SAFETY WATCH OUT!! ~ WHEN baby start ROLLING- OVER
Baby start rolling over : Turning over is a stunning milestone in a baby’s life. Not just for the baby but also for parents and family! I am sure most of us have at least one photo of our kid rolled over on their tummy.
It is because it is one of the first milestones, and it is physical too!
It is the first step to independence.
Your baby will start from here to progress to other milestones which involve mobility.
Your baby who was used to only lying down on his back is now able to roll and turn over,
ALL BY HIMSELF!!
- When does baby start rolling over ?
- Signs that your baby is getting ready to rollover
- When should you worry if baby is not rolling over ?
- How to help baby start rolling over
- Precautions to take when you baby starts to turn over
- What to look for when baby falls
I still remember vividly the first time my son rolled over. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and we were all lazing in the bed.
Suddenly our little fellow started wriggling and in no time, baby start rolling overand turned over on his tummy all by himself!
We were all overjoyed at the milestone! His 1st ‘achievement’.
One that would start off a new world of exploration for him. One through which he would move around and keep us alert and moving as well!
One of the immediate thoughts in my head when he rolled over (other than joy and pride, of course) was the fact that…
NOW I should take extra precautions to keep him from falling from the bed!
My maternal instincts kicked in on over drive… I started having questions and worries about…
How important it would be for me to always be alert around him now?
Would I still be able to go around while he is asleep?
Will he roll over the pillows?
Can I even leave him alone for any time?
What will happen if he rolls over when he is sleeping?
Does he know to roll front to back too?
What will happen if he is not able to roll over?
These were a few questions that were on my mind! As much as it was exciting, I was scared too!
Trust me when I say, it was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.
With just a few basic precautions, the baby was safe, and my fears were put to rest!
I will share with you the few things I started doing once my baby started turning over that helped give him a baby free space and an accident free time!
When does a baby start rolling over?
For a baby to roll over, his neck, shoulder, arms and torso and thigh muscles need to have developed and have strength.
A baby gains this strength through the constant kicking in the air he does when he is lying down on his back and the swimming in the air, he does during tummy time.
If you like to know more on how to help your baby in their physical development. Do read our article How-To Improve Physical Development in Your Baby
Typically, a baby starts rolling over anywhere around 3-4 months.
And they can roll over from back to front and front to back by 5-6 months.
Also, it is said that when babies start rolling over, a baby usually turns over from front to back first as less muscles and effort are involved.
However, if your little one has turned over back to front, worry not! Mine did too! Eventually they will be able to roll over from front to back too.
Signs that your baby is getting ready to rollover:
- Your baby is learning to cross his feet over.
- Your baby starts to wriggle and turns to his side.
- Can firmly push himself up with his arms during tummy time.
When should you worry if baby is not rolling over:
Each baby is unique. The times at which they achieve their milestones can also vary.
Some babies never really turn over.
They directly reach the sitting and crawling milestones.
Yes, you read that right. My grandma says my dad NEVER TURNED OVER. However, he started sitting around 7 months.
Do not panic if your baby has not turned over by 4-5 months. You can discuss this with your paediatrician during your regular baby check-up.
You must inform your paediatrician if your baby has not turned over or started sitting or crawling around 7 months.
Also remember, if your baby was born prematurely, that is, before 37 weeks, it might take a little longer for baby start rolling over and achieving milestones (not just this) than the rest.
How to help baby start rolling over :
It is important that you do not force milestones on your baby. However, there are a few things we can do to strengthen our baby’s muscles and help initiate baby rolling over gently.
Tummy time is when you gently put your baby on his tummy.
This can be done from the day your baby is born. Apart from the various benefits of tummy time, it helps your baby strengthen his neck, shoulder, and arm muscles. Thereby, helping baby start rolling over.
Initially some babies may not like tummy time. My son used to cry, the moment we put him on his tummy.
Do not force tummy time on your baby. By the time he was a month and a half old he started enjoying tummy time.
Place colourful objects in front of your baby:
Placing colourful objects in front of your baby will entice him to reach for the objects.
During tummy time, you can hold an object in front of him and slowly lift it up so that he can follow the object.
This will help him in lifting his head up and thereby strengthen his muscles.
When the baby is lying down on his back, you can show him a toy and help him follow it with his eyes to the side and leave on either side.
Reaching for the toy will push him to turn to the side, which is the first step to rolling over. And slowly you will be rewarded when your baby starts rolling over.
You can also read our article on 12 Everyday activities that WILL impact baby’s development. To be better equipped to help your baby.
Put baby on a firm surface:
If the surface that your baby is on, for example a fluffy or a spring mattress, your baby will find it difficult to push himself to turn over.
This is because he must push himself against the wobble and so very comfortable and cushioned mattress.
Putting the baby on a firm surface, like a not so cushiony mattress or on a mat on the floor, will make turning over for the baby much easier.
As he needs to give himself that extra push to work against the mattress to turn over.
Precautions to take when your baby start rolling over:
Don’t leave your baby unattended:
If you are putting your baby on a bed to play when he is awake, NEVER leave him unattended once you notice signs that your baby is beginning to start rolling over.
These little ones might just worm their way from the high and mighty bed to the floor. I repeat. Do not leave your baby unattended, especially when they are awake.
As weeks go by, the little atoms of energy can roll over and push away all the pillows you have used as fortresses around him.
I once found the pillow on the floor. Yes. they are capable of that. Be very careful.
Feel free to put your baby on the floor:
As mothers we are constantly stuck to these little ones that we must wait for the ‘right’ moment to even use the restroom.
If your baby is away, and you really need to use the restroom or just anything else, do not hesitate to put the baby on the floor.
You could put your baby a play mat or on some carpet or blanket. If you wish to put him directly on the floor, ensure that your floor is neat and clean and not too cold or hot.
In fact, putting your baby on the floor (Hard surface) is good for your baby too.
Keep the baby crib baby friendly:
Contrary to the baby cribs we see on social media, and another sales pictures, Cribs with a lot of toys are NOT baby friendly.
- Use fitted sheets. Never let your sheets loose.
- Use a tight-fitting mattress.
- No stuffed toys in the crib
- Do not put pillows inside your crib
- Consider a baby sleeper or a sleep bag to a bedsheet. Babies who turn over might just get caught up within the bedsheets and not know to untangle themselves.
- Make sure the safety pads on the sides are tied tight to the crib, lest your baby pull it. This will make your baby vulnerable to put his hands/legs through the crib railing. You never know how your baby will surprise you!
Follow safe sleep practices:
Once your baby starts turning over, it is important that you follow safe sleep practises. Here are a few:
Always remember to put your baby to sleep on his back.
However, if he rolls over while he is asleep and is comfortable sleeping on his stomach, let him be.
If you see that baby is uncomfortable or is unable to turn back on his back, you may flip him over and put him back to sleep.
STOP swaddling your baby.
You do not want your baby to get caught up in the swaddle. If you want to use a blanket to cover your baby, make sure the blanket does not go over his chest.
Also remember to leave his hands outside the blanket and do not cover the baby’s face.
Safety during nappy change:
Your little one who now knows to roll over will want to keep doing it all the time.
Trust me, nappy change is when they will want to flaunt all their newly learnt skills!
Some tips for safety during nappy change.
Gather everything you need before you put the baby down on the bed to change his diaper.
Because when you look away for the one second you need to grab something is when your little one will want to turn over
Give your baby a toy to hold as you change his diaper to keep him distracted while you change the diaper.
This will help the baby stay put as you change his diaper.
Turning over mid-way through a diaper change makes it difficult and messy
Use a rubber sheet or a quick dry sheet below baby before nappy change.
Better to be cautious than sorry. Be ready for a mess when you are removing your baby’s soiled diaper. They can get wiggly and this can mess your bed.
Secure baby in a safe spot, before you move away to put the soiled diaper in the bin. Babies can be extra energetic once they are cleaned and soiled diapers are replaced.
What to look for when baby falls:
Babies are prone to accidents and we can do only so much to keep babies safe and prevent accidents.
Usually babies are very resilient, and their soft head keeps any damage at bay.
If your baby falls, try not to panic. Instead check for injuries. Always have the phone number of your paediatrician handy.
Do not self-medicate! Read our article SELF MEDICATION for Kids – A MUST KNOW for every parent before you even think of it.
Call your paediatrician if…
-baby cries uncontrollably and you are unable to soothe him even after 5-10 mins
-if baby is not conscious
-if baby is bleeding from head, nose, or ears
-Baby vomits after falling
-If the soft spot on your baby’s head seems swollen or bulges
-If there is any other abnormal behaviour that you notice.
“You hear people say it all the time, how life changes so drastically. But you can’t possibly grasp how beautiful that is until you have your child” – PINK
Each milestone is a reminder of how fast your baby is growing. Turning over is the first of many milestones that will leave you teary eyed and speechless and in awe of everything your tiny bundle of joy will begin to do.
Turning over is a huge physical milestone for your baby. Praise your baby, plant a kiss, and encourage the little one every time they try and roll over.
As important as it is for your baby to achieve milestones on time, do not force your baby to achieve a milestone.
Do not compare your baby with another baby. Achieving a milestone is not a race.
It is a cause of worry only if your baby does not achieve any milestones at all. Let your baby grow at their own pace.
It will not be long before your tiny baby begins to sit, crawl, and walk and surprise you even more.
So, stay in the present and enjoy the milestones your little one has achieved.
Love them a little more till they are not so little anymore. With each milestone comes an extra responsibility.
Gear up and enjoy every second you have with your baby.
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If you have any suggestion and tips to make your baby roll over or what precautions to take , please do share with us in your comments below.