How to Teach a Baby to Roll Over (The Ultimate Guide)

Updated: Jul 11


As your baby grows, countless little milestones are worth celebrating as they constantly develop new skills and abilities. Though you are probably looking forward to your baby crawling, they must accomplish another milestone first: rolling over. One day very soon, you'll set your baby down on their playmat and look away for a second only to find that they have rolled off of it.

Rolling over is one of the first physical developmental milestones (gross motor) that your baby will reach. Learning to roll is essential for your baby's muscle development and a precursor to sitting up and crawling. The first moment your baby makes without your help is quite a moment to remember. Suddenly, they aren't so helpless anymore; they can move!


Learning to roll can also help the later fine motor skills development, such as writing. This is because it engages the part of the brain that encourages the right and left sides of the body to coordinate with each other.


Interestingly babies once learned this behavior on their own. Before safe sleep recommendations to combat SIDS, babies would often wake on their bellies and practice pushing up and rolling in their crib. Since the recommendations that babies be placed to sleep on their back in 1993, it was found that they were rolling over and crawling later. But it's a minor inconvenience compared to the fact that safe sleep recommendations cut SIDS death rates by 50 percent over the 10 years they became commonly adopted. To combat the delay, pediatricians began recommending tummy time starting from infancy.


NOTE: Are you worried your baby might roll over in their sleep and become trapped in a position where their breathing is compromised? Once infants can roll onto their stomachs, they have enough head control to lift their heads and breath. Rolling from the tummy to the back is easier, too, so if a baby can roll onto their stomach, they can usually roll back.


This article explains when to expect your baby to roll over, encourage them to roll and keep them safe as they become more mobile.

In the article:

  • Why rolling is important

  • Signs Your Baby Is Ready to Start Rolling Over

  • Stages of Rolling Over

  • When Do Babies Roll Over?

  • Rolling over by age

  • Newborns

  • 1 to 2 months

  • 2 to 3 months

  • 3 to 5 months

  • My Baby Is 7 Months Old And Still Cannot Roll. Is It A Concern?

  • Can a baby roll over too early?

  • Do some babies never roll over?

  • When to Call a Doctor

  • How to Make Your Space Safe

  • What should you do if a baby rolls over in their sleep?

  • How to Teach Your Baby to Roll Over

  • How long and how often?

  • What To Expect Next After Your Baby Rolls Over?

Why rolling is important

Rolling is a complicated movement requiring the body's two sides to do opposite movements. This is important for the brain-body connection (i.e., how the body learns to respond when the brain says "reach"), to build neuronal maps (i.e., how a baby will learn to move in 3D space), to strengthen bilateral coordination skills (i.e., to use both sides of the body), and is preparing baby to develop more complex movements.


Rolling is the first transitional movement skill and allows a baby to:

  • Begin to explore their world, and this is the first time babies can determine where they will go...they are off!

  • Learn to use both sides of their body together.

  • Learn how to use both arms and legs together (a prelude to creeping and crawling).

  • Develop strength in their head, back, and hips in preparation for sitting and crawling.

  • Develop motor planning and coordination, i.e., plan how to move for a purpose.

  • Learn about risk-taking (those first few rolls completely change how a baby sees the world).

  • Be aware of their environment and thus assist their cognitive development as they become aware of their environment and begin to control it.

  • Develop their sensory systems (use of their vestibular and optical systems).

Most babies learn to roll over by 6-7 months of age. Regardless of whether babies take the fast or slow road to rolling, their bodies begin preparing to roll wayyyyyy before they ever flip themselves over that very first time.


Signs Your Baby Is Ready to Start Rolling Over

When it comes to significant milestones, you're probably keeping an eye out for signals that the baby is ready to conquer new skills. You might want to have your phone or camera ready for this special moment!


What are some signs your little one is very close to rolling over?


You'll likely start noticing progress around the 3-month-old mark—that's when your little one's growing body starts to catch up to their head (which is comparatively large at birth). Your baby's overall muscle strength improves. This combination will help the baby take that adorable mini push-up and roll with it into a bigger movement.


Other signs your baby is ready to roll over:

  • Arching their backs

  • Rocking on their bellies or backs

  • Kicking their legs and trying to cross one leg over their body

  • Pushing up on their hands and lifting their chest off the ground

Stages of Rolling Over

Reflexive/Accidental Rolling

Although it's possible, most babies under 2-3 months are not doing a typical roll using their muscles. If your little one is rolling tummy to back and is younger than 2-3 months, they may be just doing what is called a reflexive or accidental roll.


Reflexive rolling is when a baby rolls from their belly onto their back to clear their airway. Who knew they had such a cool life-saving technique? Sometimes placing newborns directly on their stomachs can start to restrict their airways. This is why it's recommended to use a boppy pillow or another support pillow for tummy time when they are very young.


Babies can also do an accidental roll. This can happen when they lift their head early on, and it's so heavy compared to their body that the weight of it pulls them over. Or, they may get so frustrated during tummy time that they arch their back, and it might also cause them to roll over.


Although these situations are technically "rolling," it's not considered meeting the milestone because they are not using their muscles for it.


Emerging Roll

Before your little one rolls all the way over, they will usually roll to their side. It's an excellent time to use all the tips listed above. While in the emerging roll stage, anywhere from 3 to 5 months, they may roll over all the way 1 or 2 times but then stop for a while.


In any stage of development, your baby may learn to do new things but then stop for a while. That usually happens when they start working on a different skill in another area of development, such as learning to babble.


It takes a while for a skill to be solidified, so you should continue using these tips frequently throughout the emerging roll stage.

Mastered Roll

When they are in the mastered roll stage, you may not need to use any of the tips above.


They should be able to purposefully roll over from belly to back and back to stomach on both sides. They may even roll over a few times to get where they need to go!


You may see the mastered roll around 6-7 months. Your baby might also be sitting up by this point and getting ready to crawl, but it is still essential to provide lots of tummy time and back play opportunities for them to roll even after they seem to master it.


When Do Babies Roll Over?

If you ask your friends when their babies started to roll over, you'll get a wide range of answers for 2 reasons:

  • A baby's weight can affect when they roll over.

  • Their muscles develop at different times depending on how much tummy time and floor time they get and how active they are.


Depending on their developmental pace, most neuro-typical babies start rolling over somewhere between 3 and 6 months of age. They will generally begin by rolling from front to back before rolling back to forth.


Belly to Back: 2-5 months.

On average, babies tend to first roll from tummy to back between 2-5 months. Once your little one has the strength to lift the head, they will begin to roll over.


Back to Side: 4-5.5 months.

On average, babies roll from back to side between 4-5.5 months.


Back to Belly: 5.5-7.5 months.

On average, babies roll from back to tummy a month after being able to roll over from tummy to back, between 5.5-7.5 months. It's because the movements require more muscular strength and coordination.


While the developmental pace is important, so is opportunity. Babies who are given tummy time will practice pushing up and eventually learn to roll over onto their back. They develop this skill mainly because it's more comfortable for a baby to lay face up — there's less necessity to fight gravity to observe the fascinating world.

What about preemies?

Babies born prematurely will often reach developmental milestones at a similar time or a little later than full-term babies if you use their corrected age. So if your 6-month-old baby was born 2 months early, their corrected age is 4 months (how old they would be if they were born near her due date).

Micro-preemies or those with health issues may not fall on the same developmental timeline. Download the Pathfinder Health app to track their development. The app is adjusting the milestones for prematurity.


REMEMBER: If your little one was premature, they should catch up developmentally by age 2.


Rolling over by age


Newborns

Your newborn may not have much head and neck control or strength for the first few weeks, which is normal. Plenty of tummy time, even as a newborn, is essential to help build these muscles. Start with 1-2 minute sessions a couple of times a day for a few minutes at a time.


1 to 2 months

Your baby might struggle to lift their head when placed on their tummy. They will eventually briefly lift their head and turn it from side to side. Try to stick with it even if they look uncomfortable and don't really like it.


Milestones at 1 Month:

  • Can raise head for a moment.

  • Turns head towards the side while on the back.


2 to 3 months

Your little one begins to turn from their back to their side. From this position, they can reach for their toys but is still unstable and have to focus on staying balanced. When this position becomes easier, your baby might relax and accidentally roll onto his tummy or back. If it's their tummy they land on, they may not be too happy!


Milestones at 2 Months:

  • The head can bob forward while sitting.

  • Can hold the head up and begin to push up when lying on tummy.

  • Makes smoother movements with arms and legs.

3 to 5 months

Babies begin to roll from as early as 3-4 months. Initially, it is accidental! The baby does mini push-ups, using his arms for support, with his head high, then they move their weight to one arm, and suddenly they tip, and now they are on their back. The first few rolls surprise them and amaze you!! Though able to roll, it is without control, so your baby may not practice it on their own. Most babies roll tummy to back at this age, but either way is acceptable.

At 3 Months:

Can control their head up while sitting; however, they bob forward.

  • Can bear some weight while standing on both legs.

  • Can raise their head and shoulders 45 to 90 degrees while lying on the belly.

  • Can carry weight on forearms.


At 4 Months:

  • Hold their head up without support

  • Hold a small toy

  • Push down from their legs to their feet when placed on a firm surface

  • Push up on their elbows while lying on their tummy (like a baby push-up)

  • Can raise their head and chest up to 90 degrees.

  • Rolls over from back to the side.

As long as your baby begins to practice these skills at about 4 months—even if they have not mastered them—they are on track.

5 to 6 months

Babies are pushing up on strong long arms by 5 months and can lift their chests off the floor on their tummies. They may also raise their legs and rock or assume the superman flying position by lifting both arms and legs off together and balancing on their belly. On their back, they lift their legs off the floor and play with their feet.

At 5 Months:

  • Can hold the head up while sitting.

  • Rolls over from belly to back.


By 6 months, babies can now lie on their side as they roll from their back to their tummy.


This position and the resulting completion of the movement involves several systems working together. These include vision (visual feed allows the orientation of the baby's head), the vestibular system (the sensory system that assists with balance and awareness of spatial orientation), and postural reactions that allow the head righting on the baby's body as they move.


Then the baby turns their head and extends their trunk as they move their top arm across their body (the beginning of crossing the midline) and then extends their legs to complete the movement. They are off! Initially, a baby will use rolling as their first form of locomotion as they roll from back to front to get a toy or a cuddle from you. This exploration of the environment and mobility skill is the building block of all other movements; creeping, moving in and out of sitting into all fours, crawling, and then moving up onto their feet will quickly develop from here.

At 6 Months:

  • Can raise the chest and a part of the belly while lying on the stomach.

  • Can lift their head while in a sitting position.

  • Rolls over from back to belly.


Use milestone checklists in our app to track your child's skills and progress, and always speak with your physician if you are concerned about your child's motor development.

My Baby Is 7 Months Old And Still Cannot Roll. Is It A Concern?

Children develop skills differently, some more quickly than others, and some babies are simply slow to develop some skills, either due to temperament, genetics, or opportunity to practice. A baby that hasn't figured out how to roll is not necessarily developmentally delayed.


Remember that some babies start developing their sitting skills quickly and may skip the rolling and go straight to sitting, bottom-shuffling, or crawling. If this is your child, there's no cause for alarm; they are still progressing developmentally. However, if your little one is not doing any of these things by 7 months, check with your physician.


If your baby was born early (before 37 weeks), remember that he might reach this and other milestones later than most babies.


It's common to worry if your baby seems a bit behind schedule with developmental milestones. Use milestone checklists in the Pathfinder Health app to track your child's skills and progress, and always speak with your physician if you are concerned about your child's motor development.

Can a baby roll over too early?

Many babies start intentionally rolling over around 3 or 4 months, but some may accidentally flip over before that. However, suppose your baby is consistently rolling over at a very young age (before 3 months), and their muscles look very stiff. In that case, you should give your pediatrician a call to rule out a potential birth trauma or nervous system disorder.


Rolling over at a very young age could also indicate abnormal reflexes.


Most newborns have a fencing reflex, which prevents them from rolling over in the first few weeks. When the newborn's face is turned to one side, the baby's arm and a leg on that side extend, and the opposite arm and leg flex. It's a built-in mechanism for preventing SIDS.


As the reflex starts to disappear (it should be entirely gone by 6 months old) and you notice your baby has the strength and muscle tone to hold their head up more, you can take it as a sign that you'll soon see the baby rolling over.


Do some babies never roll over?

Yes, it is possible your baby may skip rolling and go right to crawling. Rolling is a good skill for little ones to have, so try to encourage it as much as you can.


When to Call a Doctor

The AAP outlines 3 scenarios where it might be appropriate to call your pediatrician about your baby's inability to roll over:


- If your baby (at any age) stops being able to roll over after previously being able to do so

- If, at 6 months or older, your baby's muscles seem especially stiff or floppy

- not able to roll over by 6 months


Your little one could still be within the norm in these cases. But it's important to discuss things with your pediatrician so they can rule out any developmental delays that may require early intervention. Take a developmental screening test recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics before your visit to provide data-driven inputs to your primary care provider.

How to Make Your Space Safe

Once your baby knows how to do a full roll (from back to front and back again, or vice versa), rolling around can be amusing. Some babies use rolling as a form of transportation, rolling themselves from here to there.


It's exciting to see your baby become mobile. The first time they flip over is the moment you (and your camera phone!) won't want to miss. Of course, while rolling over is fun for him, it could be nerve-racking for you.


Supervision.

Babies usually roll over without any notice. Always be aware to never leave your baby unattended on a high surface, even before they roll. All these exciting new moves that come with this big milestone could result in a fall or other hazards. Be sure to keep them safe on the changing table and in other places where. It might take a fraction of a second for them to roll over and fall. Therefore, make them lie on the floor when they show signs of rolling over.

Childproofing checklist.

As your baby makes their way around, you'd be surprised by the things a rolling baby can get their hands on: a crumb under the couch, the cat's bowl, or a plugged-in laptop charger. If it's within the rolling distance, they'll try to make their way to it—so it's best to review your childproofing checklist again. Once the baby is intentionally rolling, it's essential to keep their space clear of anything that could get in the baby's way and potentially obstruct their breathing or pose a choking hazard.


The best way to do this is to lie on the floor and look around. This is what your child sees - including that old button cell battery under the couch! Seeing the world as your child sees it can make childproofing things easier for you.



Stop swaddling.

Regardless of the age your baby starts to roll over, whenever they start, it's a signal to stop swaddling them during sleep. If your baby tries to roll over with their arms swaddled in, they may get stuck mid-roll or end up in a position restricting their breathing and then be unable to get out of it. Consider a sleep sack with open arms instead of a swaddle once your child rolls around. This way, they'll feel secure and bundled while still being able to move their arms freely while they sleep. If your little one is in a bassinet, you should transfer them to a crib for safety.

Remove hazards in their bed.

Those pictures of baby nurseries chock-full of blankets, accent pillows, and stuffed animals are adorable in photographs, but not when it comes to a proper bedtime! As your little one starts to roll around in their crib, ensure there are no blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals they could get wrapped up in that can cause SIDs. It's best to let your child find their natural sleeping position, and using products that keep them in a specific sleep position can be dangerous.

Back to sleep, tummy to play.

You should continue to put your little one on their back to sleep as it is the safest sleep position to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. According to the AAP, babies should sleep on their backs until they are 1 year old.

What should you do if the baby rolls over in their sleep?

Are you worried they might roll over in their sleep and become trapped in a position where their breathing is compromised?


Some parents worry their baby might roll onto their tummy while asleep in the crib. However, you do not have to check up on your little one every hour or stalk the baby monitor.

Reduce the risk of harm

Once infants begin rolling, you can reduce the risk of harm to the baby by taking specific steps:

  • stopping swaddling the baby, as swaddling makes moving more difficult

  • removing any bedding or decorations from the crib, including crib bumpers

  • avoiding using weighted blankets or other sleep aids

  • moving the baby to a crib, if they are still in a bassinet or another small sleep area

It is important NOT to stop infants from rolling, strap them into a swing, or swaddle them more tightly. Limiting movement is more dangerous than allowing it.

Don't Panic!

A flipped-over baby in the middle of the night is nothing to be inherently afraid of. It is perfectly normal for your baby to squirm while they're cozy and sleeping as they try to adjust to a more comfortable position.


Babies begin to roll from as early as 3-4 months. Importantly, SIDS risk decreases significantly at 4 months old. Once infants can roll onto their stomachs, they have enough head control to lift their heads and breathe. Rolling from the tummy to the back is usually easier, so if your baby can roll onto their stomach, they can roll back (although you should continue to put your baby to sleep on their back, even if they don't stay in that position all night.).


There is no need to roll babies back once they can roll over. They sleep best and safest when they can find a comfortable sleeping position themselves. However, ensuring that their crib is safety tested and does not have coverings that can trap the infant's head is crucial.


If you're really worried about your little one rolling over to sleep on their belly, you might try laying them down in their crib on their back with one of their arms extended. That way, if they roll, it's more likely to be onto the side with their arm out in front of their chest — and then they'll be slightly less likely to flip fully onto their tummy because it tucks that arm underneath them.


Some products like the Tranquilo Safe Sleep Swaddle Blanket (which is not actually a swaddle!) and the Swanling Slumber Sleeper are designed to prevent your baby from rolling and keep them fast asleep on their back.


Please check out the SIDS prevention recommendations and research the safety of any product before using it.

What to do if my baby can't fall back asleep after rolling over?

While some babies are perfectly fine to sleep on their stomachs once they roll over, others are wide awake — and unhappy!


While some babies will wake up midsleep from rolling over in their crib, other babies will keep themselves up by rolling around and not wanting to fall back asleep. It's natural for the novelty of their new skill to keep them awake for a while, but it will wear off in time.


The novelty of rolling over in the crib usually goes away quickly, and the chances are your baby will stop disrupting their sleep with this new skill in just a few days. Sleep problems due to this new milestone are typically short-lived and will quickly resolve.

Can I put my baby on their tummy for sleep after they roll?

No, babies should always be on their backs for sleep until age 1. That said, if they roll to their tummy on their own after placing them on their back, it is OK to leave them there. If they roll on their own, they should be strong enough to roll back if needed.


If your little one is rolling, it's time to have their arms out of the swaddle if they are still being swaddled. They need their arms to push them up to roll over, and it is no longer safe for their arms to be constricted. This is an excellent time to move to a sleep sack.

How to Teach Your Baby to Roll Over

Every child is different and develops at their own pace. But, if you want to encourage your baby's development toward this milestone, here are some ways to help your little one roll over.

Lots of tummy time...

Tummy time is extremely important to strengthen your baby's back, arm, and neck muscles - all the upper body muscles that will eventually help them make that first roll! So, practice this early and often during their wake windows.


You should start tummy time as soon as you get home from a hospital, laying your infant face-down across your lap or chest for a few minutes while they are awake for a few minutes.


> Related: 20 Tummy Time Activities to Try with Your Baby


A lot of babies don't enjoy tummy time at first. Here is what to do: My baby hates tummy time (The Ultimate Guide).


Other than that, the best way to encourage the baby to roll over is to physically guide them, teaching them what it feels like to move. Assisting your baby to roll from one position to another gives a baby the experience of moving, the confidence that it is okay as you are showing them to do it, and helps develop the muscles, the sensory systems, and coordination to perform the movement independently.


Remember that the sensation of the baby rolling over is entirely new and can be a little shocking or scary. They might have this 'what just happened?' look on their faces. Don't be surprised if the baby cries at first. But after they do it a few times—and hear you clapping and cheering—baby will be more eager to try it out.

Tips and Activities to Get Your Baby to Roll Over:

Once your baby shows signs that they are ready to roll over, you can give them a helping hand by doing the following:



1. Roll Them While Picking Them Up And Putting Them Down.

Before your little one can roll on by themselves, you can help them learn the motion and the feeling of rolling by rolling them yourself. When you pick your little one up, rather than just picking them straight up, help them roll their weight to their side first. You can also roll them over to the side when your little one sits on their bottom. Your baby will automatically try to keep their head from falling out of line with the body, a cool reflex they are born with. This helps them strengthen the muscles on the sides of their neck, giving them the added bonus of practicing pushing against the floor.

2. Minimize time spent in baby equipment.

This includes baby swings, play saucers/jumpers, bouncer chairs, and, yes, even car seats (though car seats should ALWAYS be used while the baby is in a vehicle). Babies only develop new motor skills through experience, practice, and trial & error, so for every minute your baby is in baby equipment, that's a minute of lost experience. Don't get us wrong; baby equipment is super helpful for busy caregivers and fussy babies. It makes for great photo ops for that adorable baby scrapbook you'll never get around to completing. We just don't want babies spending most of their waking (and sleeping) hours confined to spaces and equipment, preventing them from practicing their new and exciting motor skills.

3. Strategic toy placement

Place baby on their belly with their favorite toy on one side, above eye level but out of reach (so they have to move to get to it). Encourage the baby to move toward the toy by shaking it or putting your face near it. You can help the baby by placing the palm of your hand on their bottom and gently rocking their hips toward one side. This will help the baby shift their weight and begin a roll to the side you turned them toward.

4. Blanket

Use a blanket to assist your baby with the roll. Place them on a bed or padded/carpeted floor in the middle of a blanket. Sit on one side of the blanket and roll the blanket up in your hands so there are only 2-3 inches between your baby and your hands. Put a toy on the blanket; as the baby reaches for the toy, lift the blanket into the air (no more than 1 inch) to assist the baby in rolling away from you and toward the toy.

5. Let gravity help

Initiating rolling (whether on their back or belly) requires movement against gravity which can be difficult for your little one to do if their muscles are not yet strong enough. One strategy that can be helpful is to start them lying on their side, so they can be successful in completing the last half of the movement. In this position, gravity will help them rather than work against them. As your child improves, you can increase the amount of motion they are doing within the transition.

6. Encourage Side Play.

You can use toys, mirrors, books, or the most exciting toy — your face! — to engage him in the side-lying position. He may need help staying on his side when he's younger, which can easily be done with your hand, foot, or a rolled-up receiving blanket wedged behind his back. As he becomes more comfortable on his side, place desired toys or objects just out of his reach. He will begin to cross his top leg over to the floor aaaaand…wa-la!…this is how he will initiate the roll to his tummy!

7. Don't Forget Back Play!

While helping them move through "rounded" positions. Playtime on the back is just as important as tummy time, especially when the baby has the opportunity to move into and out of a rounded or "tucked" position. We want babies to develop a good balance of extension (that "arching" position, learned in tummy time) and flexion (that "tucked" position, learned in playtime on the back) as they grow and learn new motor skills; we don't want one position overpowering the other. This rounded position is easy to achieve because most young babies prefer to be on their back, plus it allows caregivers to easily interact with and entertain them. Playtime on the back can take place on any flat surface — even on your lap — as you sing, read, talk, or help baby nibble on their toes while providing flexion in baby's knees, hips, and/or trunk.

8. Change Positions A Lot.

Allow baby to spend roughly equal amounts of time on all four sides of the body: tummy, back, left side, and right side. This gives the baby's body exposure to all positions involved in rolling as they strengthen their neck, trunk, and arms.


Moving your little one into different positions can also prevent them from frustration.

  • Have your baby play in a side-lying position

  • Add a rolled-up blanket under the back if the baby is having a hard time staying on their side

  • Be sure to switch sides.

It's also good for preventing the formation of flat spots on the back of their head, which, if you ask us, is incentive enough to mix things up throughout the day. Try to vary the baby's position about every 15-20 minutes.

9. Cross the Midline.

To roll from back to belly, babies need to cross the midline. This means they need to be able to cross their arms and legs over the middle of their body. The ability to roll depends on a baby's ability to come to (and cross) that midline. The midline play can be done lying on the back or the side. Our center moves with us wherever we go.


Babies usually develop the ability to play with their hands in the midline between 1-3.5 months (on their back) and are able to look with their head in the midline in this position between 4-5 months.

10. Encourage the baby to separate upper and lower body movements.

Newborn babies are wired to keep their bodies in one line, so they'll do a "log roll" if you try to roll them over. The "segmental roll" typically develops between 4-5 months, as they are able to twist and separate the movements of the upper and lower body while initiating the roll with their hips. Once the baby is comfortable playing at the midline in the rounded position mentioned earlier, you can go ahead and move their back and forth through these twisting positions to the rhythm of your favorite children's song. Start with both legs moving together, then progress to helping your baby grab one foot with the opposite hand. Pause for a second after each twist to give the baby's body a chance to register the movement, then proceed and let the good times roll!

11. Carry Them Around In Different Positions.

Who knew rolling could develop from being carried? Carry baby in a "tucked," face down, or sideways position. Doing this will improve your little one's balance and ability to hold themselves in different positions, which will help to encourage them to roll over. You can carry your baby around the house this way, or, better yet, you can dance with your baby! Turn on some music, get in front of a mirror for the baby's viewing pleasure, and move them through space in all these positions as you bounce, sing, and smile. You'd be surprised how much babies love this one! Be sure to STOP every 30 seconds or so to take a 10-second break to give the baby's nervous system a chance to fully process and adjust to the movements (their system will sort of "tune out" the movements if you keep going long enough).

12. Wear your young baby in a carrier that keeps their legs in a frog-like position

rather than separating them into a straddle position. These carriers encourage engagement at the midline, which, as noted previously, is important in the development of rolling. Such baby carriers include the over-the-shoulder Maya Wrap as well as more symmetrical carriers such as the Moby Wrap, Baby K'tan Baby Carrier, and Ergo Baby Carrier. All of these carriers allow your young baby to be carried in a frog-like position.

13. Give A Helping Hand.

Give them a hand if your baby gets halfway into a roll but gets stuck! Helping them overcome that sticking point over and over again will teach them what it actually feels like to roll.


TOP TIP: Some babies get shocked and may cry the first time they roll over. This is normal; you simply need to comfort them and let them know there is nothing to be scared of.

14. Celebrate Their Success!

Your baby is not too young to understand positive reinforcement. When they switch back to the front, they offer lots of clapping, squeals, and smiles to help them associate their new accomplishment with positive feelings. Then, allow them to show off their new talents by giving them plenty of time on the floor to practice and master rolling.

15. Don't worry.

Every baby is different. Just because your friend's little one rolled over at 3 months doesn't mean that is the standard for this skill. Each baby develops at a different pace, and as long as they can hold their head up when laying on their belly, they'll eventually get to the rolling-over stage.


Use milestone checklists in the Pathfinder Health app to track your child's skills and progress, and always speak with your pediatrician if you're concerned about your child's motor development.

How long and how often?

Start with the basics, have fun, and let the baby be your guide. We're not training babies for the Infant Olympics!


At 2+ months, aim to play on the floor for at least 90 minutes a day. This includes your tummy time play. Encourage your baby to move toward toys or people in the room while you're playing on the floor. Rolling will come as the baby becomes motivated to get to people and things.

What To Expect Next After Your Baby Rolls Over?

Rolling over is a significant accomplishment, but your baby will soon be on to the next thing and increasingly mobile. Your baby is always working on that next milestone, so enjoy (and encourage) these early ones when you can.


The muscles that are involved in your little one's rolling over are the same that help them crawl and sit. They developed leg, arm, neck, back, and abdominal muscles while learning to roll over. They'll put these muscles to work as they learn how to sit (first with a hand from you, then unassisted), rock on all fours, and crawl. Most of them master sitting up without support sometime between 6 and 9 months.


From there, they may start crawling and later master standing up. After they know how to crawl and stand with the best of them, they'll be ready to take their first steps and start walking on their own two feet.


As always, check in with your physician if you're concerned about the timing and nature of any baby milestones. And don't forget to enjoy the ride! This first year of baby rolls, smiles, coos, and steps are one of the most fun.


Please share this information with people who may find it helpful…the more they know about it, the better for our babies.