Babies usually start rolling over when they have reached the age of 6-7 months. In some babies, this skill may also be seen as quickly as 4 months. Most of the babies begin rolling over from the stomachs to their backs and then back onto their stomachs. The interesting thing to notice here is that most of this rolling occur by accident.
Rolling from the back to the stomach is very important since it will allow babies to get into their “tummy time” position. Babies usually tend to have a lot of trouble when it comes to rolling onto their stomachs from their backs. If you’re worried that your baby isn’t going to be able to roll over when on the floor, there are a few things you can do in order to encourage this.
Early rolling starts with some decent head control and strong neck muscles which can support the head. Babies usually learn how to control their heads before they are able to control most other parts of their body. That’s why their heads are what they use to get leverage when they try rolling for the first time.
When in the tummy time position, if your baby can hold their head up then they are ready to start rolling over. Here are a few activities which can help you get started with this:
Put the baby on their tummy with their palms down on a soft surface or play mat. Put a small toy mirror in front of them so they can see themselves while they are on their tummy. Apart from the mirror, use some small toys too so that they are encouraged to lift their head and turn it from one side to another while looking at all their toys. If they aren’t able to tolerate this position, try lying in front of them on the floor with your face near theirs, comforting them. Start off with 5-10 minutes of tummy time multiple times a day and gradually increase this till they are spending 30 minutes a day on their tummy.
Rolling form side to stomach
Place them on their side facing you. Attract their attention using their favorite toy and put it just outside the reach over their head. Encourage them to roll from the side onto their stomach while reaching for the toy. If they are unable to roll from the side on their own, give them some assistance at the knee or hip to help complete the roll. Help them roll from either side onto their stomach at least 5 times each.
Rolling from back onto stomach
Lie them on their back and put their feet near their body. Hold a brightly colored, small toy or something interesting around a foot in front of their face in order to get their attention. Once they are interested, move the toy down towards the floor so that they need to rotate their head in order to continue seeing the toy. Put the toy on the floor near their shoulder and encourage them to reach across over her body and get the toy. They should be using their neck & shoulder muscles for this. Let them complete this roll onto their stomach on their own. If they can’t give a little assistance at the knee or hip.
You shouldn’t let the baby spend too much time with equipment. This includes things like swings, chairs, jumpers and car seats. The only way for them to develop their motor skills is by practicing, experiencing and learning. For every second they spend on baby equipment, that is a second which they could have been developing some skill. Yes, this equipment is very helpful when you are busy or when the baby is being fussy. But they shouldn’t be used for a majority of the time. If you want them to develop new skills, give them the opportunity to.