When Do Babies Roll Over? How to Encourage It

Some months have gone by since the birth of your baby. Your little one has grown and changed so much in that time, and with every new day they’re more mobile and alert than ever before. One of their early developmental milestones will be rolling over. Soon you won’t be able to keep up with them! Find out when your baby may start rolling over and how to encourage it through play.

When Do Babies Roll Over?

You may be wondering when “should” your baby be able to roll over? Since every baby is unique and will reach various development milestones at their own pace, the age at which your baby starts rolling over can vary. Read on to learn more about this aspect of childhood development and find out when you can start seeing your baby mastering the milestone of rolling over.

When Do Babies Start to Show Signs of Rolling Over?

You may also be wondering how do babies roll over? Well, it starts with a few noticeable signs of development. At around 5 months old, your baby may start to show the following signs that rolling over is on the horizon:

  • Using their arms to lift their chest and arch their back

  • Rocking on their stomach

  • Kicking or twisting their legs

  • Swimming with their arms.

Developing these kinds of gross motor skills is necessary for your baby to be able to eventually roll over.

When Do Babies Roll Over From Belly to Back, Back to Belly?

So, which way do babies roll first? Most babies will roll over from belly to back first, and then later from back to belly. Here’s why:

  • Rolling from belly to back is easier because it only needs a small change in gravity.

  • Rolling from back to belly requires more complex movements, like rocking, arching the back, and twisting the legs.

So, when can babies roll over in both directions? By around 7 months, many babies may be able to roll over in both directions.

At What Age Do Babies Roll Over Easily?

So, how old are babies when they roll over? Rolling over often happens anywhere between 4 and 7 months. But this “rolling over” milestone, like other developmental achievements, could happen at a different time for an individual baby.

You might be wondering if your baby has begun rolling over too early or too late. Although it’s unlikely for a baby to begin rolling over before 4 months, for example, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And looking at it from the opposite perspective, don’t be disappointed if your baby is not rolling over at 5, 6, or 7 months because every baby develops differently. Be patient—there’s still time.

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How to Help Your Baby Roll Over

Babies learn by playing and exploring, so what seems like a teaching moment to you will seem like a fun game to them. Take this as an opportunity to encourage their physical development.

How to Encourage Your Baby to Roll Over

So, how do you teach your baby to roll over from tummy to back? The answer is tummy time! It’s an activity that you can start when your baby is a newborn infant. Encourage rolling over by placing your baby on their tummy for short periods, with you close at hand. Eventually you may start seeing your baby rolling over from tummy to back.

Here are some tips for encouraging rolling over during tummy time:

  • Have a dedicated space for tummy time. A good place can be on a blanket spread out on the floor.

  • Do tummy time two to three times a day for three to five minutes at a time. As your baby gets used to this new activity, you can increase the time and frequency.

  • During tummy time, encourage your baby to roll over by showing them a favorite toy/rattle or a mirror, or by making noises. You could also lie side by side with your baby and encourage them to roll over. But avoid pushing or pulling them. Congratulate your baby once they’ve managed to roll over.

  • Make sure not to leave your baby unattended during tummy time, and don't let them play with any small toys or objects as these can be a choking hazard.

Watch the video below to learn how to help your baby roll over:

Safety Concerns for When Your Baby Is Rolling Over

As your baby works on these exciting new skills, keep a close watch on them, especially when you have them on a high surface like a changing table, bed, or sofa. It's safest to always keep a hand on them to prevent them from rolling over and onto the floor.

It's never too soon to baby proof your home, especially if this period of exploration is just around the corner. You might have already done some babyproofing, but now's a good time to take a second look with your more mobile and curious little one in mind. You might want to install a baby gate, for example, or secure furniture that might tip over.

What to Do If Your Baby Isn’t Rolling Over

Your little one may reach certain milestones sooner than others, or they may take a little extra time to master certain skills. This is normal—every baby is an individual and develops at their own speed.

Your baby's healthcare provider will be tracking your baby's growth and development. If you're concerned your baby hasn't rolled over, if you’re wondering can your baby roll over too early, if you think your baby has stopped rolling over, or if you have any other concerns about your baby’s development, ask your provider at your next appointment.

The Bottom Line

Giving your babydaily, supervised tummy time is a great way to help build the strength and coordination needed for rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and eventually walking.

Whether your baby has already mastered rolling over, or is still getting the hang of tummy time, it’s good to be on top of your baby’s physical development. Before you know it, your little one will be having a great time rolling around, getting up, and running around the house.

When exactly your baby will first roll over isn’t certain, but what is certain is that you’re sure to be going through a lot of diapers around this time. To earn cash for all your Pampers diapers and wipes purchases, download the Pampers Club app today!

How We Wrote This Article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.