Your baby is starting to roll, and you’re so freaking proud! But then, the night comes, and your baby is up all night long because she rolled over and can’t get back. Been there right? We all have. This is probably one of the most common questions I get as a sleep consultant because it is one of the most frustrating problems. You go in and roll the baby back over, but what happens? Five minutes later you’re back in the room doing the exact same thing.
There are two main suggestions that I offer to parents who ask this question. 1. Don’t get stuck in the dance 2. Tummy time.
#1 DON’T GET STUCK IN THE DANCE
What in the world does that mean? You might be thinking that this is FAR from any dance. Unless you’re talking about your middle school dance when you had braces and were trying to impress Connor from math class with your new sequin purse. (Yikes. That was personal.) This dance is when you get caught going in and out of the room on repeat flipping the baby back over.
When you get stuck in that cycle of going in and out, your baby is probably just getting pissed off because you keep coming back in and not picking her up. Rolling over is a BIG development, and she can’t really help but try it out every chance that comes available. Plus, your baby probably thinks that when you come in, it’s time to get up. So when you come in and roll her back over again and again, she gets mad and confused.
My advice is this: set a max number of times that you are going to go back in and roll your baby back over. My limit is typically three. Pick your limit and stick to it. These few nights might be rough, but it only lasts a few nights. In the end, do what you feel you need to do until it does get better.
The main reason I say to choose a set number of times is because many parents are trying to sleep train during this time, so continuing to go back into the room over and over in the night might undo some of the hard work you've put in. The beauty about sleep training is that it is what you make it. You are in control of what you do and when you do it. Don't ever do something you feel uncomfortable with just because some internet guru told you to.
#2 TUMMY TIME
This is probably the biggest and most important piece of advice I can give to you. When your child is going through a developmental leap and learning new skills, give them ample time in the day to practice. Learning to stand? Walk? Crawl? Let them have time to try out those new skills during the day. That’s what they want.
During the day, spend lots of time with your baby on her tummy. You can even lay your baby on her tummy and raise up a toy or pacifier that she likes really well above her head so that she turns and looks up. This will help show her the moves she needs to make in order to roll back over. It also helps develop those specific muscles really well. Be sure to not over do it though. Remember that time you did a 5:30am spin class with your friend Kelsey and your legs regretted it for weeks? Yeah. Don’t overwork your baby’s muscles. I’d aim for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.
In the end, remember that this stage is only temporary. It will likely only last a few days. You are not alone in this. Remember that this is a struggle that every parent deals with even if their perfect Insta shows otherwise.
Once baby starts rolling and is able to roll back and forth, it is typically safe to leave baby to sleep on their tummy. In fact, many babies enjoy this position better so you might find that your baby starts to sleep better on their tummy. Be sure to keep the crib completely free of anything that is not your baby. Especially when baby starts rolling around, it becomes a suffocation hazard to have loose items in the crib.
Are you struggling with night times with your little one? Do you want to make lasting changes so that you can get your evenings back to practice a little self care? Do you feel trapped at home at night time and feel like you can’t go out? If you said yes to any of those questions, let’s schedule a time to talk today! I have multiple slots opened up each week where we can talk for 30-minutes (free of charge!) and discuss the steps we can take to make lasting changes for you and your family. Click the link here to book!