Help! My 2-Month-Old Baby Refuses to Sleep on His Back: Advice from Sleep Consultant Kelly Murray

Newborns and sleep. They go together like the perfect pair, except for when they don’t. What do you do when your baby refuses to sleep on his or her back, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics?

Mamas Uncut Facebook fan writes in asking for advice about her 2-month-old baby, who refuses to sleep on his back. She says that the baby “freaks out” every time she places him on his back, and that she can only get him to sleep when he’s on his stomach. Sleep consultant Kelly Murray weighs in with some expert advice and tips.

Help! My 2-Month-Old Baby Refuses to Sleep on His Back: Advice from Sleep Consultant Kelly Murray

A Mamas Uncut Facebook fan asks:

“My 2-month-old refuses to sleep on his back: Is that okay?

My baby is almost two months old and he absolutely refuses to sleep on his back. He freaks out EVERY time I lay him on his back and the only way he’ll sleep is on his stomach. I’ve tried being patient with him, but I haven’t gotten any sleep because I’ve been so worried about him sleeping on his stomach. But that is literally the only way he will stay asleep for more than 5 minutes.

Has anyone else had this problem?? Any advice on what I should do?”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

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Advice from Kelly Murray, Sleep Consultant

Help! My 2-Month-Old Baby Refuses to Sleep on His Back: Advice from Sleep Consultant Kelly Murray

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are put to bed on their backs for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prevention. The research found that if infants were placed to sleep on their stomachs, their risk of dying from SIDS increased at least two-fold. As a result, the “Back-to-Sleep” Campaign was initiated in 1994 by a collaboration between the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration and SIDS groups.

If your baby rolls over onto his stomach on his own, it’s okay for him to sleep on his stomach.  However, at 2 months, he is likely not rolling on his own.

I am not a doctor, but it sounds like he may be experiencing reflux that is causing him pain when lying flat on his back after feeding. I would definitely recommend talking to your doctor so that you can get an official diagnosis and treatment plan. While they may vary, the most common signs of acid reflux in infants include: spitting up and vomiting, refusal to eat, difficulty eating or swallowing, irritability during feeding, and disturbed sleep.

One thing you could try in the meantime is to separate feeding from sleeping by feeding your baby when he wakes up from his nap so that he has plenty of time to digest his food before being placed in his crib flat. Also, try keeping your baby upright for 30 minutes before placing him in his crib/bassinet before bedtime. I hope this helps!  

Help! My 2-Month-Old Baby Refuses to Sleep on His Back: Advice from Sleep Consultant Kelly Murray

About Kelly Murray

As the founder and owner of Kelly Murray Sleep Consulting, I get the privilege of helping parents create sustainable solutions for their families to get the rest they need. Because, after all, well-rested babies and parents do everything better.

I’m the mom of two rambunctiously adorable kiddos, and wife to my amazing husband of 8 years. We live in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, and in the warmer months, you can find us at the parks, beaches, museums and on the 606 bike trail. We love a good adventure! When my kids wake up every morning, the first thing they ask is “where are we going today?”

My greatest goal is to raise children who work and love hard. This is a big reason I prioritize sleep in my house. Who has the energy to work hard or the patience to be kind when they’re sleep deprived? I don’t care if they are the smartest or most athletic kids, I just want them to be good people who try their best at everything they do.

– Kelly Murray Sleep Consulting

[Images via Shutterstock.]

About Mamas Uncut

Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.


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