You are putting your baby on his/her belly. Your baby cries and fusses because it’s not a comfortable position, but he/she is not rolling back. This leads you to question: when do babies roll over?
One of your baby’s many steps to learning how to move by themselves is rolling over! Here is a helpful guide on what you can expect while tracking your baby’s milestones.
When Do Babies Roll Over?
It is important to definitively state that all babies are different. This is merely a guidelines of what most babies do, but keep in mind all babies and children develop differently.
The earliest your baby will start to roll over from their belly to their back is around 4 months. The process starts with your baby rocking from side to side. This motion is the foundation for rolling over.
At around 5 months, your baby will probably start to learn how to lift their head. Your baby will try to push themselves up with their arms, then raise their chest off the ground.
At around 6 to 7 months, your baby may really understand what it means to roll over. At this time, your baby may start rolling from their bellies to their back and from the back to the chest.
How Do Babies Learn To Roll Over?
Your baby will experiment by pushing themselves up from their chest. Next, your baby will try to lift his/her head and neck. This is typically how the process starts and how your baby will eventually learn how to roll from their tummy to their back.
It normally takes another month or so for your baby to learn to roll from their back to their tummy. Your baby might struggle with this because it takes a lot of strength for them to coordinate their body.
You should also consider your baby’s weight, muscle development, growth rate, and your baby’s activity level. These factors will determine when your baby will roll over.
How Can I Help My Baby Roll Over?
Here are a few easy things you can do to help your baby learn to roll over.
Lots Of Tummy Time
Your baby is going to hate tummy time at first. This is almost a guarantee. That’s because you are putting your baby in a position that he/she is unfamiliar with, and they don’t know how to get out of it.
Rest assured, all mommies and babies go through this. The first few times are the hardest but with lots of practice, it does get easier.
Tummy time is important because it can help establish muscle strength. Building muscle strength in their neck, arms and back will be what they need to push themselves and roll over.
To practice tummy time:
- Get started with a soft, clean surface. Tummy time mats are very common because it’s soft, comfortable, and colorful, but any clean, soft, and safe surface will do.
- Start by placing your baby on his/her belly for short intervals of time.
- Play with your baby to encourage them. Show his/her favorite toy or book and get your baby to reach out and move their muscles. Be patient. This is unlikely to go well the first time.
- As your baby grows accustomed, gradually increase tummy time as baby’s strength develops.
WARNING: Do not have tummy time with your baby in high places, like a bed. Babies can and have fallen, even when their mommies thought they couldn’t move much. Be aware of your surroundings when you are planning tummy time.
Mini Baby Pushups
The mini baby pushup will help your baby to build up the muscles they need when learning to roll over. When your baby is about 3 months old, you can position them to learn the mini pushup. Do this by placing your baby on their stomach. Over time, your baby will naturally use his/her arms to stay upright, as they raise their head and shoulders.
If your baby is taking their time rolling over, don’t worry about it! All babies (and all people) are different.
Your baby will grow and develop at his/her own pace. It may take a few weeks before they figure out how to push themselves up. Give baby every opportunity to learn by having plenty of tummy time.
Your baby could even skip this step entirely and learn how to sit and crawl. If your baby shows interest in learning new skills and exploring their surroundings, encourage it.
If you do feel concerned about your baby’s development, talk to the pediatrician during your baby’s well-visit.
Note From The Author
When do babies roll over? It’s just one of many milestones to look forward to. Check out the rest of our milestone series.