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Hi there, My 4 month old baby is now rolling from his back to his tummy. I haven’t seen him till the other way around just yet. My concern is that when he does roll to his tummy he tends to sleep with his face buried into the mattress. I see it on my monitor at night and worry all the time. Do you have any advice on what I can do to prevent him from putting his face into the mattress? I always panic and am up every hour checking on him.

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Posted a response on 15/11/21

Red Nose Education

Most babies will be rolling over by 4- 5 months…...some earlier, some later.                                                                 
This is normal as babies grow & become stronger.
Many babies then prefer to sleep on their tummy.
This is not something that needs to be stopped. It is important to make his environment as safe as possible.

Ensure that the cot mattress is firm & flat & there is nothing soft or loose in his cot, especially as he is face planting at times.
You can try to turn his face if you see him with face down, but parents are not expected to sit up all night watching baby.
Have you tried to turn his face to the side when you see him in this position?

Increase tummy time when awake to assist with building up his upper body strength.
Always continue to place baby on back to sleep.

Red Nose has the following general information now that he is rolling.

Give baby extra tummy time to play when awake and supervised as this helps baby to develop stronger neck and upper body muscles which in turn enables them to roll back over.
Make sure that baby is on a firm and well-fitting mattress that is flat (not tilted or elevated).
Make sure that baby’s face and head remains uncovered (do not use lambswool, doonas, pillows, cot bumpers or soft toys)

As babies grow and develop they become very active and learn to roll around the cot.
At this time, continue to put them on the back at the start of sleep time, but let them find their own position of comfort.
By this stage it is not necessary to wake during the night to turn baby over to the back position

Do not use any devices designed to keep baby in a particular sleep position.

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