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11 Reasons Your Baby Sleeps on Knees With Butt in the Air

baby sleeps on knees

After months of ensuring that your baby is put to sleep lying on their back, it can seem strange or even concerning that your baby starts wanting to sleep on their knees with their butts in the air. Once your baby can sit up and crawl, you might notice that they will fall asleep on their knees more often. You may even find them that way when you wake them up in the morning, even if you put them to bed on their backs. This position, called the frog position by some, is very common for a baby between the ages of six to twelve months, and your baby will probably stop sleeping this way when they learn to walk. But until then, you are probably wondering why do babies do this, and should you be concerned?

1. Your baby sleeps this way because it’s comfortable.

Sleeping curled up on their knees with their butts in the air is comfortable and convenient for your baby. Just like some adults like to sleep curled up in a ball, so does your baby. This position might not look comfortable to you, but your baby disagrees. Once your baby starts sitting by themselves, they tend to fall asleep where they are. This means they might just let themselves tumble forward, curl up where they land, and take a nap. This napping position is also low effort, and when your baby finds themselves suddenly ready for a nap they don’t have to move much to fall asleep comfortably.

2. This position reminds them of the womb.

Your baby was positioned in the same way when they were in the womb. The womb was the most comfortable place that your baby has ever known. By sleeping in a frog position, they can replicate some of that comfort. Research suggests that this may be a contributing factor as to why some babies seem to rest more peacefully when they sleep in this position. However, some parents also report that their babies do not rest as well in this position. As in most things, your baby is unique, and what makes them most comfortable will vary.

3. Babies that love to be cuddled might favor this position.

If your baby is a cuddle, they might prefer this position over others. A baby that loves to be cuddled up to their parent might find this position more comfortable than a baby that does not. If your baby prefers to be held or rocked by you rather than sitting by themselves, they might seek this position out themselves. This might have something to do with the feeling of having something pressed up against their stomach and legs that mimics the feeling of being pressed against their parent’s chest.

4. This position allows your baby the most freedom of movement.

Your baby likes the feeling of being able to move. Once your baby starts moving around on their own, they will like to have the freedom to move at a moment’s notice. When a baby is laid on their back, it takes them more effort to roll over so that they can sit up or crawl. If they are already in position on their knees, then they can get straight back to moving around when their nap is over!

5. Sleeping in frog position is very common.

Most babies go through a period when they prefer to sleep in a frog position. While not every child will choose to sleep in this position, it is not uncommon among babies between the age of six and twelve months or even older. While some parents might worry that this behavior is strange or might be a symptom of something wrong, your child is not strange for choosing to sleep in this position. This is a perfectly normal stage in their development that they will probably grow out of when they start walking.

6. You shouldn’t worry too much.

Babies sleeping in the frog position is relatively safe. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be put to sleep on their backs to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by the time your baby can roll over and crawl, they are fine to sleep in this position. Having the strength and motor skills to roll over and get their legs underneath them well enough to curl into this position indicates they also have the motor skills to roll back over if they need to.

7. Don’t fight a losing battle.

Your baby will put themselves into this position to sleep no matter what you do. For a baby that finds this position comfortable, no amount of you rolling them onto their back to sleep will stop them. Some parents have reported waking up multiple times a night to turn their baby onto their backs, but their baby always rolls back over. Suppose this is the position that your baby wants to sleep in, its best not to fight it. You might even be making their sleep worse by disturbing them so often to turn them over. As a parent, you know that you have to choose your battles, and this is one that you probably won’t win.

8. Your baby has tight muscles

Your newborn could not stretch for the 9 months you were making him. So, your baby’s muscles are still very tight from the pregnancy.

Us adults have had time for our muscles to relax and loosen. For that reason, adults don’t sleep with their butt in the air. Give it some time and your baby could be sleeping in positions more similar to your own before you know it.

9. Your baby is learning to crawl

The position of sleeping with your butt in the air is very similar to The crawling position. So your baby has a natural inclination for this position of crawling since it’s the next step toward walking. If your baby is sleeping in this position, it could be his body’s natural way of preparing him for this new exciting crawling journey.

10. Is it dangerous for your baby to sleep with his butt in the air?

If your baby cannot turn over on their own, this can be very dangerous. However, once your little one is able to turn over independently, it becomes less necessary for you to worry although it’s not to say all concern should be thrown out the window.

This is an opportunity for your baby to master rolling over. Your baby needs to develop the ability to roll from belly to back and back to belly.

It’s important for you to allow your baby to do what feels comfortable and natural, but just observe this sleeping position with caution. Because it can present dangers while also leading the way to a very natural progression in regards to crawling, walking, etc.

11. How to keep your baby safe while knee sleeping:

First of all, you are a very good parent for taking the time to research the sleeping position. Since you’re such a good parent, you should be advised that there are additional ways for you to ensure your baby is getting a safe sleeping experience.

This sleeping position can lead to dangers, so as a great parent, check out this article on how to keep your baby safe while sleeping on knees or with their butt in the air.

Conclusion

All sleeping babies are precious, but a baby curled up to sleep on their knees with their little butt in the air is adorable. Rest assured that this position is both normal and safe and just enjoy this time admiring how cute they are when they just tumble over and curl up for a nap wherever they happen to be. After all, they’re going to wake up soon enough and be ready to get back to sitting up or crawling, and your moment of peace will be over.

And as always, we highly recommend every single parent reads ways to keep your baby safe while sleeping in these positions.

26 thoughts on “11 Reasons Your Baby Sleeps on Knees With Butt in the Air”

  1. Sometimes I think my baby sleeps on his knees so much because he’s gonna grow up and be some religious person who always prays. I’m so glad I raised a baby who is going to love God and is always on his knees praying, even as a baby.

  2. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website SleepBaby.org – that website has been by far one of the best things I’ve ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Canโ€™t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! SLEEPBABY.ORG ๐Ÿ™‚ Best of luck to you and your family!

  3. My baby kept sleeping on his knees and I was quite concerned about it. Eventually, I decided to try something else. I wanted to get him sleeping normally again. I heard about using baby sleep music to reset your baby’s sleep. So I downloaded the baby sleep music from here. Sound one is what worked for me and now the knee sleeping isn’t a problem.

  4. Do any of your little ones sleep with their knees tucked up underneath them and butt up in the air? My 5 mo old baby boy just started doing this and I try to pull them down or reposition him but he just gets right back into this little cute ball up on his knees! I hope his legs won’t fall asleep. He even tucks his hands under him. Anyone else?

  5. Mine sleeps like this every single night – it cracks me up! He seems comfy so we just leave him. My husband and I were discussing it the other night though, and we agreed that if we slept like that there’s no way we’d be able to walk the next day.

  6. Haha right!!?? I said the same to my husband. It made me a little worried that he was cold (will not sleep with socks or footed Jammies) so I checked his feet and neck and both were warm. I guess it’s just comfy for him. Thanks for the response. It bothers me that he sleeps on his belly because of all the million books that tell you to put baby on their backs but he just keeps rolling over and now the knee thing. Oh my.

  7. My little girl sleeps exactly like this! She also rolls over immediately when I put her on her back- she’s got a mind of her own now and does whatever she wants! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hubby and I laughed when we read this post as we watch our LO on the monitor in this exact position now. She always manages to sleep this way. Every night. She’ll roll around and sleep on her side but someway, somehow her butt ends up in the air. The other night she must have slept all night in this position bc when we got her the next morning her poor lil knees were red. They didn’t seem to bother her though and it went back to normal.

  9. My little guy just did this last night for the first time. He started rolling in his crib last week and cries every time he rolls over on his stomach so I was shocked when I saw his little butt in the air last night and him sound asleep. He’s starting to do this more in general though (crawling soon??).

  10. My baby has been doing this too, I’m not worried about it and I leave him be. He’s comfy! Plus it’s adorable:-)

  11. Babies sleep this way. That’s why it’s called Child’s Pose. As for rolling onto the belly, once they can move around, it’s apparently ok to leave them as they want to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. My baby has been doing this for a while now because he’s a tummy sleeper. I think it’s the cutest thing too. But I wonder if maybe he’s cold and that’s why he’s trying to roll up into a ball.

  13. My almost 2 year still does sometimes and so does my 6 mth old. It is so cute, I just leave them that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Mine does it every night!! My hubby will notice her moving on the monitor and ask me what she’s doing. I say “oh she’s just twerking again!”

  15. I’ve tried to get her to move positions many times, and she just goes right back to it. She likes to sleep face down, head to the side, arms resting upward, while her torso is at an incline because she wants her knees bent, bringing her little bum to the air. I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve checked her diaper, too. It’s generally still dry. At least she’s sleeping, I guess.

  16. My little one is 14 months and has slept like this often, as soon as she could roll she started to sleep on her tummy and then knees in and bottom up as soon as she could.

  17. Aw lots of babies sleep with their bottoms up. They are comfortable in any position little stretchy things. Donโ€™t worry!

  18. New father, first-time commenter so please be gentle.

    Our nearly three-week old has been having a hard time getting to sleep at night. He’s going into his crib swaddled and with a soother (pacifier), and after a couple of minutes raises his legs (either knees to chest or feet in the air) and it looks and sounds like he’s struggling to escape the swaddle.

    He spits the soother out, and is only placated when the soother is put back in his mouth. He’s calm for a couple of minutes, looks like he’s falling asleep, then the knees come up, the dummy gets spat out, and the cycle repeats. Each time he does it, he seems to get really wound up.

    He’s going through withdrawal from meds my wife was taking through pregnancy, and was in the neo-natal unit for the first two weeks of his life and was only discharged on Thursday. This is our third night of this. As I type, I’ve been rocking his crib for about 45mins and he’s gotten one arm out the swaddle…

    Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.

  19. Hey there new father!

    My little guy is 2 weeks and has started doing the same thing. From watching him, I’m pretty sure he’s working on slightly painful gas or working on those muscles that control his bowels. He will raise his legs, grunt, get red in the face, then calm down. Shortly after I will hear wet toots. Sometimes it’s just a dry fire, other times he needs a diaper change. He doesn’t wake up during these episodes so I’ve stopped offering his binkie. If he does wake up I hold him so it’s like he’s sitting on his butt, and then there’s a loud rumble in the jungle.

  20. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website SleepBaby.org – that website has been by far one of the best things I’ve ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Canโ€™t imagine life without it! Check it out! SLEEPBABY.ORG ๐Ÿ™‚ Best of luck to you and your family!

  21. If your baby won’t sleep, check out the sleep method from SleepBaby.org – Thank you SleepBaby for this brilliant method! My daughter now sleeps from 7pm to 6 or 6:30am every night with almost no night wakings. And even if she wakes, it’s usually just for a second and then she falls back asleep all on her own.

    Most nights I get my 8 hours of sleep and itโ€™s just wonderful! I really feel like I understand her little body and mind and can address her sleeping holistically. I canโ€™t thank you enough, Kacey and the SleepBaby.org team!

  22. Our son now sleeps through the night because of SleepBaby.org!

    Our baby had trouble sleeping through the night from the time we brought him home from the hospital. We tried changing his formula and even putting his crib in our bedroom. Nothing I tried before SleepBaby worked. The night after I started using SleepBaby.org, he started sleeping for several hours at a time.

    I really enjoyed the tips on how to make my baby laugh. I love hearing him laugh and I think SleepBaby’s laughter tips help relax him so it’s easier for him to sleep. Oh! And I also liked the instructions about how to create the right environment in his room that’s relaxing.

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