Using a Blanket to Teach Your Baby to Roll Over
Milestones are a big part of a baby’s first year. One of the first important milestones – around 3 or 4 months old – is the ability for a baby to roll over from back to belly and belly to back. Some babies do this easily, first taking a few falls to one side or the other and then naturally getting into a rhythm of rolling back and forth. You can find very cute and hilarious videos of babies getting some speed and rolling all the way across a room.
If your baby doesn’t take to rolling over quite so naturally, there’s no need to worry. As long as your baby is getting enough tummy time each day to build strength in his or her core and neck, the rolling will come in time. However, there is a gentle way to encourage your baby to roll using a blanket. Give this a try if you see him or her showing interest in rolling but needing a bit of support to do so.
Step 1: Lay Baby in Tummy Time on a Soft Blanket
While your baby is learning to roll gracefully, the first few rolls will likely be a little uncoordinated. It’s best to practice somewhere soft so that his or her head potentially hitting the floor isn’t a problem. That said, a baby needs a firm, flat place to practice rolling. The best solution is to place an ultrasoft blanket, like a Baby Minky Blanket, directly on the ground.
Since babies are safest on their backs, it’s most important for them to be able to roll from belly to back. Place your baby on the blanket in tummy time to practice rolling from this position first.
Step 2: Add Incentive
Babies operate completely on instinct. If they are interested in seeing or touching something, they will do whatever they need to do to get to that thing. Playing off this innate desire and curiosity is a great way to encourage your baby to roll.
Simply place a favorite (or new) toy slightly out of the baby’s reach and a few inches to the side of his or her arms. You want your baby to be reaching for the item but not able to grab it from their current position.
Step 3: Show Baby the Way
Once your baby is interested in the incentive item, slowly and gently start to lift the side of the blanket that you want your baby to roll away from. The key here is SLOW. You are merely nudging your baby in the direction of a roll, but he or she is going to have to do the actual work.
If you’re interested, there are many videos online demonstrating this technique. Remember that your role as a parent is to set up the environment to encourage your baby to learn and grow. Each baby reaches his or her milestones on a different schedule, and there’s no need to rush them.
In the meantime, enjoy experimenting with your baby as he or she learns to roll over. These are the ordinary but incredibly special moments that so often fly by in baby’s first years.
Notice: This is not meant to be medical advice and strictly opinion.