You have your baby in your hand and the tough part is done. He is a cute and cuddly baby and you love spending time with him. But your baby is going to grow at a rapid rate in the initial few years. You have to be on top of it to make sure that your baby goes through all the milestones quickly. Rolling over is a big milestone for babies as it is the first step towards moving and depicts the muscular growth of the baby. So “when do babies roll over” and “how do they achieve it?”
What do you mean by rolling over?
Before answering “when do babies roll-over”, let’s dig into what rolling over actually means. Rolling over is rotating the whole body by 180 degrees. It could be front to back or back to front and either way includes in it. When babies start rolling, they first do it one way and later they learn to roll both ways as rolling different ways involves the development of different muscles. Later on, they learn to keep rolling over and over again.
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When do babies roll-over?
Let’s dive straight into the topic. For the baby to roll, he must have developed enough physical ability in certain muscles to be able to roll his weight, and it requires time. Some develop these muscles early and some take a little longer. That’s why there is a wide range on the time. Some babies roll over as early as 3 months and others take up to 7 months. However, most of the babies have learned the ability to roll beyond the age of 7 months.
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When do babies roll-over? Factors
There are a couple of factors that determine how quickly the baby will roll-over. These include:
- The weight of the baby since he has to roll that weight.
- Activity the baby does with the muscles involved in rolling.
The second point shows that there are ways for your baby to learn rolling over early. These ways are described in the end.
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Development leading to rolling
Like we mentioned early it is a learning curve leading up to walking and running. Although rolling over is the first major step, there are few things that lead the baby to roll-over.
The first step leading up to rolling is turning the body to one side. It begins around 2-3 months where a baby learns to lift his body and turn to one side. However, he is highly unstable and mostly falls either to the back or on his tummy.
As he is grabbing the concept of turning, he also tries the push-up position in which he tries to lift his neck. This helps him to keep the neck straight and prepares the muscles of the back for turning.
These steps tone the body and strengthen the muscles responsible for rolling. However, it takes him another couple of months to master rolling completely.
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How to encourage rolling?
So what’s there for you to do to help your baby learn to roll faster?
Trust your baby
Naturally, you are protective of your baby. However, you need to trust your baby with the effort of turning as it will strengthen the muscles. You should provide enough space for him so that he is active and uses his muscles.
It’s better to let your baby move freely and be active. Propping him will only be making him lazy as the muscles won’t develop quickly.
Your baby may not like it but increasing the tummy time is the best way to make your baby active. He will move his limbs around, support his neck, and attempt to roll.
Tempt him with toys
You can use toys or hold his fingers to help him roll-over. Make sure that your baby takes most of the effort.
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Safe rolling: what can you do?
The rolling is going to continue even after he has mastered it. So you should make sure that your baby is safe to roll as much as he wants.
Keep a close eye on your baby
The best way to make sure that your baby is safe is to keep a close eye on him. Doing this you can let him roll as much as he wants without any fear.
Safe sleeping area
Since your baby can roll and you can’t be around throughout the night you should make your baby sleep in a safe area like a crib or walled bed.
It’s about time that you stop wrapping the baby in a blanket. Since the baby can roll so there are increased chances of suffocation when swaddled.
It is not reasonable to restrict the baby from rolling so you should make the area around him safe. Make sure that there is no sharp or pointing object around or he is not placed at a height.
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When do babies roll-over? What’s next?
Rolling over is the first step in the process of learning gross motor functions. Since the baby learns to hold his neck in the meantime he is learning to roll over the next step is sitting up. Sitting up requires the strength of the muscles involved in neck holding as well as rolling along with some other muscles. Later on, he will be learning how to crawl, stand, and finally walk.
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Congratulations! Your baby has started the first step towards walking. Don’t stop him for rolling instead you should encourage him to roll more and more. It will help the baby develop muscles faster and soon your baby will be walking on his feet in front of your eyes.
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