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My baby is 5 months old and has started to roll himself onto his side during his sleep. He is not yet independently rolling from front to back (or vice versa). He is no longer swaddled (sleeps in an arms out sleeping bag) and always placed on his back to sleep. Should I move him onto his back? How do I keep him on his back until he can confidently roll?

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Posted a response on 5/6/19

Red Nose Australia


Thank you for contacting Red Nose with your question.

Most babies will be rolling/starting to roll from 4 - 5mths of age. Important that you have ceased wrapping & still place baby on back to sleep.

Red Nose also recommends the following when baby is starting to roll:
- Move baby from bassinette to cot (if not already)
-Increase tummy time when awake….... does your son lift his head & look around during tummy time?
- Ensure cot mattress is firm, well-fitting & flat.
- Ensure there is nothing loose or soft in the cot.

There is rarely any advantage to rolling baby to his back as this usually wakes baby & he will probably roll back to his position straight away.

Red Nose does not recommend the use of sleep positioners.

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. The risk of sudden infant death in babies over six months is extremely low.
Do not use any devices designed to keep baby in a particular sleep position.

See more: https://rednose.org.au/article/what-do-we-do-now-that-a-baby-has-started-to-roll-over

Lorraine Harrison
Education Services Officer
Red Nose

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