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Can Newborns Sleep on Their Side?


Is it OK for newborns to sleep on their side?#

The safest position for a newborn to sleep is on their back. For the first year of your baby’s life, you are always going to place them on their back for sleep. 

If you happen to wake in the night and see your baby in the newborn curl, gently roll them onto their back. Please know, there is no need to wake up obsessively in the night. The newborn curl is not a reason to have anxiety, but rather, it’s a normal newborn physiological response that typically disappears after several weeks.

Is it safe to use an anti-roll pillow, rolled-up blanket, or sleep positioner for my newborn?#

No. The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib, bassinet, or play yard with a firm, flat surface and nothing else in the crib. That means, we don’t want to use any sleep positioners, pillows, or rolled blankets to keep your baby on their back. These are NOT safe and pose more of a risk. 

There are some bassinets designed to help keep babies on their backs for sleep, like the Snoo or the Halo Bassinest (with the infant insert). Please know that these are not sleep positioners but rather bassinets approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you have concerns about your newborn rolling, talk with your pediatrician about whether a bassinet like one of these would be a good option for your baby.

Is it safe to swaddle with the newborn curl? #

Yes! Swaddling is still safe for newborns until they are showing signs of rolling, and the newborn curl is not an actual sign of rolling. There is no need to transition out of the swaddle simply because you see the newborn curl. 

Coming out of the swaddle too early will often make sleep more difficult. The swaddle replicates the feeling of being inside the womb and HELPS babies sleep safely on their backs.

However, please know that if your baby does roll all the way onto their tummy at any age, this is a sign to come out of the swaddle. Even though it may not be intentional rolling, I want you to trust your gut and talk to your pediatrician.


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