This question is related to How do dealing with infant flipping over during sleep training?, but not exactly the same.

Our 5 month old daughter flips onto her stomach constantly. When you put her down on the play blanket, she immediately flips onto her stomach AND props herself up with her arms. This is okay during awake times when she can play with toys, etc.

This becomes an issue when we try to put her down in her crib. She loves to flip over onto her stomach and pushing up with her arms. So, when she's in the crib, she's not even resting her head to try to sleep. (This is the part that differs from the above question). So, we can't put her down, unless she's already drowsy.

When we co-sleep with her at night (bring her into bed in the middle of the night when my wife nurses and when she's done, she stays with us) she sleeps between my wife and I. Her head level with our pillows. I would put her close to my stiff foam pillow so that it acts as a barrier for her so that she can't flip. :)

Is the only way to put a physical object next to her to block her from flipping? Even when she is partially swaddled (i.e. only legs are swaddled) she still can flip. She bring her legs up and swings to the right!


The issue is not that she is sleeping on her stomach, it's that she is propping herself up when she's on her stomach and can't put herself to sleep in that position. When we put her on her back, she returns to the propped up stomach position.

  • I know exactly what this couple mean my 6 mo daughter is doing the same thing flips over, lifts head & wakes herself up or won't sleep. I see this was a while ago so any suggestions helping??
    – user19074
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 21:39

3 Answers 3


Our younger daughter was never very good at sleeping in her crib (for naps during the day) so we just gave up and had her sleep in the bed for naps too. I don't remember when it was, but she was pretty small.

Anyway, if the bed is big enough that you're reasonably safe that she won't roll out then that might be an idea. It should be much easier to get her to fall asleep if you don't have to fuss with getting her into the crib.


What is the problem here? That she is staying awake? Or that she is sleeping on her stomach?

If she is staying awake, have a look at the answers to this question.

If you are worried about her sleeping on her stomach, I wouldn't be. I had a terrible time getting my first child to sleep (he slept about 4 hours a night, tops) and I always worried because he was trying to turn onto his front - and the midwives had said we should never let him do that (never gave any good stats on why, though...the info on sudden infant death syndrome doesn't seem to make any link so I'm not sure why they told us)

When we had 2 and 3 we let them sleep on their front from about 3 months, and they absolutely loved it. Excellent sleepers from then onwards.

  • Good question. Sorry that my question wasn't clear enough. :) Please see my clarification.
    – milesmeow
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 2:56
  • There is a link - a strong correlation between babies sleeping on their stomach and dying of SIDS. It is dangerous to advise parents otherwise. Although correlation isn't causality, after the correlation was found and campaigns followed to discourage parents from allowing their children to sleep on their front, SIDS cases fell dramatically. That in itself is enough to establish causality. Having said that, you can't be expected to stand guard all night. You can, however, do your best because every little bit of effort helps reduce the risk.
    – user1975
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 23:54
  • 1
    @SteveTaylor I would suggest that sleeping between the parents is more dangerous than sleeping on the stomach. Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 13:25
  • 3
    @SteveTaylor I've raised the sleeping on stomach question with 5 different pediatricians and each one has said the same thing: put the baby to sleep on her back, but once she can flip herself over it's fine. I wish I'd known that before I spent a week awake guarding the crib. Commented Mar 20, 2012 at 14:06
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    @milesmeow - Can she lift her head up? Usually, going from back to front is harder than front to back. The general key, though, is being able to lift enough to turn her head while on her stomach.
    – Shauna
    Commented Mar 25, 2012 at 0:32

It's a modern SIDS concern to worry about a baby to sleeping on their stomach. My mother tells me that I slept on my stomach and my 18 year old also did. However for our 4 year old, this was a concern which we researched. I recommend reviewing these two products:

Wedge Pillow

Side Sleeping Pillow

We used the side sleeping pillow with success. I would like to mention that it's not the best idea to allow the child to sleep with the parents. There are many articles with unfortunate results from doing this. It also allows the child to desire to sleep with the parents when they get older.

Please note that the FDA as issued a warning about using such pillows which may pose a suffocation risk. While I have used such pillows w/o a problem, apparently 12 people have not. Please read here

“The safest crib is a bare crib,” Susan Cummins, M.D., M.P.H says. “Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABC’s of safe sleep—Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.”

  • 4
    Neither of these products are recommended by the AAP. There is no evidence that these products reduce SIDS, and, in fact, there is considerable concern that they may increase risk, particularly side sleeping. The AAP specifically recommends against side sleeping, as it is an unstable position, even with sleep aids. A number of fatalities have been attributed to these types of devices, even the wedge pillow. -1 for what I believe to be dangerous advice.
    – user420
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 13:37
  • @Beofett I don't want to go back and forth posting links, but you can find many other links suggesting these pillows are not dangerous. IMHO, the pillows mentioned will serve the purpose of the OPs question. And I also recommended that they not let the child sleep between / with them. If you think that's bad advice... eh, it's SE. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 13:57
  • Agreed on not going back and forth. Although if you want, I am in Parenting Chat. However, there's a big difference between "suggesting they are not dangerous", and one of the most widely recognized bodies of pediatric experts saying "there's no evidence they provide any benefit" and "there is concern about their safety".
    – user420
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 14:00
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    I will add some warning information from the FDA Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 14:03
  • -1 changed to +1 :)
    – user420
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 14:28

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