When Do Babies Roll Over: Timeline and Milestones
Little Yawn Collective - Dec 27, 2021
With all the milestones you know you’ll be watching your baby meet this year, one of the first occasions to celebrate is your little one rolling over. Let’s talk about how you can help your little one become a roly-poly!
To encourage your little buddy to roll over, tummy time is a must that will help develop muscles and strength. While babies lay on their tummies, their neck and upper body muscles become stronger, which is needed to hold their heads up.
This muscle development is the base for rolling, sitting, standing, and walking! These actions require muscle, and tummy time is the perfect beginning for your baby to work out these muscles!
Right now, your baby experiences their world solely on their back. They will need time to practice being on their tummies as their world will turn around when they learn to roll over and crawl!
It is important to note that tummy time is meant for babies who are aware of their surroundings.
Practice Short Sessions
When your baby is in their infant stages, you can have short tummy time sessions that last around five minutes. This can be done up to three times a day as your baby begins to work and develop those muscles needed to support their neck and head.
You can increase this time gradually as they grow bigger and stronger. The short intervals in the early days will give your baby a small taste of tummy time and allow them a chance to enjoy their new view.
It’s completely normal if your baby is not a big fan of tummy time.
Entice them by getting on the floor with them or using toys that make noise or light up during this time. With some extra encouragement, they will come to enjoy this time, especially if you are active with them.
Make It Personal
While your baby is an infant, you can place your baby on their tummy on your lap or by laying a blanket or mat on the floor. A fun tip is to lay on your back and place your baby on your chest. Your baby will want to see your smiling face and practice holding their head up.
Talk about up-close and personal!
If tummy time is on the floor, specially designed tummy time mats are cushioned to be soft and supportive and have attached sensory toys to help keep your baby engaged. Many are equipped with mirrors and brightly colored interactive parts for busy hands.
There are also mats that have overhead toys for when tummy time is over or when your baby starts to roll over on their own. Most are also washable to help keep things clean, as we know messes can happen in the blink of an eye!
Let’s roll out!
As your baby’s tummy time increases with age, you can start to look for the tell-tale signs that they are ready to start rolling! You are looking for these signs leading up to the four-month mark, but of course, we know that every baby is different, and some may be rolling earlier or later than the norm.
Generally, babies will begin rolling over at four months.
Expect your baby to start holding their heads up around the two-month mark. As they start to hold their heads up, they will also be working on those tiny arm muscles and start using their arms to prop themselves up for short bursts of time.
Keep a lookout for your baby to look as if they are swimming as they move their arms and legs around. This is a great signal that your baby is developing all the muscles needed to start rolling around.
One of the biggest tell-tale signs that your baby is about to start rolling is when they begin rocking from side to side on their back. You can encourage your baby to make a move from their tummy to back by placing toys just out of reach. Keep a close watch, as the first roll may now happen at any time!
When it does finally happen, you’ll be sure to praise and cheer your little roly-poly on! Your baby will more than likely roll from their tummy to their back first and will keep this trick going for a month or so before getting the hang of rolling the other way!
Rolling from the back to the front takes a little more muscle and time to perfect the coordination of moving all the necessary body parts at the right time. By around the six-month mark, you can expect your baby to roll in both directions.
Sleeping & Rolling
An added bonus is with all the rolling around your baby is now doing, they are using up lots of energy! A nice, long night’s sleep will help your worn-out baby keep rolling!
However, it is normal to be concerned about bedtime when your baby has started to roll over. Fortunately, now that your baby has developed the muscles and coordination to roll over, they are able to recognize and get themselves out of any trouble spots.
Continue to place your baby on their back when you lay them in their crib to nap or go to sleep for the night, or if they are continuing to wake up during the night. It is okay if your baby rolls to their tummy as they sleep, as you have already designed a safe sleeping space with no loose blankets or soft objects that may get into your baby’s way.
After your baby learns how to roll and becomes more mobile, it is time to be mindful about a few things to help keep your little one safe.
Take extra caution with elevated surfaces, like changing tables or beds. It is essential now not to leave your baby unattended for any amount of time. It can be scary, but your baby can quickly roll off a changing table or bed if you turn around to grab a wipe or a diaper.
Be sure to use any straps to help keep your baby in place, and keep a hand on your baby. It is also helpful to gather any supplies you may need before changing your baby.
You may also have to baby-proof things you didn't even think about!
Make sure that there aren’t any small objects that may have gotten lost under chairs or the couch. Shoes, cords, even pet dishes are all fair game as your little one is officially mobile and can roll to anything close by.
The next significant milestone after rolling to watch out for is sitting up. As your baby is rockin’ and rollin’, they continue developing those muscles in their trunk that will help support their little bodies to sit up. They will need your help to get into the sitting position and may need some soft places to help support them in case they get a little wobbly.
One of the first big milestones your baby accomplishes is rolling over on their own. Now your baby is officially mobile and is starting to make its own moves in the world. Although you’d like time to slow down, this first year is so much fun as you watch your sweet little buddy grow and learn. Soon enough, they will be sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking!
Of course, as your baby grows and meets all of these exciting milestones, there is one constant thing they will need - a good night’s sleep!
As your baby discovers all the cool things they are able to do, you can discover our safe, melatonin-free sleep help for your little one. When your little one starts to become mobile, safety will become a forerunning thought in your mind.
At Little Yawn Collective, our pediatrician-approved products undergo rigorous testing and panel approvals to ensure that they are a safe and effective partner with your bedtime routine.
Our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula and Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter are based on infant sleep science to encourage restful zzz’s. These products are infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance, featuring scents proven to create an environment that helps fall asleep and stay asleep!
When used along with a consistent sleep routine, you and your little one can rest easy (and keep rolling)!
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