One of the most fascinating things about babies and sleep are how they love to “move and shake” while they sleep!
For your newborn, invest in two very good swaddling blankets to prevent the startle reflex also known as the “moro reflex” from waking them up. You will also notice that they will make grunting noises and almost look like they are eating while sleeping. This is known as active sleep which is the same as our REM. The difference being is that they don’t have muscle paralysis built in yet to their bodies like we do. So, for example, if you dream that you were eating a beautiful, gourmet dinner, you wouldn’t get up, prepare it and then eat it in your sleep. Muscle paralysis prevents that from happening. For your sweet little infant, however, they love to continue to practice the exciting new skills that they are learning while awake – while asleep – at nap time and during the night. Instead of their brains doing ”click, click, store” like ours, they will sometimes do, “click, click, PRACTICE!”. You will find your little ones making eating noises, crawling, sitting up, rolling, and working on their vocal chords while they sleep.
The one that affects babies the most is ROLLING. They will sometimes get very upset if they find themselves on their tummy all of sudden.
What can you do about it? Please follow these easy steps:
If they are not crying and upset about it, try to relax. Please call your family doctor for a second opinion. You NEVER want to PROMOTE tummy sleep by putting a newborn nor an infant on their tummy TO sleep but most doctors say that it happens naturally on its own, then it is OK. Please make sure to have a well ventilated room, no bumper pads, a firm mattress, and a well fitting crib sheet, and NO blankets in the crib. If on your way to bed, you find them on their tummies and you want to flip them back over on their back, you can.
If they are rolling on to their tummies, getting stuck and getting upset about it, then remove the sleep sack (if you are using) and layer your baby warmer for now until they become a master rolling machine. This will give them greater mobility to roll back and forth in the crib.
Practice rolling as much as possible by day when they are awake!
If they cry, RUSH IN! Don’t wait. I call this the SUPER HERO technique. Put on your cape, fly in, flip your baby on their back without a word or loving touch and fly back out like you were never there! I know it sounds crazy, but it works! I simply do not want to encourage your little one to roll on their tummy and then CRY in the night.
Good Luck and many thanks to Maritza Reilly who inspired today’s tip!