Q&A Forum

29/6/19

Cait

My 6mth old has started rolling from back to front and seems to prefer tummy/side sleeping. We have been waking to check on him and have been rolling him back over as his head is often face down into the mattress. He is not yet able to roll the other way, from front to back. Are we doing the right thing by rolling him ourselves or can we just leave him? It is causing disrupted sleep for him and us as he sometimes wakes when we move him. Thanks

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Posted a response on 8/7/19

Red Nose Australia

Hi Cait,

Thank you for contacting Red Nose with your question “My 6mth old has started rolling from back to front and seems to prefer tummy/side sleeping. We have been waking to check on him and have been rolling him back over as his head is often face down into the mattress. He is not yet able to roll the other way, from front to back. Are we doing the right thing by rolling him ourselves or can we just leave him? It is causing disrupted sleep for him and us as he sometimes wakes when we move him.”

It is very common for babies of 6 months old to be starting to roll. There are a few things for you to know and to think about with your 6month old baby rolling onto their side and tummy during sleep.

Firstly is your baby still wrapped/swaddled?
It is really important that if your baby is wrapped or swaddled that you have their arms free. It can be very dangerous for a baby who has their arms restricted in a wrap/swaddle to roll onto their tummy.

Does your baby use a sleeping bag?
Sometimes we find that babies when placed in a safe baby sleeping bag delay their rolling onto their tummy. This is usually due to the excess material at the base of the sleeping bag which makes it a bit harder for baby to pull their legs over.

Is your baby sleeping in a cot or bassinette?
It is really important for babies who are showing signs of rolling to be transitioned into a cot. A number of injuries have occurred with babies rolling and either falling or becoming entrapped in bassinettes.

Are you doing much tummy time with baby?
With baby starting to roll it’s a great time to increase supervised tummy time with your baby. Tummy time help to build up the muscles in babies arms, shoulders, back and core. These muscles help baby to roll and will help baby to learn how to roll from their tummy back onto their back.

Sleep disruption is really tough on families however, at this stage Red Nose would recommend that you would continue rolling baby back onto their back during sleep. Hopefully this only last a short period of time for you and that by increasing tummy time your baby will begin to roll both ways.
Once your baby has shown you a number of times that they can roll both ways (back to front and front to back) then you should 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.

For more information please see:
https://rednose.org.au/article/what-do-we-do-now-that-a-baby-has-started-to-roll-over
https://rednose.org.au/article/why-back-to-sleep-is-the-safest-position-for-your-baby
https://rednose.org.au/article/tummy-time-is-good-for-baby-because

Kind Regards

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