What To Do If Your Baby Is Rolling Over In Their Crib

baby rolling over in crib

When To Expect Rolling Over To Begin

We know how much you anticipate every milestone your little one accomplishes. Rolling over in their crib is no different!

However, we encourage you to keep in mind that all babies are different. This means the moment when they roll over in their crib for the first time may not be when you expect it!

Generally, infants will begin to roll over in their cribs between four and sixth months old. They may roll onto their side, their tummy (the most common), or back and forth. Whatever they do, it’s an accomplishment you should be proud of!

Rolling over in their crib is one of the first steps toward eventually crawling and walking, so it’s important that they build enough upper body strength and muscle to propel themselves off the ground.

So if you see your little one roll from their back to their belly, resist the urge to flip them over! You can safely assume that if they roll themselves from their back to their tummy, it’ll be a breeze to turn back the other way around.

The quintessential “rollover” that parents generally wait for refers to a baby rolling from their tummy to their back (but there is no rule that says it can’t happen the other way around first!).

Rolling from their back to their side generally comes after, and most babies learn how to roll from their back to their belly around seven months of age.

 baby on stomach getting ready to roll over in crib

What To Do When Your Baby Rolls Over In Their Crib

When the moment finally comes and you notice your little one belly-down in their crib, what should you do?

Don’t Panic!

A flipped-over baby in the middle of the night is nothing to be inherently afraid of. It is perfectly normal for your baby to squirm while they're cozy and sleeping as they try to adjust to a more comfortable position.

Although there are some precautions to keep in mind, there’s no need to worry the first time you notice your child lying on their tummy inside their crib.

Stop Swaddling Your Baby Before Bed

While swaddling does a great job of keeping your baby feeling safe and secure, once they begin to roll over, it’s best to opt-out of bundling up your bundle of joy!

Keeping their arms strapped to their sides can restrict your baby’s movement during sleep. If they need to push themselves away from the mattress, they won’t be able to in a swaddle. We don’t want them to get stuck!

If your baby relies on the comfort that comes from feeling “encased” in a swaddle, try a sleep sack with arm holes instead. This way they’ll feel secure and bundled while still being able to move their arms freely while they sleep.

 baby rolling over in crib

Keep A Clutter-Free Sleep Space

Those pictures of baby nurseries chock-full of blankets, accent pillows, and stuffed animals are adorable in photographs, but not when it comes to a proper bedtime!

It’s important to keep a clutter-free area in your baby’s crib — this means the super-squishy stuffed elephant your baby loves should stay outside of the crib for their safety.

Making sure that your infant’s sleep space is open and unobstructed helps reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By removing all extras from your baby’s crib, you significantly avoid the chances of something obstructing your child’s airways while they sleep.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure their sleeping materials are fitted, clean, and breathable for when they flip over face-first into their mattress.

Our organic, breathable Cotton Sheets are the perfect option for a cozy, warm, and chemical-free crib sheet that will help your baby sleep and breathe easily throughout the night!

 inside a crib with start mattress sheets

Swap The Cradle For A Crib

Although your baby may be rocking and rolling throughout the night as they toss and turn, we don’t want their bed to do the same thing.

Cradles can be wonderful additions to your baby’s sleep routine in their early life, especially if your little one is soothed by those gentle, swinging motions. However, when it comes to rolling over, cradles can be a touch more unstable than a traditional crib or bassinet.

Cribs are sturdy and can accommodate your wriggling, growing baby. They’ll offer enough support and comfort to ensure your little one doesn’t tip their bed over with their mighty tummy rolls!

When purchasing a crib, always opt for a sturdy, smooth structure. And when purchasing a crib mattress? Look no further than our Newton Baby Crib Mattress!

newton baby crib mattress

Our crib mattress is 100% breathable, 100% washable, and 100% safe for your baby no matter what milestone they’re on. It’s made with your little one in mind and will last well into their toddler years, giving them the quality rest they need for their growing brains and bodies.

You’ll rest easy, too!

Always Put Your Baby To Sleep On Their Back

The National Institute of Health always recommends that babies be placed in their cribs on their backs. This substantially decreases the risk of SIDS, especially in the first year of life.

You may be wondering, “What if I find my baby asleep on their stomach in the middle of the night? Should I turn them back over?”

The answer is no. As long as your baby was placed in their crib on their back, it’s all right if they roll over in the middle of the night. They are likely able to flip themselves back over if they want to, as it’s easier to travel from their belly to their back.

Disturbing a peaceful sleep will just rouse them, which everyone knows breaks the number one rule about babies: don’t wake them up if you don’t have to!

 happy baby on crib mattress

How To Help Your Baby Roll Over

To help your little one build the mighty muscles they’ll need to roll over in their crib (and everywhere else!), here are some tips for how you can encourage your baby to start their 180-degree adventure!

Implement Extra Tummy Time

Tummy time is super important in helping your little one prepare to roll over! It builds the strength they’ll need to make the move, and it gives them the opportunity to practice.

Be sure to give your infant plenty of safe and supervised tummy time so they can gradually become a happy baby rolling over in their crib!

Simulate Rolling Motions

We know you pick up and put down your little one hundreds of times a day. But it can also be a great method for showing them how to roll over!

Every time you lay them down, try dropping their shoulder to the ground first and “rolling” their body onto the ground. This will help them get used to the sensation of rolling over. Lower them down while you continue to support their head and neck.

Diaper-changing sessions are the perfect opportunity for this!

Minimize Baby Equipment

Helping your child build the strength they’ll need to roll over is essential to achieving this milestone.

While artificial movement equipment — like bouncers and baby swings — are definitely entertaining and can be super helpful for busy parents, it’s important to emphasize body movement, too.

This way, they can build strength on their own!

 baby sitting up in crib

Hold Your Baby In Rounded Positions

To help them roll over, you can hold your little one in different positions.

Instead of holding them against your hip or shoulder, for example, try holding them in front of you with your arms hooked underneath the back of their knees and their back pressed against your chest.

You can also hold them on their side. Your arm would come across their chest, supporting their neck with the crux of your elbow, while your other arm supports their bottom.

These two positions help get their little body used to the positions they’re aiming for! They’ll experience what it’s like to gain momentum (in the crouched position) and roll over (on their side).

Help Them Rock Side To Side

Another huge milestone for babies includes when they successfully hoist their chest off the floor for the first time. This means they are gaining enough strength to roll themselves from their belly to their back.

You may notice as your child pushes off the ground more and more that they might begin to naturally sway their body back and forth. This is great progress! They’re gearing up for the big rollover.

You can help them along by lightly encouraging the rocking motion with your hands. Don’t get too rough, as it may lead them to lose their balance.

But if you find your baby is pushing against the floor and staying still, you can gently move their hips back and forth to encourage them and expose them to the rolling sensation.

Rolling Over In The Crib Is Safe And Normal

 baby laying on back in crib

Under the proper safety measures — like using a Newton Baby Crib Mattress — it will be perfectly OK if your baby is rolling over in their crib at night. In fact, it’s a great sign of their developing strength and dexterity!

If you’re still waiting for your baby to roll over, there’s no need to rush it. All babies are different, and some may take a little longer before they’re fully comfortable making that great leap (or flip!).

If you’re concerned about your baby’s development, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your child’s doctor to check all the bells and whistles.

Regardless, we know they’ll get there with time, patience, practice, and lots of hugs and kisses from you!