Your little person just rolled over…..now what? You need to pull the swaddle for the safest night sleep but this is not as easy as it sounds. The last thing you want is for your baby to be sleeping through the night and you pull the swaddle to have them waking every 2 hours and bopping themselves in the head with their flailing limbs. Here are a few things to make this transition just a little easier.
- Practice these 3 exercises to help teach your baby how to roll over and build their core strength/ control over their body.
- Sitting up- Let your baby lay flat on their back and hold each of your thumbs. Once they have a firm grip on your thumbs start to slowly lift. Keep close eye contact. This keeps them interested in you and moving in your direction. Keep pulling and let them do a “ crunch” to lift their body to a fully sitting position.
- Rolling over with help-Lay your baby on the stomach and put their arms in front of them for support. Think elbow plank. Now take any socks off and they need their toes for traction. Take your hand and put it under your babies foot to give something to kick off of. Now use your other hand and place it at the hip on the same side of the body. Make eye contact. Gently help your baby turn their body to roll all the way over. Now keep eye contact and praise the hard work. They may flop over but that is OK. You are teaching muscle memory. Keep this up and practice both sides.
- Sitting with balance- Sit yourself up and open your legs to a wide “V”. Put your baby in between your legs with their back to your belly. You have become a padding for them to safely fall into. So let them fall side to side and begin to find the muscles needed to sit up straight on their own. You will help recorrect your baby but the goal is to let them master the movements in the safety of your support.
- Start with day naps. If you ever have a new technique you want to work on with you baby always do it during the day first. The night is too long and nearly impossible to recover from. Where as a nap is perfect. They can practice the first nap of the day in their sleep space with no swaddle and if it goes terribly not a problem . They have a second nap to recover and get solid sleep. ONLY try with one nap a day for 3-5 days before moving to nap #2 or night sleep.
- Talk about it. Trust me they are listening. Just let your little one know what is changing and why. This is their sleep and we are just trying our best as parents to figure out the best for them with complete non-verbal communication.
Extra tip for fun: dont pull one arm out at a time. This is not very effective and it is better to spend your time mastering body control with the above exercises.