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April 17, 2020

Baby Rolls Onto Side While Sleeping (Guide for safe position)

The way a young baby sleep is always a bundle of worry to every parent. This is mostly because we have made up our mind that the best sleeping position for a baby is “back”. And when your baby rolls onto side while sleeping, it becomes a matter of concern.

However, it may be a natural thing since your baby has gained the strength to so by himself. But generally, is it a good thing? Or is it safe for the baby rolls onto side while sleeping?

Generally speaking, this isn’t a good thing nor safe too. This is because you must be warned of the complication that might occur. Here are some of the risks that might arise due to babies squirming into their side or tummy.

baby sleeping on the bed

Baby Rolls onto Side While Sleeping (Baby's risk and safe-sleep steps)

SIDS Risks Due to Baby Sleeping on the Tummy

When the baby rolls onto the side while sleeping there is a probability that the baby will end rolling onto the tummy. And when this happens, then your baby is at risk of SIDS –the Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) risks. SIDS, also known as “crib death” is the unexplained death that happens mostly to babies less than a year old. It usually happens to a seemingly healthy baby during their sleep. Infants mostly die on their cribs, and that’s why this situation is labeled as crib death.

However, tummy sleeping isn’t the only cause of SIDS. This is because SIDS might arise due to:

  • If a baby is born prematurely.
  • If parent misuse drugs drink alcohol or mom smokes
  • If instead of breastfeeding your baby, you bottle-fed him/her

And a few other reasons.

Baby rolls onto side while sleeping

Side sleeping and torticollis risk

All of us probably relate to this Torticollis –waking up with sprain in your neck. Unfortunately, young babies can also get this get Torticollis. This problem commonly happens just after birth due to a change in head positioning, unlike when he/she was in the womb. It can also develop after three months, and this is probably caused a baby to sleep on their side.

The reason why this happens mostly to newborns is that their neck muscle and bones are still weak. But when it develops after three months due to side sleeping, then that is because the sides of the neck are usually less supportive at that time. The good thing about this problem is that it goes away naturally after a short period. Therefore, you don’t have to worry.

The Myths of Chocking Problem and sleeping Style

Many of us think that when the baby rolls onto the side while sleeping then the less risk of choking. However, this isn’t entirely true. According to research done National Institutes of Health (NIH), they found that back sleeping features a lower risk of choking in babies. Why? This is because babies are equipped with sharp reflexes that help them cough out the spit-up or even swallow them. Therefore, enhancing their safety.

When Is It Safe for My Baby to Roll onto Side While Sleeping?

Now you’re probably asking yourself that “When is side sleeping safe for my baby?” Actually it depends. This is because some newborns roll onto their sides alone, while others have to be rolled onto their sides. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, after the age of about 4 months, your baby is better and safe to sleep on their side.

The Bottom Line

Overall, side sleeping needs your supervision during their early stages for the less than 4 months old baby. This is because newborns have less strong necks, and it may be difficult for them to lift their heads or change positions. And if your baby accidentally rolls onto their tummy, it may lead to SIDS risk. However, if your baby rolls onto the side and you return him on her back, he rolls back onto his side, then you can let him sleep. This is because he now has a better strength to do so.

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Kaysar Rahman

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