How to Teach a Baby to Roll Over

Rolling is essential for establishing postural control because it involves a brain region that allows the left and right sides of the body to “speak” to and cooperate. Working with your baby and helping them to improve their gross motor skills and strength throughout these critical developmental stages is vital.

Babies being able to roll over on their own comes with some great benefits:

  • It’s the first time newborns can move on their own. In addition, it helps them prepare for future milestones in their development.
  • When a baby rolls over, they strengthen the muscles needed to make additional motions, such as standing up.
  • Their vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (body awareness)  senses are developed when babies roll over.

Having seen the benefits of babies being able to roll on their own, let’s now look at some tips to help you teach your baby how to roll over.

Allow Lots of Tummy Time Throughout The Day for Your Baby

A baby’s most essential motor skills are learned when they are in their tummies. Therefore they must practice this posture often. The neck and back muscles required for arching against gravity and rolling are strengthened by time spent on the belly.

Babies often raise their heads and chests off the floor between the ages of 2 months and 4 months during tummy time, and they begin to bear weight on their hands between the ages of 4 months and 6 months.

As soon as your baby can lift his chest off the floor and is comfortable on his belly, you may notice that he begins to rock his body. If this is the case, he’s well on his way to learning to roll! Even while he may not collapse over for hours or even weeks, the fact that he is practicing transferring his weight side to side is a huge accomplishment.

Allow Gravity to Assist You

Is it tough for your baby to get on a roll? If your baby’s muscles aren’t strong enough, it may be difficult for them to begin rolling over (whether on their back or their belly). The latter half of the movement may be completed successfully if they begin on their side instead of their back. Gravity will work in their favor rather than against them if they remain in this posture.

You may gradually increase the amount of movement your baby makes throughout the changeover. The second option is to position them on a wedge or prop that declines and then practice rolling down on the wedge or prop. Allow your baby to experience the whole transition while decreasing gravity.

While Picking Up, Roll

Rather than merely lifting your baby straight up, assist them with balancing their weight on their side before you do so. It is possible to turn your baby over to the side when seated on their bottom; this is an automatic response that babies are born with. 

All of this is strengthening the muscles on the sides of his neck. As an extra benefit, they will practice pushing against the floor with their arm as they descend. Do this on both sides of their body at the same time.

Help Your Baby Distinguish Upper And Lower Body Motions

If you attempt to turn a newborn baby over, they will perform a “log roll” since they are hardwired to maintain their bodies in a straight line. After about four months, the “segmental roll” is often developed because the child can distinguish upper and lower body motions while rolling with their hips.

Your favorite children’s song may help guide you through these twisting postures after the baby is comfortable playing in the rounded position at the midline. Then assist the baby hold one foot with the other hand by moving both legs together. Once you’ve given the baby’s body a chance to detect each twist, you’re ready to go for the next one.

Motivate Your Baby Using Visual And Audio Aids

The body will follow the mind wherever it goes. Using toys and music, you may encourage your child to gaze and follow with their eyes (or orient to sound). This will lead to their head rotating, and eventually, their trunk rotating.

It is helpful to begin by placing an object in your baby’s line of vision and gradually shifting it to one side into the direction you like them to roll by using this strategy.

Assist Infant in “Rounded” Poses While Playing on Back

Playing on the back is just as crucial for a baby’s growth as playing on their stomach, especially if they can switch positions. Baby’s extension should be balanced as they develop and learn new motor abilities; we don’t want one posture to take precedence over the other as they learn new motor skills.

Because most babies prefer to sleep on their backs, caregivers can easily engage and amuse them in this circular posture. In your lap or on a level surface, you may let the baby munch on her toes while offering flexion in her knees, hips, and trunk while you sing, read, or chat to her.

Allow Infant to Spend Nearly Equal Time on Either Side of her Body

As she strengthens her neck, trunk, and arms, the baby’s body is exposed to all the postures needed in rolling. As an added benefit, it helps prevent her scalp from developing flat patches. That should be enough to motivate you to change things up during your day. The baby’s position should be rotated every 15 to 20 minutes.

Keep in mind that newborns, like adults, are unique. Learning and growing is a process that everyone goes through at their speed. Your baby will eventually learn to turn over on its own. Be patient with your baby and allow them to learn on their own time. Patience is a virtue when it comes to helping your baby grow through the development stages. 

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