Learning how to roll over is a pretty significant infant milestone.
Rolling overcomes hand-in-hand with your child developing control over their heads and learning to sit unsupported. This is a vital part of the exciting process of your newborn figuring out how to get around – precursors to learning how to crawl and, eventually, walk!
But when should you expect your baby to start to roll over, and how can you help them do just that?
We’ve got all the answers here for you.
Babies typically learn to kick themselves over at or around the four-month mark. Keep in mind that this “roll-over” only usually goes one way – from their stomach to their back. To flip the other way, it may take your newborn up to six or seven months. Their arm muscles need to develop, as do the ones in their neck, to be able to flip both ways.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to babies’ rolling habits.
Yes – you can absolutely play a big part in developing your child’s rolling skills.
If you ever notice them trying to roll themselves over, try to encourage them by placing one of their favorite objects or toys next to the side that they’re favoring. It also might be beneficial to roll your child onto one side and get them to try and roll towards you.
Make sure to continuously praise and encourage your baby, and not to get frustrated if they are unable to roll themselves over – despite your positive efforts.
For all you soon-to-be moms, “tummy time” is an activity that helps newborns build up strength in their back, arms, and neck. You can start practicing tummy time with your child in the first week after birth.
Moms, all you have to do is lie your child on their tummy for a few minutes a day when they’re awake.
As your child approaches the three to four-week mark, you can start placing them on their stomach for twenty minutes a day. You can start with one minute, and then five, and then ten – starting slow is key, especially for babies that resist being placed on their tummy.
There are plenty of mats and toys that you can purchase to help your child learn to roll over during tummy time.
You can also help your child along in the process by showing them how you personally roll over – they might learn to imitate you! Mommy and daddy know best.
When your baby starts to lift his or her head up, followed by the upper part of their body and supported by their arms, they may be getting ready to flip themselves over for the very first time. These motions show that your child is developing their muscles for the task at hand.
Once those muscles are developed, your newborn will be able to push up on their arms to lift their chest up. You may also notice your baby kicking their legs in this stage, flailing their arms, and rocking back and forth on their stomachs.
Babies should be able to flip back and forth, in both directions, by the time they are at the six month age mark.
Your newborn might prefer to get around by rolling, but some may move onto sitting and crawling while skipping the rolling stage altogether. It all depends on the muscles that your baby has built up.
Don’t fret if your baby isn’t following these guidelines exactly – all babies develop at different times and at different rates.
Here’s something to be aware of – when your baby hits that crucial four or five-month mark, make sure to never leave them unattended on any surface that they could fall from.
As a matter of fact, you probably shouldn’t leave your newborn unattended (on an elevated surface) in any case, especially when you’re changing their diaper.
Let’s say you’ve reached the six or seven-month mark and your baby is still not flipping over – and he’s not crawling or sitting up, either. What do you do?
Even if your child hasn’t moved on to these stages yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. Every baby is different. Every baby goes through different developmental phases in their own time.
This is probably something you should bring up to your pediatrician. They will best be able to advise you going forward.
All those muscles your newborn developed during the rolling stage – arms, neck, back, etcetera – will keep getting stronger as your baby figures out how to crawl and sit upwards. You can expect your newborn to sit up at the eight-month mark or before. Crawling will come after the nine-month mark.
No, although you should be putting your child to sleep on their back as opposed to on their tummy. Your child learning how to roll over in the crib isn’t a bad thing at all – if anything, it means that they can settle themselves into more comfortable positions.
We hope some of these guidelines have helped you (and your baby) along through the rolling stage. Just remember that the key thing here is knowing that babies have vastly different stages of development. Every child is different and all of these steps can occur at different times. The important thing is that your baby is healthy enough to develop at their own pace, and that they’re getting all the support they need at home.
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