Our 5-day old baby apparently has some very strong legs.

  • We have witnessed him kick himself out of a swaddle that was pretty darn tight
  • We have seen him kick himself onto his side. This has happened while swaddled, while in a sleep sack, etc.

My concern is that side-sleeping is no longer recommended due to the ability for a baby to then roll into their stomach, associated risk of SIDS, etc.

While we're not putting our child to sleep specifically on his side, I would like to know:

  • What is the actual risk in these cases? Should we be preventing it at all costs? If I see my son has kicked himself onto his side from his bsck, is this cause for alarm or pretty normal?
  • What are the recommended avenues for keeping a newborn of 1-2 weeks secure if they have strong legs?

2 Answers 2


According to the (US) National Institute of Health Safe Sleep Basics FAQ:

No. Rolling over is an important and natural part of your baby's growth. Most babies start rolling over on their own around 4 to 6 months of age. If your baby rolls over on his or her own during sleep, you do not need to turn the baby back over onto his or her back. The important thing is that your baby start every sleep time on his or her back to reduce the risk of SIDS, and that there is no soft objects, toys, crib bumpers, or loose bedding under baby, over baby, or anywhere in baby's sleep area.

Now, 5 days old is pretty young to be rolling over! As with anything unusual at this young age, I would certainly consider asking the pediatrician for their opinions on this, to make sure that they don't have any concerns (and they may also have some advice for swaddling/etc., or for evaluating your bedding). But the general recommendations are not to turn them back over.

  • Don't want to DV, but rolling over at this age is not ok or natural. There are ways - safe ways - to prevent this that should be discussed with a pediatrician. Feb 26, 2020 at 18:57
  • @anongoodnurse Yeah, I was wondering about the extremely young age. I'd love to see an answer with the details on that! I know the recommendations generally about allowing your child to roll over, but they tend to assume it's happening at an older age certainly. That's why I included the comment at the end about talking to the pediatrician.
    – Joe
    Feb 26, 2020 at 19:20
  • Yes, I understood and agreed with that. I just wanted to highlight the point that at so young an age, they don't have the neck strength to lift their heads off the mattress for very long if face down, whereas when they are older, they do. Feb 27, 2020 at 2:00

Thanks everyone for answering and for noting the specific circumstances / age which factored in.

Spoke with our pediatrician team and they confirmed that -- while sightly alarming -- they had no concerns that our son kicking himself onto his side actually increased his risk for falling forward. They believe the way his shoulders were positioned would prevent it from happening, and noted that with his frequent feedings, the odds of it happening for an extended time are even lower. Their position is that as long as we start him out on his back and generally keep a look out, we'll be fine.

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