She did it! Ellie Bellie started rolling to the right yesterday. Granted this took lots of prompting with toys and singing (yes, I was singing the Rawhide song), but she did it :o) The Bear has been going through some intense developmental therapy. While I may be a drill sergeant and while it seems that at times we are not making any progress, Ellie will surprise me with both her determination and her abilities.
I know that it may seem strange to some of you that I get so excited that she can roll over in both directions. That is okay. I do not really expect all of you to be excited. Andrew, myself, grandparents, and our developmental therapist think all of these little achievements (ie bringing her hands to the bottle, reaching for a toy, releasing the toy, holding her head up, etc) are huge. When infants are born they have to face an onslaught of stimulation--tactile, visual, audio, smell, and taste. They do not know how to reach accurately for an object and grab it. They do not know how to let go of the object. They do not know how to hold their head up. These are all things that they must learn to do. It requires vision, fine motor movement, gross motor movement, good muscle tone, and of course brain function. All of these things must come together in order to achieve a physical act that we often take for granted. Our little baby Bear-Bear has poor muscle tone, especially in the shoulders and the trunk. To actually hold her upper body up onto her hands is very tiring and a lot of work. (I like to think of this pose as "modified plank" in pilates. It is really hard to do!) Ellie has to be able to fling her arm, leg, and rotate her torso in order to successfully roll over. Again, this is very tiring and sometimes frustrating for Ellie. Through developmental therapy, Andrew and I learn different techniques to help Ellie achieve these developmental milestones and to help her build some muscle tone. We even have a special way we are supposed to carry her.
With Ellie being able to roll over, she now does that continuous rolling. She will roll over and then keep on rolling. . .off of the blanket or into the crib sides. She is so good at rolling that she can do so while being swaddled.
The Hungry Caterpillar
Even thought she can roll from front-to-back and from back-to-front, she doesn't really put it together. Often I am woken up in the morning by a loud, talkative baby. On the monitor I see that Ellie has broken out of the swaddle aka infant straight jacket and has rolled onto her tummy. She then decides that she is not happy anymore on her stomach, but rather than rolling back, she screams. And screams. And screams. At 5am. Until she can put all of these movements together, I am going to need A LOT of coffee and a nap.