Rolling over is a massive milestone for babies and not one for which parents are always prepared. Babies who roll over early can cause anxiety for many parents who worry about their baby’s safety.
As sleep sacks become a standard accessory for babies, parents may wonder how safe they are in certain situations. So the question is: Are sleep sacks safe when baby can roll?
At what age do babies start rolling?
Every baby reaches milestones at his or her own pace, but there are some benchmarks that are somewhat universal.
Most babies will start to rock back and forth when they are around three or four months old and many will have mastered rolling over when they are between six and seven months. Still, babies sometimes have a few tricks up their tiny sleeves.
Can a 1-month-old roll over?
Parents may be very surprised to see how their newborn may roll over on her side while sleeping in the first few weeks! This, however, is unusual and babies often lose that ability by the time they are one month old.
Can babies roll over at 2 months?
It’s unlikely for a two-month-old baby to roll over, considering most babies that age don’t have the kind of core strength required, but remember: every baby is different.
It’s always best to keep a close eye on your little one, and definitely never leave him or her on a high surface like a changing table or a couch unattended.
Can babies roll over too early?
Again, every baby develops at his or her own individual pace and it’s important for parents to remember not to compare their child to anyone else’s.
That being said, from a safety standpoint, it is true that a baby can roll over too early. Babies who roll over early will most likely do so by accident, but the problem is that they won’t have the strength to push themselves up or roll back. As a result, they can potentially suffocate if they end up with their face pressed against the mattress.
How long does it take for a baby to roll over?
As we mentioned, babies usually start to roll around when they are four or five months old and they become reasonably proficient by six or seven months. The actual time it takes a baby to roll depends on the baby, but it can happen in seconds, so it’s important to always have an eye on them.
What are signs of rolling over?
There are a few signs to watch out for which may suggest that your baby is getting ready to start rolling.
One of the tell-tale signs that it’s about to happen is when your baby starts rocking back and forth on his or her back or belly to strengthen the core. They may also start lifting themselves off the ground by pushing up or arching their backs. Lastly, they may start kicking their legs a lot or trying to cross their legs.
When should a baby start rolling over in their sleep?
In a perfect world, a baby would sleep on their backs forever, as this would definitely minimize parental stress; however, the truth is that we don’t have a whole lot of control over the rolling once it starts.
Once a baby has become pretty good at rolling over around that six- or seven-month mark, the general consensus is that they are safe to sleep on their stomachs if that is what they choose to do.
When should I worry if my baby is not rolling over?
As we said, most babies start to roll by six or seven months, but that’s not true for every single baby and you shouldn’t get into worry mode if your baby isn’t rolling over yet.
If you’re concerned, speak with your pediatrician, especially if your child isn’t scooting, sitting or moving in some way by six months. If your baby is missing other important milestones, like not reaching for objects or not babbling, you should definitely speak with his or her doctor.
Weighted Sleep Sacks and Rolling
Are wearable blankets safe for babies who can roll over?
Wearable blankets, also known as sleep sacks, are a type of blanket that allows a baby to move his or her arms freely. They usually zip up the front and keep babies warm without the danger posed by loose fabric in their cribs.
This leads us to the question: Are sleep sacks safe for babies who can roll over?
Not only are sleep sacks safe for babies rolling, they are actually preferred to any other kind of blanket or swaddle for rolling babies.
Can babies roll in sleep sack blankets?
Sleep sack blankets may make it more difficult for babies to roll but it doesn’t prevent them from doing it all together.
Are weighted sleep sacks safe for babies who roll?
Weighted sleep sacks, which are wearable blankets that are heavier than usual, are considered safe in general for babies who can roll over.
As long as the sleep sack has the appropriate weight, i.e. less than 10% of a baby’s total weight, these are a safe nighttime resource for parents to help their babies feel more comfortable and sleep better and longer.
With weighted sacks, the weight is still very gentle and movement is unrestricted, so babies can do the same things in a weighted sack as in a non-weighted sack: sit, stand or roll.
FAQ's about rolling
Which way does a baby roll over first?
In most cases, a baby will roll from belly to back because it’s easier to push themselves up and roll over to one size. However, like everything else a baby does, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule and some babies may choose to buck the trend and go from back to stomach first.
There’s also no set direction that babies first roll in, but parents will notice that babies tend to favor one side at first and strengthen that side before they move to the other side. If your baby doesn’t seem to be rolling to the other side at all after a few weeks, you might speak with your pediatrician.
How can I encourage my baby to roll?
There are lots of ways to encourage your baby to roll over.
First, start with lots of tummy time. This is crucial for strengthening the muscles that your baby will eventually use to roll over and perform other essential movements.
Second, limit the time your baby spends on “baby equipment.” The more time he or she spends laying on their backs in swings and car seats, the less time they spend working on those motor functions that are important for learning to roll.
Third, letting babies play with toys while laying on their side puts them in a position to work the muscles needed to roll and they may let gravity pull them into a roll from time to time.
Another idea is to carry your baby in tucked, face down, or sideways positions for short periods, which helps their nervous system get in tune with different movements and positions.
You can also place toys by his or her head which are brightly colored or make noise. Where the head goes, the body will follow, and if they’re turning their head to look at a toy, they will eventually try to roll over to touch it.
Gently rolling your baby while picking them up and putting them down will also get them used to the feeling of moving from one position to another.
You might try getting on the floor with them and reading and playing with them while moving around. They will try to follow your movement and they might just work hard enough to roll over.
Most importantly, be patient. Sometimes your baby just isn’t ready, but he or she will be when the time is right.
Rolling in sleep sacks: Safety tips for babies who roll
The time between when a baby starts rolling over and when they master this skill can lead many parents to worry, especially when they’re wearing a sleep sack to bed. Although you can’t watch them throughout the night, below are five great tips to help you keep them safe.
Remove anything in the crib that can be a potential suffocation hazard, including loose sheets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, or anything else that could cover a baby’s face and nose. Only then can your baby sleep in a sleep sack and roll over without danger.
Stop swaddling and switch to a sleep sack that doesn’t inhibit arm movement and can’t cover his or her face.
If your baby’s sleeping in a bassinet, he or she will need to upgrade to a crib with more room to move once he or she is rolling.
Encourage your child to roll over more. The better they get at rolling over during the day, the safer they will be doing it at night.
- Finally, you may choose to turn your baby back over if they roll in their sleep. While sleeping on their back is deemed safer, most doctors agree that if they are rolling onto their stomachs during the day and they do it in their sleep, it is generally safe for them to do so.
Keep on rolling
Though it tends to make parents nervous, rolling babies are positive because it means that they’re reaching important developmental milestones.
One of the best things we can do as parents when our baby starts to roll is to ditch the swaddle and start using, or keep using, a sleep sack. Not only are sleep sacks safe for rolling babies but they are just as cozy as a swaddle.
Do sleep sacks prevent rolling over? No, they simply keep our babies warm and comfortable and, most importantly from a safety standpoint, they don’t block their nose or mouth.