As a parent, you seek to enjoy every moment with your little one. These seasons fly by so quickly, and with those times come some incredible developmental milestones.
Milestones are vitally important because they show that your baby continues to develop new skills in physical ability, cognition, emotion, and social ability. They also serve as a way to see if your baby is on track with others their age, behind or ahead of the curve. While these milestones are bound to happen, much of your baby’s success in their development comes from how you support and respond to them!
Today we’re focusing on rolling back-to-tummy and what to do when your child reaches this milestone. Most babies figure out how to roll tummy-to-back at around 4 months old, while it usually takes another 1-2 months to achieve rolling back-to-tummy as it requires more strength in the neck and arm muscles to maneuver kicking back over to their tummy.
What can you to do support this milestone? Early on, you should be giving your little one daily “tummy time.” There are a few reasons why tummy time is so important: it helps strengthen muscles that will allow your baby to push up onto their arms around 3-4 months, doing a “mini push-up,” which gives your baby the ability to roll. It also allows your baby to experience a different position than laying on their back all of the time, and helps reduce the risk of a flat spot on the back of their head. When your child is a newborn, gently placing them on their tummy while they’re awake and alert, two to three times a day, just a few minutes per time, will set them up for success. Around 3-to-4 months old, getting at least 20 minutes of tummy time daily is important. It’s critical to never leave your baby unattended during tummy time, and if they get sleepy during tummy time, change their activity or place them to sleep on their backs.
As your child gets older and can tolerate doing longer stretches of tummy time, you can encourage them to begin rolling over by keeping one of their favorite toys—or you!—just out of their reach to see if they’ll roll to reach what they want. Give lots of smiles, encouragement and applause when your baby is working on mastering this skill. If they start to get frustrated, console them and change the activity. Once your baby starts rolling, remember it can be startling for them the first few times, so if they get scared, respond positively and help them realize it’s fun and perfectly okay that they’re learning to move around!
A couple of things to remember once your baby reaches this mobility milestone:
- Always keep your hand on them during diaper changes. Even if your baby isn’t rolling over yet, keep a hand on them to avoid any serious injury, whether you’re changing a diaper or placing them on a bed or any other elevated surface. You don’t want their first experience rolling over to result in injury!
- Be on the lookout for continuous rolling. Your baby might just decide to keep on rolling as their mode of transportation once they figure it out! This means making sure furniture such as dressers, bookcases, entertainment centers are securely mounted to the wall so they won’t fall on your little one, and that things like outlets are properly covered and cords are kept out of reach. (Hello, baby-proofing!) Also, make sure lower cabinets are securely latched closed and staircases and other potential hazards are blocked off. Nothing is impossible once your little one figures out how to become mobile, even as young as 5 or 6 months.
- SIDS Prevention- it is very important to continue placing your baby on their back when it’s time for sleep during their first year of life, even when they are capable of rolling over onto their tummy. However- if they roll onto their tummy while sleeping and they’ve begun rolling while they’re awake, no need to fret. Just make sure that you continue to keep their crib free of loose bedding, pillows, stuffed animals, and bumpers that could obstruct breathing. Additionally, don’t overheat the room, overdress your baby or allow smoking. If you keep up with all of these things, the SIDS risk diminishes. In fact, 90% of SIDS cases occur in babies ages 6 months and under. It peaks between ages 1-4 months, then begins to decline. A must-have product that we encourage every parent to have for their infant child is the MonBaby button monitor. You can read more about it and even claim a 15% discount by checking out our product review on it here.
Congrats to you and your little one as they master this incredible milestone! We hope this has been helpful to you!
Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/facts.html https://www.babycenter.com/404_should-i-worry-if-my-baby-rolls-over-onto-his-tummy-while-as_3571.bc https://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-milestone-rolling-over_6504.bc http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/tummy-time/faq-20057755