Rolling and sleeping on the stomach

Filed under: Babies, Places To Go, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Baby Essentials, Decor

My son has a new hobby. Well, actually, it's not that new--he's been doing it for nearly a month now. My son is rolling. It's his favorite thing to do. It keeps me on my toes whenever I have to change him--in fact, I can barely keep him still long enough to get the diaper off, let alone clean him and secure a new one on him before he's demonstrating his favorite skill.

I don't mind the rolling so much when I am changing him, but when he is sleeping is another matter entirely. Nothing frightens me more--really, NOTHING--than waking up to find him face down in his pack and play. Sometimes he is sleeping that way and others he is fidgeting or playing.

He manages to get mostly but not entirely out of his swaddling, somehow making swaddling, which is seen as not only a way to comfort babies into sleeping but a way to keep them securely on their backs while asleep, dangerous. He could feasibly suffocate himself in the blanket if it wriggles up over his head or if he mushed his face into the fabric, something else he really enjoys to my dismay.

We didn't know what to do at first. We tried swaddling better, more tightly--nothing worked. We broke down and went back to Babies R Us and purchased a wedge. My son, aka Houdini due to his ability to get out of ANYTHING, simply laughed at the wedge and we awoke the next morning to see him asleep face down in it.

This morning, actually, after reattempting the wedge, he managed to kick it out from under him to the opposite corner of the pack and play, his arms and legs sticking out of the swaddling like it was a decorative device rather than a safety measure.

So what is to be done? Short of staying up all night and turning Mercer on to his back each time he rolls over, which then reawakens and infuriates him, the pediatrician says there really aren't many other alternatives out there.

He reminded me that the child is absolutely not allowed to sleep on his stomach, that, in fact, the only thing linked to crib death (either in his experience or according to the numbers, I can't say for sure as I didn't get clarification on that point) was allowing infants to sleep on their stomachs.

Sigh. Interestingly enough, when I took the infant safety/CPR course the nurse advised against putting anything--anything at all--in the sleep area with an infant. This included, she stated emphatically, the wedge, which was specifically brought up buy another nervous couple. The nurse has three titles after her name and has been teaching this course for years and years.

Conversely, our pediatrician's office is dotted with numerous "best doctor" awards for New York and the New York metro area, and heck--in general. This guy has been practicing for twenty-five years and is clearly at the top of his game. He suggested the wedge. I replied that we'd tried that and to no avail.

He sort of laughed--ah, kids!--and checked to see if Mercer was perhaps too strong. He explained that babies can be weak, which is relatively known, but that some are too strong, My son, thankfully, is neither.

He is able to get out of anything though. I really do think he might be Houdini reincarnated. I'll keep putting kiddo to sleep on his back, and keep trying to swaddle him better, and try to get him to sleep without the swaddling (still on his back).

Mercer is able to roll over both ways--from back to front, his favorite, but also from front to back. The pediatrician advised that although Mercer was rolling at least a month early, if he could roll both ways he should be fine. He did recommend to keep turning the little one on to his back though as a precautionary measure.

I have to admit to you that SIDS is my number one fear. I think about it all the time. When I first brought Mercer home form the hospital we did watch him all night long. We took turns and it was miserable. I remember crying into the phone to my mother, probably more because I was tired than anything else.

Now we all sleep at the same time and things are much better. I awaken whenever I hear my baby stir, but not always. In those cases my husband usually hears him. It's still not enough to alleviate my fears, but it's the best I can do for now.

Did you experience anything like this with your child(ren)? If so, how did you handle it--and what was recommended to you?

At the very least, let's hope this rolling thing turns into a career in gymnastics!!!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.