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Navigating the Rolling milestone

Navigating the Rolling milestone

As a parent, witnessing your baby's developmental milestones is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. One of these milestones, rolling over, marks a significant advancement in your baby's physical abilities. However, along with this achievement often comes a period of sleep regression that can leave parents feeling exhausted and perplexed. 


I remember when my eldest daughter started rolling onto her tummy in the cot, I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep a wink the first night!  I was in and out of her room every 10 minutes to check she was still breathing.  With our second I was far more relaxed about it, but never-the-less the first night I didn't sleep as well I usually did!


Sleep regression refers to a period when a baby's sleep patterns suddenly change, leading to frequent night wakings, difficulty falling asleep, and shortened naps. While sleep regressions can occur at various stages of infancy, one common trigger is when babies begin to master new skills, such as rolling over.


When babies learn to roll, they often become more mobile during sleep, which can disrupt their usual sleep routines. Additionally, the excitement of this newfound ability may cause them to practice rolling even when they should be sleeping. As a result, parents may find themselves dealing with a baby who wakes up multiple times throughout the night or struggles to settle for naps.


Navigating the Rolling Milestone Sleep Regression: While sleep regression during the rolling milestone can be challenging, there are strategies parents can employ to help their babies adjust and establish healthy sleep habits:

  1. Create a safe sleep environment: Ensure your baby's sleep space is conducive to safe rolling. Use a firm mattress with a fitted sheet, remove any loose bedding or toys, and avoid placing pillows or soft items near your baby's face.

  2. Practice rolling during wakeful hours: Encourage rolling practice during supervised playtime when your baby is awake. This allows them to master the skill during the day, reducing the urge to practice it excessively at night.

  3. Establish consistent bedtime routines: Stick to a calming bedtime routine that signals to your baby that it's time to sleep. This may include activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, bedtime story, or soothing lullabies.

  4. Offer comfort and reassurance: When your baby wakes up during the night, upset that they are on their tummy, provide comfort and reassurance without immediately resorting to picking them up. Rubbing their back, shushing, or offering a cuddly can help soothe them back to sleep.

  5. Practice safe sleep practices: Always follow safe sleep guidelines recommended by paediatricians, such as placing your baby down in the cot on their back - even if they roll themselves straight onto their tummy! 

  6. Be patient and consistent: Remember that sleep regressions related to development are temporary and often resolve on their own within a few days to a couple of weeks. Stay patient and consistent with your approach to sleep, even during challenging nights.  If you have done some sleep training already, your baby won't have forgotten what they learned!  Don't panic and try to 'make' them sleep, go back to the strategy you used at the time of sleep training if they are having trouble falling asleep because they are too busy rolling.


If you are feeling worried about your baby rolling and sleeping on their stomach because they are very young and still swaddled, the SmartSnugg system might relieve your anxiety.  This amazing monitoring system alerts you on your device if your wee one has rolled onto their side or tummy while you are asleep. 


Navigating sleep regression when your baby starts to roll can be a trying time for parents, but it's important to remember that it's a normal part of development. By creating a safe sleep environment, establishing consistent bedtime routines, and offering comfort and reassurance, you can help your baby adjust to their newfound mobility while maintaining healthy sleep habits. Stay patient, and remember that this phase will pass, leading to more restful nights for both you and your little one.


You've got this!


X Cara

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