Most babies begin to roll over around 3 to 5 months old. This is an exciting milestone for parents to witness that is often followed by a new level of anxiety. Parents are alarmed when they glance at the baby monitor screen and their baby isn’t exactly where they had been placed in their bassinet or crib.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BABY IS ON THE BRINK OF ROLLING
As newborns grow, it is important to adapt their sleeping environment to meet them where they are developmentally.
We recommended taking these steps when you think your baby is about to start rolling:
- Stop swaddling – When you stop swaddling your little one, they are able to practice their new skill. They also have the ability to roll themselves back over if they are having trouble breathing or getting comfortable.
- Move to a crib – If your child is in a bassinet, it is time to move them into a crib. This creates a safe space for them to move around in. They can get themselves in whatever position they find most comfortable.
- Refrain from using bumpers – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that nothing be added to the crib with your baby. Bumpers are deemed to be a safety hazard. You might be tempted to use them if your baby works their way up into a corner or up against the railings but know that this is normal and the risk of serious injury is less than when using bumpers.
SLEEP REGRESSION IN RELATION TO LEARNING HOW TO ROLL
It can be expected for your little one to go through a sleep regression after learning a new skill. Now that your baby is scooting and rolling, they may move in their sleep which can wake them up. Their body experiences stimulation and reflexes that they are not familiar with. You shouldn’t let yourself stress about this sleep regression. They will get used to moving in their sleep and grow into sleeping through it. Your baby will also begin to use their new skill to self soothe by learning how to adjust themselves to get comfortable.
HELP YOUR BABY PRACTICE THEIR NEW SKILL
You should increase your baby’s tummy time once they start attempting to roll and begin rolling. This will give them the opportunity to improve their new skill and get stronger. They shouldn’t only practice tummy time on the floor but also in their crib so that they are familiar with rolling on different surfaces. This will help them when they are learning how to move to self sooth. A bonus is that all this activity will tucker them out and help them sleep hard!
WHEN YOU HAVE CONCERNS
It is completely normal for parents to have concerns, especially through transitions. If you are concerned about your baby’s sleep environment, their regression feels unusual, or you are struggling to figure out how to best help your little one, reach out to a professional! We have helped numerous families work through these transitions. It is our goal to help parents thrive in creating healthy sleep habits.