What Age Do Babies Roll Over?

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If you’re a new or first-time mother or father, you’re probably overjoyed and a bit worried about welcoming your new baby. This is expected of married couples that have recently become parents and that means that you need to get ready to care for them, nurture them, protect them, and help them develop basic motor skills, one of which includes rolling over.

The phenomenon of babies rolling over means that they’re getting ready to be mobile. But when exactly do they start doing this as well as showing several other movements after they’re born? Stick around to find out.

If you’re a first-time mom or dad, don’t be weirded out when several other of your siblings or friends who have kids of their own start asking when your baby is going to roll over. 

Rolling over is one of several mobility milestones that your child will learn to develop on their own besides learning to sit up, standing on their heads, or even taking their first-ever step towards walking. However, rolling over is considered to be a crucial milestone as it is their first-ever attempt at movement. 

Let’s have a look as to when your child will develop their first rollover among several other motor skills that they’ll pick up later in their lives. 

When Do Babies Start Rolling Over?

Some newborns roll on one side to sleep in their most early days, but most of them lose this ability within the first month. It is usually around 3 to 4 months after your child’s birth that you’ll notice them slightly showing the ability to roll from their back to their side. Then about 4 to 5 months later after your little one has developed sufficient upper body strength and muscle, you’ll witness them rolling over more often from their stomach to their back. 

4-month-olds get pretty good at rolling over, and by the time they’re 6 months of age, most will have mastered not only the stomach-to-back roll but also the reverse back-to-stomach technique. 

You’ll also notice that at 5 months, your baby will also likely lift their head, do some push-ups, and then arch their back to lift themselves off the ground. They might even be comfortable lying on their stomach, kicking their legs and swimming with their arms. It’s okay, as these tiny little exercises will help them develop the muscles they require to properly roll over in both directions until they’re able to master it at the 6-month mark. 

Although some babies get accustomed to rolling over as their main means of transportation, others skip ahead and move on to lunging, crawling and sitting. But that’s okay because as long as your child continues to develop their skills by showcasing various ways of getting around, it’s all well and good.

Rolling Milestones That Parents Should Expect

Sometimes, babies will be alarmed when they first start rolling over, which will also be followed by a couple of tears. This is likely due to the fact that they’ve never experienced such a phenomenon before, as the apparent change in their position can be worrisome. But after that, they’ll soon learn to appreciate their new skill and will perform quite often. Your child will use these new tumbling skills to reach for their toy, roll towards you for some cute snuggle time, and probably even roll their way out of a diaper change. 

Helping Your Baby Roll Over

For babies to roll over, they’ll need to develop their muscles (such as neck and head strength), achieve muscle control, and have the freedom and space to move around. This can be achieved by offering your little one regular tummy time.

Tummy time is relevant for newborns which involve placing them on their stomach for short periods of time. Start with 1 or 2 minutes, and then move up to 10 or 15 minutes as your baby’s strength increases. 

Tummy Time can typically take place on a play mat or blanket spread on the floor, and other clean surfaces (preferably not elevated) can work as well. 

Playing will help encourage your baby to develop the skill of rolling over. If you notice them spontaneously rolling over, see if they’ll try it again after putting a toy right next to the side they usually roll over to. If, not that, then lie right next to them on one side and see if they’ll come to you by rolling over. And when they do, congratulate them on their efforts and smile about it. Rolling over is usually fun, but at times it can be quite alarming, so be very attentive and vigilant during those times.

Until they learn to master it after five or six months, you need to put your hand on the baby during diaper changes at first. Don’t leave their side, even when they’re a newborn, unattended on your bed or any elevated surface. Averting your gaze for just a few seconds could result in serious injuries.

What To Do If The Baby Rolls Over At Night

Unless they’re sleeping in a baby cottage, parents have every right to be worried about their baby rolling over and hurting themselves. But there’s good news: even though parents must always put their babies on their back as they sleep to reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), there won’t be much to worry about once they’ve figured out how to roll from the back to the stomach, this way they won’t ever have to roll over again after that. 

After the age of 3 months, which is when your baby starts rolling over, you’ll need to stop letting them sleep in swaddle blankets as they can become entangled and, in a worst-case scenario, might even suffocate themselves. 

What’s Next After This Phenomenon?

Once your child has gotten used to rolling over and their neck muscles are strong enough to lift their heads, they’ll soon be sitting up – first, from your assist, and then by themselves. At that point on, your baby will begin to crawl, and later on, learn how to stand up on their own. And once their muscles are strong enough to crawl and then eventually enable them to stand, they’ll be ready to take their first steps and then learn how to walk on their own two feet. Be sure to document this most beautiful moment of your child’s life as you’ll be reminiscing this very moment once they’re older or grown-up.

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