Help! My Baby Keeps Rolling Over in Sleep and Waking Up

Dealing with a baby who keeps rolling over in sleep and waking up can be a real challenge. Trust me, I’ve been there. My little one was constantly rolling over and waking up, and it was exhausting for both of us. After some research and a lot of trial and error, I found some helpful tips and solutions that made a big difference. Here, I’m sharing my experience and advice to help you and your baby get a better night’s sleep.

Why Babies Roll Over in Their Sleep

Babies rolling over in their sleep is a normal part of their development. Around 4 to 6 months, they start reaching major developmental milestones, including the ability to roll over. They’re curious and love to explore their new skills, even during sleep.

Developmental Milestones

Rolling over is a significant developmental milestone. It marks the beginning of your baby’s ability to move independently, which is crucial for their physical development. This milestone is often accompanied by other developmental changes, such as improved head control and stronger muscles.

Curiosity and Exploration

Babies are naturally curious and love to explore their environment. Rolling over allows them to see the world from a different perspective, which can be both exciting and stimulating. This curiosity often extends into their sleep, causing them to roll over even when they’re supposed to be resting.

Developing Motor Skills

Rolling over helps babies develop their motor skills. It requires coordination and strength, which are essential for other movements, such as crawling and sitting up. By practicing rolling over, babies are building the foundation for these future skills.

Muscle Strength and Coordination

As babies grow, their muscles become stronger and more coordinated. Rolling over is a way for them to test and improve their muscle strength and coordination. This process is crucial for their overall physical development and helps them gain more control over their movements.

Practicing New Skills

Babies often practice new skills repeatedly until they master them. Rolling over is no exception. Even during sleep, babies might practice rolling over as part of their natural learning process. This can lead to frequent wake-ups as they adjust to their newfound ability.

Common Concerns for Parents

Naturally, parents worry about safety when their baby rolls over in sleep. The biggest concern is the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), especially if the baby ends up on their stomach and can’t roll back. Another issue is the disruption of sleep, leading to a tired and cranky baby (and parents!).

Safety Worries

One of the most significant concerns for parents is the safety of their baby. When babies roll over, there’s a risk they might end up in a position where they can’t breathe properly. This can be particularly worrying if the baby rolls onto their stomach and can’t roll back.

Impact on Sleep Quality

Frequent wake-ups due to rolling over can significantly impact a baby’s sleep quality. Poor sleep can lead to crankiness, fussiness, and difficulty settling back down. It also affects parents, who may find themselves waking up multiple times a night to reposition their baby.

Risk of Suffocation

There is a risk of suffocation if a baby rolls over onto their stomach and gets stuck in soft bedding or against the side of the crib. This is why it’s crucial to create a safe sleep environment and follow recommended guidelines to minimize this risk.

Potential for Falling Out of Bed

As babies become more mobile, there’s an increased risk they might roll out of their crib or bed. This can lead to injuries and further disrupt sleep. Ensuring the crib or bed has appropriate safety measures can help prevent falls.

Parental Sleep Deprivation

Parents often experience sleep deprivation when their baby frequently wakes up. This can affect their overall well-being, ability to function during the day, and their patience and responsiveness to their baby’s needs. Finding ways to help the baby sleep better can also improve parental sleep quality.

Tips to Manage Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

Managing a baby who rolls over in their sleep requires a combination of safety measures, consistent routines, and appropriate sleep aids. Here are some practical tips to help you and your baby get better sleep.

Ensure a Safe Sleep Environment

Creating a safe sleep environment is the first step in managing a baby who rolls over in their sleep. Here are five key recommendations:

Clear the Crib

Ensure the crib is free from pillows, blankets, toys, and bumpers. These items can pose a suffocation risk if your baby rolls onto them during sleep.

Use a Firm Mattress

A firm mattress provides a stable surface for your baby to sleep on. It reduces the risk of suffocation and supports your baby’s developing muscles and bones.

Maintain a Cool Room Temperature

Keeping the room at a comfortable, cool temperature can help your baby sleep better. Overheating can increase the risk of SIDS and make it harder for your baby to stay asleep.

Place Baby on Their Back

Always place your baby on their back to sleep. This position is the safest and reduces the risk of SIDS. Once your baby can roll over on their own, they can sleep in the position they find most comfortable.

Remove Unnecessary Items

Remove any unnecessary items from the crib, including stuffed animals, loose sheets, and other objects. This creates a safer sleep environment and reduces the risk of suffocation or entanglement.

Use Sleep Sacks or Swaddles

Sleep sacks and swaddles can help manage your baby’s movements and provide a sense of security, which can improve sleep quality. Here are five recommendations for using sleep sacks and swaddles:

Transition from Swaddles to Sleep Sacks

My Baby Keeps Rolling Over in Sleep and Waking Up

As your baby grows and starts rolling over, it’s important to transition from swaddling to using a sleep sack. Sleep sacks allow more freedom of movement, which is safer for babies who can roll over.

Select the Right Size

Ensure that the sleep sack or swaddle is the correct size for your baby. A sleep sack that is too large can pose a suffocation risk, while one that is too small can be uncomfortable and restrictive.

Use Breathable Fabrics

Choose sleep sacks and swaddles made from breathable fabrics like cotton or muslin. These materials help regulate your baby’s temperature and reduce the risk of overheating.

Consider Weighted Sleep Sacks

Weighted sleep sacks, like the Nested Bean Zen Sack, can provide extra comfort by mimicking the sensation of being held. This can help some babies sleep longer and more soundly.

Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for using sleep sacks and swaddles. This includes instructions on how to properly fit and secure the swaddle or sack to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Practice Tummy Time During the Day

Tummy time is crucial for your baby’s development and can help them gain the strength and coordination needed to roll back and forth easily. Here are five recommendations for practicing tummy time:

Start with Short Sessions

Begin with short tummy time sessions, just a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase the duration as your baby gets stronger and more comfortable.

Increase Duration Gradually

As your baby becomes more accustomed to tummy time, gradually increase the duration of each session. Aim for a total of about 20-30 minutes of tummy time per day by the time they are three to four months old.

Use Toys and Mirrors

Incorporate toys and mirrors to make tummy time more engaging. Placing interesting objects within your baby’s reach encourages them to lift their head and reach out, strengthening their muscles.

Ensure Supervision

Always supervise your baby during tummy time to ensure their safety and provide encouragement. Your presence can make tummy time more enjoyable and less stressful for your baby.

Incorporate Tummy Time into Daily Routine

Make tummy time a regular part of your daily routine. Doing it after naps or diaper changes can help integrate it smoothly into your day and ensure your baby gets enough practice.

Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

My Baby Keeps Rolling Over in Sleep and Waking Up

A consistent bedtime routine can signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep and help them settle down more easily. Here are five recommendations for creating an effective bedtime routine:

Set a Regular Sleep Schedule

Establish a regular sleep schedule with consistent wake-up and bedtime hours. Consistency helps regulate your baby’s internal clock and can lead to better sleep patterns.

Create a Calming Pre-Sleep Routine

Develop a calming pre-sleep routine that includes activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, and quiet storytime. These activities can help relax your baby and prepare them for sleep.

Limit Stimulation Before Bedtime

Avoid stimulating activities and bright lights before bedtime. Reducing noise and dimming the lights in the evening can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down.

Use Soothing Sounds or Music

Consider using soothing sounds or lullabies as part of your bedtime routine. White noise machines or soft music can create a calming environment that helps your baby fall asleep.

Dim the Lights in the Evening

Dimming the lights in the evening can help your baby’s body produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. This can make it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.

What to Avoid

There are certain things you should avoid to ensure your baby’s safety and promote better sleep. Here are five key recommendations:

Avoiding Loose Bedding

Loose bedding can be a significant hazard. Here’s how to avoid it:

Use Fitted Sheets

Use only fitted sheets designed specifically for your baby’s crib mattress. Ensure the sheet fits snugly and doesn’t come loose during the night.

Avoid Blankets and Pillows

Keep blankets and pillows out of the crib. These items can pose a suffocation risk if your baby rolls onto them during sleep.

Keep Stuffed Animals Out

Avoid placing stuffed animals in the crib. While they might seem like comforting objects, they can increase the risk of suffocation.

Avoid Crib Bumpers

Crib bumpers are not recommended as they can pose a suffocation and entanglement risk. Stick to a bare crib with a fitted sheet.

Check Bedding Regularly

Regularly check the crib bedding to ensure it is secure and free of any loose items. Safety checks can help prevent accidents and ensure a safe sleep environment.

Avoiding Sleep Positioners

Sleep positioners are generally not recommended due to safety concerns. Here’s why:

Understand the Risks

Sleep positioners can pose suffocation risks and are not recommended by pediatricians. They can restrict your baby’s movement and pose a hazard if your baby rolls into them.

Opt for Natural Sleeping Positions

Allow your baby to find their natural sleeping position once they can roll over. Encouraging natural movement reduces the risk of suffocation.

Use Approved Products

If you decide to use any sleep aids, ensure they are approved by safety authorities and follow all guidelines for safe use.

Monitor Sleep Habits

Keep a close eye on your baby’s sleep habits and environment. Frequent monitoring can help you catch any potential hazards early and adjust accordingly.

Consult Experts When Necessary

If you have concerns about your baby’s sleep position or safety, consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance tailored to your baby’s specific needs.

Reviews and Ratings of Popular Sleep Aids

My Baby Keeps Rolling Over in Sleep and Waking Up

Finding the right sleep aids can make a big difference in managing your baby’s sleep. Here are reviews and ratings of popular sleep aids:


Swaddles can provide comfort and security for your baby, helping them sleep better. Here are five popular swaddles:

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

Pros: Easy to use, adjustable, grows with your baby, soft and comfortable.
Cons: Can be a bit pricey.

Love to Dream Swaddle UP

Pros: Allows for natural arm position, easy to transition out of, soft fabric.
Cons: Not suitable for all babies, can be restrictive.

SwaddleMe Original Swaddle

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, secure fit.
Cons: Limited sizes, Velcro can wear out over time.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket

Pros: Large size, versatile, breathable muslin fabric.
Cons: Can come loose, learning curve for proper swaddling.

Miracle Blanket Swaddle

Pros: Secure swaddle, prevents startle reflex, soft material.
Cons: Limited colors and designs, may be too warm for some climates.

Sleep Sacks

Sleep sacks are a safer alternative to blankets and can help your baby sleep more soundly. Here are five popular sleep sacks:

Nested Bean Zen Sack

Pros: Mimics parental touch, helps with longer sleep stretches, high quality.
Cons: Some babies might not like the weight, expensive.

Burt’s Bees Baby Beekeeper

Pros: Organic cotton, affordable, high quality.
Cons: Limited designs, can shrink after washing.

Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bag

Pros: All-season use, high-quality wool, temperature regulating.
Cons: Expensive, requires special washing.

Halo SleepSack Wearable Blanket

Pros: Wide range of sizes, easy to use, soft and comfortable.
Cons: Some babies may overheat, can be bulky.

Kyte BABY Sleep Bag

Pros: Bamboo fabric, very soft, temperature regulating.
Cons: Pricey, can be too warm for some climates.

White Noise Machines

White noise machines can help create a soothing sleep environment for your baby. Here are five popular options:

Marpac Dohm Classic

Pros: Durable, effective, helps with sleep training.
Cons: Limited sound options, can be bulky.

Hatch Baby Rest

Pros: Customizable sounds, nightlight feature, controlled via app.
Cons: Expensive, requires app setup.

LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine

Pros: Wide range of sound options, compact design, effective.
Cons: No nightlight feature, can be too loud at higher settings.

HoMedics SoundSpa

Pros: Affordable, multiple sound options, portable.
Cons: Limited volume control, sound quality can vary.

Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine

Pros: Portable, rechargeable, effective.
Cons: Limited sound options, small battery life.

Personal Recommendations

After trying several products, here are my top picks along with their pros and cons:

Pros and Cons of Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

Pros: Easy to use, grows with your baby, soft and comfortable.
Cons: Can be a bit pricey.

Pros and Cons of Nested Bean Zen Sack

Pros: Mimics parental touch, helps with longer sleep stretches, high quality.
Cons: Some babies might not like the weight, expensive.

Pros and Cons of Marpac Dohm Classic

Pros: Durable, effective, helps with sleep training.
Cons: Limited sound options, can be bulky.

Pros and Cons of Hatch Baby Rest

Pros: Customizable sounds, nightlight feature, controlled via app.
Cons: Expensive, requires app setup.

Pros and Cons of Woolino 4 Season Baby Sleep Bag

Pros: All-season use, high-quality wool, temperature regulating.
Cons: Expensive, requires special washing.

Addressing Sleep Regression

Sleep regression is a common issue that can disrupt even the best sleepers. Understanding it and knowing how to handle it can make a significant difference.

Understanding Sleep Regression

Sleep regression is a period when a baby who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking frequently and having trouble settling back to sleep. Here are some key points about sleep regression:

Definition and Causes

Sleep regression is typically caused by a combination of developmental milestones, changes in sleep cycles, and growth spurts. During these times, babies might wake more often and struggle to return to sleep.

Typical Ages for Sleep Regression

Sleep regression commonly occurs around 4 months, 8-10 months, and 18 months. Each stage corresponds with significant developmental milestones, such as learning to roll over, crawl, or walk.

Signs of Sleep Regression

Signs of sleep regression include increased night waking, shorter naps, difficulty settling to sleep, and more fussiness or clinginess during the day.

Impact on Baby and Parents

Sleep regression can lead to sleep deprivation for both baby and parents. Babies may become more irritable, and parents can feel exhausted and frustrated.

Duration of Sleep Regression

Sleep regression typically lasts from 2 to 6 weeks. While it can be challenging, it’s important to remember that it’s temporary and part of your baby’s development.

Tips to Handle Sleep Regression

Handling sleep regression requires patience and consistency. Here are five tips to manage this challenging period:

Stick to a Routine

Maintain a consistent sleep routine to help your baby feel secure and understand when it’s time to sleep. This can include a set bedtime, familiar activities, and a calm pre-sleep environment.

Be Patient and Consistent

Patience is key during sleep regression. Continue to follow your baby’s routine and avoid making drastic changes. Consistency helps your baby readjust to regular sleep patterns.

Offer Comfort and Reassurance

During sleep regression, your baby might need extra comfort and reassurance. Offer additional cuddles, soothing words, and gentle touch to help them feel secure.

Adjust Daytime Naps

Sometimes, adjusting your baby’s daytime nap schedule can help improve nighttime sleep. Ensure your baby isn’t overtired or under-tired by balancing nap lengths and times.

Maintain a Sleep Log

Keeping a sleep log can help you track your baby’s sleep patterns and identify any changes or trends. This information can be useful in adjusting routines and discussing sleep issues with your pediatrician.

When to Consult a Pediatrician

While most sleep issues can be managed at home, there are times when it’s important to seek professional advice. Here are some signs that indicate you should consult a pediatrician:

Signs That Indicate a Need for Medical Advice

Difficulty Breathing

If your baby has difficulty breathing or you notice any unusual breathing patterns, it’s important to seek medical advice immediately.

Persistent Crying and Discomfort

If your baby is persistently crying and seems uncomfortable despite your efforts to soothe them, it might be worth consulting a pediatrician to rule out any underlying issues.

Unusual Sleep Patterns or Behaviors

Significant changes in sleep patterns or behaviors that don’t improve with routine adjustments could indicate a need for professional evaluation.

Developmental Concerns

If you have concerns about your baby’s development, such as delays in reaching milestones, it’s important to discuss these with your pediatrician.

Physical Symptoms or Illness

Any signs of illness, such as fever, vomiting, or unusual physical symptoms, should be addressed by a pediatrician to ensure your baby’s health and well-being.

How Pediatricians Can Help

Pediatricians can provide valuable support and guidance when dealing with sleep issues. Here’s how they can help:

Provide Expert Advice

Pediatricians can offer expert advice on managing sleep issues and recommend safe practices tailored to your baby’s needs.

Conduct Physical Exams

A physical exam can help identify any underlying health issues that might be affecting your baby’s sleep.

Recommend Safe Sleep Practices

Pediatricians can provide recommendations on safe sleep practices, including sleep positions, crib safety, and sleep aids.

Address Developmental Issues

If there are concerns about your baby’s development, pediatricians can offer guidance, support, and referrals to specialists if needed.

Offer Support and Resources

Pediatricians can connect you with resources, such as sleep consultants, support groups, and educational materials, to help you navigate sleep challenges.


Sleeping baby

In conclusion, managing a baby who keeps rolling over in sleep and waking up involves a combination of creating a safe sleep environment, using appropriate sleep aids, establishing a consistent bedtime routine, and knowing when to seek professional advice. While it can be a challenging phase, understanding the reasons behind it and having strategies in place can make a significant difference. Remember, it’s a temporary stage, and with patience and consistency, both you and your baby can get through it and enjoy better sleep.

FAQs: My Baby Keeps Rolling Over in Sleep and Waking Up

What Should I Do If My Baby Rolls Over and Can’t Roll Back?

If your baby rolls over and can’t roll back, gently help them return to a safe position. Encourage tummy time during the day to strengthen their muscles and improve their ability to roll back and forth.

How Can I Prevent My Baby from Rolling Over in Their Sleep?

While you can’t entirely prevent rolling, you can create a safe sleep environment and use sleep aids like sleep sacks to manage your baby’s movements. Placing your baby on their back to sleep is the safest position.

Is It Safe for Babies to Sleep on Their Stomach?

It’s generally safest for babies to sleep on their back. Once they can roll over independently, they may choose their preferred sleep position. Ensure the sleep environment is free of suffocation hazards.

At What Age Do Babies Typically Start Rolling Over?

Babies typically start rolling over around 4 to 6 months old. This milestone can vary, with some babies rolling earlier or later.

What Are Some Signs That My Baby Is Ready to Sleep Without a Swaddle?

Signs that your baby is ready to transition from a swaddle include rolling over, trying to break free from the swaddle, and showing interest in exploring their environment. Transitioning to a sleep sack can help provide a safe and comfortable sleep solution.

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Pat Anderson

Parenthood is a transformative journey filled with love, challenges, and countless precious moments. From pregnancy and newborn care to toddler tantrums and teenage milestones, I cover a wide range of topics, offering practical tips, personal anecdotes, and helpful resources. Together, let's embrace the joys, conquer the challenges, and create a nurturing and loving environment for our little ones to thrive.

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