Side sleeper - OK?

[deleted account] ( 37 moms have responded )

My 4 1/2 month old rolls onto his side as soon as I lay him down in his crib. He is swaddled with one arm out. I know back is best but is this ok? I mean I don't know what I can do to stop him but I'm still worried about SIDS. He stays on his side or rolls back onto his back during the night - never onto his belly yet.

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Dodie - posted on 06/28/2011

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From the time I had my first to the time I had my second, the "experts" went from tummy sleeping to back sleeping, & of course, we remember the little "back pillows" to make it easier to lay on their sides!!
I am now, & have been for 28 years!!, a Grandmother. I have been Mum to 2 Step-children, 2 Bio Children, & 5 Foster Children. So, I can tell you truthfully that, no matter where or how you place your child in a crib, they will somehow manage to squirm his/her way into what THEY see as a comfortable position for sleeping.
Remember one thing: Noone knows what causes babies to die in their cribs. It seldom happens, no matter how the media want to play it up like it's an everyday occurance! So, just put your Little One in the Crib with temperature-appropriate clothing--sometimes just a diaper is enough!!--& let him find his own "comfort zone" for sleeping!! Both of you will be a lot happier for it!
God Bless...Dodie/Nana

Cassandra - posted on 06/24/2011

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It sounds like you are worrying a lot! Its extremely rare these days, compared to all the bundles of joy who do fine. I would let him sleep how it is most comfortable for him. Trust

[deleted account]

My oldest was born on her side and thats the only way she would sleep from day one. My second daughter was born sunnyside up and sleeps still on her belly, and my son who was born correctly will only sleep on his back in his rockerbed. I say its ok. Babies just like adults sleep the way they do out of habbit. Maybe thats the way he was in your belly. Also if you watch, it might be easier for him to breath on his side. it was for my daughter. Not to start a SIDs fight, but I dont agree with back sleeping anyway...what happens if they spit up? Personally I think side is the best.

Samantha - posted on 06/25/2011

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im terrified of sids, and know that nothing in the bed is best, but my husband and i with both our kids rolled up recieving blankets into logs and placed them on either side under their arms along the length of their body to prevent them from rolling until they knew how to roll back.i make sure that his arms are above the blankets so its shoved against his body starting from ribs down... it scares the crap out of me that he could roll and have his face in the mattress so i couldnt hear him and him not being able to breathe. i check on him very often to make sure that the blankets havnt moved at all, and if he is particularly restless and becomes able to move the blankets i remove them all together. but back to your question, my son has slept on his side for 2 months now, its just his fav position and i know if he can get to his side he can get back to his back with the blanket there to prevent him getting on his tummy, i find that when i keep moving him flat on his back again he wakes up wayyy more often during the night.

Patrice - posted on 06/24/2011

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I used a side wedge with both my kids, so they both slept on there sides. I didn't like the idea of belly or back sleeping, my son spit up alot so back sleeping was out! If that is how he is most comfy sleeping and is able to roll, he will be fine.

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Carrie - posted on 06/28/2011

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my son and daughter both liked their sides. I just used the sleep positioner to keep them on their side they both did just fine and my Dr said if they can get there then it's fine. if youre really worried ask your dr

Laura - posted on 06/27/2011

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neither of my children would sleep on their back right from day one. They have always slept on their side. It is true that the back is best but as the midwife told me sometimes if they won't settle any other way then put them the way they will settle. My eldest actually preferred sleeping on her tummy and once she could roll over that's the way she slept....and still does.

Julie - posted on 06/27/2011

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His back is not best... He is telling you what he prefers.
All of mine were on their tummies - and did just great!

Bernadette - posted on 06/26/2011

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my son isn't even 3 months yet, and I have been putting him on his side to sleep since he was only a few days old because he just doesn't seem to stay asleep when he's on his back. He would also vomit a very thick mucous that he kept choking on, and this scared me. Also, when you think about it, lying on their backs isn't natural for babies as they are used to being all tucked up in foetal position. On their sides they can have their arms pulled in to their chests and their knees drawn up to their tummies, which feels a lot more natural and probably more secure for them too. On their backs they are all stretched out, and my son just couldn't sleep like this. I don't worry too much about him rolling as I make sure to position his legs far enough in front of him that the only way he can roll is onto his back. You can also buy supports for side-sleeping babies (they work like chocks, one under the front, one under the back so they can't roll) and I also use a motion monitor too. It has a sensor mat that goes under his mattress and detects even the slightest movement so it knows if they are still breathing. If no movement is detected for more than about 30 seconds it sets off an alarm. It really gives you peace of mind, because if he does accidentally turn onto his front and becomes smothered so he stops breathing, the alarm will let you know in time to do something about it.

Bernadette - posted on 06/26/2011

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my son isn't even 3 months yet, and I have been putting him on his side to sleep since he was only a few days old because he just doesn't seem to stay asleep when he's on his back. He would also vomit a very thick mucous that he kept choking on, and this scared me. Also, when you think about it, lying on their backs isn't natural for babies as they are used to being all tucked up in foetal position. On their sides they can have their arms pulled in to their chests and their knees drawn up to their tummies, which feels a lot more natural and probably more secure for them too. On their backs they are all stretched out, and my son just couldn't sleep like this. I don't worry too much about him rolling as I make sure to position his legs far enough in front of him that the only way he can roll is onto his back. You can also buy supports for side-sleeping babies (they work like chocks, one under the front, one under the back so they can't roll) and I also use a motion monitor too. It has a sensor mat that goes under his mattress and detects even the slightest movement so it knows if they are still breathing. If no movement is detected for more than about 30 seconds it sets off an alarm. It really gives you peace of mind, because if he does accidentally turn onto his front and becomes smothered so he stops breathing, the alarm will let you know in time to do something about it.

Claire - posted on 06/26/2011

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my son was like that from very small - he slept on his side from 4 weeks old as he wouldn't sleep any other way. I also used to keep going in and moving him once he started to roll as he would roll on his belly, but it always used to wake him so in the end i just left him. he slept in a grow bag so there was nothing in his cot that would cause him harm. if they are comfortable and ok then i saw leave them :)

Angela - posted on 06/25/2011

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My little one had acid reflux and vomited a lot. We propped her bed up a few inches and actually our doctor told us to roll a clothe diaper and put in under the sheet to help her sleep on her side.

We also bought one of those breathable mattress pads, I think it is called aero sleep.

Annie - posted on 06/25/2011

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My kids always slept on their sides. I propped an itty blanket under them but not far enough for them to roll onto their tummies. Funny thing, at 19 and 15, they still sleep like that :-) As long as you are taking other precautions he will be fine!

Cali - posted on 06/24/2011

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I think it's fine. My son slept on his tummy at that age! My daughter started sleeping on her side at 5 months, doctor said it was okay.

Catherine - posted on 06/24/2011

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I have a 2 year old and i can lay her on her back and though the night when I check on her she is rolling around and is fine in my opion as long as the child is able to get air while they ae sleeping then its shouldnt matter what way they are laying

Lauren - posted on 06/24/2011

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Both of my children refused to sleep on their back or side. They always slept on their stomach since birth. I believe it was due to me falling asleep with them after night time feedings. The warmth on their stomachs made them tummy sleepers, and I made sure they were right next to my bed so I heard every move and sound they made, so side sleeping would be fine as long as you're paying good attention to breathing patterns and sounds. Mine were both fine on their tummies.

Karen - posted on 06/24/2011

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@Tasha: I couldn't agree more with you about side sleeping. We had a confinement nanny when my son was just about a month old. He'd fall asleep after being fed; the nanny would lay him on his side in the cot, so that if he spit up it'd dribble out his mouth onto the mattress. If he'd slept on his back, any spit-up would have pooled in the back of his throat. Wouldn't that be worse?

Bec - posted on 06/24/2011

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just something funny I had a sleep monitor that was so sensitive i could just about hear my neighours talking LOL!! Got rid of it and put bub in bed with me.

Blackwood - posted on 06/24/2011

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I remember the worry about SIDS, it's horrible. My son was a tummy sleeper, even in the hospital, I remember the nurse saying, he like to sleep on his tummy, I've tried to keep him on his back, but he just won't settle, so I let him sleep on his tummy, I've keep a close eye on him, but it's not recommeded for SIDS, then when we came home, he would want to be on his tummy, so the first nite, my husband could see I wasn't going to do anything but check over and over again to see if he was breathing, he literlly stayed up all nite, downstair in a chair with him, watching the discovery channel and drinking coffee with him on his chest. I used a positioner for a while and had him swaddled but it didnt' last long. I think if you do all the other suggestiosn, keep toys and bumper pads out of crib, no other blankets other then an actually swaddler, keep the room fresh with a fan moving air around, you will proberly be okay, but you're still gonna worry, it's what we do. You could also invest in the "sleep angle monitior", but I hear there very touchy and need to be adjusted on a regular basis, also expensive, maybe get on second hand. I'd tell you not to worry, but you well, best of luck.

Bec - posted on 06/24/2011

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another suggested idear I heard from someone today that sounded good to me is sleep them on their side but each time you put them down swap sides each time they are put down for sleep.Following all the other SIDS prevention reccomendations. Oh that Nature nest bed is strong yet portable and comes apart for machine washing for got to tell you about that info. and they resemble a hammock.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/24/2011

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Does he always turn onto the same side? If so, watch for a flat spot. I think there are special pillows for this if it becomes an issue. Also, one side of my daughter's neck was stiff and she only liked to sleep on one side. With physical therapy, she now will sleep on the other side as well.

Kelly-Ann - posted on 06/23/2011

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Hi.. My youngest is 4 months old and she's slept on her belly from day one. She suffered a lot from colic and reflux and only settled when on her belly! I have a motion alarm for her cot though so if she ever stopped breathing the alarm sounds - can't recommend this enough!

Aijan - posted on 06/23/2011

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If your baby is alive by 41/2 months and doesn't have plush toys, pillows or blankets inside his crib that can choke him his chance of getting SIDS is close to zero. He is sleeping, he is healthy and that's important.

Kelsey - posted on 06/23/2011

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Drs say once they start rolling over on their own the risk of SIDS is decreased by a large number. If he pits himself that way it is perfectly ok. My daughter is 6 months and rolls all the way over onto her belly while sleeping.

Constance - posted on 06/23/2011

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Melissa I will say what my mom said about sleeping positions when I had my first born.
" If you like to sleep then you are going to let that baby sleep the way that baby wants to sleep." I have a lot my full nights of sleep over not sleepimg.


Something that bothers me about SIDS. Everyone of us do get nervous about something happening, but from experience SIDS is not decreased by a baby sleeping on his back. A very close friend of mine did lose her 5mon old to SIDS and he was asleep on his back. What truthfully has decreased the amount of SIDS deaths is ME now know the signs of child abuse. I am not saying push it completely out of your mind but don't allow it to overwhelm you either. There are somethings that can possiably predict SIDS. If there is a family history in the last few decades of a baby passing because of SIDS then I wuld b more cautious.

Other than that he should be just fine. Don' worry too much it will make you crazy. I had 2 back sleepers, 1 side sleeper, and 4 stomach sleepers all did just fine. He will be too.

Bryanna - posted on 06/23/2011

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He's fine! Just check on him. My daughter napped on her stomach and then I layed her down on her back for bedtime..she was always on her belly most mornings when she awoke. Just make sure you don't have stuff in his crib.

Kellie - posted on 06/23/2011

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They sure do! and how much stuff do they have?!?!

Hmm I wonder if we have them in Australia, knowing me I probably walked right past one and never even took any notice.

Bec - posted on 06/23/2011

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the natures nest bed is actually simmillar to thematerial carriers that people use on their waist. well it's sort of based on that but wider and on a frame thing. very much like a ship or boat i suppose. wanted one myself, kids get all the good stuff!!

Kellie - posted on 06/23/2011

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Hehe that sound like a rather nice way to sleep! I worked on a Tall Ship for a while and I loved being rocked to sleep when we were at sea. I've never seen anything like what your describing.

Bec - posted on 06/23/2011

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my son had what was called a natures nest bed it stands on a frame hitched by a big spring held up low to the ground and is made of material it sort of snuggs them but with the material being light and the sides are mesh, so breathable. the spring is cool to you just give it a gentle tug and it does the bobbing and rocking for you. My son slept great in that and if I placed him in proper he would be slightly up right this was good frro the puke thing I mentioned before.I do remeber that when he got to a certain age though he would sort of hop out of it and comando crawl, this wasn't a safety issue though as it was very low to the ground.I don't know if my info is of use but it may stimulate another sharp shooter to think of something LOL

Kellie - posted on 06/23/2011

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it's ok, was only after I re read it I noticed, and even then I only noticed because I enquired about using one for my daughter because when she started rolling to her belly she hadn't worked out how to get back yet so my Partner had a hissy and wanted to get one.

Kellie - posted on 06/23/2011

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Oh I just saw Bec's suggestion, they don't recommend using one of those because potentially they could wind up underneath it. Nothing in or around the cot is best and he should be fine, he is after all strong enough to roll :)

Kellie - posted on 06/23/2011

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My daughter started rolling onto her belly and sleeping that way at 3 months old, I spoke to Kids Safe about it because we had the same concerns, and they said as long as there is nothing in or around the cot (other than a blanket which we don't use, she sleeps in a Grow Bag (like a Halo) it's fine, readjust him when you find him like that but don't set your alarm for it. In the end I even stopped readjusting her as it was waking her up. By the end of her 3rd month she could roll both ways anyway.

Bec - posted on 06/23/2011

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my son always slept on his side as he was pukey and I use to get worried he would drown as it came out his mouth and nose at same time. But he is alive and well 11yr old now he also slept in my bed heaps you can get a snuggle thing that they lie on and it has raised edges on the sides that act as a guide which helps keep them in place as they sleep designed for babies should beable to get at most baby stores.

Cori - posted on 06/23/2011

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If he is the one rolling himself, it should be fine. My son was a sensitive tummy kid and he started rolling onto his tummy very early. He liked the pressure. Just make sure you are doing all the other SIDS prevention in his room.

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