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Once your baby is strong enough to roll onto his stomach by himself, you don't need to worry about him staying on his back all night. This is especially true if he's been enjoying playtime on his tummy during the day, can hold his head up well, and can roll from his tummy onto his back again by himself.
To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), experts recommend that you place your baby on his back when you put him down to sleep during his first year. So, even if your baby is rolling onto his stomach, you should still put him down to sleep on his back.
The good news is that the risk of SIDS greatly diminishes before your baby's first birthday. It peaks between the ages of 1 and 4 months and then starts to decline. In fact, 90 percent of SIDS cases involve infants under 6 months of age.
Of course, you'll also want to follow other precautions to reduce the risk of SIDS throughout your baby's first year. Make sure his mattress is firm with just a fitted sheet over it and there's nothing else in his crib – no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or even crib bumpers. Don't overheat the room or overdress your baby, and don't let anyone smoke near him.
Finally, don't use a sleep positioner to try to keep your baby on his back. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning to parents to stop using sleep positioners after the suffocation deaths of 12 infants.