LO won't sleep on his back — The Bump
August 2015 Moms

LO won't sleep on his back

DS is a week old today, and so far we have had zero luck getting him to sleep on his back. We have tried the rock n play, the swing, and both his crib and bassinet. Swaddled, not swaddled, everything. He can be out cold after feeding or in the middle of a deep sleep but the second we go to lay him down on his back he starts to fuss and will cry until we get him off his back. I don't think it is reflux since he lays fine on his side or on daddy's chest flat (not inclined) with no issues. Right now DH and I sleep in shifts so that one of us can supervise while DS sleeps on his side, since we won't let him sleep like that unless someone is watching him. This is, obviously, not ideal. I spoke with our lactation consultant about it and she suggested doing naps on his back in the crib or bassinet during the day and trying the rock n play at night, but so far neither of those have worked - he just won't stay asleep on his back no matter what he's in. I know he is still very young and figuring out his own patterns/routines. I just wondered if anyone had similar issues with their babies not wanting to sleep on their backs or had any ideas or advice.

Re: LO won't sleep on his back

  • Pretty sure it's okay if baby is on his side slightly. You should ask his doctor about it though.
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  • My son is the same he will only sleep on his front. My midwife suggested letting him sleep on his front on his moses basket until he's sleeping deeply and then turn him on his back. He hardly notices. Wakes rarely when I switch him. Good luck! Babies naturally don't like there backs.
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  • DS sleeps on his side every night. We put him in a SwaddleMe instead of just swaddling with a blanket. He's wrapped so tight that he can't move so I don't worry about him. He likes sleeping on his tummy best but that scares me so I only let him do that during nap time when I can watch him. I know that supposedly "back is best" but sleeping on his back actually scares me because, while we were in the hospital, he spit up while they had him on his back and started choking.
  • My daughter sleeps best on her tummy on my chest too. We have actually let her been sleeping in her bouncy seat.. Not ideal, but her sister was the same way! I had her in a newborn napper in her pack n play and suddenly she wouldn't sleep in it, removed it to use the bassinet.. Won't sleep! So she will only sleep in the bouncy seat for now. If she could, she would sleep on her side or tummy. And come 4 months old, you'll find once they can roll over, they will sleep however they feel comfy
  • Yup, we had this same issue between 1 and 2 weeks. What ultimately ended up working was giving the pacifier while he was in the rock n play. He had a great latch, so pacifier didn't end up impacting his feeding. He is now almost 4 weeks and he uses the paci every night for about 30 mins to soothe himself to sleep in the rock n play, and then spits it out. It's the only thing that makes him happy to sleep in there at night time!
    Have you heard of the "5 s's"? Swaddling, shushing, side laying, sucking and swaying? I try to incorporate as many as i can to get him to calm down at night, and the swaddling, sucking a paci, and shushing usually seem to do the trick. Good luck!
  • My daughter sleeps on her side too but she puts herself in that position (tucks her little legs and rolls to her side). Not a big deal if they are putting themselves there. If you swaddle though make sure to not swaddle the lower arm and extend it out straight so that if he rolls at all it will be to his back rather than to his front. Research from what I've seen shows there is a slightly higher risk of SIDS sleeping on their side but it is mainly due to babies rolling forward onto their tummy while on their side.

    For peace of mind you can always look at getting an Angel Care Monitor.
  • My DD is 5 days old and likes to sleep on her right side, we have her swaddled in a muslin blanket so she's all cozy. She's not a fan of sleeping on her back either. I'm not too concerned because she's still young enough that she can't roll yet.
  • LO frequently rolls onto his side when sleeping. The pedi said as long as he's rolling onto his side himself he us fine (means he's capable of rolling back)
  • Mine sleeps on her side also. I put her on her back and she immediately rolls on her side. Not a darn thing I can do about it. She has yet to roll on her stomach. I do worry about it. But because she rolls on her own I don't know what else I can do. I am interested in a getting a snuzza.
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  • Lalala2326Lalala2326 member
    edited August 2015
    MamaMandy2015 I would seriously encourage you to unswaddle that lower arm. Even newborns are capable of rolling from side to stomach even if she hasn't done it yet. My oldest rolled completely from front to back at 2 weeks 4 days. Took us completely by surprise. Sleeping on side in my opinion is fine if they are getting themselves there (like I mentioned), but you really should be taking some precautions against rolling if you are swaddling her cause she does have that capability already even at just 5 days old.

  • Our baby does the same thing. As soon as we lay her down, she rolls to her side. She was breech and just sort of tips over that
  • There's a new mattress out that is breathable even when baby sleeps face down. Go to securebeginnings.com they look really cool and your baby could sleep however they choose.
  • Our son is 3 weeks and he cried the entire time he was swaddled and on his back in the hospital. When we got home we didn't swaddle him and he instantly rolled to his side. He slept that way for a week. Now he lifts his head on his own and holds it and can roll all the way over and chooses to sleep on his stomach or side even if we put him on his back first. Pediatrician said it's totally fine. If your baby is strong enough to roll and lift their own head then they are fine. No one knows what truly causes sids, but we also got one of those angel care sids monitors and it's in his halo (which is mesh all the around bc he will also roll himself into the side with his face up against it which is terrifying in the other infant sleeper we had). It monitors their breathing and will go off if they stop breathing for (I believe it is) 20 seconds. Even though he's right next to me it gives me extra peace of mind. It was a great investment for us because I would wake every 30 min to check on him. He only wakes once a night to feed now. He's happy and healthy, and so are we getting the rest we need to take care of him.

    Ps: it's been warm enough to not need it most nights, but he has wearable blankets we have used so he can use his arms and move his legs well, but won't suffocate since he is able to really move about.
  • @Lalala2326 good point, thank you. As it is now she's loosely swaddled, she has both arms out and the arm on the side she sleeps on is extended out with her other arm also out, we more or less tuck the blanket in around her from her feet to her waist then lightly lay it over her arms if she seems cold
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