Study Shows That the Developmental milestone of rolling over the same after 20 years of “Back to Sleep”
Safe sleep logo…Back to Sleep started 20 years ago!
I can’t believe it has been 20 years.…20 years since the “Back to Sleep” campaign, now known as the “Safe Sleep” campaign, was started. My 20 year old son had just been born when this campaign became a focus for safe sleep and prevention of SIDS. No longer did I place him on his side or tummy to sleep like I had our girls…he slept on his back. This was a big change, and it took awhile for Moms and Dads (and Grandmas too) to follow this new recommendation. Change is always difficult! The good news is that we have seen a decrease in SIDS over the years as more parents follow the safe sleep guidelines.
For years we thought that the “Back to Sleep” campaign may have had an effect on the developmental milestone of rolling over. Many of us thought that babies were possibly rolling later and were more often rolling from back to tummy first instead of from tummy to back. I was surprised to read a study published just this week that may prove me wrong in that regard. The study completed by a Canadian researcher looked at 725 infants aged 1 week to 8 months and found that the time frame for rolling was basically the same as it was 20 years ago. The research also showed that rolling from tummy to back and back to tummy really happen at about the same time, not a real difference in the time frame for tummy to back or back to tummy…so infant development milestones really are the same as they were 20 years ago!
This being said…there is real importance in having tummy time every day for your baby. Tummy time does help with development of upper body strength, gives your baby the opportunity to roll, and helps prevent some of the flattening of infant heads that we sometimes see in children who are on their backs or in the same position for long periods of time. So, another worry off your worry list (if it even was on it!) Your child will develop just fine when practicing the safe sleep recommendation of Back to Sleep…but it is important to have at least 20 minutes of “Tummy Time” every day too!
How much tummy time does your baby need?
- You should begin tummy time as soon as you bring your baby home. Your baby needs just a few minutes several times a day at the beginning, and then building up to at least 20 minutes a day. Always supervise your baby when he is having tummy time. Do not leave him alone for safety reasons.
What if your baby fusses every time you try tummy time?
Many babies don’t like tummy time in the beginning. Start out slowly and soon your baby will get used to lying on his tummy. Try these tips:
- Distract your baby. Lie in front of your baby so he can see your face. Sing songs, make funny faces, play peek-a-boo, shake a rattle or place bright colored toys or a mirror in front of your baby.
- Try propping your baby up on his tummy with a nursing pillow or rolled blanket by placing the roll or pillow under his chest and underarms. This may help your baby see better and feel more supported.
- Lie on your back and place your baby on your chest. Many babies love this and this counts as tummy time too!
- Don’t put your baby on his tummy right after eating; this may increase his likelihood of spitting up!
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.