It is exciting to witness your baby as they grow and develop. You are observing your baby’s strength and coordination increasing every day. One of the first milestones your baby will achieve is rolling over. This typically occurs between months 3-5.
After your initial excitement and potential tears of joy, you might start to wonder how this new skill will affect day to day life.
New skills at all levels can disrupt sleep. As your child masters rolling, sitting up, talking, etc. they will want to practice their new skill and they will likely want to test out their new skills not just during the day but at night also. If you find yourself getting frustrated with bedtime taking longer, know that it is just a stage. Try to look at their new movement during bedtime as your baby developing the skill of self soothing. Adults shift positions countless times during the night so it is fair for your baby to do the same!
Let’s talk about how to enter the stage of rolling with safe sleeping practices.
Switch From The Swaddle To A Sleep Sack
One of the key ways to practice safe sleeping once your baby starts rolling is to stop swaddling them. A majority of babies will show signs that they are getting close to rolling before actually doing it. They will start to prop themselves up on their arms or their sides and wiggle around. You should switch your baby over to a sleep sack when they begin to show these signs so that they can start to get over their newborn reflex and roll safely when the day comes.
Avoid Using The Magic Merlin
A Magic Merlin is a weighted sleep sack or unweighted but thick sleep suit. Your baby may find these options cozy but they can actually restrict movement to a point where your baby’s ability to self soothe is limited. Having this added weight on your baby will make it more difficult for them to get out of unsafe sleeping positions and also increases the risk of overheating.
Transition To A Crib
Your baby may still be within the size limits for their bassinet but you might want to consider bumping them up to a crib for the extra space. Babies can use the extra space in a crib to move around so that they are able to find the most comfortable position for themselves.
Do Not Use Bumpers
You may think adding bumpers to your baby’s crib will make their bed more comfortable for them or be aesthetically pleasing but please do not use them. The AAP states that all bumpers, even the mesh kind, are not safe for sleep in the crib. Your baby will absolutely roll over up against the side of their crib, they may even test out sticking an arm or a leg between the bars but they will not seriously hurt themselves. They will learn the boundaries of their crib and will sleep through the night just fine without the added risk of bumpers.
We consistently mention consistency in our blogs. As you enter this transition, remember to stick to a predictable bedtime routine so that your little one knows what to expect. If it is taking a little longer for your baby to fall asleep, know that they will get better at self soothing with time. We are always here to help if you need further advice or guidance.