My baby rolled over!!! Now What?
As first time parents, any time your baby learns something new it is absolutely exciting and worth celebrating. When it came to my first daughter we practiced rolling over for weeks. I would lay her on the floor any play games to encourage this new skill to develop. We celebrated the first time she rolled independently and got it on video. With time, however, we started to notice that new skills equal new challenges as parents. All of a sudden diaper changes were a challenge, she became a bit “mobile” and we had to keep a closer eye on her surroundings.
Things to consider:
- Clear the crib: Now more than ever it is vital to ensure that your sleep space is as safe as it can be. There should be no bumpers, blankets, pillows or stuffed animals in the crib as these can now pose as suffocation hazards. Also ensure you have a nice firm sleep surface for your baby.
- Stop Swaddling: If your baby has been swaddled up until this point, now is the time to stop! Once your baby starts moving around it is no longer safe to have their arms tucked in. If they wiggle themselves loose from a swaddle blanket and keep moving around that blanket can now pose a risk to your baby. There will be a learning curve as baby adjusts to sleeping without the swaddle but your baby’s safety is the most important thing to consider.
- Practice Practice Practice! Your baby is going to feel compelled to practice this new and exciting skill any chance they get. They don’t distinguish a difference between being put down in a bed, or on the floor or any other surface. Until your baby feels he or she has mastered this new skill they will likely practice any chance they can. Try to encourage lots of floor play time during your baby’s awake time so he or she won’t feel as compelled to practice once placed in the crib.
- Along with this – also practice rolling from belly to back. If your baby is able to go from belly to back independently then there is nothing you need to worry about if baby does roll over.
- Leave them be: Give your baby time to see if they can manage to get comfortable on their belly. Once baby is strong enough to place themselves onto their stomach it is OK to leave them on their stomach. Chances are pretty good that if you come in and flip baby on to his back he will just flip back over again (whether intentional or not). Also if your baby is happily in their crib rolling over don’t stress that they are not actually sleeping. In the days before video monitors parents just assumed their baby was sleeping if they were in their rooms quietly!
Once baby gets the hang of rolling he can get himself into his own comfortable position when put in the bed, but please continue to place your baby down in the supine position (flat on their back) and let your baby get him or herself into a comfortable position.