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 excellent for many, especially if you have someone to cuddle up to at night. Everyone is different, and how you sleep is your 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 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 kill them.
Some medical conditions 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. It is not healthy for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side.
Preventing Side Sleepers
Sometimes, babies get into that sleep position on their own, and you may wonder how you can avoid it. Putting the baby on their back is the best move, but what happens when they keep turning to their side? Here are things that 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 reaches an age when he or she 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. In this way, babies won’t engage in it since it is not healthy for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side.
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 your baby can 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. Although 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 rollover, 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 three months old. While the position itself won’t hurt them, it risks them rolling on their stomach, where the risk of SIDS goes up. Always remember that it is not normal for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side. 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.
Is it okay for a baby to sleep on their side?
Babies should be put to sleep lying on their back, not their stomach or sides, because that is the safest position for them. It is not normal for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side.
Can 7-month-old babies sleep on their side?
It is excellent for the baby to remain in the sleep position they choose if they roll over from front to back.
What should you do when your baby rolls over in his sleep?
It’s best to flip your baby on their back.
What age can babies and toddlers sleep on their stomach?
Babies can sleep on their stomachs between 4 and 6 months.
How do I stop my baby sleeping on his side?
Newborns stay in the same position when they sleep. It is not normal for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side. The best way to prevent your baby from sleeping on their side is to lay them on their back.
Should I stop swaddling when the baby rolls to side?
Swaddling is a calming routine that your baby. However, you need to stop swaddling once the baby reaches the developmental milestone of rolling over.
Should I roll my baby back over at night?
Babies start rolling over on their own when they are 4 to 6 months. It is a natural part of their growth, so you need not worry.
Is side-lying breastfeeding safe?
The side-lying position in breastfeeding is a good choice when you don’t want to sit up at night. But you should remember that it’s important to note that the bed-sharing can be dangerous. Consider it not normal for a three-month-old to be sleeping on their side because it is uncomfortable and unsafe.
Should newborns sleep on an incline?
Experts and professionals warn parents never to allow a baby to sleep in pillows, rockers, car seats, as well as other product that holds an infant at an incline position.
Can I let my 6-month-old sleep on his stomach?
Yes, it’s okay to leave your baby in that position. Because by the time your child can do this, the risk for SIDS is much lower.
What happens if a baby rolls on their stomach while sleeping?
SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death can happen if babies are placed on their stomachs for sleep.
When can baby sleep face down?
If your baby can manage his or her belly, that is the only time you allow him or her to sleep face down.
Do babies sleep better on their stomachs?
Though it is pretty much common, a lot of experts urge parents to put babies to sleep on their backs and never on the stomach.
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