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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 is able to 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.
By putting them to sleep on their back, you will reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Try extending one arm.
If you are really 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 suffocation.
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 the use of 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 sleeping position, heart rate and breathing to your smart phone.
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 up to your ears, hold them for a couple 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 roll over:
Do you think my baby is strong enough to safely roll over at night?
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 is able to 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.
During playtime, observe whether they can roll over from their tummy onto their back.
If they can rock back and forth with enough strength to successfully roll over back onto their back, 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 own 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 own 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 be able to put the baby to sleep some of the time.
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 completely roll over on their own.
In addition, there may be some other cause for them being on their stomach.
In any case, you should put them on their back since this is the recommended position to avoid sudden infant death syndrome.
To avoid this scenario, remember to put them to sleep on their back.
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 of age, they may start rolling over onto their stomach at night.
If your baby has the strength to roll over and hold up their own head, they will also have the strength to adjust themselves at night.
You should just relax and let them find a comfortable sleeping position.
Go back to sleep.
If your baby is strong enough to roll over onto their stomach and onto their 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 over onto their back, you should avoid waking up every time your baby rolls over onto their stomach.
Relax and go back to sleep.