Babies: 3 - 6 Months

5.5 Month Old Sleeping Face Down

Hi all,

My 5.5 month old has been sleeping in a rock n play since she was born.  We are trying to transition to her crib but when we put her in there she just constantly wants to roll over and just ends up totally face planting and burying her face in the mattress.  She's not resting on her hands or anything - just straight face down.  There are times when I know that there is no way she is getting any air.  She really just seems so sleepy that she doesn't lift her head and doesn't cry.  I always panic and end up picking her up.  I swear I have so much anxiety from this!  Now I know that there seems to kind of be two sides to this - either people think they are fine and you should leave them, or there's the people who find a different sleeping solution.  I'm not really sure what my approach will be yet, but I do know I'm definitely not comfortable leaving her alone in her crib all night just yet.  So, a few questions...

1.  If your baby did this, at what age did they stop trying to sleep face down?
2.  Did you do anything to help them learn to turn their head while sleeping or did they just eventually figure it out on their own?
3.  Has anyone invested in a breathable crib mattress, and if so, which one?
4.  Did anyone use one of those alarm type things that signal if they supposedly stop breathing?

Thanks so much!!!

Re: 5.5 Month Old Sleeping Face Down

  • 1. My son did this all the time around that age and the Pedi really hammered it home that I had to stop him from doing it. My Pedi told me that young babies can fall into such a deep sleep that they don't realize they can't breathe and therefore won't lift their head up. That scared the shit out of me. So I had to roll up receiving blankets and put them under his crib sheet on each side of him to prevent him from rolling over.

    BUT, at some point you just have to figure out when you are comfortable enough to let them do what they are going to do...which is roll over and sleep on their stomachs.

    2. Both my kids have slept face down at some point as they got older and I haven't done anything to help them learn to turn their heads. They figured it out on their own but it was scary.

    crsanchez87
  • 1. My son did this all the time around that age and the Pedi really hammered it home that I had to stop him from doing it. My Pedi told me that young babies can fall into such a deep sleep that they don't realize they can't breathe and therefore won't lift their head up. That scared the shit out of me. So I had to roll up receiving blankets and put them under his crib sheet on each side of him to prevent him from rolling over.

    BUT, at some point you just have to figure out when you are comfortable enough to let them do what they are going to do...which is roll over and sleep on their stomachs.

    2. Both my kids have slept face down at some point as they got older and I haven't done anything to help them learn to turn their heads. They figured it out on their own but it was scary.

    Thanks for the response.  I actually called my doctor a few weeks ago and they told me that if she's strong enough to roll over, she's strong enough to lift her head.  But I totally disagree.  I've seen her just lay there and I know for a fact there is no way she was getting air.  Were the rolled receiving blankets a recommendation from your doctor too?  I just feel like everything is considered a suffocation hazard these days and it freaks me out! :(
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  • lee5891 said:

    1. My son did this all the time around that age and the Pedi really hammered it home that I had to stop him from doing it. My Pedi told me that young babies can fall into such a deep sleep that they don't realize they can't breathe and therefore won't lift their head up. That scared the shit out of me. So I had to roll up receiving blankets and put them under his crib sheet on each side of him to prevent him from rolling over.

    BUT, at some point you just have to figure out when you are comfortable enough to let them do what they are going to do...which is roll over and sleep on their stomachs.

    2. Both my kids have slept face down at some point as they got older and I haven't done anything to help them learn to turn their heads. They figured it out on their own but it was scary.

    Thanks for the response.  I actually called my doctor a few weeks ago and they told me that if she's strong enough to roll over, she's strong enough to lift her head.  But I totally disagree.  I've seen her just lay there and I know for a fact there is no way she was getting air.  Were the rolled receiving blankets a recommendation from your doctor too?  I just feel like everything is considered a suffocation hazard these days and it freaks me out! :(

    Yes the rolled up blankets were a recommendation from my Pedi. I felt more comfortable doing that than letting my son sleep face down so I tried it. Eventually he got too strong and rolled right over anyways but I used the blankets for a few weeks.

    I've heard mixed reviews about those sensors that monitor breathing but if that makes you more comfortable then I say go for it. It's tough to know what to do!

    lee5891
  • when we first transitioned DS to the crib after sleeping in the bassinet, we would get a large towel and roll it up and then stick it under neath the crib sheet in a u-shape around his head so he couldn't roll over and he was more snuggled in the big boy bed. I would suggest doing that with either the one towel or the two blankets on either side of him. 
    lee5891
  • My son is 6 months. He started rolling and sleeping on his stomach around 4 months. I was one of those that just lwt him do it. I tried to roll him back over a few times but it woke him up so i just left him. He did learn to turn his head. I talked to his pedi and she said to just keep the crib free from suffocation hazards and he would be fine.

    He is now crawling and I have no control over where he is in the crib. I do think the rolled up towel or blankets under the crib sheet is an awesome idea and will help with the transition! Your instincts will tell you when it is time to stop. Have to trust your mommy instincts :)
    lee5891
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