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Side or tummy sleeping: is it safe for my baby?

You’re cheering her on during tummy time, camera in hand, waiting for her to complete that first roll. But what happens next? Is it safe for your baby to be flipping in her sleep like a little acrobat? Be prepared with everything you need to know about side and stomach sleeping.

What’s happening?

At 4 to 6 months old, your baby will hit an exciting new milestone: that first roll. Chances are, she’ll want to practice her new skills at bedtime and naptime, which can make settling more difficult, which can impact your baby’s sleep routine. And once your baby does nod off, you may find her sleeping on her tummy.

Is it normal?

Completely normal. But more than a little nerve-wracking for mom and dad. Until your baby has mastered a complete roll, they should sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies who can roll independently can safely sleep on side or tummy.

What to expect—and how to be ready

Learning to roll over

Babies can show signs of rolling over as early as 3 months old or as late as 7 months old. Once your little one begins this new trick, she’ll want to try it all the time.

How to be ready: Once rolling starts, swaddling stops. So at first signs of rolling, you’ll want to start transitioning her out of the swaddle into a sack. The Zen Sack™ is reversible and gently weighted to help babies relax and sleep longer, making the transition seamless.

Rolling to side or stomach during sleep

You know back is best, but while your baby is still learning to roll or already an independent roller, you should follow safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of SIDS.

How to be ready: Brush up on the ABC’s of safe sleep:

  • Alone
  • Back-sleeping
  • Crib or bassinet

Becoming a tummy sleeper

Once she’s an independent roller, your baby might prefer to sleep on her side or tummy all the time. Because she can roll from back to tummy and back again on her own, it’s safe to leave her be.

How to be ready: Make sure you’re keeping the crib clear so she doesn’t roll into or onto anything. Always dress her in a reversible, gently weighted Zen Sack™ so she can roll to her heart’s content.

Your Safe Sleep Checklist: tummy sleeper edition 

New mom sleep hacks you’ll love

Michelle was getting nervous as her daughter was learning to roll over and moving around a lot in her sleep. The Zen Sack™ gave her daughter some added comfort, so she spent more time staying on her back and Michelle spent less time worrying.


Common questions from parents

You might also like...

ABC's of safe sleep

4-Step Swaddle Transition Plan

When can I stop worrying about SIDS?

4 month sleep regression 

Christina Alario

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  • My baby was such a great sleeper the first 2 months. But once he turned 3 & 4 months old, he was waking every 2-3 hrs, if not sooner. I tried every sleep sack imaginable. I came across the zen sack and was so hesitant about ordering it. I read all the reviews & just knew that I wouldn’t get the same results. Day 2 of the zen sack & he slept NINE straight HOURS. I was so amazed. Now I can’t even imagine him sleeping without it. However, I do believe that the zen sack along with sleep training is what helped him so much! I’ll definitely be ordering another one!!!

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  • It’s been 5 days and my baby’s sleeping has improved so much! Last night he went down at 7pm and didn’t wake up until 5am! Before he was waking several times during the night. So glad I decided to try this!

    Shannon Ziegelmeier on

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