It is natural to wonder when babies start to roll over as this is an important developmental milestone. Once your baby is able to roll over, he will be on his way to sitting up, crawling, or even just slithering along the ground. Keep in mind that every baby develops at a different rate, but you can still do some things to help encourage your child to roll over sooner and ensure he reaches various milestones in a timely manner.
When Do Babies Roll Over?
Typically, the answer is around the same time that they learn to sit up on their own with some support; that is 4-7 month depending on each child. This will be after he develops control of his head. Eventually, your baby will use his ability to roll over to move around, reaching toys and people he loves.
Some babies can roll over from their tummy to backs at just 4 months old. Even so, it is likely to take a bit longer to be able to do the opposite as that requires stronger muscles in the arm and neck. Because of this, your baby probably won’t roll over from back to tummy until around 5 or 6 months. That being said, it is perfectly normal if your baby flips from his back to front before going in the opposite direction
How Your Baby Learns to Roll Over
The process of learning how to roll over begins much earlier. When he is about three months old, you will notice that if you put him on his tummy, he will lift up his shoulders and head as high as he can with his arms supporting him. This is essentially a mini-pushup and helps strengthen muscles your baby needs when rolling over.
Moving onto five months or so, your baby can probably lift his head as well as arch his back in a way that gets his chest off of the ground and push on his arms. At this point, he may even be rocking on his stomach, swimming with his arms, or kicking his legs. Each of these actions plays a key role in developing the muscles that help him roll over. If all continues normally, the answer to when do babies roll over is typically by six months.
How to Encourage Rolling Over
What You Should Expect As Parents
Expect your baby to take to rolling over slowly as with any other movement. He will likely only do so occasionally at first until he gets the hang of it then realizes how much fun it is. After that, expect more rolling over.
How You Can Encourage Your Baby to Roll Over
This can be done by encouraging him via playtime. If you happen to see him roll over randomly without provocation, try to get him to repeat the action by putting a toy by him in the direction he prefers to roll. You can even use yourself as the bait and lie down just a bit out of reach to encourage him to roll over to you. Every time your child rolls over, smile and applaud; this will help him realize how fun rolling over is and get over any fears he has the first few times doing this action.
Of course, encouraging tummy time is another great way to help your baby develop the muscles he needs to roll over. He may even start rolling over during tummy time!
When encouraging your child to roll over with the help of a toy or yourself, do so on a firm and flat surface. If the surface is too padded and soft, it is harder for your baby to move.
Keeping Your Baby Safe While Rolling Over
Some parents want to know when do babies roll over so they can keep him safe during diaper changes. In reality, however, you should always keep your hand on your baby while changing his diaper, even if he is nowhere near the stage of rolling over. You never want an injury to occur – or even a scare – from your baby rolling over earlier than expected.
Some parents are concerned about their babies rolling over at night since some say the risk of SIDS is higher for babies that sleep on their stomach and you can’t control if your child rolls over at night. Keep in mind, however, that the risk of SIDS reduces after about six months, which is when your child will be starting to roll over. You can also keep your child safe while sleeping with some extra tummy time, by choosing a firm and well-fitting mattress, and by always ensuring that his face and head are uncovered.
Should You Be Concerned if Your Baby Doesn’t Roll Over by 6 Months?
Most babies will roll over at some point before moving onto other developmental milestones and some will even use this as their preferred transportation for a period of time. Even so, others will skip it entirely, going right to sitting, crawling, or lunging. You shouldn’t be worried if your baby hasn’t rolled over by six months, provided that he shows an interest in exploring and moving around and has consistently gained new skills.
If your baby has reached six months and still doesn’t know how to roll over and doesn’t have an alternative method of getting around (like sitting and scooting or trying to crawl), let his doctor know. Remember that premature babies tend to reach the various milestones later.
What Milestones Come After Rolling Over?
When do babies roll over? We already know that and want to know what’s next. Learning to roll himself over helps your baby develop the muscles of his arms, back, legs, and neck. He can then use the same muscles for sitting by himself and crawling. The average baby will move onto sitting up by about six to eight months with crawling to follow a bit later on.