It is fascinating to see a baby grow—how the little bundle of joy you carried from the hospital develops into a cute toddler in the blink of an eye. With every stage, you move on to the next set of milestones to meet. One of the first important milestones in a baby's gross motor development is when the baby starts rolling over.
Rolling over is the first noticeable milestone, and most first-time parents often wonder when do babies roll over. Here's all you need to know about when babies roll over, and how you can help them achieve this milestone.
When do Babies Roll Over?
Rolling over requires much more of your baby's strength and muscular coordination than their other movements. It is their first significant movement before sitting up, crawling, walking, and standing.
While many parents see their baby rolling over at 2 months, most others take longer than that. Early rolling over is considered more of an incidental turn than an intentional movement.
While all these changes in your baby are fascinating, they can also become overwhelming. You may often find yourself obsessing over when will baby turn?
Since no two babies are identical, every baby experiences developmental milestones differently, and the age of rolling over also varies.
So, if you are thinking about when do babies start rolling over, here are some average ages to consider. Remember, your baby will most likely roll over first from their tummy to back, then back to tummy.
- Rolling over from back to side: Between 4-5 months
- Rolling over from belly to back: Between 4-6 months
- Rolling over from back to belly: Between 5.5-7.5 months
If your baby hasn't rolled in any direction by the time they are six months old, you must seek support from your paediatrician.
Signs Your Child Will Start Rolling Over Soon
If your baby is four months or older, the chances are that you are anxiously waiting for the moment when the baby starts rolling. By this age, your baby would have gained strength in their neck and forearms and practiced lifting their head and shoulders during tummy time. These are the first signs that your baby will start rolling over soon. Here are some signs to watch out for when the baby starts rolling:
- You will notice that they are beginning to push up on their hands. Doing this, they start lifting their upper body, especially during tummy time.
- They may lift one hand in the air while pushing up their upper body. They mostly do this to reach for their favourite toy.
- Your baby will roll into their shoulder while lying on their back.
- When lying on their back, they roll one leg over the other.
- Your baby may start rocking from one to the other side.
- You may start seeing them twisting their upper and lower body in opposite directions.
- Leg kicking and rolling the hips from side to side is another sign that indicates your baby will start rolling over soon. You may also see them using their legs to lift their hips.
What Factors Affect a Baby's Rolling Over?
Every baby is unique and develops at a different rate. When will baby turn depends on several factors, and the time may vary from baby to baby. According to the Child Care Health Development Journal, an infant's motor milestones achievement depends on the following:
- Motor Skill Development Rate
Motor development refers to your baby's ability to control their body movements. Usually divided into gross motor skills and fine motor skills, they include movements such as holding up their head, pointing their fingers, pushing out their legs, and trying to grasp objects. An infant who has slower motor skill development may start crawling later.
- Gestational Age
Infants born prematurely tend to develop later or slowly, including achieving the rolling-over milestone.
- Lower Birth Weight
There is a close connection between a baby's birthweight and when do babies roll over. Babies with low weight at birth show slower gross motor development and delayed rolling over.
- Sleep Position
Babies who are encouraged to sleep in prone positions have better motor skills and attain growth milestones like rolling over faster.
- Family Support and Encouragement
When do babies roll over also depends on their environment. Babies whose families offer the right environment and encouragement for rolling over naturally achieve this milestone earlier.
- Childhood Overweight
Your baby's weight defines how flexibly they can use their muscles and limbs and how good their energy balance is. Being overweight hinders your baby's ability to move and directly impacts their motor skills.
How to Make this Milestone Safe and Fun For Your Baby?
Now that you know when babies start rolling over and the signs that they start showing, let's understand what you can do to help your little one master this trick.
Here are some things that you can easily do at home to help your baby develop strength in their shoulder and arm muscles, including better head movement control to start rolling over independently.
- Allow them a lot of tummy time. This is a great way to build strength and flexibility in their upper body. This strength is the key to when will baby roll over. You may want to start as early as their first week for a few minutes each day when they are awake and gradually increase the duration.
- Place them on a soft mat on a flat surface. Now put some attractive age-appropriate toys close to them but out of their reach. This will encourage your baby to reach over to the toy and kickstart movements in their body.
- Start practising gentle rolling exercises with them. In this, you need to roll them from side to side. To help them grasp this better, get on the floor with your baby and show them the manoeuvres yourself.
- Allow your baby to spend time and play on their side. It prepares them for a rollover. You can prep them with a rolled blanket or towel near their back.
- Don't let your baby be in the same position for long. Changing their positions frequently and putting them on their tummy, back, and sides will make them more flexible.
- Let your baby spend more time in an unhindered space instead of putting them in equipment. Limit their time in baby chairs and strollers to allow quicker rolling over.
- Roll your baby while putting them down and picking them up. This will help them get used to the rolling position and strengthen their muscles.
Keeping Your Baby Safe While Rolling Over
At times, babies roll over unintentionally and unexpectedly. And the last thing you want is an accident in the house. Here are some tips to keep your house safe while encouraging your baby to roll over:
- Never leave your baby unattended, especially when in bed or on the changing table. Strap your baby securely in a crib or bassinet.
- Keep the space clear of things that they may strike their head on.
- While practising rolling over, keep away smaller things that they make ingest.
- You should discontinue swaddling when your baby starts showing signs of rolling over. If they start rolling while swaddling in, they may find themselves stuck.
When Should You Consult Your Paediatrician?
There are two scenarios in which you may want to consult your paediatrician. One is when your baby rolls too early. This may indicate some problems with their reflexes and may be accompanied by other warning signals such as:
- Trouble balancing themselves
- Making unusual body movements
- Not exhibiting control over their limbs
Alternatively, if your baby shows no signs of rolling over by six or seven months or has stopped rolling over on their own, you may consider bringing this to the doctor's attention. If their muscles seem stiff, you should consult their doctor early to rule out developmental delays.
Your baby rolling over is an exciting and important milestone, and you can easily make it fun for your baby using these tips. Remember, each baby takes their own time to meet milestones. Therefore, do not get anxious about delays. Give them time. What you can do as parents are help and support them in meeting their milestones. Raising Superstars has helped many babies make the most of their inborn talents and skills and achieve physical milestones faster. Designed by experts, our prodigy programmes enable parents to help their child's growth and development. To know more, contact us today.