Our baby's new trick is rolling onto his tummy. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite figured out how to get back to his back. He remains beached until we flip him.

The problem is, he doesn't nap because he's too busy getting stuck.

Any ideas? Do we let him cry it out until he learns to sleep on his tummy? Or do we keep flipping him until he figures it out?

2 Answers 2


My feeling is once a child can roll they can sleep as they wish. I also found that once they can get on their tummy they very quickly (with in weeks) learn to roll the other way, as it is easier to do. Give him lots of tummy time during the day so he can practice. Don't worry about the nap, let him be in his crib, the nap will come back soon. In terms of night time, if you go in every time he ends up on his tummy you will be going back and forth alot and you will be teaching him that every time he cries at night you come which is a dangerous president to set. On the other hand there is something wrong, he is not crying just to get you to come, so you are stuck (as is he:)).
When I had this problem I went and turned the baby over, but then I found after the baby learned how to do it his/her self I had to re-sleep train (cry it out again), but luckily the second time you do it it is much shorter of a cry it out.


This is pretty common amongst young infants, and there are several solutions you can adapt based on your parenting philosophy:

  1. Purchase a positioning tool such as Baby Stay Asleep. There are different varieties of these; some of them are not recommended as they can suffocate your child (!). You must research the product on your own, check to see if there have been warnings or recalls, and make sure that you are using it properly.

  2. Simply flip him back if he isn't comfortable in the position. It's great that he has figured out the first half of rolling over, and we should certainly encourage the behavior when he is not sleeping. But if it really is waking him up, then just gently help rolling him back to the position most comfortable with him. He probably doesn't want to be any more wake than you do. It won't be long before he figures out how to roll back :)

Do you swaddle your baby? Does he like it? Our infants liked it, so we swaddled them pretty tightly. It's hard to move too much in a swaddle, so they can't roll over as easily. It was only when they got older (and by the time had learned how to do a full roll) and our swaddles just weren't strong enough, that we stopped using it.

  • +1 for swaddling. We did this, along with a bolster down the side of the cot to give ours less room to roll. Although ours slept much better on their tummies so in the end we let them do that instead and got much better nights' sleep.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 13, 2012 at 8:25
  • Yep, our eldest slept (and still does sometimes) on her belly a lot. Once they know how to roll over, and they aren't uncomfortable on the tummy, it really isn't an issue.
    – Swati
    Jan 13, 2012 at 15:10

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