Should You Keep Your Baby From Rolling Over At Night? Here's What You Need To Know

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Milestones are wonderful to witness, and sometimes, they're also scary. When your baby first crawls, sits up, walks, rolls over, they're all a bit fraught, you know? You're worried they'll fall over, knock something down, or in the case of rolling over, get stuck or suffocate. The "back to sleep" campaign of the last 20-plus years was overall very successful in educating parents about the best position for babies, but it has many wondering, should you keep your baby from rolling over at night, or should you leave them be?

While sleep positioners were popular for a time, in 2010, the Consumer Products Safety Commission warned parents that they were actually quite dangerous, and led to the deaths of 13 babies due to suffocation. The organization also warned that using rolled up blankets, nursing pillows, and other aids to prevent babies from rolling over were more dangerous than helpful. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement that cautioned against the use of these positioners, and instead told parents that if your baby can roll reliably from back to front and from front to back, to leave them be. Otherwise, if you've noticed they've rolled onto their belly in the night, calmly roll them onto their back. But chances are that if they have the strength to roll forward, they have the strength to roll back on their own.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

The AAP also warned parents against swaddling after babies can roll over. While it may seem like a good way to keep your baby mostly immobile, and therefore unable to roll over, it's not that effective, and poses a potential suffocation risk if they find themselves tangled in the blanket and lacking the range of motion to roll back over to their backs, or to move their heads sufficiently to get enough oxygen. The AAP suggested warm pajamas or a sleeping sack for babies of that age.

The safest sleeping environment, according to the AAP, is for a baby to be in a crib with a well-fitting mattress that meets or exceeds federal safety standards, kitted out with a tightly fitted sheet made of breathable material. There should be no blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers, or anything else in the crib with your baby, other than your baby and their pacifier if they take one. The AAP recommends that your baby sleep in your room, but not in your bed with you for the first six months of their life. Ideally, you and baby will room share for the first year. There should also be circulating air in the room, which is another tool in SIDS prevention.

Giphy
Ad failed to load

However, there is a worrisome trend emerging wherein parents aren't listening to their pediatricians when it comes to how to put their babies to sleep. A recent study showed that as of late, only about 47.5 percent of parents are putting their children to sleep on their backs in an unencumbered bed, noted CNN. That means that most parents are no longer following the conventional medical advice. A part of me thinks this follows the line of thought of the mothers who choose not to vaccinate their child, turning their backs on a hundred years of longitudinally-studied and researched medical evidence. Another part of me thinks how screwed millennial moms and dads are regarding their time because of our erratic schedules and mountains of student debt, and we're at our wits end, and really need sleep.

So, should you keep your baby from rolling over at night? According to the AAP, there's no safe way to prevent it, so don't try. However, flipping babies back over — gently and quietly — if they're not champion rollers just yet, is a good idea, but don't flip yourself out about it if you wake to find they've rolled over. Just keep their bed clear and put them down on their backs. It's the best we can do.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack