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My daughter is going to be 5 months. She has recently started to turn herself over onto her side and that is how she likes to sleep. She then in her sleep rolls onto her stomach and sleeps on her stomach but only till her binky falls out. Then she wakes up and cries until we can get her binky back in. This happens 2 or 3 times an hour each night and my wife and I are starting to lose so much sleep it is effecting our work. She goes to bed at 8PM and used to sleep till 6AM - 7AM but recently she has been waking up at 4AM - 5AM. Does anyone have any ideas that could help her stay on her side? My wife is looking into a Merlin sleep sack but if she doesn't enjoy going back to sleeping on her back I can only assume our 5 hours of sleep a night will drop to 3.

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There's nothing you can do to keep your baby on her side, once babies realize they can flip themselves over then they want to do it and sometimes they end up on their front. You can either:

  • Wait it out: she may get used to her binky (pacifier/dummy) falling out or figure out how to keep it in or get it back in herself
  • Wean her off the binky: kids rarely end up giving up their pacifier by themselves, you have to wean them off it. There's various ways to do this, but all of them involve a few bad nights. That's unavoidable, my advice is once you start it you have to finish it, if you give in once you'll never be rid of it. Once you are rid of it though she won't need it to sleep anymore and problem solved
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  • I agree. At the age my son would turn over and lose his pacifier, I just stopped giving it to him. At about 6-7 months he learned how to put it in himself and we started using it again. – Rachel S Jul 18 '16 at 18:10
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As someone who used to babysit and raised my own babies, I've seen the following:

  1. Soft, breathable, terrycloth side barriers with a cloth connection between the 2 sides to keep a back or side position
  2. A not-very-much-softer bed mattress (if your baby is skinny, then a hard baby mattress might be hard on baby comfort and baby bones, and they will turn to find a comfortable position)
  3. Very soft, continuous music
  4. Interesting things for baby to look at
  5. Baby in a crib in the parents' room so that parents don't have to leave the room.

If baby isn't sleeping through the night on her back or side, maybe her milk or formula has components which her body is not digesting well (maybe causing baby to turn onto her stomach for relief). Maybe she's too close to a TV or other electrical appliances which could disturb deep sleep.

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My girl did that one month ago, it last for a week or so. So, here is what worked for us :

  • Go to bed earlier : a few weeks of sacrificed evenings is nothing to keeping your job, if your kid cry at four in the morning means you get 3 hours of sleep instead of 5, get to bed at 23:00 instead of 1:00. I know it's a pain, I had to give up some things because of this, but it'll come back.
  • Have a quick "get to bed" ritual. We just did this and got back to our bed. She sometime complained for 2/5 minutes then got back to sleep. Our ritual : Go in her room, hug her, give her her pacifier back and put her plushie on her belly (one appropriate for kids, of course), put on a lullaby on low volume. Ten minute from baby crying to everyone sleeping again.
  • Don't feed your kid if she had somewhat enough during the day. Our first nights and days were made worse by trying to feed ours. It put her in a waked cycle that we needed to stay awake through. And it's far longer.
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