When Can Babies Sleep On Their Stomach? Common Question And Answers Update 06/2024

SIDS can be prevented by following the ABC’s of safe sleep and placing your baby on her back in the crib (SIDS). But what if your kid happens to flip over onto her stomach during night? Sleeping on one’s stomach is not recommended for infants.

What to do if your baby rolls over in the night and when it’s okay for her to sleep on her tummy?

When can babies sleep on their stomachs?

Putting a baby to sleep on his or her back for the first year of life is essential. You can let your baby sleep in this position if she does it on her own and doctors claim it lowers her risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (which drops significantly after babies turn 6 months old).

4 Signs Your Baby Is Ready

When it’s time for your baby to sleep on their stomach, they’ll let you know. Here are some telltale indicators that they’re ready.

When Can Babies Sleep on Their Stomach? | Mom.com

1) Good Head Control

Your baby must be able to hold their head up for at least a few minutes before they can safely sleep on their stomach. When someone has good head control, they hold their head erect all the time.

In order to avoid restricting your baby’s airway, it is critical that you do this. This poses a danger to your child’s health because they cannot open the airway by moving their head.

However, after your child has developed sufficient head control, they will be able to move their head in a way that is safe for them to breathe. When you sleep on a mattress that isn’t breathable, you’re increasing your risk of developing allergies.

2) Rolling Over Both Ways

Before your baby may sleep on their stomach, they must be able to roll from their back to their tummy and back again.

Having achieved this milestone, your baby is more equipped to get themselves out of a dangerous or unpleasant situation where they might have problems breathing.

Give your infant lots of tummy time during the day to assist them attain this aim. Many muscles, including those in the neck and back, are strengthened as a result of this.

Every day, your baby gains more and more strength. They’ll soon be rolling over in both directions! Just don’t leave your baby alone, because once they start rolling, they won’t stop. This is a good thing.

It only takes a split second for your infant to roll out of your arms and across the room!

3) No Longer Using A Swaddle

A swaddle is an excellent way to keep a newborn snug and warm, just like they would be in the womb. Your baby will love swaddling in our Organic Swaddle Blankets because they’re so adaptable.

In spite of our swaddles being permeable, it is still recommended that you cease swaddling your baby once they begin rolling over. They can’t roll back because their hands are swaddled firmly about their waists in a swaddle.

If your infant is swaddled, they should never sleep on their stomachs, regardless of their age.

4) Rolling Onto Tummy In The Middle Of The Night

The last indicator that your baby is ready to sleep on their stomach is when they are already sleeping on their belly!. In other words, your infant has acquired the art of dozing in this posture on his or her own.

Even though you should keep your baby on their back until at least their first birthday, there’s no reason to put them on their back if they are already rolling to their stomach.

Benefits of Your Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach

It’s easy to see why so many infants prefer to sleep with their heads down. They’re on to something, and they know it.

When Can Babies Sleep on Their Stomachs - Terry Cralle

It’s More Comfortable

If your baby has recently started sleeping on their stomach, there’s a good chance they’ll enjoy it. According to Becker Freidman, “It’s fairly common for babies to roll over to their stomachs while they sleep.” “It’s more pleasant than lying on your back for many people.”

Try to avoid using an infant positioner or nest if your baby is still in discomfort on their back. Babies have died as a result of using these products, Becker Freidman says. You may assist your baby grow used to sleeping on their back by limiting the amount of time they spend being carried or worn during nap time.

Potentially Longer Sleep Cycles

Becker Friedman claims that babies who sleep on their stomachs tend to sleep longer than those who sleep on their backs. Pre-term newborns, in particular, have been proven to benefit from the prone position in terms of sleep duration and quality.

Risks of Your Baby Sleeping on Their Stomach Too Soon

In addition to breaching widely accepted guidelines, putting your infant to sleep on their stomachs too early might have serious implications.


SIDS deaths among newborns have been linked to stomach sleeping even though this hasn’t been established to be a cause-and-effect relationship.

An anti-stomach-sleeping recommendation from the AAP Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) clearly states that SIDS is strongly linked to stomach-sleeping in infants. According to the National Institutes of Health, countries that have started campaigns encouraging parents to put their kids to sleep on their backs have experienced a considerable decrease in SIDS prevalence.

Babies can benefit from up to 30 minutes of stomach time each day to strengthen their neck, shoulder, arm, and back muscles—all of which are required to roll backward and forward on their own, according to Becker Freidman. You can turn to the side, move around, and breathe easily if your infant has his or her nose or mouth face down on the mattress.


Dr. Murray warns that a baby who has sufficient control over their head may suffocate if they roll onto their stomach and block their airways. Pediatricians advise against putting a baby to sleep on his or her stomach or propping him or her up on his or her side because doing so could lead to an accident. So, around 12 weeks of age, or sooner if they start to show symptoms of rolling, you should remove your child’s arms from their swaddle or switch to a sleeping bag that doesn’t hinder their upper body.

Weighted sleep suits pose the same risks to rollers as they do to babies who are swaddled past their point of rolling,” says Becker Freidman, who adds that he has seen this happen with babies who are swaddled past their point of rolling.


Trying to rebreathe air that is caught in the baby’s bedding can lead to carbon dioxide buildup and low oxygen levels, according to Becker Freidman when babies sleep on their stomachs. As a result, she explains, most newborns will wake up and get some fresh air. It is possible that rebreathing is a trigger for SIDS in certain infants because they are unable to roll over or respond quickly enough.


According to some studies, low-birthweight newborns’ capacity to control their body temperature and emit heat may be impaired when they sleep on their stomachs. Another risk factor for SIDS is overheating, which could result from this.

When it comes to protecting your infant from overheating, it’s best to keep their head and face exposed with a lightweight wearable blanket. Remove a layer or change the thermostat if they are sweating or feeling hot when you touch their chest.

Upper Airway Obstruction

As a result, many parents believe that putting their babies to sleep on their stomachs reduces the risk of them aspirating or inhaling fluid accidently. Becker Freidman, on the other hand, claims the inverse to be true. Those who sleep on their backs are less prone to aspiration because of the trachea and esophagus’s position, she explains.

What should you do if your baby rolls onto her stomach overnight while she’s sleeping?

Allow your sleeping baby to sleep as long as possible. As soon as a baby is able to roll over onto his or her stomach, a milestone that normally occurs between the ages of 4 and 6 months, there’s usually no going back.

Experts claim that babies who are able to shift positions readily are more likely to be protected from SIDS-causing factors such as belly napping. You should cease swaddling your baby if she starts sleeping on her back or stomach.

However, you should continue to put your baby to sleep on her back until she is one year old at the very latest. Always follow other safe sleep guidelines, such as ensuring your child is resting on a firm sleeping surface and removing any additional items from her crib, like cushions, blankets, bumpers, baggy sheets, and plush toys.

Is it okay to put your baby down to sleep on her stomach?

She won’t be old enough for that yet. Even if your baby ends up turning onto her stomach at night, you should always put her to bed on her back until she is 12 months old. As a result, SIDS, one of the main causes of mortality in a baby’s first year of life, can be greatly reduced by doing so.

It’s also a good idea to encourage back sleep, which is good for your health. Fever, congestion of the nose and ear infections are less common among back sleepers. And they’re no more likely than newborns who sleep on their stomachs to vomit up or choke on their own spit.

When are babies not at risk of SIDS when they sleep on their stomachs?

In most cases, the high-risk phase for SIDS has gone by the time your infant can roll over, which is usually around 4 to 6 months old. It’s critical that your baby sleep on her back until she’s one year old.

Should you worry if your baby rolls onto her stomach at night?

Don’t worry if she flips over to her stomach while you sleep. Researchers believe that babies who are able to readily switch from back to stomach sleep positions are less likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Infants who are able to readily adjust positions while sleeping may be better able to protect themselves since they have developed the strength and movement necessary to do so.

Keep in mind that once your baby begins to roll on her own, it’s time to discontinue swaddling (if you haven’t already).

What should you do if your baby prefers sleeping on her stomach?

Babies who sleep on their stomachs appear to be less fussy than those who sleep on their backs, presumably because they feel more secure. However, it’s critical that you get your baby habituated to sleeping on her back by putting her in that position as soon as possible.

Swaddling your baby can help reduce your baby’s startle reflex, but you’ll have to stop when she is active enough that she can kick off the blanket or begin to roll over.
Should I roll my baby back over if she rolls onto her stomach in her sleep? | Stuff.co.nz

It’s a good idea to give your infant some sort of pacifier when she’s placed down. These measures may help her find the peace and quiet she needs to sleep peacefully at night.

What Should You Do if Your Baby Prefers Sleeping on Her Stomach?

Sleeping on one’s stomach is an option for some babies. Although it may seem counterintuitive, placing your baby in his crib on his back is the best position for him. Reposition your sleeping infant if she ends up on her stomach or side. Your kid should be able to roll both ways by the time you stop doing this (back to side or stomach, side or stomach to back).

Talking to the Doctor About Your Baby’s Sleeping Position

Regular visits to a doctor are necessary to ensure that a child’s first year of life progresses as expected. Any questions parents have about their baby’s sleeping position can be asked during these meetings. Depending on the child’s specific needs, doctors can make recommendations.

How to Prevent Your Baby From Developing Flat Spots on the Head

To some parents, putting their babies to sleep on their backs may cause flat areas on their heads. But there are several things caretakers may do to avoid creating flat areas.

  • Allow lots of time for a child to play on their tummy.
  • Changing a child’s sleeping position on a weekly basis is a good idea.
  • Reduce sitting time: Carriers and bouncy seats, which put pressure on a child’s back, should be avoided.
  • Holding an infant upright while they are awake is an important part of their development.

If caregivers are concerned about the development of flat patches on a child’s head, they should seek the opinion of their pediatrician.

Safe Sleep Tips for Babies

It is important for parents and caregivers to remember that in addition to putting an infant to sleep on its back for the first year, there are other safety tips to consider.

Create a Safe Sleep Space

It is important for a newborn to sleep on a hard, safety-approved surface like a cot or bassinet. A fitted sheet can be used to cover an infant’s mattress. A baby’s sleep environment should be free of soft things like toys, pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.

SIDS prevention is touted as a benefit of certain baby goods including cribs and mattresses. There are no commercially available products that can help prevent SIDS at this time, and experts advise consumers to steer clear of anything that goes against accepted guidelines for a safe night’s sleep.

Sleep in the Same Room as Your Infant

For the first year following birth, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their caregivers, but on a separate surface. The risk of SIDS can be reduced by up to 50 percent if a youngster sleeps in the same room as his or her parents.

Feeding and playing with an infant in an adult bed is an option for parents and other caregivers. Make sure to remove all bedding and other soft items from the area before you begin. It’s critical to put the baby back in his or her crib as soon as feeding or playtime is complete.

Avoid Exposing an Infant to Secondhand Smoke

Premature birth, birth abnormalities, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) have all been linked to maternal smoking during and after pregnancy. Experts advise mothers-to-be to abstain from smoking during their pregnancies and the first year after giving birth in order to ensure a smoke-free home for their unborn kid.

Offer a Pacifier During Sleep Time

As much as 90 percent of SIDS deaths can be prevented by providing a newborn with a pacifier before naps and at night. Even if parents choose to exclusively breastfeed, it is recommended that they wait 3-4 weeks before introducing their child to pacifiers.

Caregivers should not compel a child to use a pacifier before bed if they don’t want to. The child does not have to be awakened or the pacifier put back in his mouth if it slips out during sleep. Pacifiers should not be tied to clothing or blankets, and they should be free of any materials that could pose a danger to the kid during sleep, such as soft toys and strings.
Baby boy possibly suffocated after sleeping belly down

Keep an Appropriate Temperature

Overheating from clothing, blankets, or the environment raises the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is best for infants to wear light clothing or a wearable blanket for sleep. In order to keep a baby warm, no blankets or other loose, soft things should be used. Keep an infant’s face and head covered at all times when he or she is sleeping.

Even though a specific temperature isn’t specified for babies, a room should be around 65 degrees Fahrenheit to be comfortable for an adult wearing light clothing. Caregivers can tell whether a kid is overheating by looking for indications of sweating or a heated chest.

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