Gross Motor Activities for Infants

How to Improve and Develop Your Baby's Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills are a fundamental part of a baby's development. In fact, did you know a baby will begin learning gross motor skills, such as kicking, while they are still in the womb.  

Gross motor skills are the foundational skills that a child requires to build more advanced and complicated skills later in their life.  It is this reason that we encourage parents to educate themselves about gross motor skill activities for infants. By helping your baby's development you can ensure they will grow into a independent and rounded individual. 

In this article we are going to cover a step-by-step Gross Motor Activity plan for the first year of your baby's life. We will also provide detailed instructions of how to encourage your baby to learn the activities. 

However before we get into the activities, for those that are just beginning to learn about motor activities, let's take a quick recap of what exactly they are and the role they play. 

What are Gross Motor Activities?

Gross Motor Activities is a term used to describe the physical activity that babies perform.

Gross Motor Activities for Infants

It includes things like crawling, walking and rolling around in their play area. As mentioned earlier, Gross Motor Activities can be performed by your child at any age, but it’s important to remember as your baby develops and gets older, they will use these skills to learn more complicated skills.  Therefore, it is important to help your child master the fundamental skills before moving on to more advanced gross motor skills.

If you want to learn more about Gross Motor Skills for infants, check out our other article where we take a deep dive into everything you need to know about Gross Motor Skills

Best Baby care tips

How Can I Help My Child Learn More About Their GMA’s?

We recommend starting off early, so your child has plenty of opportunities to learn new skills. You should also make sure you include some fun games during playtime too. These could involve throwing balls, climbing over obstacles or even playing hide-and-seek!

If you want to know what else you can do to help develop your baby’s gross motor skills then keep reading our guide below:

Rolling

One of the first main gross motor skills your little one will learn is to roll.  Babies can begin to roll anywhere between 3 months to 9 months. Helping your baby to learn to roll is a great way to kick off your baby's gross motor skills journey.  It allows them to gain more mobility and independence. 

One of the keys to helping your baby to roll is to engage them in the right activities like playing with toys on their side, lots of tummy time for muscle building, and also teaching them about shifting their weight to help them gain some momentum for a roll. 

We actually have a comprehensive guide to lending your baby a helping hand to learn how to roll - we recommend checking it out. 

Crawling

The next step towards developing good gross motor abilities is to teach your little one how to crawl.

To start off, find an appropriate place where there isn't much clutter or other hazards. Make sure it's safe before letting your baby try out their arms and legs.

When teaching him/her to crawl, put your hands under their knees and gently position your baby into the crawling position. This allows them to build up their strength and confidence in the crawling position. 

Once they have gained this new-found confidence, you will find it is only natural for them to start experimenting with the crawling position and move their legs back and forth.  As soon as he/she starts moving independently, stop assisting them to go further. Instead, let them explore on their own. 

Here is a great video by Nekole Amber showing the process of teaching your little one how to crawl:

Walking

Gross Motor Activities for Infants

Now that your baby is starting to gain more and more gross motor skills in their tool belt, it's time to introduce them to walking. Walking is one of those major milestones parents love to celebrate, and it is for this reason we recommend keeping your camera phone close by to capture the moment.

Walking can occur anytime after your baby has mastered the previous gross motor skill activities. However, generally speaking it can occur anytime between 8 – 20 months old. 

To help and encourage your baby to walk try placing a small toy between two chairs. Your baby should naturally want to pull themselves up onto the chairs to "furniture surf" around the chairs.  However, if they are more inclined to crawl, give them a hand in the right direction and help them up to the chair and support themselves by holding onto the chair. 

It is at this point that you can begin to encourage your baby to take their first steps.  Simply draw their attention to the toy and entice them to move toward the toy with movement in their feet.  You can even try shaking the toy to gain their confidence in moving. 

Another method for encouraging walking that worked for us is using play toys that your little one can shift along the floor.  We didn't intend for it, however our second daughter learned how to walk by pushing a Fisher Price Stand Up Activity Center along the floor. 

She just started shifting it to the places she wanted to go, and the fact that it didn't have wheels meant that it moved and supported her at just the right pace.  As is the case for everything in parenting - each baby develops in their own unique and wonderful way. 

Running

The next obvious gross motor acitivity that an infant will learn is running.  This being said, don't be discouraged or worried if your bubs doesn't pick this skill up until their second year. 

There isn't much you need to do here, since it is only natural for them to want to go faster once they have mastered their walking motor skill. 

The best thing to do is really help them walk properly, so when the time comes to run they have a good technique and can handle the new pace! 

Just a heads up - there will be many falls, bumps and bruises! But that is the best way for your little one to learn. 

Final Thoughts for Gross Motor Activities for Infants

You should keep in mind that babies are born with only 5 senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. That means you can’t expect your baby to learn anything new unless you provide exposure through these five senses. You have to be patient when introducing new skills to your baby so that she/he doesn’t become overwhelmed. If you follow the above tips, I am certain your child will grow into a healthy adult who has mastered many types of physical activity.

Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Developing Your Babies Gross Motor Skills - Definitive Guide

One of the pleasures of having a baby is watching them grow and develop into little people.  It has to be one of the happiest moments for parents when they see their little one roll over or take their first steps.   However, for your baby to reach these important milestones your baby will first need to develop motor skills.  Specifically, both gross and fine motor skills.  Fine and gross motor skills for infants lay the foundations and abilities for your baby to perform the larger movements like rolling and crawling.  In this article we are going to cover everything you need to know about your baby's motor skills.  We look at what they are and why they are so important to develop. We also walk you through the developmental journey your baby should undertake during their first year.  DISCLAIMER: at the Best Baby Care Tips team, we always like to highlight that these milestones are only guides and should not be treated as gospel.  What we mean by this is that we encourage our community not to fixate on your baby not hitting a particular milestone within a certain time frame.  All babies develop at different rates.  We like to encourage our community to stress less and enjoy the journey. 

What is a Gross Motor Skill?

Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Gross motor skills are the skills that babies use to move about and become mobile. Gross motor skills typically engage a large group of muscles in order to achieve the movement. This can include actions like crawling, rolling over and sitting up. The term ‘gross’ refers to how big these movements need to be before we consider it an independent task.

What is a Fine Motor Skill?

A fine motor skill is one where you have to control small muscle groups with precision. These types of tasks require more focus than gross motor skills as they involve smaller muscle groups which means there will be less room for error.

For babies, there are many fine motor skills they will need to master to use in combination with their gross motor skills. For example, fine skills like grasping onto an object requires the fine movements of their hand and fingers, combined with their eyes for precise hand-eye coordination.

Why is it important that my Baby Develop Motor Skills 

Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Motor skills are important for two main reasons. First, they help your baby explore and learn about the world around them. Second, they will help your baby develop the necessary skills required to be a self-sufficient toddler. Motor skills are skills that are used to control movement of body parts such as the hands, feet, hips, or mouth. By moving these body parts in different ways, your baby’s brain is being trained to be more coordinated and aware of their surroundings. As these motor skills develop, your baby will start playing with toys that require coordination and dexterity.

The development of motor skills can impact a child in many ways.  It is not only restricted to your baby's movements.  Improper development of motor skills can hinder social interactions with other babies, and it can leave your baby prone to accidents and injuries in their day-to-day learning and development. 

Some benefits of developing gross motor skills for infants are:

Gross Motor Skills for Infants Developmental Journey

The first year of a child's life is filled with many milestones.  It's a time of much learning and development, all for the purpose of preparing them for the adventures to come.

The first twelve months are critical for development, so to help you understand the skills they need to develop, we have listed below a loose guide for what to look out for.

Gross Motor Skills for Infants - (0 - 6 months)

It would be easy to think that a newborn wouldn't be developing much by way of motor skills due to their lack of movement.  However, just because they are not moving, doesn't mean they are not absorbing everything around them. Even the smallest of movements is your baby trying new things and gaining new skills. 

With that in mind, in no particular order here is a list of gross motor skills for infants aged under the age of 6 months:

Gross Motor Skills for Infants - (6 - 12 months)

After the first six months, the motor skills become much more noticeable and pronounced. Things also become much more interactive and, well, to be honest...a lot more fun! 

Here is a list of the skills you can expect to observe between the ages 6 - 12 months of your baby's development:

Things to Watch out for During Developmental Journey

Okay - before we get into this section we have to re-emphasize our point that every baby develops at their own pace.  So only take these warnings with a grain of salt - and as always, if you have any concerns about your baby's development please seek the advice from a medical professional in your local area. 

That being said, here are a few things to watch for during the first year of your baby's development that may raise from flags for you:

Like we said, if your little one is hitting their milestones at the right time, rather than panic, we suggest helping them along their journey of development.  Do constructive exercises with them and engage them - babies love engagement. 

Activities to Encourage your Baby's Motor Skill Development

We all want the best for our little ones, and we know that you will want to do everything in your power to help them develop.  So with that in mind we have developed a detailed article listing down gross motor activities for infants that will assist them to develop the necessary skills.  We encourage you to check it out.

Key Takeaways from Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Gross motor skills are in integral part of your baby's development.  

Understanding what to look for in your baby along their developmental journey will help you identify if and when you should assist them to learn new skills. 

In this article we have highlight the important of gross motor skills for infants, and when you can expect to observe them demonstrating these skills. 

Let us know how your baby's developmental journey is going in the comments section below. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

What to do if Your Baby Rolls Over in Their Sleep - Don't Panic!

Rolling over is a major milestone in any baby’s development. It can be an exciting time for parents, however it can also raise some justified concerns. Rolling over means that the baby can now change positions during the night resulting in them sleeping on their side or tummy.

Rolling over while sleeping can be alarming for many parents.  Especially if it happens while your baby is sleeping on their tummy. This is because it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In this article we address the concerns many parents have with their baby rolling over in their sleep. We look at what it means now that your baby is now able to roll, and some actions you can take to discourage your little one from rolling over while they sleep. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - Should I be Worried?

Baby Rolls Over While Sleeping

Rolling over is an important milestone for young babies.

It can be a curious stage of development for them.   It indicates that their bodies and muscles are developing. Rolling over is often a milestone that lets parents know that their little one is ready to start moving around and becoming mobile. This is a good thing. 

But what about when baby rolls over when they are sleeping? This can be a bit concerning during the initial stages when they may not have the necessary strength to push themselves back onto their sides or back onto their backs. 

However, during the later stages of development when they have learned how to roll back and forth and gained the core strength, letting your precious one sleep on their stomach becomes considerably less risky. 

In fact, some babies prefer to sleep on their stomachs.  They find it comforting and soothing, allowing them to get a better, more sound, sleep. 

What to Do if your Baby Rolls Over in their Sleep

Babies roll over in their sleep no matter how much you watch them. Don't worry, it's normal and nothing to be worried about.


Here are a few things to keep in mind if your baby starts rolling over:

What NOT to do when your baby begins to roll over in their sleep

Like we've said before...first thing NOT to do when you see your baby sleeping on their stomach is panic.  Check that they are breathing and then take one breath for yourself. When you panic, your body jumps into a fight or flight response and your thinking isn't as logical as normal.  Therefore, it is easy to jump to conclusions and accidentally wake your baby up from a restful sleep. 

You also need to fight your impulse to box your little onein with cushions surrounding them, so they cannot physically roll over.  This actually creates more of a hazard and is potentially harmful to your sleeping bubs. If a cushion accidentally falls on top of your baby's face, it could result in it smothering them resulting in suffocation.  Alternatively, if your baby is beginning to roll in their sleep, they may roll onto their side and push their face against a cushion - again resulting in suffocation. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - How to Stop Them & Reduce the Risk

Earlier we touched on a few things you can do to stop your baby from rolling while asleep. Let's elaborate a bit more on the tips we mentioned earlier. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

Key Takeaways from Baby Rolling Over In Sleep

We understand seeing your little bubs sleeping on their stomach can be an unnerving picture for any parent - however before you panic about your baby rolling over in sleep and decide to jump in and save them, there are some things you should consider. 

Depending on their age and stage of development, a baby sleeping on their stomach isn't necessarily as risky as it may seem. 

If your little one is strong enough to roll themselves back onto their side or back, it is quite possible that you should leave them be. 

However, if you are insistent on stopping them from sleeping on their tummies, there are a few things you can do. Things like swaddling, pacifying and helping them develop their bodies will lead to a safe sleeping environment for your baby. 

Let us know your opinion on babies that roll over in their sleep - what did you do?  Or maybe you did nothing. Leave us a comment below.  

Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months

Why is My Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months?

If you are a parent that is concerned about your baby not rolling over yet - you are not alone. 

It's a common misconception that babies are meant to develop skills and reach milestones by target ages. This often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety in new parents.

If there is one thing you take away from this article make it this - these milestones are guides and only that.  All babies develop differently.  Just because your baby didn't hit a particular milestone doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.  

Now for the topic at hand -is your baby not rolling over at 6 months, baby not rolling over at 5 months, or even baby not rolling over at 7 months? Do not fret - we have got you covered in this article. 

We will explore the mechanics of rolling over and the role it plays in your babies development.  We will look at how to set your baby up for success for rolling over independently.  We look at how you can assist your baby to learn the motor skills and also strengthen the necessary muscles to achieve a roll over.

After reading this, your baby will soon be doing rolls all over your living room you will be wondering when they will stop - here's a hint...they don't 🙂 

When Should a Baby Roll Over?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

Rolling over is a developmental milestone that typically occurs between 4-6 months of age. We say typically only because we, at the Best Baby Care Tips Team, like to remind you it is only a guideline for developmental milestones. 

Some babies start rolling over before they reach 4 months.  And at the same time you can also have a 6 month old not rolling over. Every baby is different.

We often say, rather than looking at a particular age a baby should be rolling over, we like to recommend parents to watch for the signs and behavior from your baby. Watch for indications from your baby for when they are telling you they are ready to roll. We go into these signals in the next section.      

We also like to remind our community if you are at all worried about your baby or their development, we always recommend seeking the advice of your pediatrician.  They can also help you identify if there are any other factors at play surrounding your babies development. 

Recognize These Signals That Baby Is Ready to Start Rolling Over

Being able to recognize when your baby is telling you "I want to roll over" is the best way to know when your baby is ready for some help.

With the vast experience of this community we have been able to create a collection of tips and signals parents have learned from their little ones that indicate they are ready to roll.  In no particular order these signals are:

If you witness any of the above signals from your baby, it is safe to say you can begin to teach your baby rolling techniques.

What If Baby Hasn’t Rolled Over Yet?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

One of the main reasons a baby may not be rolling over is due to lack of head control and muscles. So one of the first things we recommend for concerned parents is to begin developing their baby's muscles and skills with targeted exercises.  

Another reason why a baby hasn't rolled over is that they may be focusing on developing other skills that interest them more.  Listen and observe your baby's behavior.  Are they trying to develop fine motor skills and dexterity with their fingers?  Are they exploring sounds and experimenting with their vocal chords?  You are probably sick of hearing it, however we believe it is an extremely important point - all babies develop at different paces.  Your baby might just want to talk first rather than roll! 

How to Teach Baby to Roll Over

If you are worried that your baby not rolling over at 6 months, or isn't even showing any signs of wanting to learn there are some things you can do to encourage the behavior. 

For some indepth tips to help get baby rolling check out our article TIPS TO HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  In this article we go into detail of the exact steps for coaxing baby to roll. Things like playing with them in engaging activities, using the right baby equipment (and in some cases NOT using particular pieces of baby equipment), and teaching them the actions of how to shift their weight. 

How to Keep Baby Safe When Rolling Over

Now that you are encouraging your baby to roll, it is a good idea to take some safety precautions around your baby. This is especially important in and around your baby's sleeping environment when they may be out of your supervision. Once your baby begins to understand how to roll they won't stop wanting to roll.  Therefore taking these safety measures are a must:

  1. remove any cushions or crib protectors when you place your baby down to sleep.  If they haven't yet mastered the roll over motion, they may trap themselves against a cushion and not have the strength to reposition themselves.  As you can appreciate this can pose as a breathing hazard.
  2. stop swaddling your little one.  Now they have the strength in their arms and legs, your baby will only find the swaddle restrictive and frustrating.  Again this poses a danger as they may wriggle one arm or leg free, but still have the rest of their limbs swaddled, leaving them vulnerable to get themselves into a dangerous position. 
  3. never leave your baby on a couch or high surface.  With baby rolling on the cards, you can now be certain about one thing - they will be moving constantly.  Having them on a high surface poses a falling risk.

Sometimes babies can begin to roll over in their sleep. This can be extremely alarming to parents who are conscious of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you fall into this category we have the perfect article for you to read - Baby Rolling Over in Sleep.

Baby Stopped Rolling Over at 6 Months

There are times when your little one may have started to roll, but then stops for no apparent reason.  In these circumstances we often find the best solution is to begin with the basics.  Again, it may be a phase where they are exploring and developing other skills. Try re-engaging them with creative play.  Keep up with the exercises to continue to strengthen the muscle groups that help them to roll over.  The more interactive you are with them, the more likely they are to engage and be determined to roll over.  

baby not rolling over at 6 months

If you are at all concerned about your babies development and growth, we recommend going to see your local pediatrician for an assessment.  

Final Thoughts on Baby Not Rolling Over

Lets face it - as much as it has been fun having a stationary baby to play with they are going to want to move.

Rolling over is one of the first signs of your baby becoming mobile. In fact, some parents stress over the fact that their baby is not rolling over at 5 months, 6 months or even 7 months.  We have said it before and we'll say it again - every baby develops differently. 

If you are concerned about your baby we encourage you to read through this article to understand the many reasons that your baby hasn't reached this milestone yet.  You can encourage your baby to roll over by using our TIPS to HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  

Is your baby rolling over?  Let us know your tips in the comments section below so we can share our experiences with the wider Best Baby Care Tips community. 

Help Baby Roll Over

Tips to Help Baby Roll Over - Teach Your Baby to Roll Over

Did you know that rolling over is one of the first milestones for a baby? 

If your baby still isn't rolling over, you're not alone. It may seem like all your friends babies are learning how to roll over while your little bubs is no where near rolling.  It's important to have patience and take solace that your baby is doing absolutely fine.  

Rolling over can be tricky, but there are some things you can do to help your baby learn how to roll. 

One of the most common reasons why a baby doesn’t know how to roll over is because they are too young. The muscles and spine aren’t strong enough yet to lift their arm or leg. So one of the first things you can do is to assist your baby to strengthen their core and muscles. I can hear you asking "How do you get a baby to exercise?" That's where these tips can help.  

This article is designed to provide tips to the parents who want to help baby roll over.  The parents who want to give their little one a helping hand to reach that first milestone - rolling over.  

So without further delay, let's learn how to help baby learn to roll over.

When do babies roll over?

For a baby to learn how to roll over independently represents an important developmental milestone. 

Rolling over is their first step towards mobility - which is fantastic for them (maybe not so fantastic for you depending on how you want to look at it 😛 ). Rolling over also helps with the development of a baby's muscle structure in the arms, legs, back and shoulders. 

Being mobile opens up an entire new world of exploration and experimentation with you and wonderful textures/toys. 

But when should a baby learn to roll over independently? 

Babies can begin to roll from their back to their belly from around 3-4 months old, and from their belly to their side around 4-6 months old. It is best to pay special attention when your baby is first learning to roll from back to belly.  This is because when they do actually learn to roll one way, it can take a while for them to learn how to roll back.  Unfortunately, they will often get stuck on their belly. Either way they will be sure to let you know they are stuck by giving q quick cry of frustration. 

How to Help Baby Roll Over

help baby roll over

Babies learn sophisticated motor movements by interacting with their environment. It is through different cues in your baby's environment that you can encourage your baby to develop the necessary muscles and skills for rolling over.  Helping your baby to roll over is a milestone of its own, and there are many ways to encourage your baby.  Here are my favorite top tips to help baby roll over. 

Tummy time is the first step

One of the first steps you can do to help your baby develop strength and muscles for a roll over is tummy time.  Allowing your baby to spend time on their tummies helps them to build neck, arm and back muscles.  All these muscle groups are necessary to help baby roll over.  

Top Tip for new parents - your baby may find tummy time awkward and uncomfortable at first.  They will cry or let out noises of frustration in the first few sessions of tummy time.  And you will instinctively want to put them onto their back again.  But this is absolutely normal.  Tummy time is new to them, and they won't have developed the necessary strength to get themselves into a comfortable position.  Keep the first few tummy times sweet and short, and then gradually lengthen them as your baby gets used to it more.  As their muscles continue to develop and grow, you will notice them pushing and holding themselves up.  It is at this point you know they are ready to use their new-found strength for their rolling movement.  

Engage and Play with them

help baby roll over

When your baby is getting some floor time get down there and play with them.  Lie to their side and call their name.  Brush their cheek with the back of your hand.  Do anything to get their attention and engage with them.  Not only will this build the parent - baby bond.  It will encourage them to explore a new range of motor skills.  Skills needed to help them achieve an independent roll over. 

By repeatedly using toys to pique your baby's interest and encourage them to reach sideways, builds their muscles and core.     

Use Visual and Auditory Motivators

Baby toys like the baby floor gyms are a perfect learning tool to help baby roll over exercises. Especially the toy mats that have toys hanging on the arch that covers your baby.  The toys on the sides of the arch encourage your baby to reach and move in the sideways motion (the beginning of the roll over motor skill).   

Take for example, the Fisher Price Deluxe play gym above.  You can see in they have cleverly designed the gym mat to have toys dangling on the sides.  These will catch baby's attention and as they reach for them, they will develop the necessary muscles to lift their bodies over.  Fisher Price have also included a mirror on the side to spark babys curiosity - a great motivator to roll themselves over. 

The toys also usually have rattles or scrunchy noises that help to catch your baby's attention.  These are great for encouraging the reaching action. 

Let Gravity Help

Other ways to help baby roll over is to let thing happen naturally - and by naturally I mean letting gravity do the work. 

A babies brain is a sponge - it is constantly absorbing information from all around it's immediate environment.  You can use this to your advantage by lending a helping hand when your baby is showing signs of wanting to roll over.  When you see baby reaching for things to the side, fight the temptation to roll them over yourself.  Rather, follow these few steps to let their brain connect the dots of how to roll over. Simply...

  1. Gently lift the leg opposite to the direction they are reaching,
  2. Bring the leg up over their body.
  3. Then release the leg and let gravity take over.

By allowing your baby to experience this motion (with a little of your help), their brains will begin to recognize the muscle movements required to roll over.  Hopefully they will also understand that they can use gravity to help achieve a roll forwards and backwards. 

Weight shifting is key! 

Let's take a closer look at the previous gravity tip of teaching baby to roll over.  

Lifting your baby's leg up and over the center of their body shifts their weight.  Teaching your baby the process of shifting their weight from their back to the side is an important step in how to help baby roll over from back to tummy. 

By affording your baby the experience of weight shifting, they will hopefully link the 

Lifting a baby's leg up and over their body, changes their weight distribution.  Then, by letting gravity complete the roll over your baby begins to understand the first steps of the rolling action.  

Limit Time in Baby Equipment

This may or may not come as good news to you, however leaving your baby in baby equipment designed to support them while they are newborns can actually work against you. For clarity, we are talking about baby equipment like rockers or baby bouncers.

Don't get me wrong, having your little one in them while they are newborn is absolutely fine - if not necessary.   However, if you continue to use them when your baby is beyond the newborn stage (such as older than 4 months), the supportive structure can actually discourage your baby from developing the necessary muscles for rolling over. 

Rather than using the restrictive baby equipment, try leaving your baby on a blanket or baby mat on the floor where they can begin to move more freely and build their motor skills.  

It's Bowling Ball Time

Encouraging your baby into the right position can help them naturally form the muscles and skills to roll over. 

I find using a baby carrier that encourages the straddled position helps the baby to assume a bowling ball position.  It is this bowling ball position that helps the baby to naturally begin to roll from side to side when placed on the floor.  Again, we are using the laws of gravity to assist in the rolling over motion.  A baby with their legs up above them (or even sucking on their toes) is more likely to roll to their side, than one that is used to lying flat with their legs spread apart like a starfish. 

You can also achieve the bowling ball position when you carry them around the house.  Instead of carrying them at your should like we naturally do, try cradling them in your arms down near your stomach with their legs up. Again, it's just about getting them used to a bowling ball position so they want to form the position themselves. 

What Baby Accessories to Look for to Help Baby Roll Over

I don't have to tell you there is an abundance of baby accessories out there.  Sorting through them to find the diamonds in the rough can be an ordeal. 

When you are looking for baby accessories to help with encouraging your baby to roll over, I always look for ones that are versatile.  This means I want an accessorie or toy that not only encourages my baby to roll from back to tummy, but they will also help baby roll over from tummy to back.  

We have already discussed one very helpful toy which is the baby floor gyms (refer to above tip Use Visual and Auditory Motivators.)

Another useful baby accessory I recommend using are tummy time water play mats.  These are fantastic toys that truly engages a baby. They usually have a rim around the water play mat that acts as a soft cushioning for your baby to rest on. I find these a great for helping your baby build neck muscles, as they are forced to assume an upright lying position.  It also forces them to reach around the water mat, building up their strength and muscles for the eventual roll from belly to back.   

Final Thoughts

So there you have it - my top 7 tips to help baby roll over. 

I sincerely hope this article has helped you understand that even though the rolling over milestone is an important one, just because your baby hasn't achieved it yet, doesn't mean they are behind.  Every baby develops at their own pace.  As long as you provide your baby with love, a little bit of encouragement and use the tips identified in this article, I am sure your baby will be rolling independently in no time. 

Then you have the next problem of you won't be able to stop them from moving!

Let us know your top tips for getting your baby to roll over in the comments section below.  

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - your complete guide

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - Everything you Need to Know

Let's face it - co sleeping is a controversial topic.  

However, whether best practices like it or not, many mothers consider co sleeping  - each for their individual reasons. 

I'll admit - I co slept with my daughters when they were newborns.  I can already hear the judgmental clucks of other mothers out there - and I'll put my hand up to say what I did was not right or wrong. It just felt right to me and both have developed into beautiful young girls.  My reasons for co sleeping were out of affection and developing a closeness with my daughters that my gut told me was right at the time. 

Unfortunately, while one of my girlfriends was asking for advice on co sleeping (well after my girls were babies), I learned my practices are frowned upon. 

She asked if using the Dock a Tot would help co sleeping with her little one.  This question genuinely sparked my curiosity, so I decided to do my own research and write this article for other mothers who may be mulling over the exact same question - co sleeping with dock a tot - is it safe?

Dock a Tot - The Ins and Outs

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

If you’re not familiar with dock-a-tot, it is a plushy fabric bed that wraps around your baby to help them sleep or relax.

How does the Dock a Tot Work?

The concept is (as the name suggests) that it acts like a docking station for your baby. 

Yes I agree - it is a bit crude to look at your newborn as if it were a laptop plugging into a docking station. However, the concept is very similar - just in a less mechanical way. Similar to how you lock a laptop into a docking station, Dock a Tot uses straps to secure your baby into the capsule to ensure no falling accidents occur from rolls or movements.  

Additionally, as a docking station securely fastens a laptop to its electrical connectors, the Dock a Tot also uses cushioning around your little one to ensure they are comfortable and less likely to move around roll onto their stomachs - a large concern when it comes to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).  Before you jump up and down about suffocation concerns with your baby mushing their face against the extra cushioning around their head, Dock a Tot have addressed this safety issue.  They have incorporated air permeable materials into their designs.  This means the materials they use throughout the Dock a Tot has the ability to vent air throughout the entire docking station.  A huge plus in safety features we definitely welcome.  So you can sit comfortably knowing your baby will be able to breathe freely. 

For a complete rundown we thought it would be beneficial to show how the Baby Cubby shows the science behind the Dock a Tot and how versatile it can be for using with your little bubs. 

What are the Benefits of a Dock a Tot

Is the Dock a Tot Safe?

Now for the BIG question that we are all here for - is the Dock a Tot safe?

We have already highlighted many of the safety features that Dock a Tot have built into the design of this baby docking station. For the benefit of those that have skipped through the article, these are:

  1. breathable materials used throughout (in case baby mushes their face against cushions)
  2. extra cushioning to prevent unwanted rolling and moving
  3. secure straps to hold baby safely in place

Other features we think are worth highlighting for the Dock a Tot are that there are no choking hazards included in the Dock a Tot package.  These include small toys or additional cot pieces that are intended for entertaining your little one. 

In addition, the materials used are flame-retardent and do not include any toxic substances that may be harmful to your baby. 

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - Is it Safe or Not? 

What is co-sleeping?

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

When it comes to baby sleeping arrangements, there are a lot of approaches. Some parents want their babies in the bedroom with them for night feeds, while others prefer to put their infants in a crib or bassinet in their own room. But what about co-sleeping? What exactly is co-sleeping? How does it work? And is it safe?

Co-sleeping is when the baby shares a bed with the parents. This has been practiced for centuries and can help with bonding and nighttime parenting. Co-sleepers believe that sharing a sleep surface with your baby helps to regulate breathing and body temperature. In addition, it also means that you're close by if your little one needs some assistance. 

If you want to ensure you are co-sleeping properly check out our co-sleeping tips article. In here we disclose the best practices for co-sleeping and the best tips for co-sleeping with your little bubs. 

Should you Co-sleep with a Dock a Tot?

This is one of the most common questions I receive at the Best Baby Care Tips - co sleeping dock a tot - is it safe?  Those that have the Dock a Tot naturally want to know if the Dock a Tot can be used for co-sleeping.  

Truth be told the Dock a Tot was originally intended for this very reason - co-sleeping with your baby.  However, with all the latest best-practices advice being released about co-sleeping, almost everything points to the fact that any type of co-sleeping is frowned upon. 

The Dock a Tot is a very useful tool for travelling with your baby.  However, for regular sleeping arrangements, I would recommend sticking with the standard cot or crib environments.  Even Dock a Tot advise not using the Dock a Tot within other bedtime situations - such as co sleeping.   

Final Thoughts on Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

The Dock a Tot is a wonderful and safe sleeping environment for your little one.  It provides comfort and security for your baby - everything a parent wants for their newborn. 

However, on the issue of co sleeping with the Dock a Tot - much of the best practices and literature does not recommend the practice.  Not because of the Dock a Tot specifically, more so the consensus that co sleeping is not a good idea. 

I think the Dock a Tot is a great option to have - just not for co sleeping arrangements. 

Let us know your thoughts on this much debated topic and share your points of view. 

Co Sleeping Tips

Best Co-Sleeping Tips for New Parents - What NOT To Do

If you have a baby, you’ve probably been advised to have them sleep in their own bed. On the other hand a lot of literature and professionals also recommend that you don’t have them sleep in your bed.

As is the case in the world of new parents, there is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there. 

If you are a regular reader, you would know at the Best Baby Care Tips Team, we always recommend going with your gut.  If your baby just wants to sleep with you, do it.  Just do it with the right information and knowledge of how to approach the situation.  

This article is going to step you through the DO's and DO NOT's of co-sleeping with your bubs.  

Top Co Sleeping Tips with your Baby - Must Do's 

Co Sleeping Tips

It’s common for your baby to want to co-sleep, especially if you are breastfeeding. The closeness, smell and warmth of the bed can make the baby feel safe.

But there are a lot of different opinions on co-sleeping. Here are some helpful tips from moms who swear by it.

Be Alert to Your Baby's Signals

It is important to be aware of the signals your baby is trying to communicate to you.  If your baby is not settling in a co-sleeping arrangement, acknowledge it and try alternatives.  Just because it is easier for you, doesn't necessarily mean it is the best option for your little one.  

Being flexible and versatile is one of the cornerstone traits you will need to master as a new parent.  Embrace change and don't be scared to choose the more inconvenient option. 

Determine the Best Bed Set Up

Finding the right set up may be a case of trial and error.  There are so many options available to new parents now, it is hard to find the best path for you.  

Obviously your options will be dictated by the amount of space you have in your room and the specifications of your adult bed.  

We recommend looking at co-sleeping attachments that connect to your bed.  This way you can have the best of both worlds - co-sleeping AND your own space with peace of mind that you can sleep without incident. 

Each Baby is Different

Just because it worked for your neighbor or best friend's baby, doesn't mean it is going to be the best solution for you.  As you can appreciate, all babies are different. They each have unique temperaments and personalities.  

Circling back to our first co sleeping tips 'be alert to your baby's signals' - always listen to your babies feedback.  If they are struggling to get comfortable in your bed, try moving them to a cot next to your bed.  Or even try on the opposite side of the room with some white noise.  They may be sensing your presence or smell that is stimulating their sense, thereby not allowing them to settle. 

Take Care of Yourself

One of the best co sleeping tips we can give you is to make sure you are looking after yourself.  Co sleeping may be the best option for your baby. However, if it is impacting your ability to rest then it may be a recipe for a disaster.  Lack of sleep can lead to cognitive malfunction and making both you and your baby prone to accidents.  

Do NOT's of Co-Sleeping with Your Baby

Co Sleeping Tips

Do Not Get Complacent 

We always recommend setting up a strategy from the beginning.  It's easy to become complacent and let the first few months of co-sleeping stretch into a few years.  We understand it is easy to have everyone sleeping in the same room, however it is important to not allow your baby to become accustomed to co-sleeping.  Your baby needs to find independence.  We like to think of co-sleeping as a tool that helps you transition in the world of new parenting. 

Do Not Put too Much Pressure on Yourself

As a new parent, it is only natural to feel inadequate and unsure of the 'right' way to sleep with your newborn.  

At the Best Baby Care Tips Team, we are here to say - STOP!  Don't do it to yourself! Stop doubting your ability to make decisions.  If you are struggling to find a solution to sleeping arrangements with your baby, get some help from your partner.  Recruit the grandparents into the mix.  Spread the load with as many people as you can.  

Remember you are in a completely foreign world too (not just your baby).  We like to remind our readers of an old African saying 

"It takes a village to raise a child".

Do Not Co-Sleep After Consuming Alcohol or Drugs

We know it probably goes without saying, however we believe it is prudent to cover all bases.  It was noted by the Infant Sleep Information Source that most co-sleeping accidents happen when an adult has been smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs (illegal and legal) and they smother their baby to death. 

To avoid these situations we recommend avoiding these substances completely.  And if you do decide to ingest any of the above, then to avoid co-sleeping arrangements. 

Final Thoughts on Co Sleeping Tips

When it comes to co sleeping you have a choice.  Try to not allow the varying opinions of friends, family and other external parties influence your decision. 

Do what you gut tells you to.  Go with the option that works best for you, your baby and your family. 

Yes - there are some risks associated with co sleeping.  However, with the right knowledge and stepped approach you can reduce and eliminate those risks from your co sleeping arrangement. 

Let us know what has worked for you and your baby in the comments below.  

Bathing With Your Baby

Setting up for a Positive Mom Bathing with Baby Experience

Bathing with baby is one of my favorite things. But it can be difficult to find the time to do it. This article will walk you through the set up you need to make the most of the time.

Why bath with baby?

Baths are a great time to spend bonding with a newborn. When they are little, they are so small and fragile. You can hold them close and wash them with care. 

Baths are also a great tool for early development. They help little ones develop essential skills, such as independence and motor skills.

It’s also a great time to sing to a baby and make a truly special bond. 

Let's go through the steps you can take to set yourself up for success. 

Bathing with Your Baby - Preparation is Key

When it comes to avoiding awkward situations and minimizing your baby's exposure to dangerous situations, preparation is key. 

At the Best Baby Care Tips, we always encourage parents to consider your baby's health and safety as number one priority.  With this in mind we have put together a checklist of steps to take before you get into the bath tub with your bubs. 

Top Tips for Bathing with Your Baby

Bathing with Your Baby

Final Thoughts on Bathing with Your Baby

Bath time with your baby can be one of the most rewarding experiences you could have with your bubs.  However, there are certain steps you can take to help make those bath time moments successful and beautiful.  

By following our tips and prepartion steps we listed in this article, you can ensure you avoid any awkward situations and enjoy water play with your baby. 

Let us know what worked for you when you bathed with your bubs. 

Mom Bathing with Baby

Bathing With Your Baby - When is it OK?  

As a new parent, the right path isn't always clear.  Actually scrap that last sentence - let's rephrase that to say "As a new parent, the right path is never clear".  There is so much conflicting information out there, it is hard to know what you should or shouldn't be doing. 

A common question new parents ponder is "Is it ok for a mom bathing with baby?", "Are there any dangers when moms bath with babies?"

Well, at The Best Baby Care Tips team, we have set out to debunk any of the misleading information out there and provide a clear set of rules and instructions for choosing when it is okay to bathe with your little one.

Mom Bathing with Baby - A Guide to Safe Bath Time Fun

Bath time does not have to be another thing that needs to be checked off on the to-do list.  All you need to do is change your perspective on bath time from being a chore to an opportunity for a fun experience.  In fact, bathing with your bubs is and can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. 

Mom Bathing with Baby

Is Bathing with Baby Safe? 

Bathing your baby is an important part of healthy baby care . However, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there about whether it's safe to have your baby share a bath with you. In fact, there's a new study out that claims that babies who are bathed with their parents at younger ages are more likely to develop attachment issues as adults. So should you bathe your baby with you?

Let's take a look at some considerations you should give some thought to, and how to go about bathing with your baby.

Follow our top tips for Bathing with Your Baby to set yourself up for success and avoid any unsafe situations.

Some Considerations and Cautions for Bathing with Your Bubs

  1. Be aware of the temperature - It is easy to think the water and air temperature is fine when you have 
  2. Use a baby seat in the bath - when you bathe with your baby, there may be moments where you will find yourself in an awkward position.  Having your bubs in a baby seat will help you avoid these situations and leave your hands free.  It also ensures your baby's head stays above the water level and prevents any water being inhaled.  
  3. Have a plan - we always recommend methodically going through the steps of getting in and getting out of the bath.  There are two benefits of having a plan in your head BEFORE jumping into the tub.  First, you can think about all the equipment you will need for the experience and make sure you are prepared and it is all within arms reach.  Secondly, if something happens and you need to jump out of the tub quickly, you won't be caught off-guard and will be able to ensure yours and your babies safety. 
  4. Make sure someone is around for an extra set of hands - this is a must-do tip in our books.  When you go to have a mom bathing with baby experience, you should always make sure there is someone else in the house to be able to lend a hand at any time.  It only makes sense, since you are preoccupied with the bathing experience, the other person can tend to other issues that may arise (such as knock on the door or the telephone ringing).  It also comes in handy if anything unexpected arises, they can step in and dry bubs while you take care of yourself. 

The Benefits of Co-Bathing with Your Baby

Mom Bathing with Baby

There are many benefits of involving yourself in the bath time experience with your baby.  

Let's take a look at some benefits you can expect to receive. 

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways

Bathing with your little one is a special moment that we believe should not be passed up.  

The unique experience of being able to play and teach your baby with water play is special.  

Some people may think it has the potential to lead into dangerous situations, however with the right preparation and precautions you will be able to foster a beautiful experience.