When Should A Baby Roll Over?
Being a new mom (or dad) is such a thrilling time in one’s life! There is so much to be excited about. But with that excitement also comes worry, sometimes.
One thing that many parents worry about is whether their baby is hitting all of their developmental milestones on track. It’s a question that comes up at all of the well-baby check-ups.
One of the first mobility milestones is rolling over. Typically sitting up, crawling, and walking come after.
When Should My Baby Roll Over?
Typically there is a range of age in which a pediatric healthcare provider expects to see your baby hit their milestones. Because each child is unique, your second baby may roll over either earlier or later than your first baby (or your sister’s baby).
When will my baby roll over?
Many parents want to know when their baby will roll over. Rolling over is the first stage of mobility for your baby. It can be very exciting to see your baby learning how to move their body on their own.
Some babies will go from not rolling over to rolling over unexpectedly. Whereas some babies will slowly learn the skill.
What you need to know before your baby rolls over
Before your baby ever starts rolling over, it’s important to take some precautions. Your baby’s safety is always a priority.
Knowing that your baby may start to roll over when you least expect it; it’s always important to never leave your baby on a changing table, couch, bed, or any raised area unless you have a hand touching them.
Some babies go from not showing any signs of rolling over to being able to roll over completely. Therefore it’s best to always keep one hand on your baby whenever they are placed on a high surface.
At What age will baby roll over?
Most babies will be purposely rolling from their tummy to their back between 2-5 months of age. You can expect your baby’s healthcare provider to discuss the milestone at their 2-month visit and to ask if your baby has started rolling over at their 4-month visit.
Rolling from the back to the belly usually comes later. This is because the movement of rolling from the back to the belly requires more muscle strength and different muscles.
On average babies will roll from their back to their belly between 5.5-7 months of age. Some babies will develop this skill earlier, while others may develop it later. The average age that babies meet this milestone is around 6 months, which is why you will be asked about it at your baby’s 6-month well-child visit.
When do babies roll from back to side?
Rolling from back to side also requires different muscles and muscle strength than rolling from the belly to the back.
When a baby rolls to their side purposely, it means they used their muscles to get their body to start the roll and to stop the roll.
On average, babies tend to learn to roll from their back to their side between 4-5.5 months of age.
What age should a baby roll over?
Your baby will likely be rolling over around six to seven months of age. Rolling over is your baby’s introduction to being mobile.
Some babies use rolling over as a means to get where they want to go. Your baby might see something that they want to play with and roll their body to get to the item.
Whereas some babies are content to roll over simply when they want to be on their belly versus their back, or vice versa.
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can my Baby Roll over too early?
You may worry that your baby is rolling over too early. As mentioned above, some babies begin rolling over as early as two months of age.
However, some parents get concerned when their babies roll from their back to their belly during sleep.
If your baby is able to roll their body over during sleep, then you need to stop using a swaddle at bedtime, if you are still swaddling.
This swaddle makes the transition out of a swaddle very easy.
How Can I Help My Baby Learn to Roll Over?
Limit the amount of time in baby equipment
Baby swings, bouncy chairs, jumpers, saucers, and car seats all limit your baby’s mobility.
Your baby should be placed on a firm surface, on their back, when sleeping. Babies also need to be properly secured in a car seat when riding in a vehicle. Otherwise, they should be given ample opportunity to play on a clean floor, or floor mat, and explore their environment.
When babies spend the majority of their waking hours confined to a space, or piece of equipment, they are not able to fully practice their motor skills.
Wear your baby in a baby carrier
Wearing your baby in a baby carrier that places their body in an optimal position can help them engage their midline, which helps with motor skills such as rolling over.
The optimal position that your baby should be in a baby carrier, is with their back slightly rounded and their legs in a frog-like position. Their bottom should be lower than their knees, which forms an M-like shape.
This position is beneficial, unlike a baby carrier in which your baby’s legs are left dangling or a position where their legs are spread too far apart and are straddled.
Provide plenty of Tummy Time
The often dreaded tummy time is one of the best things you can do to help your baby to learn to roll over.
Babies usually will roll from their belly to their back before they learn to roll from their back to their belly.
By giving your baby plenty of tummy time, they are able to develop the muscles they need in their neck, shoulders, and arms to roll themselves over.
This post provides tips to make tummy time fun. It also includes alternatives to tummy time for those babies who just don’t like being on their bellies.
Allow your baby to play on their back
When your baby plays on their back they often draw their legs and feet in, which helps them as they develop new motor skills.
Playing on their back can include time spent playing on the floor, lying on your lap while you talk or read to them, or playing on your bed while you sing or watch the fan with them.
Encourage your baby to play across their midline.
As mentioned above, in the baby carrier section, playing at midline or cross midline is beneficial.
Midline is the invisible line that runs down the center of our bodies.
When babies play at, and cross, midline, their right and left sides of their brain are communicating. This communication is necessary for many gross and fine motor skills. Rolling over is one of those skills.
A baby play gym can encourage your baby to play across their midline.
Baby Not Rolling Over by 6 months
Babies develop skills, and hit milestones, at their own pace. Some babies are earlier, while others may be later.
If your baby is not yet rolling over by 6 months of age, then bring it up to their healthcare provider at their check-up. Their pediatrician will likely want to know if your baby is sitting up or trying to scoot or crawl. Some babies skip rolling over completely.
Additionally, if your baby was born prematurely they may hit milestones based on their corrected age.
What happens after your baby rolls over
After your baby masters the skill of rolling over, your baby will continue to develop their neck, back, arm, and leg muscles as they prepare to learn new gross motor skills.
When will my baby roll over?
Once your baby is rolling over you can begin to play games to encourage their mobility. You also need to make sure you baby proof your home if you haven’t already.
When did your baby start rolling over? Do you have any words of advice, tips, or questions?
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