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Our twelve week old son has suddenly started rolling from his back to his front, and appears to be able to do this at will! Unfortunately, he can't roll from front to back yet, which leaves us worried about what would happen if he did it whilst sleeping! Is there anything we can do to prevent this, or are we overreacting?

  • Does your baby sleep with anything in the area? Like - in a crib that's just the mattress? Or do you have things around that could suffocate him? I don't know if it's possible for an infant on a flat surface to lay their face straight down in a suffocating position. Their heads tend to be big and heavy enough to always lay on one side. Possibly if they roll into a corner though – Kai Qing Jun 11 '15 at 21:51
  • Sleeps in a cot, flat mattress, but seems to like having his face pressed up against the side! – ninesided Jun 11 '15 at 21:57
  • Is he able to roll over while swaddled? – Brian Robbins Jun 12 '15 at 17:25
  • He won't tolerate swaddling, sadly. – ninesided Jun 12 '15 at 22:58
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This is perfectly normal and you shouldn't try to prevent it. He will soon learn how to roll over on his back again. If you are worried about him doing it in the middle of the night then I would recommend taking out all of the blankets and pillows from his crib. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics babies shouldn't sleep with blankets until they are 12 months old. There have been babies that have suffocated in blankets and pillows.

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    Hi, Patrick, and welcome to the site. The AAP is an excellent resource, which is appreciated. – anongoodnurse Jun 14 '15 at 3:44
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That's very common. The recommendation is to still put them on their back to sleep, but anything they do under their own power is okay. It's actually when parents try to prevent this that babies get into trouble. Don't try to put pillows or toys or blankets as barriers to rolling over. It probably won't be long until he can roll both ways. In the mean time, the most annoying part is they tend to cry when they want to go back on their back.

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