Every stage of your baby’s growth and development is a milestone to celebrate and record for posterity. It is a joy to watch them as they develop control over their movements and slowly progress from moving their hands and feet to taking their first steps. Of these numerous milestones, the most significant development ones are when your baby starts rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking. Here we will take a look at the first of these development milestones, namely when your baby is able to roll over by themselves both from their tummy to their back and vice versa.
When Does Rolling Over Occur
Till your baby is around 3 months old their motor development skills relating to hand-eye co-ordination, neck control, etc occurs. They start waving their hands and kicking their legs when excited and also push their head and shoulders up (with the support of their hands) while lying on their tummy. This helps strengthen their neck, hand, and back muscles for them to be able to progress to their rolling over stage.
At around 5-6 months your baby will be able to roll over on to their back while lying on their tummy. They then slowly progress to rolling back onto their tummy. The reason they take longer to roll over while lying on their back is because greater muscular strength is required for this (which your baby develops by flipping onto their back from their tummy position).
Ways to Help your Baby
While the rolling over-development occurs naturally over a period of time there are ways you can help make it easier for your little one to get it right.
- It is important to get your baby comfortable with lying on their tummy, for this starts giving them a few seconds of tummy time every day when they are around 2-3 weeks old. You can slowly increase the duration as they start getting more comfortable. In this way not only does your baby feel at ease lying on their tummy (by the time they are ready to start rolling over) but they also develop stronger muscles.
- Once they are comfortable lying on their tummy, place your baby on their side and let them play with their toys (for a few minutes a day). This helps them develop a step by step process of rolling over.
- When you notice your baby starts trying to roll over, place a well-loved toy on the side they are favoring to encourage them to roll over while trying to reach for the toy.
- They may hesitate while on their side initially scared to turn over all the way, you can help them overcome this fear by gently rolling them from their tummy position onto their back and vice versa. This helps your baby get used to the rolling movement and builds confidence in them.
In these ways, you can help your little one progress to the first significant milestone in their growth and development phase.