Months-old babies have not yet reached the right age for stable walking and crawling.
Still, that never means they would lie unmoving in whatever pose you put them in before turning off the light.
It won’t be a surprise if your baby turns 180 degrees crib the next morning, with their head at the crib’s foot and vice versa – a complete opposite of their initial posture!
Understanding parents’ concerns regarding this issue, our team has already been at work to compile possible reasons and solutions behind your child’s changed sleeping position.
Let’s dive in.
Why Your Baby Turns 180 Degrees Crib – Common Reasons
Why does my baby rotate in crib?
Sensitive nervous systems, high REM, and a desperate need to get more comfortable all contribute to the baby’s drastic 180-degree turnarounds.
Thankfully, they are nothing unusual – just intuitive reflexes expected for babies that age!
He Wants A More Comfortable Position
Babies, unlike grownups or older children, can lie in the same position for hours.
But that certainly won’t last forever; there will be some point when they eventually feel major discomfort and fatigue.
That’s why, once learning how to roll and move around the crib, the babies will switch into a more pleasant position to enjoy better sleep cycles at night.
He Does It Out of Natural Instinct
Babies under six months are instinctively more active as their new muscle tones grow.
Most of their time is still dedicated to sleeping at this point; hence, moving from one crib corner to another is purely a natural reaction to settle the developing tendons and tissues.
His Nervous System Is Still Underdeveloped
Their nervous systems – especially those from newborns – are still very immature. No wonder they over-respond to the slightest triggers – a total opposite of ours!
For that exact reason, babies tend to jerk, twitch, and move around often in their slumbers.
So how long does the rolling phase last? Fortunately, these issues will vanish over time when the baby ages.
According to My Health Alberta, “from 4 months to 6 months, the babies’ body movement and balance will significantly improve as they learn to coordinate and use larger muscles”.
The only exception is when they suffer from abnormal feet or overweight issues, causing them to roll instead of crawling. Click here to learn more.
He Has Rapid Eye Movements (High REM)
Like nervous systems, the baby’s REM rate is also much higher than grownups (twice the latter).
They will feel more tired, sleep longer (16 hours per day on average), and awaken at all the wrong timing.
Since their eyes and bodies are likely to get sore, they keep shifting to ward off those aches. Some babies even start kicking their crib rails in extreme situations!
What Should You Do When Your Baby Turns 180 Degrees Crib
Do Not Change His Position
How do I stop my baby from turning sideways in his crib? Our answer: don’t.
Unless his posture is misaligned, there’s nothing to worry about a turn-around baby.
As we stressed above, constant squirming to settle into a cozy sleeping pose is perfectly normal for babies this age. It would be best to leave him be!
Sure, you still need to keep an eye out often and intervene on time if things go out of hand (say, his head hits the cribs or gets stuck). But overall, drastic solutions are not yet needed.
Stop Swaddling Him Before Bed
Swaddling is all cool and safe – but only when your infant still hasn’t learned how to roll his body.
Once the baby rotates in crib while swaddled, these bundlings will become more inconvenient than supportive, restricting most movements!
The baby might even get stuck in the swaddle while trying to push himself away from the initial position. And do you know what’s even worse?
His attempt to shuffle in the crib may tighten the swaddle/blanket, leading to suffocation risks.
With all such hazards at play, removing the crib’s swaddles will be your best bet.
But what if he still relies on being “encased” within the swaddle to seek comfort? In that case, replace the swaddles with sleep sacks (arm holes included).
That way, the infant can feel bundled and safe while still moving their limbs easily during sleep routines.
Keep The Sleeping Space Clutter-Free
Those photos of colorful baby nurseries filled to the brim with stuffed animals, firm pillows, and blankets might look great in normal circumstances.
Certainly not for bedtime, though! Allowing maximum moving space for the baby should be your top priority – otherwise, his safety will be compromised.
Hence, those squishy, stuffy bears your child loves must stay out of the crib when nap time comes.
Remove all other extras from his sleeping space, too, to reduce the risks of sleep obstruction and SIDS (Sudden Infants Death Syndrome).
On another note, a cautious parent should ensure the sleeping material is breathable, clean, and fitted – in case the child flips face-first onto the mattress.
Chemical-free, organic crib sheets are our favorite bedding options for a warm and cozy sleep, guaranteeing easy breathing and comfortable rest at all hours!
Sleep positioners and foam wedges are great for your baby’s first rolling lessons (strictly supervised by parents or grandparents).
Leaving them unattended for 8 hours in the crib at night is a different story, though.
Like how the swaddles can cause suffocation, infant deaths due to sleep positioners are also terrifyingly common.
Not to mention, they are not even that effective in preventing child rolls in the first place. Just get rid of them to keep the baby crib clear!
What Are Some Extra Tips to Prevent The Baby Rolling in Crib Hitting Head?
- Use Mesh Bumpers: These breathable meshes can provide quite a lot of padding, which reduces the collision impact and keeps the baby’s limbs from getting through the rails.
- Try Floor Beds: Putting the crib straight on the ground (no frame, no crib wall) allows the baby to develop a better awareness of their limb movements without slamming their head onto hard surfaces.
- Move Him to Toddler Beds: A great solution for babies over 1 year old, giving your babies ample room to move around without hurting themselves. What a huge relief off your shoulder!
That your baby turns 180 degrees crib is nothing alarming in and of itself; rather, it’s the danger posed by the hard surfaces and cribs that you should worry about.
Remove extra crib toys, swaddles, and baby sleep positioners to make his crib as spacious as possible.
Also, relocate the mattress onto the floor if necessary. If you still struggle, check the guides on baby rotating in crib Reddit or contact us for help!