When do babies roll over?
Rolling over in a baby is one of the most important skills, in the development of a toddler. It is worth paying attention to when and how the baby rolls over. In the following article, I explain what proper turning looks like and when do babies roll over?
When do babies start to roll over?
Rolling over in a baby is a key skill in the second quarter of life. In child development, it is never the case that a skill appears when a baby reaches a certain age. Each and every skill has to be mastered earlier. The same rule applies to turning. By the time a baby starts to roll from side to side, he should have learned to properly support himself on his forearms while lying on his tummy, to lift his arms and legs above the ground in lying on his back, and to control his head. Rolling is a complex skill, in order to do it correctly, the above skills must first be mastered.
When does a baby learn to turn on its tummy?
A healthy developing baby masters rolling on his tummy at the end of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth month of life. Before this happens, however, the infant should learn to turn on its sides. This usually occurs around the fourth month of life. Pay attention to the way your baby turns. The fact that the rotation in an infant is correct is evidenced by keeping the whole body in the center line and symmetry in rotation. That is – a rolling baby should not tilt its head back, and the rolling should be initiated from the flexor muscles – that is, from the belly. Often, rolling in an baby begins with drawing the legs to the tummy, and only then rolling to the side and finally to the belly.
Baby turning from tummy to back?
We already know that around the age of six months a baby learns to turn on its tummy. And when does an infant master the rotation from tummy to back? Typically, this skill is achieved by the infant at the end of the sixth and the beginning of the seventh month. However, this is not a rule. It is very common for a baby to learn both tummy and back turns at the same time. It is also worth mentioning that not all children develop at an identical rate. Some toddlers master certain skills faster, and others more slowly. In physiotherapy for children, there is talk of developmental windows, or intervals in which a child has time to master a particular skill. In the case of rotation, this is as follows:
- Rolling from belly to back – 3-6 months of age,
- Rolling from the back to the stomach – 4-7 months of age.
Rolling in a baby – what to pay attention to?
Turning in an infant should be primarily symmetrical. That is, the baby should rotate through both the right and left sides. The beginnings of turning are often indeed asymmetrical. This is usually due to the fact that the child feels more confident turning to the side to which he has already succeeded. However, from the very beginning you should practice with your toddler turning to the opposite side. To do this, show the child toys from the side to which he turns less often. If the child is not able to perform the rotation to the opposite side on its own, draw the hand and foot towards you and help perform the rotation. Remember, asymmetry in rotation asymmetrically strengthens muscles. In the future, asymmetry may also appear in other activities or make them more difficult to learn. You can read about the impact of asymmetry on toddler development here.
Baby rolling from tummy to back?
Finally, it is worth noting one more detail. Often in newborns we observe rolling from tummy to back. This happens especially when the newborn does not feel like lying on his tummy. Then it stretches and leans back, so that it manages to return to its previous position. In the first month of life we can consider this a normal symptom. However, if it happens every time we place the baby on the stomach and the toddler hardly allows to be placed in this position, this is an alarm signal for us. Perhaps it is a symptom of disturbed muscle tone or tummy problems. It is necessary to consult the child with a physiotherapist and find the cause of such behavior.
In conclusion, the most important thing about a baby rolling is that it should occur to both sides. If you see that the child rolls only to one side, you should stimulate and encourage him to roll the opposite side as well. If home exercises do not work, you should consult your child with a physiotherapist. Rolling exclusively to one side may be indicative of positional asymmetry
I hope you found the article helpful. If you need an in-person or online visit, send a message or use the contact form here, I’ll be happy to help.
Author: mgr Magdalena Adaś
I am a pediatric physiotherapist. This job is my dream and passion. In addition to directly supporting patients, I try to make sure that the knowledge of proper child care reaches as many parents as possible. Hence my online activities. My materials are used by thousands of parents every month.