Most parents want to know the age when their baby can roll over. It’s a fun milestone to reach, and once they master it, there are other activities they can do that their not able to do before.
Well, to start, know that babies aren’t born with muscles – they learn to use them as they grow. Rolling over is a milestone (or developmental stage) that most babies enjoy passing through. So what age does a baby roll over, and what if your baby doesn’t roll over? It’s something we’ve all (parents and caretakers) ask ourselves and can be cause for concern. So read on for the answer.
Why Do Babies Roll Over
A baby rolling over is probably one of the first developmental milestones a baby reaches after he is born. It is a point in an infant’s life that parents strive to achieve because it demonstrates that the infant is healthy and ready to explore the world.
Rolling over may also be a sign of intellectual development. Some parents, ecstatic about finding their babies doing things on their own for the first time (in a somewhat coordinated manner) might even feel proud to post their infants’ new abilities on social media.
If you want to know why and at what age a baby rolls over, you will surely find the answer in this article.
What Age Does Baby Roll Over
One of the great milestones in a baby’s development is the ability to roll from back to belly – and from belly to back again. So what age does a baby roll over? Babies do this as early as three months old. It usually takes them another three months before they can do it consistently.
This is an excellent time/age-related question that you should be aware of because your child will likely show you this activity through actions or noises (e.g., gurgling). Some babies don’t transition to another position until they are much older.
What Are the Signs That Baby Is Starting to Roll Over
Rolling over is an important developmental milestone for your baby. Rolling over is when a baby brings one part of their body in contact with the other side of their body.
This means that when they roll onto their side, they have to move their head and arms over, as well as their bottom and legs/feet. According to Medical News Today, here are the signs that the baby is starting to roll over:
- lifting their head and shoulders more during tummy time
- rolling onto their shoulders or side
- kicking their legs and scooting in a circle when on their back
- increased leg and hip strength, such as rolling the hips from side to side and using the legs to lift the hips up
What Are the Factors That Affect When the Baby Rolls Over
When your baby rolls over, it is a significant milestone. Your baby can move around more easily and explore their surroundings. Before you know it, they will be crawling and walking!
Aside from asking what age can a baby roll over, parents usually ask how their baby learns to roll over. You might be surprised to learn that many factors affect when your baby rolls over.
The first thing you should know is that there is no set age for rolling over—some babies do it at 3 months old, and some take it until they are 6 months old. It all depends on how fast your baby grows and develops.
Another factor that affects when your child rolls over is their size. Smaller babies tend to roll over earlier than larger ones because they have more room between their heads and chest wall. Smaller babies also have less fat on their bodies than larger ones—so they have more space between their head and chest wall.
Finally, the position of your child’s body when they sleep can also affect when they roll over! If they sleep on their stomachs or sides, it could cause them to roll over earlier in life than if they slept on their backs or bellies (this is especially true if you were also sleeping on one side or another during pregnancy).
Tummy time can help strengthen your baby’s head control. | Image source: iStock
How to Encourage Baby Rolling Over
One of the most important developmental milestones is encouraging your baby to roll over. It can help them learn how to crawl and sit, and it’s also a great way to get them used to being on their stomachs so they can eventually roll over onto their backs when they’re ready for sleep.
- Try to place your baby on his or her stomach when he or she is awake and alert.
- If your baby is already rolling over, try placing him or her on his or her side while on the floor. Be sure not to place the baby near sharp objects or furniture that could hurt him or her.
- Look for signs that your baby is ready to roll over: He or she may start to scoot across the floor while lying down, turn their head when they are lying on their back and look at you with their eyes as if they want to get up, or try to sit up by themselves.
- Once you see these signs, it’s time for some encouragement! You can do this with a toy that will grab your baby’s attention – like a rattle or stuffed animal. Or try having a friend sit next to you and talk loudly in front of the baby – this will likely distract them from trying to roll over and make them want to look at the source of all of this excitement instead!
Baby Not Rolling Over at 4 Months
A baby not rolling over at four months may be experiencing a delay in development. This is a normal process, but you should take it seriously and speak with your paediatrician if you notice that your baby’s development seems to have stalled. The doctor can assess the situation and determine if any underlying issues need to be addressed.
Baby Not Rolling Over at 5 Months
This can be cause for concern, but don’t panic! Many babies don’t start rolling over until they are closer to 9 months old. If your baby is otherwise healthy and meeting developmental milestones on time, there is no need to rush them into rolling over.
While some babies are late bloomers, if you’ve noticed that your baby isn’t progressing with other developmental milestones (like sitting up or crawling), then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your paediatrician.
Baby Not Rolling at 6 Months
If your baby is not rolling at 6 months, it’s time to get a little more creative with how you’re trying to get them to do it.
Most babies will learn to roll over in their sleep by 7 months, but if your baby hasn’t begun rolling over yet and is around 6 months old, it’s time to take some steps toward helping them along.
The first thing to do is ensure nothing wrong with your baby. If they have any health issues that might prevent them from rolling over, such as spinal deformities or developmental delays, then these are things you should address first.
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Things to Remember When Baby Starts Rolling Over
Baby being able to roll over is one of the highly anticipated milestones parent look out for. However, learning this skill means that your baby is more mobile now and since they are now more capable of moving their bodies, they also more prone to accidents and injuries if left unattended.
So here are some reminders once your baby has learned to roll over:
- Stop swaddling them. They now have the ability to get out of the swaddle and they might roll over the fabric, causing suffocation or strangulation.
- Ensure that your baby’s sleep space is open and unobstructed to prevent the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Avoid laying them down on the bed, couch or anywhere they might fall from. The best place to lay a sleeping infant is always their crib.
- Alway put baby to sleep on their back. Even if they are now pros at tummy time and can roll over with ease, sleeping on their backs is still advisable to reduce the risk of accidents. Don’t worry if you find that they rolled over and sleeping on their tummies in the middle of the night. You don’t need to disturb baby and put them on their backs. Once they’ve learned how to roll over, they are likely able to flip themselves back over if they want to.
When to Start Worrying About Baby Not Rolling Over
At what point should you worry that your baby is not rolling over?
If your baby isn’t rolling over by six months, it can cause concern. The good news is that many babies don’t roll over until they are twelve months old. And even if your baby doesn’t roll over until later, there’s no need to worry—there are plenty of ways to help them learn.
If you’re concerned about your baby, talk to your doctor. She can assess whether or not your baby is on track with his motor skills and offer advice on how best to encourage him.
A 5 month old baby rolling over
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