I worry too much... — The Bump
March 2012 Moms

I worry too much...

I have a question for you ladies.  If you've always put your baby on his/her back to sleep, what do you do when he/she rolls over to the belly in the night?

I've always put DD down on her back and she usually stays that way.  I woke up last night after she'd been asleep for 8 hours (usually she's awake every 3) and when I checked on her she was on her belly with her face buried in the mattress.  She seemed to be breathing alright, but I turned her head and left her on her belly.  She slept for another hour and a half!  This is the first time she's ever rolled to her belly and stayed asleep - she usually wakes up.

I called the ped to ask about it and the nurse just repeated the AAP's stance that babies should be on their backs until they're a year old and told me to turn DD over if it happened again.  I understand that they have to say that as a CYA, but it wasn't very helpful. 

I want to say that since she can roll over and move really well that she's not in as much danger of SIDS, but it also scares me that she might be sleeping with her face smooshed into the mattress for hours before I wake up and notice. I mean, if she's sleeping that long then chances are that I am, too!  I don't want to stand over her crib and wait for her to roll but I'd also really rather she not suffocate.

So - what do you guys do?  Any words of advice to calm me (the world-class worrier) down about her sleeping face down? 

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Re: I worry too much...

  • I would try to not worry although it's easier said then done. My son did this for two weeks when he first learn I roll and would sleep face down nose squished. But now he turns his head a little more to the side but not by much. They are strong enough to turn their heads do sleep in comfort knowing that f they throw up or anything they at strong enough to pick their heads up.

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  • image mcgeeva:
    I would try to not worry although it's easier said then done. My son did this for two weeks when he first learn I roll and would sleep face down nose squished. But now he turns his head a little more to the side but not by much. They are strong enough to turn their heads do sleep in comfort knowing that f they throw up or anything they at strong enough to pick their heads up.

    This.
    We went thru the same thing. DH was really worried, but I had watched DD nap successfully like that for hours on the video monitor so I tried to get over my fear. Our ped said that once they are rolling there isn't much you can do to keep them on their backs if thy want to sleep in their tummies.
  • It does get easier. I couldn't sleep when DS started rolling over to belly. He prefers to sleep on belly, and I was a nervous wreck!!! But he is completely fine and turns his head to side...but I still wake up once or twice just to peek. Smile

    He will get better at rolling over and turn his head to side. When DS first started rolling, I would turn his head a little, probably just for my own comfort...but pedi said once they know how to roll they are fine to sleep on belly.

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  • DS has slept like that a few times for naps (I started putting him on his belly for naps before he could roll but once he had really good head control because he slept SO much better, and most of the time he was in the PNP in the same room as me so I could keep an eye on him and make sure he was okay.)  When I saw him doing that I would turn his head to the side so that he wasn't smooshed against the mattress.  Now he's rolling and sleeps on his belly 99% of the time, but never has his face against the mattress.  Our pedi told me once he's rolling, he's going to sleep however he's most comfortable and not to fight it.  I know it's really hard not to worry, but try not to. 
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  • we tie arms and legs to the crib corners like the old stretching racks in medieval times.. hmm maybe that is why he is so tall already ? Just kidding... I try and roll him over if I wake up and he is on his tummy, but if we're awake if he wants to sleep on his tummy  we let him. 

    Years ago it was tummy sleeping then it was back sleeping then side sleeping  and then it was the matresses and the blankets and too hot and too cold.  It's a never ending stream of different things to blame SIDS on .. the sad fact is some babies die and it's big business selling safety equipment to scared parents.  All you can do is do the best that you can and hope it's enough without becoming a paranoid basket of nerves.

    I prefer to let my guy tummy sleep only when we are awake but you cant watch them all the time they are asleep or you will become the biggest danger to them because you are tired.
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  • Thanks, ladies.  She's been rolling for months and I was always so grateful that she preferred to sleep on her back because I knew I would be a mess!  On the plus side - I got six hours of uninterrupted sleep!  That's only like the 3rd time since the middle of my pregnancy (I had to pee a LOT when I was pregnant...)!
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  • As pps said, there is not much you can really do if they prefer to sleep on their tummy.  Oddly, DD started sleeping on her tummy at daycare long before she started it at home.  Whatever allows her to sleep longer is ok with me :)
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  • I am the same as you. My son usually sleeps about 10-12 hours straight, no wake ups. You'd think I'd also be happily well rested but, nope, I get up once a hour or so to make sure he isn't face down. Even though I know he can roll and move, it still makes me very uncomfortable. I've started to settle down a little more in the last couple of weeks, though. He seems to always keep his head to the side and he's obviously comfortable so I try to leave him alone as long as he has lots of room to breathe. 
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  • Peyton will only sleep on his belly. I asked the ped about this an she said every child is different and once he starts to roll he will end up on his belly anyway. She also recommended the monitor to put under the mattress. We have Anglecare. Besides we all slept on our tummy and are all living to write about it! : GL
  • I had the same issue k smothering her face flat down. My Ped said just because she can roll over the SIDS risk is still there as the belief is co2 poisoning the baby rebreathing their airit knocks them out so they don't know they are doing it. He told me to get a breathable mattress, and keep the fan on to circulate air. I also got a snuza which in my opinion is way better then acm. Also I learned quickly rolling Lo back over was a waste as she would just roll back
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  • There is no way I can keep him on his back. He rolls over the second I lay him down. If i flip him to his back he rolls back over...again and again and again. I don't even try anymore. He moves all over all night.

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  • image reneenearl:
    There is no way I can keep him on his back. He rolls over the second I lay him down. If i flip him to his back he rolls back over...again and again and again. I don't even try anymore. He moves all over all night.

    Mine too. Even if she's completely unconscious... the second she touches the mattress she rolls right over.

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  • Once they can roll over, it's sort of impossible to always keep them on their backs. I know the doctor and nurse will never tell you to keep her on her belly but if she can roll around, she's ok, and sleeping better Wink. If you try to turn her on her back every time she rolls to her belly, you'll never sleep!

    My DS has been a belly sleeper since he was 4 weeks old though. But try not to worry too much! If you don't have a monitor, you could always get the AngelCare monitor that will alarm you if she stops breathing. It is the only way I have been comfortable with M sleeping on his belly for this long!

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