. Babies who can readily turn over from their backs to their stomachs are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

On Call: Belly-Sleeping Baby - Parenting

Infants who are able to readily adjust positions while sleeping may be better able to protect themselves since they have developed the strength and movement necessary to do so.

If you haven’t already, cease swaddling your baby as soon as you detect him or her rolling over on his or her own.

What should you do if your baby prefers sleeping on her stomach?

Babies who sleep on their stomachs appear to be less fussy than those who sleep on their backs, presumably because they feel more secure. However, it’s critical that you get your baby habituated to sleeping on her back by putting her in that position as soon as possible.

Instead of placing your baby in an uncomfortable sleeping bag or crib, try swaddling, which will keep your baby from kicking the blanket off or trying to roll over. Swaddling should be discontinued when your baby is active enough to kick the blanket off or has begun to roll over.

Putting your infant to sleep with a pacifier might be a good idea. These measures may help her find the peace and quiet she needs to sleep peacefully at night.

What Should You Do if Your Baby Prefers Sleeping on Her Stomach?

There are certain infants who prefer to sleep on their stomachs. But no matter what, your baby should be placed in his crib with his back towards you at all times. If your child ends up rolling onto his or her stomach or side while sleeping, put him or her back on his or her back. Until your child is big enough to confidently roll both ways, keep doing this (back to side or stomach, side or stomach to back).

Talking to the Doctor About Your Baby’s Sleeping Position

Having a kid’s first year of life monitored by a pediatrician can help ensure that the youngster reaches all of the necessary developmental milestones. Caregiver’s questions about their baby’s sleeping position might be asked during these appointments. Doctors can provide specific suggestions for each child they see.

How to Prevent Your Baby From Developing Flat Spots on the Head

To some parents, putting their babies to sleep on their backs may cause flat areas on their heads. Caretakers can, however, take a few steps to avoid the development of these flat patches.

  • Ensure that your youngster has plenty of time to play on their tummy.
  • Each week, switch the child’s sleeping position on their mattress.
  • Carriers and bouncy seats, which put pressure on the back of a child’s head, should be avoided.
  • When a child is awake and able to be held upright, it is important to do so.

A pediatrician should be consulted if parents are concerned about their child’s developing flat patches on his or her head.

Safe Sleep Tips for Babies

It is important for parents and caregivers to remember that in addition to putting an infant to sleep on its back for the first year, there are other safety tips to consider.

Create a Safe Sleep Space

The proper support for a newborn is provided by a hard, safety-approved sleeping surface such as a crib or cot. A fitted sheet can be used to cover the infant’s mattress. It is not suggested that an infant’s sleep environment include toys, pillows, blankets, bumper pads, or any other soft material.

SIDS-prevention claims are made for a variety of newborn goods, including cribs and mattresses. There are currently no commercial items that can prevent SIDS, and experts urge avoiding any product that conflicts with safe sleeping guidelines.

Sleep in the Same Room as Your Infant

On a separate surface from their caregiver for the first year of their life, American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines urge that infants should sleep in the same room as the caregiver. According to recent studies, keeping a child in the same room as their parents can cut their risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in half.

For feeding or fun, caregivers may bring their infant into an adult bed. Bedding and other soft items should be removed from the area before you begin. When feeding or playing is done, it is critical to return the newborn to their own sleeping place.

Avoid Exposing an Infant to Secondhand Smoke

Premature birth, birth abnormalities, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have all been linked to maternal smoking during and after pregnancy. Experts advise mothers-to-be to abstain from smoking during their pregnancies and the first year after giving birth in order to protect their unborn child’s environment from secondhand smoke.

Tummy sleeping: Is it dangerous for my infant to sleep on their back?

Offer a Pacifier During Sleep Time

As much as 90 percent of SIDS deaths can be prevented by providing a newborn with a pacifier before naps and at night. Even if parents choose to exclusively breastfeed, it is recommended that they wait 3-4 weeks before introducing their child to pacifiers.

Children should not be compelled by caregivers to use pacifiers before to bedtime if they do not want to. The pacifier can fall out of the child’s mouth while the child is sleeping, but it’s not necessary to arouse the child or re-insert the pacifier. In order to protect your child’s safety while they sleep, make sure the pacifier isn’t tied to anything, including their clothes or blankets.

Keep an Appropriate Temperature

SIDS is more likely to occur if a baby is overheated owing to clothing, blankets, or room temperature. It is best for infants to sleep in light clothing or a wearable blanket made for sleep. In order to keep a baby warm, no blankets or other loose, soft things should be used. Never cover an infant’s face or head when they are sleeping.

There is no set temperature for infants’ bedrooms, but they should be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is appropriate for an adult in light clothing. Caregivers can tell whether a kid is overheating by looking for indications of sweating or a heated chest.

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