At around 3 months plus, Little J had the tendency to always roll to his side. At first, I thought it was because I had the TV on, since he always ended on the side facing the TV. Later on, the rolling to his side sort of evolved into rolling from one angle to another. Very often, I would place him in the same position, i.e. head facing the top of the cot and feet at the bottom, but when he woke up from his nap, I would find him shifted 90 degrees with his body across the cot.
Little J on his side
Mastering the rolling to his side while sucking his fingers
Later on, I realized it wasn’t just because of the TV, because he started rolling to both sides regardless of whether the TV was on or not. His method of rolling was quite smart, I thought. He would lift both of his legs up, then let them fall to the side. Depending on which side his legs fell, his body would follow suit. So he was in fact using the weight of his legs to drag his body along. How brilliant! Due to this method, every time he’s on this side, his body would form a 90 degrees angle. And when he tried to straighten his body by kicking his legs, his body would move 90 degrees away, making his body slowly rotate around. That eventually explained how he always ended up in a different position in his cot.
Another shot of him on his side
Just a few days after he turned 4 months old, he started doing a lot more of this rolling to the side, but this time, he was trying to flip himself over to his tummy! I discovered that one day when I placed him on his play mat as usual and I went out to collect my laundry. Once I was back, I heard him wailing, which was unusual, so I quickly went to him to find that he was on his tummy! Unfortunately, he wasn’t someone who liked being on his tummy and since he didn’t know how to flip himself back, he started struggling for help. I was surprised and a little upset that I missed the first time he did his rollover, so I was adamant to stay and watch him do it the second time. Finally, I managed to catch him doing it on video after he attempted it for the 10th time or so. Bravo! If there’s one thing I learnt, it is that Little J is one determined little fella. He kept on trying and trying even after many failures, until he got what he wanted. And if you noticed, he even started each attempt with a smile!
Little J rolling over
They say there is such a thing as sleep regression, where babies start to sleep less or out of pattern due to a development phase or the learning of a new skill. True enough, Little J’s sleep was all over the place a few days before he mastered the rollover, probably because he was still trying to figure out how to do it. Once he got that figured out, his sleep slowly went back to normal, but we were faced with another new problem. He started to rollover in the middle of the night when he’s awake! Needless to say, he wouldn’t be happy with that position for long before he started wailing for help. I can’t tell you how many times I was awaken by him crying out loud just because he flipped himself over to his tummy. And the problem was I couldn’t stop him for doing it over and over again. He must have been excited learning the new skill and wanting to try it out whenever possible but it was certainly taking away my much-needed sleep in the middle of the night.
“Look mommy, I’m on my tummy again!”
“Hehe, woke you up, didn’t I?”
The rolling over in the middle of the night happened for a few nights in a row, until I was so exhausted having to wake up at 2/3/4/5am just to roll him back. Finally, on one morning, I was just too tired to wake up and surprisingly the crying stopped after a few minutes. When I finally woke up, I peeked into his room to find out that he, too, was too tired to cry for help and gave in to sleeping on his tummy. Hooray! Little J had never been able to sleep on any position other than on his back, so he eventually developed a bald spot. Now that he learnt to sleep on his tummy, it would give the bald spot a chance to grow his hair. Plus, he wouldn’t have to scream out for help if he flips himself over in the middle of the night again. Double win.
Sleeping on his tummy
It has now been 3 weeks since he turned 4 months old, and yes, the rolling over is still happening. The good news is that he just started to roll himself back to his back now! Gosh my boy is becoming more and more mobile by the day, and more independent too. I look forward to documenting his next major milestone!