A sleeping baby is adorable and if you’re like me, it pulls at all your heartstrings. It’s probably why you can find so many amazing photos of your baby sleeping in your phone’s camera roll.
The peacefulness. The way that they hold their little pudgy arms up over their head.
However, not every nap or bedtime is photo-worthy, especially if your baby is beginning to roll over and shuffle all over their crib. They can get into some interesting positions. Ones that look uncomfortable.
Seriously, their amazing flexibility can put them in positions that can shock or amaze you as a parent. And they sleep in these crazy positions.
So, should you adjust your child if they look like they’re in an uncomfortable sleeping position?
When To Adjust Your Child’s Sleeping Position
If you’ve read my other blog post or have started sleeping training, you know that the cornerstone of getting your child to sleep through the night is to teach them independent sleep skills. So, of course, going in to adjust them seems counterproductive, especially if you’re checking the baby monitor and once again your little one has managed to fall asleep propped up on their toes and forehead again.
You don’t want to wake your child by repositioning, but you also don’t want to leave them in a pretzel position.
First and foremost, the decision to adjust your child’s position comes down to safety.
If your child has recently learned to roll from their back to the stomach, but not back over again, safety comes first. You’re going to have to keep an eye on them and flip them back over.
Every. Single. Time.
Safety is priority number one.
The good news is that this developmental stage is usually short. Babies learn to roll from front-to-back fairly quickly after rolling the other way. And you can always help teach them this skill during the day by encouraging the rollover. A toy just out of reach is always great motivation.
Another time when safety is paramount is when a little limb is sticking out of the crib and has the potential to be stuck or twisted. You will have to adjust the little limb quickly and quietly. Try to do it with as little engagement as possible. Most newer cribs have the slats closer together to avoid this occurrence.
When Not To Adjust Your Child
Babies are flexible and sometimes what looks uncomfortable is comforting to them.
So, if your child has learned to roll both ways and no limbs are sticking out and even if they have pushed themselves right up to the side of their crib, you should leave them. These positions might be awkward and as long as their airway isn’t being obstructed, (i.e. head tilted forward, nose and mouth in contact with the mattress) then it’s probably best to just let them sleep.
They’ll adjust themselves when needed.
One final note about safe sleep for babies. Avoid using a positioner or nest. These can cause your child’s head to tilt forward and block their airways. The FDA has issued a warning against these devices.
Remember, safety first, always. More often than not, if they’re sleeping peacefully, they’re doing just fine, no matter how goofy they might look in the process.
Contact Tender Transitions
If you’d like to know more about safe sleep practices or how to teach independent sleep skills, we’d love to help you. Schedule your free “let’s get acquainted” call.