Rubs and Rolls.

Emory is just over five months old and he has developed a couple of new habits. The first one takes place whenever he eats. He likes to rub his left eye with his left hand. He used to only do this whenever he was sleepy. Now he does it every time he eats. I read that it comforts them, so I’m not going to worry too much about it.

He started another habit about a week ago and it has continued consistently every night since. Emory has been rolling over for months. That hasn’t been a problem at all. But lately he rolls over at night and sleeps on his belly. He seems to prefer this even though he has trouble rolling from his belly to his back. He can do it, it’s just not as easy as the back to front roll. What do you do if your baby just doesn’t want to sleep on his back any longer? We can’t very well pin him down!

Admittedly, I haven’t had a full night’s rest in a while. I get up at least three times a night to check on him. If he’s on his belly all the way, with his head off to the side, I leave him be. But sometimes he ends up face-planting the mattress. If I were to take a picture of this, it’d be a perfect stock photo for SIDs.

Whenever I find him face-planting the mattress, I immediately flip him over and he immediately rolls onto his left side. This routine goes on until morning. (Why do I get the feeling this isn’t going to be the last time he refuses to listen to what I have to say regarding what’s best for him?)

His hair started to come in last week. At one point I looked at him and said out loud, like it had just occurred to me, “You look just like your father!” This has been said before by many, but lately it’s become kind of astounding. He looks so much like TobyJoe.

Another new habit is what we call the “fake cough”. It’s true. A little over a month ago, Emory started fake coughing. We asked the doctor about it at his 4-month checkup. Our French pediatrician shrugged and matter-of-factly stated, like I missed the fake coughing memo along with the one about newborns farting excessively, “Eetz funny sound.” And it is a funny sound! It’s hilarious. I had no idea that babies did this type of thing. But it’s really quite charming. He fake coughs whenever he decides that we’re not paying enough attention to him.

Emory is quickly approaching “Mini Person Territory” and moving away from “Baby Territory” and that brings me both excitement and sadness. I guess I didn’t realize how little time they are given to be babies. This is precisely why I think people have more than one.


  1. For the rolling over problem, I have seen specially designed products that are basically two round connected pillows. The baby goes in the middle and can’t flip over. Maybe that would work?


  2. My hubbie thinks I’m crazy when I tell him our child “fake” coughs. Nice to know that I’m not the only one dealing with this!


  3. He fake coughs all the time. Every day at least once. It’s actually really cute and we continually call him “BIG FAKER!” whenever he does it.

    PA, that might work. Emory doesn’t really like to be confined so I worry he’ll scream bloody murder. Actually, I know he will. Maybe he’ll get used to it, but somehow, I think we’ll cave in to the screaming before he gets used to it. (He’s a very social and independent baby, yet he wants to be near us all the time as well. He confuses me greatly but in a good way.)


  4. My 11month old totally sleeps in a face plant every night and has been doing it for months and months. I have no idea how she breaths, but she does. She also sticks her butt up in the air and wedges herself into the corner (and we still have bumpers in there, she cries if we take them out). Anyway, i think as long as you have a nice hard matress and the sheets are pulled tight and don’t put extra blankets and such in there belly sleeping is fine at his age. I was nervous for a little while, but i am a stomch sleeper, so I understand the need. We used a positioner when she was a tiny baby to keep her in place, but i would be nervous using it now that he can move…although they do make them with vents on the ends.

    Molly also fake coughs, but she does it whenver we cough (not so much for attention). And, since she is in daycare, one of us is always sick. The funniest part is that she knows the difference beween our real and fake coughs, so if we fake cough to try to get her to do it, she won’t. She also fake sneezes and shakes her head and says ahh-choo. It is very cute.


  5. When my husband was a baby, his mom use to saftey pin him (his shirt)FACE DOWN to his crib sheet (back in the day when you were suppose to put them down on their belly, not their back). I’m amazed that he lived to tell the tale! It’s crazy what some people do! Obviously, I DON’T recommend this!

    My youngest still “fake coughs” and he’s 15 months!


  6. my son is just over 4 months now. actually, i believe he’s exactly a month younger than your son. he started to roll over to his tummy at night just before christmas. i had a couple of sleepless nights of fighting to keep him on his back not realizing (due to fatigue) what was really happening. luckily my mom was visiting us at the time. when she put him down for the night and he stayed asleep i couldnt believe it.

    turns out he wanted to sleep on his tummy and wouldn’t have it being on his back at all! now i put him down for the night on his tummy and he sleeps fine. he sometimes face plants but all i do is move his head to the side.

    it’s so cute to wake up and see him still asleep in his cot with his bootie stuck up in the air :D


  7. I gotta tell ya, it’s funny what moms can do, right? My mother always makes me feel better stating, “All three of you slept on your stomach! And you lived to tell!” I realize that SIDs related deaths have all but plummeted since they suggested all babies be put to sleep on their backs, but some babies want the tummy. I think I have one of those babies.

    You know, a part of me wonders how many of those deaths were accompanied by cough suppressants. I recently read a story about a family, the family who blew the lid off congress’s recent recall, that their son’s death had first been ruled death by SIDs and later they took that back and stated that it was due to cough medicine. It’s very curious to me.


  8. I’ve read that once they can roll over it is fine for them to sleep on their stomach. The problem is putting them to sleep on their stomach before they are able to roll back over. And you will be happily surprised at how much better he sleeps on his stomach!! Just don’t leave blankets and toys in there with him.


  9. Emory is so darn cute! Are you gonna whip out the staple gun and staple him face up in his crib? This post and pictures (he does look like a little Toby) and comments are so cute and funny (little baby butts in the air!) and a little scary also. How long do you have to worry about SIDS?
    I think that your thoughts on the combination of cough syrup and sleeping on belly sound very logical. (about me – I have been known to be flighty and scatterbrained and share your feed me or die trait [my god the fights that ensued – at least 2 separations w/ me leaving my own car in the ghetto and telling bad ex-hubby to leave me alone and i will call a taxi – kinda know its a bad marriage when you make a conscious effort to always have emergency cab fair on you to avoid being yelled at in a small enclosed space], but have always loved logic – last night someone i am seeing told me he liked me b/c when i am sober and have slept i am damn good at logic :) – and that is what i like about him too – neat) I am such a Gemini :)

    I love your blog. Very touching and honest and funny. And thanks to Emory – Super Cute (you and Toby also add to the super cute aspect.) Oh, sorry, the fuzzies rock also :) Shmitty had the most beautiful eyes I have seen on a cat and I have probably had maybe 20 cats over my lifetime if i count my mom’s cats after i moved out.

    If you want Emory to see the beach (a nice warm not packed or dirty one), I would love to meet you guys. I have been to many beaches and except for the west coast of FL, Miami has some of the most wonderful beaches out there. I also have a gym, 3 cats, and a beautiful husky, and a guest bedroom. But no baby proofing. But I can do that cuz i sometimes want one. Also 26th floor w/ ocean and western sunset view. Damn, I am a total recluse but you guys seem so cool and deserve a good cheap vacation. I can even leave for a few days so you have some privacy. Sadly, Miami sucks for vegans and vegetarians. Something about Cubans (I am one) and their need of meat. I was a veg w/ a vegan house (cuz of vegan boyfriend – I have never cooked such wonderful food in my life – make a kick ass vegan lasagna) for 8 years and then I went to New Orleans and it was pretty much eat seafood or starve and that is where the slippery slope started. But b/c of all my talking, now my mom and dad are fishitarians. So I gave up, but added 2 more, so though I sold out I made things a bit better in the world. Would love to try a raw food meal like the one in NYC. It just looked so good. Guess I am kinda doing that out of laziness. Seems i have come down w/ a case of rambling. . . Have a great day :) You guys really seem like great people. Emory is lucky. Reading your archives, the story of how you and Toby met is no longer there. I would LOVE to read it. hint,hint


  10. Once the baby can roll on their own, it’s OK to let them sleep on their tummies. Cooper ALWAYS slept better that way. Now he sleeps in a frog position—on his belly, on his knees, ass in the air.


  11. i forgot about the fake coughing!! lil’ fakers.
    we did the tummy tango for about 3 weeks until she figured out how to TURN HER HEAD TO THE SIDE. something so seemingly simple, yet difficult to master. then she slept like a baby.

    for a while we did do the little cylinder shaped velcro pillow things like bumpers to keep her from rolling, but eventually she got too american gladiators for that shit.


  12. That is the cutest baby evah.

    I love that he fake coughs! I sleep on my stomach too. It’s more comfortable. But I’m 30, so that’s not really going to help you, is it.


  13. I might be wrong, but I think Emory is approaching the age where you can be a little less worried about SIDS (easy for me to say, right?). I think most SIDS deaths occur between 2 and 4 months. Like another commenter said, I think as long as the sheets are tight and there aren’t any extra blankets in the crib, he’ll be ok. But I’m not telling you not to worry cause I’m 6 months pregnant and I already think about that stuff. Stressing out way before I need to is my forte.


  14. What an adorable little boy! I had a similar problem with both girls when they were around Emory’s age. At first, I kept getting up and rolling them back over, then I tried different contraptions, which would only frustrate them and me. Then someone told me that if they do roll over on their own regularly, that it was okay. The girls did sleep with their faces to the side, so I was a little less concerned. When I realized how much better they slept that way, I let them go.


  15. Michelle—here is your solution:

    You can thank me later. ;)


  16. i read recently that SIDS is related to a bacteria, and not from stomach positioning. just a sidebar to alleviate concern.


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