Is it possible for a baby to safely lie on his stomach? If so, when is it?
Safe tummy sleeping is not possible at all ages. All babies have different skill levels. Most pediatricians will agree that tummy-sleeping can be safe once your baby is able to roll from the back to the stomach and tummy back to the back. Ask your doctor.
While parents should continue to place their baby on their backs for sleep, most doctors will say that if your baby is strong enough and able to roll onto his stomach, he can lift his head and rest comfortably in this position. The same principle applies to your baby if he appears to be lying face down after rolling onto his stomach. If he can roll on his stomach, most doctors will agree that he is strong enough to lift his head and turn his head while on his belly.
What if he hates sleeping on his stomach?
Your baby may be so used to sleeping on his stomach that he will flip to his stomach and get stuck there. This can make him very angry. This was what happened to my son when he started rolling on his stomach. I can recall flipping him around 1,143 times in one night. Although it may sound exaggerated, it was definitely true!
What can a parent do to help their child?
It doesn’t matter if you roll your baby onto his stomach every time he flips over to his stomach. However, it is important to understand that he will eventually learn to love this new position.
Practice tummy time often during the day.
Refrain from rolling him onto his back if he wakes up in the middle of the night after flipping over to his stomach. To help him fall asleep on his stomach, you can rub his back and pat his bottom.
Is there anything you can do to help us? What products can I use to keep my baby safe?
These products may help ease the transition.
1. Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit helps babies to stay in their preferred back-sleeping position and prevents them from rolling in their cribs. This is a wonderful tool that your baby will be able to wear until they are able to roll in the sleep suit.
2. The Nested Bean Zen Sleep Sack comes with a weighted bean which can be placed on the baby’s back to imitate your hand soothing it.
3. Swaddle Sleeves (CARA10 Saves You 10%) are a great product for helping during this transition. The sleeves calm the startle reflex and keep you from rolling onto your stomach for sleep.
Safe sleep is our number one priority. To keep your baby’s back straight, we don’t recommend using pillows or sleep positioners.
Babies as young as 3-4 months may start rolling over and tummy sleeping. This is a time when there are many developmental advances and sleep challenges. This is the right place for you if you’re in this difficult phase. Navigating Months 3 and 4 is a 50-page ebook which will help you navigate the 4-month sleep regression. It will also guide you to more restful nights.
I offer classes for babies who reach 5 months old and are still having trouble sleeping. The 5–24 Month Collection will guide you step by step through a plan to conquer the nights, days and every bump in your sleep journey.