Help, I have a roller!

baby rolling over swaddle sleeves safe sleep

Don't panic! We've got you. It's all going to be okay, I promise. But firstly, congratulations! Another milestone reached for you and your sweet little one. They really do grow up so fast!

Babies normally start rolling over when they are 3-4 months old, although some do roll over at 2 months or some even take as long as 6 or 7 months. For the purposes of swaddling in general, we're concerned about the rolling over that naturally happens when baby is rolling back to belly as they develop proper weight shifting, head control, and core strength. This is also when parents should stop swaddling and leave baby's arms out of the swaddle. It's very likely that if you have an active back to belly roller, your baby will be rolling over to go to sleep (since many babies do find it comfortable to sleep on their tummies after learning how to roll over!). Remember, it's always safe for your baby to sleep on their belly if they can roll over and do it themselves. "Back is best" is especially for babies who are not yet rolling over themselves, although you should still put your baby on their back to sleep for the first 12 months according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), even if they do end up rolling over later on their own. If they have the strength to roll over, they have the core and neck strength to move their heads to get into a comfortable breathing position, which is also another reason why "tummy time" is so important, especially in those early months. 

Now, to get back to business, your baby can still be the little angel sleeper that they were before the rolling started! Swaddle Sleeves are not designed to be restrictive and will not keep your little one on their back once they know how to roll over, nor will it prevent baby from freely moving their arms around. The purpose of our products is to ease the transition out of the swaddle safely, thus giving babies the extra comfort they need and parents a peace of mind. It's very likely that your baby might want to sleep on their sides or tummy as they are transitioning out of the swaddle, which is developmentally appropriate, so please don't panic. So how does that work with Swaddle Sleeves? Give your baby a day or two to get used to having their arms out but still covered in the comfort of our sleeves. We have noticed many babies enjoy sleeping on their sides with Swaddle Sleeves even if they're not yet rolling over as they naturally gain more freedom when coming out of the swaddle, and if that's your baby, you can continue to leave the mitten cuffs open or closed according to their preference! We do recommend beginning with the mitten cuffs closed for best results. Now, if your baby is an active roller or nearing rolling status, we recommend one of two options for sleep safety:

1. Make sure your baby's hands are peeking out and that the mitten cuffs are open. Because the Swaddle Sleeves are designed to safely offer gentle comfort through the middle 1.5 TOG polyfill layer (perfect for year-round use without overheating!), it is important that a rolling baby has full access to a complete and full range of movement while rolling over. Leaving the mitten cuffs open ensures that the sleeves can move freely with the baby's arm movements without any restriction by the closed mittens, thus ensuring full range of motion as baby moves back and forth from back to tummy.

  • Please note that it’s important to purchase the correct size based on your baby’s weight. It is not safe if your baby's hands/arms are "swimming" or stuck inside any of our sleeves. That is not a good or safe fit. We do not recommend sizing up for safety reasons. For details on the importance of correct sizing and examples, please see "Fit Check!"
  • Here's a foolproof way to put on the Swaddle Sleeves: Slide your hand inside the mitten cuff from the bottom of the sleeve, then gently guide your baby's hand through the top of sleeve until their hand is peeking out from under the mitten cuff. At this point you can leave the mitten cuff open or closed, or if the sleeve feels a little too long, fold the mitten cuff back once for the perfect fit. 

2. If your baby still prefers the comfort of the mitten cuffs and is rolling over, you can switch over to the Mitten Sleeves (included in most Swaddle Sleeves’ products or can be purchased separately from our Add-On Sleeves Collection)! 

What does rolling over look like with all of our other sleeves? We have no restrictions or safety recommendations other than to make sure that you have the proper size for your baby's weight! Continue using as is (cuffs open/closed/no sleeves/one sleeve, two different types of sleeves, etc.) or according to your baby's preference, and you're all-systems-go when your sweet baby starts rolling over to their little heart's delight! 

Questions? Or want to send us a photo for a "fit check?" Email us at We're happy to help!