Home Parenting Advice for First-Time Parents Baby Rolls Over in Sleep and Cries…Now What?

Baby Rolls Over in Sleep and Cries…Now What?


When your child becomes a little more mobile, it is an important milestone. Of course, it is exciting, but it can also be a little worrisome.

As soon as they start flipping over on their tummies, you know that this cute milestone can become a little problematic. Rolling over on their tummies is a major step towards crawling.

It is not dangerous for your child to roll over; it is natural and a sign of healthy development.

Most children tend to wake up from their nap when they roll into various positions, hindering their good night’s sleep or a daytime nap.

Once the baby rolls over in sleep and cries, parents have to make some changes in their children’s routine to get their sleep back on track.

Why Do Babies Roll Over In Their Sleep?

baby sleeping in bed with parents

When growing up, there are different milestones that your baby will achieve, and rolling over is one too. A child learns new skills as they grow and develop.

They start learning to control their bodies, and these moves come naturally to them.

Therefore, they start moving their hands, kicking their tiny legs and obviously rolling over on their stomachs. A crib or a smooth, flat surface can be great for your child to learn to move around.

If you are wondering why a baby flips over while sleeping, the simple reason is to get into a comfortable position.

Similar to adults, kids also get tired of lying in the same sleeping position. When asleep, babies mostly rollover due to the discomfort they feel.

Rolling Over Causes the Baby to Wake Up

baby crying

Most children roll from their stomach to their back around four months. However, a baby can roll from back to tummy when they are almost 5 to 6 months old.

Your child might flip over during their daytime nap without waking up or crying. So why do they wake up during the night and cry to be flipped over?

Not being able to catch up on your sleep can be exhausting and draining for you and your child.

Even when you flip them back in the middle of the night, they start crying because they probably rolled over on their tummies again as soon as you dozed off.

That sneaky little…

What To Do When Your Baby Starts Crying?

what to do baby starts crying

There are some babies who are quite content sleeping on their stomachs once they start rolling over. So let them sleep in that position.

However, that is quite rare. Usually, babies start crying when they feel they’re stuck and can’t seem to roll back to a more comfortable position.

The best thing to do is to flip them back. While many kids stop crying as soon as they are in a comfortable position, some babies tend to cry non-stop.

If your baby is extremely upset and doesn’t stop crying, try calming them down by caressing them or patting them softly.

If this doesn’t seem to work, try to comfort your child by shushing them, singing a lullaby, or using a pacifier to help them fall asleep.

Flipping Your Baby Over

Is your baby sleep trained and has the room all to themselves? If that is the case, it is wise to wait a few moments before entering the room.

The next step is to flip your child and leave the room. Make sure to limit your interaction with the baby. Try this every night for a week and see the results.

If you don’t see any improvements, continue the same routine in the second week as well.

However, this is normal, and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Generally, this phase only lasts for a few weeks or till the baby has mastered the art of rolling over in both directions. Moreover, it is recommended to make your baby sleep on their back.

This decreases the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But once they become a pro at flipping themselves over, it is safe for infants to sleep on their sides or stomach.

Let Your Baby Move and Roll During the Day

Make sure you allow your child to move on the floor during the day. Giving them plenty of time, space, and surface to move will allow them to practice their movements better.

The more the baby practices, the faster they will learn to roll over and also flip back themselves.

By monitoring your child’s movement, you will get to know when they can easily roll over without feeling any discomfort. However, don’t worry if your baby is taking their sweet time to learn.

Remember, each child is unique. Some might start rolling over a little earlier or a little later. Many babies might roll a single time, and then there would be no sign of rolling for weeks.

Safety Measures

It’s important to understand that swaddling your baby is not a great idea once your baby starts to roll over. Swaddling your child restricts their ability to use their arms to turn and get into a different position.

It can be dangerous because a baby might end up in a position where they cannot breathe. You can try a sleep sack that has open arms in place of a swaddle once your child begins rolling around.

Steer clear the baby’s sleeping space of pillows, blankets, or stuffed toys to avoid suffocation. Even their crib sheets should be flat and tight, and make sure your baby is laid on their back when you put them to sleep.

Of course, once they start rolling over, they won’t stay in that position for long, but that is fine. 

Now that you know why the baby rolls over in sleep and cries, you can try calming them down by flipping them over.

Babies tend to cry because they are in an uncomfortable position and the inability to flip over in a comfy one makes them restless.

It is a natural growing stage in your child’s life. Just be a little vigilant and allow your baby to move on the floor to practice their movements.

This phase lasts for only a few weeks, so there is nothing to worry about.


  • Cam Russo

    Cam is a blogger, author, and content strategist with a keen love for the written word. His journey with high-functioning autism has kindled a strong advocacy for autism awareness. Today, Cam dedicates his efforts to educating parents. He sees laughter as a game-changer in learning, and strives every day to make education a fun and enjoyable journey for all his readers.