As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s safety is to ensure they’re sleeping on their back. However, as your baby grows and develops, you may find that they roll from their back to their stomach at night. So, when is it safe for your baby to sleep on their stomach, and what should you do if your baby prefers sleeping in this position?
When is it Safe for Your Baby to Sleep on Their Stomach?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be placed on their back to sleep for the first year of life to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- However, if your baby is able to roll over on their own, typically between 4-6 months of age, they are at a decreased risk of SIDS.
- It’s important to continue to put your baby to sleep on their back until their first birthday, even if they are rolling over during the night.
What Should You Do if Your Baby Rolls Onto Their Stomach Overnight?
- Let your baby sleep. Once they’ve learned to roll over, there’s usually no turning them back.
- Babies who can change positions easily have the agility to protect themselves from whatever it is about tummy sleeping that increases SIDS risk, according to experts.
- Stop swaddling your baby if they are rolling onto their stomach to sleep.
Should You Worry if Your Baby Rolls Onto Their Stomach at Night?
- Babies who can easily flip from their backs to their stomachs are at a significantly reduced risk of SIDS.
- This may be because they’ve developed the strength and mobility to sense trouble when they’re sleeping, making them better able to protect themselves.
- Try not to lose sleep yourself if your baby rolls onto their stomach during the night.
What Should You Do if Your Baby Prefers Sleeping on Their Stomach?
- Some babies may fuss less on their stomach, but it’s important to put your baby to sleep on their back so they can get used to the position.
- If your baby startles frequently, try swaddling or using a sleep sack, but stop swaddling when they are active enough to kick off the blanket or have started trying to roll over.
- Consider offering your baby a pacifier when putting them down to sleep.
In summary, it’s important to put your baby to sleep on their back for the first year of life to reduce the risk of SIDS. However, if your baby is able to roll over on their own, typically between 4-6 months of age, they are at a decreased risk of SIDS. If your baby prefers sleeping on their stomach, try swaddling or using a sleep sack, and consider offering a pacifier for comfort. Remember to always abide by other safe sleep guidelines, such as placing your baby on a firm sleeping surface, and keeping all other objects out of the crib.