Q&A: When do babies roll over?

Posted in All, Babies and tagged , .

There was one in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over. After a couple of months of staring at your beautiful baby lying around on their back, you would be very much forgiven for wondering when they’re going to start getting a bit more mobile.

The precursor to fun stuff like sitting up and crawling is rolling, and it may happen sooner than you think.

When will my baby roll over?

Your little one will likely surprise themselves with a couple of unintentional rolls as early as two months old. As they get stronger and more coordinated, you’ll start seeing them doing things like rolling to their side, kicking their legs, shuffling round in a circle, and lifting their head and shoulders during tummy time.

From here, babies will usually begin to intentionally roll from their tummy to their back first and according to Red Nose Australia, this usually happens by around the four-month mark. By six months old you can expect most babies to have mastered going back the other way, from back to tummy.

As with most major developmental milestones, these ages are just a guideline and your little one may do things differently. If your baby hasn’t mastered rolling either direction by six months, it’s probably worth checking in with your doctor or paediatrician.

Can I help them roll faster?

Tips for tummy time with baby

It’s all about strength, coordination and, for some babies, motivation. Most babies will get there in their own time but the best thing you can do to help is to offer them plenty of tummy time. Tummy time is the key to your bub developing the important head, neck, shoulder and back strength to get them moving. Once they have this down pat, you can start doing things like popping their favourite toy slightly out of reach to encourage some extra movement.

A lot of babies find tummy time quite unpleasant in the early days. If your baby is getting upset, make sure you get down on the floor with them. Sing to them, read a book, or offer them something interesting to look at; the more you can turn it into a game rather than a chore, the more likely your baby is to enjoy the experience.

Check out this great tummy time tip a dad from our groups discovered.

Is there anything else I should do once my baby starts rolling?

You should always try to avoid leaving your little one unsupervised on any unsafe surface, but this becomes even more relevant once they become mobile. You’d be surprised just how far a baby can travel just by shuffling or rolling, so make sure the home is babyproofed and free of hazards.

Once bub begins rolling it’s also important to start phasing them out of their swaddle or wrap at bedtime. If they roll over in their sleep, it’s near impossible for them to get back again without using their arms. Being stuck on their tummy in their cot can be quite dangerous, so now is the time to consider transitioning from a swaddle to a sleeping bag where their arms can be free.

If your little one is still sleeping in their bassinet, it may also be time to make the move to a big cot. You’ll likely find that a bassinet will neither be big enough, nor good enough at containing them for much longer!

Other than that, follow your baby’s lead, roll with the changes and look forward to a whole lot more movement and fun in your day-to-day life!


Talk to other mums

Afer more advice about baby’s developmental milestones? Join one of the Mum’s Grapevine Facebook Baby Groups and ask thousands of other mums what they recommend. They are grouped together by baby’s birth date so everyone is going through the same stages at the same time.

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