Rolling over is a huge motor milestone for babies! The rolling phase helps lead to independent sitting, crawling, and walking. Babies must learn to roll in two directions; from back-to-tummy and tummy-to-back.
When Will Your Baby Start Rolling Over?
Most babies start rolling over during tummy time practice. By 5 months of age, your baby should be able to roll over from tummy-to-back and by 6 months, your baby should be able to roll from back-to-tummy. Rolling over from back-to-tummy occurs later as babies need good head control, a strong neck, arms, and core to roll over onto their tummy. Do not worry if your baby doesn’t start to roll over as quickly as other babies. Wait patiently and remember that all babies learn different skills at a different pace.
Positive reinforcement is extremely important as babies practice motor skills. When your baby rolls over in either direction, clap your hands, cheer, or smile to show your baby that they accomplished a huge motor skill.
Tips to Help your Baby Learn to Roll Over:
1. Sidelying Play: Remove the legs of the learning play table and lean the top portion against the couch or remove two legs of the learning play table and prop it up as shown below. Place your baby lying on their side while playing with the learning play table. This is a great way to get your baby to play in a side lying position, activating the abdominal obliques, which are necessary for independent rolling.
2. Tummy Time: Whenever your baby is alert and awake, place them on their belly while playing with toys. This position will help strengthen the neck, arms, and upper back; which are all needed for independent rolling. Click here to check out our post on tummy time practice!
3. While your baby is lying on their back, hold a toy (e.g. rattle, bright/colorful toy) in your hand until your baby is looking at the toy, then move the toy over to the side and above your child’s head as he/she continues to track the toy. Eventually, your baby will be motivated to get the toy and will roll over onto their belly to reach for the toy.
4. Opposite hand to foot exercise: Bring the right knee towards the left hand for 10 repetitions and then bring the left knee towards the right hand for 10 repetitions. This is a great exercise to cross midline and to activate the abdominal obliques. Make sure the movements are slow and you are not pulling on the arms.
5. Bicycle Kicks: This is a fun exercise for babies and helps strengthen the leg muscles, abdominal muscles, and improve body awareness. As the child lies on their back, hold their ankles and passively move their legs up and down, as if they are pedaling a bicycle. Sing the alphabet song or itsy bitsy spider (approximately 30 seconds) to make it fun. Repeat for a total of three rounds.
6. Sit-ups: Sit behind your baby, let them lie down in your lap while on their back, then have them hold onto your fingers and let them pull themselves up to a sitting position. Repeat for 12 repetitions. Core strength is extremely important and plays a huge role in being able to roll over.
7. While your baby is lying on their back, help them cross their right upper thigh over their left leg and then give some assistance at their upper back to help them complete the roll over onto their tummy.
Before you know it, your little one will be rolling over on their own!
Let’s Rock n Roll !!!
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