YAY!!! Your baby has hit their first major milestone. Rolling from back to tummy or vise versa can be an exciting moment in many parents lives. But when they continue to practice their new trick in their crib and get stuck, what most often is affected is their sleep! When your baby starts to roll, there are a few ways to help them cope when your baby flips over, gets stuck and begins to cry.
1. First Option: Stick to the same bedtime routine as you have always had. Lay your baby down in the same position as you normally do. Tuck them in, say goodnight and walk out. Often times, babies like to practice their new tricks. So the rolling begins. And moments later, they begin to cry because they are stuck they don’t care to be in. Wait a few minutes (3-5 is plenty). Giving them the opportunity to figure it out can help tremendously. If they do, it’s a win! If they don’t, go ahead and step into their room and flip them back into the position they started bedtime out with. Walk out of their room and start the process over again. Continue this process until they have fallen asleep. It may be a few trips of flipping them back into their initial position but eventually they will learn that they will want to stay in this position in order to fall asleep.
2. Second Option: If you know your baby well enough to know they will only continue to roll over and the first plan won’t do any good, give yourself a set number (between 1 and 3) of how many times you will help flip your child back in place. Once your child exceeds that number, you start your sleep training method and begin teaching them how to self soothe in this new position.
3. Third Option: If you aren’t seeing a light at the end of the tunnel after flipping them back a few HUNDRED times or even after one or two, it’s time to teach them to fall asleep in the position they rolled themselves into. Begin with laying them in their regular position at the start of bedtime. Once they have have rolled and begin to cry, give them a few minutes (3-5 is plenty) to fuss in that position. Go in and make a brief check to comfort and reassure but do NOT reposition them from this position. Step away even if they are still crying. Continue letting them fuss in these 3-5 minute rounds (whatever you feel comfortable allowing) and continue to make brief checks UNTIL your child has fallen asleep. After a few nights, rolling into this new position will be completely fine for them to fall asleep to. But remember, stick to it – throughout the night and during their naps!
Things to remember
1. Remove the swaddle: It’s so important to remove your child’s swaddle at this point. Hands should be free so once they roll, they won’t be completely helpless in this position.
2. Remove all items in the crib: Have their cribs be free of items that they can easily roll onto. Bumper free, blanket (unless breathable) free, and stuffed animals free!
3. Keeping your child’s room dark and with a sound machine on the entire night will only help create an easier path for your sleep training experience.
4. Practice, practice, practice! During the day, spend time working on their rolling. It will only help (and tire them out) during the time they are in their cribs.
5. Don’t forget – consistency is key!