As an adult, you probably have your sleeping position preferences. Some people sleep on their backs, others on their bellies, and some on their sides. Side sleeping feels great for many, especially if you have someone to cuddle up to at night. Everyone is different, and how you sleep is your own prerogative.
But what about babies? When your baby is young, sleeping on their back tends to be the safest way to reduce the risk of SIDS. So what happens when your baby refuses to do so and sleeps on their side? Is it good for them, and if not, how can you prevent your baby from side sleeping? Let’s find out.
Side Sleeping Babies
As a parent, you know that a young baby sleeping on their belly is bad, while the back is good. So what happens when it’s a little bit in-between? Is it a gray area, or is it something that’s worth stopping?
While the side position in of itself is not necessarily bad, it can mean that your baby is more likely to roll on their belly, and that’s not good, especially with a baby as young as three months.
Around that age, babies can’t be able to roll independently. An older baby who can do so can just roll to their back if a certain position is uncomfortable, but a young baby cannot do that and risks the chance of a position that can literally kill them.
There are some medical conditions that make a baby need to sleep on their side, but otherwise, don’t risk it. If your baby keeps rolling on their side, make sure they are staying on their back, as this is the safest position.
Preventing Side Sleepers
Sometimes, babies get into that sleep position on their own, and you may wonder how you can prevent it. Putting the baby on their back is the best move, but what happens when they keep turning to their side? Here are a few things you can do.
Swaddling is when you wrap a baby in a swaddle, and it mimics the feeling of being in the womb. It’s tight enough to prevent the baby from moving, but loose enough so it isn’t uncomfortable. Swaddling is worth trying if you have a baby who is always moving around. Until your baby is old enough to roll around independently, it’s worth trying.
Some babies prefer to sleep on their side, they may resist swaddling for a bit. However, with time, your baby will learn to love it and they will love every bit of it.
When A Baby Starts To Roll
Around the 3-4 month range, a baby starts learning to roll, and that’s when side or stomach sleeping occurs. When your baby is awake, teaching them to roll is a good thing and it helps grow their muscles. However, when they’re sleeping, this is when it’s a problem. They may not be strong enough to roll back.
Keep them swaddled until then. As for the crib, clear it of any toys or any objects, and make sure there are no sheets or pillows the baby could become entangled with. Your crib should be clear of anything and have nothing fancy in it. When a baby is old enough to roll around, it’s usually safe for them to sleep on their side.
It can be frustrating. You can empathize with your baby. You may sleep on your side and have a harder time sleeping on your back, but preventing your baby from side sleeping until they’re old enough to do so is the best way to prevent SIDS. SIDS is no laughing matter; it can strike suddenly, as per its name. While the exact causes are unknown, a baby sleeping on their stomach is one reason why SIDS can happen.
When Does A Baby Master Rolling Over?
Rolling over is the stage that precedes crawling. When a baby rolls, it can be able to move around, and it’s when a baby can sleep well. On average, a baby rolls over between 5-6 months and masters it a month or so later. There are a couple of early birds and some late bloomers in the field of rolling, so don’t think that it’s a big deal if your baby rolls over later or earlier in life. It won’t affect their development.
Tummy Time Helps
One way to teach your baby how to roll over sooner is through tummy time. This is when you put your baby on their tummy during playtime for a few minutes, increasing as a baby gets older. This builds up your baby’s muscles, and it’s a good idea for any baby of any age. It’s something worth trying as soon as your baby is born, even though at the newborn stage, a baby can’t be on their tummy for too long. Usually, it’s just for a few minutes, and then they can grow later on with time.
It Takes Time
The takeaway is that it takes a while for babies to master rolling. They may roll to their stomach, but be unable to roll back. With time, your baby can fully roll over and they can sleep wherever they want to. When your baby is rolling both ways, that’s a great thing and it’s something that you can be proud of. Your baby is growing, and watching them learn simple things like rolling feels so good.
Your baby should not be sleeping on their side when they are 3 months old. While the position itself won’t hurt them, it risks them rolling on their stomach, where the risk of SIDS goes up. Swaddling a baby until they’re old enough to roll independently may be a good move. With that said, you should still check up on your baby when they’re sleeping to make sure that they didn’t break out of the position when they are sleeping.
DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.