Babies Rolling Over in Crib: What You Need To Learn As Parents?

You probably see videos of babies rolling over in the crib often and you are excited to see your baby do the same. Then, the day that your baby rolls over finally comes! One moment you are elated to witness her improvement, the next moment you are already worried because she won’t stop rolling. Your baby rolls over day and night. You begin to ask yourself questions and wonder what you should do. Good news, we got you!

This article provides information regarding babies’ rolling-over phase in detail. For eager parents who hope to learn about this stage in advance, we gathered a list of what you can do to prepare. Ready? Let’s roll it. 

Babies Rolling Over in Crib

Rolling over happens when the baby moves from tummy to back and back to tummy. It is one of the first body movements that your baby learns to do. They develop this skill when their bodies gain enough muscle strength to flip over. This movement also serves as a foundation for crawling, sitting, standing and walking.

Simple as this may sound, many parents dread the rolling-over phase. Perhaps you have your own reasons why.

Related: Toys for Babies Learning to Walk in 2021 {Parents’ Top 10 Choices]

What happens during the rolling over phase?

But before we dwell on our experiences and expectations as parents, let us pause for a while and imagine that we are our babies. We spent nine long months in our mother’s  womb and about a good three months of limited and restricted movement. Then, one day, we realize we can move beyond what we used to.  

Are you following? Rolling over could be a liberating and exciting skill for our little ones. Thus they do it over and over until it becomes second nature to them. The rolling over phase is the two to three week period when all you see is your baby rolling over in the crib. 

When does rolling over happen?

You can anticipate your baby to roll over as early as four months old. There is usually an increase in the side to side rocking motion. They can even roll over from tummy to back. This movement is easier for them than the other way. Around six months old, babies can roll over both ways. 

While we can expect to see babies rolling over in the crib around four to six months old, know that some babies do this earlier or later. If your baby hasn’t rolled over at seven months old, you may consult with her pediatrician. 

Why study about babies rolling over?

Now that you know the basics of babies rolling over phase, it is time to talk about why we, parents, should study about this. 

You probably heard about Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). In case you haven’t, it refers to the sudden and unexpected death of babies less than one year of age. This may be caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, and other unknown factors. 

Although data shows that SUID is rare and the rate of cases goes down over time, parents need to be informed about the risks to eliminate this possibility of happening altogether.

In the next sections, we will discuss how to prepare and handle babies rolling over in the crib phase to ensure their safety. Are you looking for ways to keep your children safe at home or during outdoor plays? Check out our reviews of the best baby safety products in the market today!

How do you prepare for your baby’s rolling over?

Preparing for babies rolling over in the crib  involves two things. First, prevent babies from flipping while their bodies are still weak. To do this, you can do the following:

  1. Swaddle your babies. Swaddling is the practice of correctly wrapping your newborn in a cloth to resemble the feeling inside a mother’s womb. This helps the babies adjust in the real world and restricts impulse movement that can wake them.
  1. Lay your babies on their backs from day one. Since newborns’ bodies are still soft and weak, their tummies could hardly support them. Lying on the back significantly reduces the risks of SUID according to healthcare experts.
Lay your baby on her back during rolling over phase to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).

Second way to prepare babies before they roll over in the crib is to assist babies in strengthening their bodies through incorporating tummy time. 

You can start placing your baby for about five minutes in their tummies. Gradually increase the duration and frequency over time. This will help your baby develop their core strength. 

Expect that your baby may feel discomfort or uneasiness. A little encouragement can boost their resolve to stay in this position. You can place toys or mirrors in front of them. To help you find the best toys for your baby, we have reviewed the best toys for 7 months old too. You can also place them in your chest and have them face you so you can talk or sing to them.  

These simple things can go a long way in helping your babies. 

What to do when your baby starts rolling over in the crib?

So we are past the preparatory phase. This time, your baby is on the move. Now, what? There is one principle to apply. Keep your baby safe as she keeps on rolling over in the crib.

How do we promote safety during babies rolling over in the crib phase? Listed below are some of the things that you should do and not do

  1. Stop swaddling. When you notice first signs of rolling over, you should immediately stop swaddling. This is to eliminate the restriction in the movement. Your baby should be able to use their arms and legs freely as they roll over. Swaddling may cause unsafe roll over like turning into a position that obstructs air flow. 
  1. Use a sleeveless sleep sack. A sleeveless sleep sack gives your baby the warmth of a swaddle while allowing her to roll over safely.
  1. Remove the clutter in the crib. Toys and pillows put your baby at risk of suffocation as they roll over in the crib. As pretty as they may look in photos, they are harmful and unnecessary.
  1. Lay your baby on a breathable mattress. Again, this helps your baby get air as she rolls over in the crib. You can also get her a wooden baby gym to keep her entertained while she’s lying on her back.
  1. Ensure that the sheets are flat. Tuck your bed sheets securely. Babies can pull loose sheets. This can cover their faces making them unable to breathe. Also, it can entangle with their bodies and put them in unsafe positions.
  1. Put your baby to sleep with her back on the bed. Continue this sleeping position as it is found to reduce SUID according to experts.

What to do if your baby rolls over in the crib as they sleep?

So you followed everything listed above. Afterwards, you went to check the crib and saw that your baby is tummy sleeping. You wonder, should I do something? 

According to the experts, you should NOT turn your baby to his or her back. You are only advised to put your baby to sleep with his or her back on the bed. If your baby managed to roll over to his or her tummy, that is alright. Besides, babies are supposed to grow strength to roll over in the crib to find their comfortable sleeping position. 

What to do if your baby cries after they rolled over while sleeping?

You decided not to turn your baby back and follow expert’s advice. But your baby started crying after they rolled over while sleeping. What now?

Some babies are okay with tummy sleeping. Some babies are adjusting to the feeling of the new position. Others are just plainly uncomfortable.

If your baby cries, it is best to wait for ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes the crying will stop as the baby adjusts. If the crying persists, you may flip your baby over to her back. 

This phase will only last for two to three weeks. Your baby will soon learn to turn her own body and won’t need your assistance.

What to do if your baby gets stuck on their tummy after they rolled over while awake?

Now, it is day time, your baby is playing in her crib. She rolls over but gets stuck on her tummy. Should you do anything?

Usually, it is easier for babies to turn from their tummy to back rather than from back to tummy. So if your baby got on her tummy, most likely, she can go back. 

Assuming she can’t, you can apply the one free flip over rule that many parents adopt. That is, you give one free flip over to your baby. Afterwards, if your baby still gets stuck on her tummy, you let her learn to go back on her own. 

Remember practice makes progress. You need to strike a balance between helping your baby and letting them learn to move on her own. 

Final words for parents

As parents, it is normal to worry about our babies’ development. We do our all to ensure that they receive the best care and support. Remember that as long as you follow the advice listed  above, you can relax knowing that you did your part. In case you still have any other questions and concerns regarding your baby’s rolling over in the crib, you can always consult your pediatrician. 

It is understandable if you are having a difficult time in constantly checking your baby’s rolling over, especially at night. Do not forget to be mindful of your own well-being too. A healthy mindset can help you manage exhaustion. Bear in mind that this period won’t last long. Soon, babies will learn to move their bodies on their own. So, as challenging as this may be, learn to embrace and cherish every moment of it. Have fun while it lasts!

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