What do you do about babies who constantly flip over at sleep times?


Flipping babies… my 5.5 month old has gotten into the habit of flipping (sometimes several times) after being put down for a nap, and sometimes during the night during night wakings where I don’t nurse her (and sometimes after I’ve nursed her, but she hasn’t managed to fall back asleep). We have been going in and gently rolling her back over, but once we leave she rolls over again! Last night I quietly stayed at the bottom of the bed for an extra 10 minutes after she was done nursing and just gently stopped her bum from flipping over, but eventually gave up and by the time I was back in my bedroom, she had flipped.  She knows how to flip back to her tummy (tummy sleeper), but she just doesn’t do it. If we just leave her, she will look around for a while (10-20 min), then start crying and if we go in and flip her then, will finally fall asleep. Naps will inevitably be short if she does the flipping dance at the beginning. Should we be going in at all? Any tips for responding in a way that makes this occur less frequently over time? Would she just fall asleep on her back eventually (she hasn’t done that in months)? Please help!

This is a developmental milestone which can definitely be a temporary sleep disruptor while she’s getting used to her body. With time, it will pass and your best bet is to practice, practice, practice rolling during the day! If she’s truly stuck, you’ll help her with some rescue rolls to get her back into a comfortable position, and if she needs some coaching you can certainly respond to her with some check ins and guide, coach, half-assist her to get back into her comfy spot. Try to let her do as much of the work as possible and assist less and less as you gain confidence she truly can do it on her own.

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