My Baby Turns 180 Degrees in Crib: Is This Normal?

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

The article has been reviewed by medical expert Margaret Dogwood, BSN, RN

If your baby turns 180 degrees in crib and it constantly worries you, don’t worry, you’re not alone! A lot of people, especially first-time parents feel like they’re doomed when their babies turn sideways or upside down while sleeping.

So, in this article, we will thoroughly discuss what all this means, as well as give guidance on what to do if it bothers you, and some techniques to help your little angel calm down!

There are quite a few reasons why your baby turns 180 degrees in crib, but usually, they’re due to comfortability, sleeping position preference, high REM, physical development, and distress or discomfort.

The website’s general material is given for informative purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This article has been reviewed by the necessary medical and healthcare professionals we work with. For emergencies, contact your local physician or certified healthcare provider RIGHT AWAY!

Understanding Infant Movement

I don’t know about you, but when my baby learns to move on their own, I’ll be the proudest parent in the world! What most people don’t realize with infant movement is that, every movement is something they just recently developed.

WebMD notes that rolling and turning begins in as early as six to seven months old and this would be the time when you’ll notice your baby sleeping in a different position where you’ve set them.

             Between the ages of four and seven months , babies typically learn how to roll over. Your infant starts developing stronger core, arm, and neck muscles as they practice tummy time. They will learn how to roll from front to back and back to front as they play around with mobility.”

This, however, opens a brand-new window of concern that we, as parents need to take note of. Eventually, our babies can roll over the top of their sleeping area, causing them to fall. Other times, they might just destroy their cribs!  

My Baby Turns 180 Degrees in Crib: Top 5 Reasons

The question still stands! Why would our babies choose to maneuver and turn around their cribs? Is it something we need to be careful with? Can this behavior be detrimental to our babies?

I’ve done due diligence and proper research – I was able to find a few of the top reasons why your babies turn half of the way inside their cribs.

Reason #1: Sleeping Position Preference

I mean, not all babies are the same – some like one thing, while the other might hate it. It is the same with their sleeping position preference!

Babies frequently have specific preferred sleeping postures. While some might like to sleep on their backs, other infants may naturally prefer to sleep on their sides or stomachs. They can arrange their bodies in their preferred resting position by turning in the cot, which improves the quality of their sleep.

Cleveland Clinic says that by about four months, babies will start showing preferences in their sleep!

             By four months, the majority of babies start to exhibit some preferences for prolonged nighttime sleep. Many infants may spend five to six hours or longer without needing to be fed by the time they are six months old, and they start to “sleep through the night.”

Reason #2: Peace and Comfort

Another reason would be because they feel more comfortable in a certain position versus how you placed them inside their mini-homes. In order to find a more comfortable sleeping posture, babies may turn, rotate, move, and even maneuver inside their cribs! They vary their comfort preferences as they mature and develop.

They may adjust their position to control their body temperature or to relieve pressure on specific body areas. While some infants like to sleep on their backs, others find it calming to do so. They can discover the most comfortable sleeping position by turning in order to change their position.

Reason #3: High Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

The critical sleep stage known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is connected to dreaming and brain development. And who told you that REM only happens in adults? It happens with babies, too!

In fact, babies spend a large percentage of their sleep time in REM, which is frequently accompanied by an increase in muscular activity. As their bodies perform normal motions and their brains absorb information, this heightened activity can lead newborns to toss and turn in their cribs while they are in REM sleep.

As per Sleep Foundation, babies, on average, sleep about 13 to 14 hours daily, which is a bit down from the 18 sleep-hours newborn babies need to have.

By the age of six months, newborns sleep an average of 13 hours per day, spread out across longer periods of time.”

Reason #4: Natural Physical Development

Whenever I hear babies, all I can personally hear and think about is nothing but physical development. They’re constantly growing and developing!

In fact, rolling over and crawling are two examples of the physical developmental stages that babies go through. These achievements frequently call for further inquiry and travel.

One symptom of their newly acquired skills may be turning in their cribs. Babies may spontaneously turn to explore various postures and areas within their cribs as they grow more conscious of their bodies and their surroundings.

Reason #5: Discomfort (Nightmares)

And, of course – discomfort. I mean, we, as adults, when we’re feeling uncomfortable, don’t we feel the urge to stand up? The same thing with babies!

Things like teething, sickness, hunger, or a damp diaper might be uncomfortable and keep you up at night. Furthermore, babies may turn to a new side or posture in an effort to ease their discomfort or to find comfort.

NOTE: It is also possible for babies to change positions due to pain brought on by an unpleasant mattress or bedding – even temperature and humidity.

Does Your Baby Always End Up Sideways in the Crib?

More than half of the parents we’ve spoken with said that their baby always ends up sideways on the crib, instead of where they’re supposed to be. Since they’re babies, they’ll have no sense of direction – what this basically means is that, they wouldn’t know where to position themselves and where they should be.

Going sideways is one thing, but seeing your baby end up in the corner of the crib is another!

Does Your Baby Always End Up in the Corner of the Crib?

Don’t panic – it’s actually something you can be proud of! Sleep Baby, an organization that assists new parents with their babies, say that babies would more likely fall asleep when they have this feeling of being pushed up against something. I mean, if we humans like to be on the “side of the wall,” this is where babies get it from!

        They’ll find a way to get into the corner of the crib, which is like their mother’s arms. At this point, a crib is also an unfamiliar area, and your baby does everything they can to find the most cozy spot to lie down and go to sleep, which turns out to be the corner.”

Babies feel like the entire length of the corner is where mommy is!

 

Comforting Techniques For Better Sleep and to Prevent or Manage Baby’s Turning Movements

As parents, it is our natural instinct to make sure that our babies are feeling the best they can be – especially during sleep! There are a few different techniques and strategies, according to long-time parents in ensuring that their babies get the most out of their snooze time.

Establishing Consistent Bedtime Routines

A calming ritual before bed might help your infant understand when it’s time to go to sleep. Include routines like taking a warm bath, getting a little massage, playing quietly, or reading a bedtime tale. This habit can produce a soothing and unwinding atmosphere that encourages greater sleep.

Or bodies have these natural clocks – and babies have it, too! Start them young so you won’t come across problems like forcing them to sleep in the future.

Pacifiers

Babies who use pacifiers have been reported to feel more secure and at ease, according to their parents. If your kid is not yet using a pacifier, speak with your pediatrician to find out if it is appropriate for them and to learn the right way to use and care for one.

Just be mindful not to overuse pacifiers! Overusing pacifiers can be detrimental to their health – even their behavior!

The Three C’s

Clean, comfortable, and convenient – the three C’s that you want your baby to be in. Make sure the mattress and fitted sheets in your baby’s crib are comfy. Avoid using stuffed animals, cushions, or loose bedding since they might suffocate a child. To ensure comfort while sleeping, dress your infant in breathable, temperature-appropriate sleepwear.

FAQs

If you still have a couple of things in your pockets and you’re not sure about the truth, here are a couple of the questions that are most frequently asked about them:

Is It OK For My Baby To Sleep At An Angle?

Although some parents would think that there’s nothing wrong with it, the American Academy of Pediatrics or the AAP doesn’t recommend babies or infants sleeping in inclined products. Babies, naturally, should sleep and take rest on clean, flat, and firm surfaces.

What To Do When Baby Starts Rolling In Crib?

If your baby’s constantly rolling inside the crib, you’ll want to avoid swaddling before bed time, refrain from using positioners, and ensure that the space around your baby is clean and free-from dangerous things and items that could hurt them.

The Bottom Line

It’s natural for us parents to be paranoid and overthinkers with our babies – and that’s normal! Who would want their baby feeling disarrayed or uncomfortable? But, in the matter of them sleeping inside their abodes, you shouldn’t worry.

So, if your baby turns 180 degrees in crib, it’s usually nothing serious! If you find it uncomforting and serious, though (you will feel it as a parent), that’s when you should consider seeking medical or professional advice about it. 

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "mamallove.com" and "cashsavvytips.com", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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