Newborn Rolling To Side In Bassinet: Tips For Safe Sleep

Newborn Rolling to the side in bassinet is an important developmental milestone for newborns, indicating their increasing strength and motor skills. It results from factors such as muscular development, as their muscles grow stronger and more coordinated, enabling them to initiate rolling movements.

Moreover, they learn to coordinate gross and fine motor skills, utilizing their legs, arms, and shifting their weight. The vestibular system in their inner ear helps maintain balance during rolling, while their senses and perception enable spatial judgment.

In addition, this milestone also reflects the complex neurological connections between the brain and body, as sensory information is processed to execute the rolling motion.

Why Do Newborn Rolling Onto Side In bassinet?

Newborn rolling to side in bassinet is a common for newborns to exhibit various movements during sleep, including rolling onto their side. This behavior often occurs as a result of the “Newborn Curl,” a reflex that babies develop in the womb.

However, it is essential to understand that placing a newborn to sleep on their side can pose potential risks.

See also: Baby Hates Tummy Time

The Dangers Of Newborns Rolling Onto Their Side

While the sight of your newborn rolling onto their side may seem harmless, it is crucial to be aware of the associated risks. Here are some potential dangers:

Distressed newborn experiencing sleep discomfort due to side sleeping in a bassinet, highlighting the risks of newborns rolling onto their side.

Increased Risk of SIDS

The most significant concern when a newborn rolls onto their side during sleep is the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Placing your baby on their back for sleep is the safest position and can significantly reduce the risk of SIDS.

Impaired Breathing and Choking Hazards

When a newborn sleeps on their side, their airway may become compromised, leading to breathing difficulties. Additionally, if your baby ends up with their face against the bedding or an object, it can pose a choking hazard.

By ensuring your baby sleeps on their back, you minimize the likelihood of these dangers.

Uneven Head Shape

Frequent side sleeping can cause the baby’s head to become misshapen or flattened on one side. This condition, known as plagiocephaly or positional skull deformities, can occur due to prolonged pressure on the same spot.

By promoting back sleeping, you can help prevent this issue.

Precautions For Safe Sleep

Ensuring a safe sleep environment for your newborn is of paramount importance. Discover effective measures to mitigate the likelihood of your baby rolling onto their side with these valuable precautions in place.

Loving mother gently securing her newborn in a bassinet, emphasizing precautions for safe sleep and addressing the issue of newborn rolling to the side.

Back to Sleep

Ensure optimal safety for your newborn by consistently positioning them on their back during sleep. This position has been recommended by healthcare professionals worldwide as the safest sleeping position for infants. Remember to lay your baby on a firm mattress, free of any loose bedding or pillows.


Swaddling is an effective technique to promote safe sleep. Wrapping your baby snugly in a lightweight blanket can provide a sense of security and help prevent them from rolling onto their side.

Moreover, once your baby begins demonstrating independent rolling movements, it is crucial to discontinue swaddling for their safety and well-being.

Proper Bedding and Sleepwear

Create a secure sleep environment for your baby by eliminating loose bedding, stuffed animals, and pillows, as they can potentially cause suffocation risks. Instead, opt for dressing your little one in a cozy sleep sack or onesie to provide warmth without the need for extra blankets.

Supervised Tummy Time

While back sleeping is crucial for regular sleep, supervised tummy time is essential during awake hours. Remember to closely monitor your little one during tummy time to guarantee their well-being and safety.

Communicate With Caregivers

If your baby is in the care of a family member, friend, or childcare provider, make sure they are aware of safe sleep practices. Clearly communicate the importance of placing your baby on their back to sleep and emphasize the risks associated with side sleeping.

See also: How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need And Why 

What Age Do Babies Roll Over?

Most infants begin rolling over around 4 to 6 months of age, although it’s crucial to acknowledge that each baby progresses at their own unique rate. Thus the specific age may differ.

Additionally, some babies may start rolling over as early as 3 months, while others may take a bit longer and start rolling over around 7 months. It’s a gradual process that depends on their individual growth and motor development. 

Related: 15 Month Old Not Talking

Newborn Curl vs Rolling

Here’s a table comparing the differences between newborn curling and rolling:

Newborn CurlingNewborn Rolling
DefinitionNewborns tend to curl their body into a flexed position.Newborns are able to rotate their body from one position to another.
Body PositionCurled up, with their limbs drawn close to their body.Moving from lying on the back to the side or front.
Age MilestonePresent from birth.Typically begins between 4 to 6 months of age.
Motor SkillsLimited control over movement.Requires stronger muscles and coordination.
Developmental StageReflects the newborn’s instinctual fetal position.Reflects increasing strength and motor skills.
Sleep PositionNewborns can sleep comfortably in a curled-up position.Back sleeping position is recommended for safety.
PurposeOffers a comforting and cozy ambiance for the newborn, fostering a feeling of safety and snugness.Allows the newborn to explore their environment and develop mobility.

Related: When Is Baby Too Big For Bassinet?

When Baby’s Rolling Over Results in Waking Up

If your baby wakes up after rolling over, it can be due to discomfort, startle reflex, developmental milestones, or environmental factors. To help, ensure a comfortable sleep environment, consider swaddling if appropriate, use soothing techniques like patting or offering a pacifier.

And then encourage independent practice of rolling over during awake times. Prioritize safe sleep practices and consult with your pediatrician if concerns persist.

See also: Exersaucer Age? 

When is baby too big for bassinet

The specific weight and size limits of a bassinet can vary depending on the manufacturer and model.

However, as a general guideline, most bassinets are designed for newborns up to around 15-20 pounds (6.8-9.1 kilograms) or until the baby begins to show signs of rolling over or pushing up on their hands and knees.

Once your baby reaches these milestones or exceeds the weight limit specified by the manufacturer. It is typically time to transition them to a crib or a suitable sleep surface that accommodates their size and developmental stage.

Related: Mini Crib vs Crib

FAQs of newborn rolling to side in bassinet
What if my baby rolls over in bassinet?

If your baby rolls over in the bassinet, it’s generally a sign that they have developed the strength and mobility to do so. Take proactive measures to establish a secure sleeping environment by adhering to safe sleep guidelines and, if necessary, contemplating the transition to a crib for your baby’s utmost safety and comfort.

Why is my newborn tossing and turning in bassinet?

Newborns may toss and turn in the bassinet due to discomfort, hunger, gas, temperature changes, or seeking a more comfortable position. Observing their needs, ensuring a safe sleep environment, and comforting them can help.

Is it safe to sleep when the baby can roll?

Once a baby can roll independently, it is generally safe for them to sleep in the position they choose. However, it’s important to continue following safe sleep practices and provide a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk of SIDS.

How do I know if my baby is uncomfortable in bassinet?

Signs that your baby may be uncomfortable in the bassinet include fussiness, restlessness, difficulty settling, crying, arching their back, or pulling their legs up. Pay attention to their cues and address any potential discomfort, such as adjusting the bedding or checking for hunger or a dirty diaper.

Can rolling babies sleep in a bassinet?

Once babies can roll independently, it is generally not recommended for them to continue sleeping in a bassinet, as they may be at a higher risk of rolling onto their stomach and potentially obstructing their breathing. Transitioning to a crib is often recommended for their safety.

Conclusion of Newborn rolling to side in bassinet

Promoting safe sleep for your newborn is a vital responsibility as a parent or caregiver. By understanding the risks of newborns rolling onto their side and implementing appropriate precautions. Then you can create a secure sleep environment for your baby.

Remember to always place your baby on their back to sleep. Avoid loose bedding or pillows, and provide supervised tummy time during awake hours.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your beloved little one. Creating a secure sleep environment that fosters their health and protects them throughout their sleep.

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