Rolling is a motor milestone that usually emerges before six months of age. It is quite variable in that some babies roll a lot earlier than others. Also, there is no hard and fast rule about which way a baby rolls first – front to back or back to front. Most early rolling is incidental – one minute your little one is playing with his toes and the next he rolls over onto his side or even all the way over. He will be as surprised as you are.

 

Active rolling is dependent on good tummy and back muscles working together to roll your baby over. That is why we stress the importance of floor time and tummy time – to allow those muscles to prepare for rolling.

 

We asked Kirsty Williams, a physiotherapist for her top 5 Babies R Us tips to encourage rolling:

 

  1. Give your baby the idea of the feeling rolling over by holding his hands to his feet while he lies on the floor and rock him from side to side.
  2. Put bells and ribbons on your baby's toes and feet to encourage him to play with his toes, which will prepare him to roll over himself.
  3. Prepare your baby for the experience of movement by getting him used to rapid movements and changes of direction when you play rough and tumble or aeroplanes through the air.
  4. Practice rolling by placing your baby on his back on your bed, set an exciting toy nearby, out of reach. Then lift the arm on the side of the toy up above your baby's ear (to show him how to get it out of the way) and guide him to roll over using his other leg to come over.
  5. To encourage rolling, use components of the movement while changing him. Bend his leg slightly and rotate him onto his side, place the nappy under him and roll him back the other way.

 

Little games help to get your baby prepared-ish to roll over.

 

For more information on preparing for your baby's development and ideas for rolling, read the age band chapters in Baby Sense (Faure & Richardson) 

Rolling is a motor milestone that usually emerges before six months of age. It is quite variable in that some babies roll a lot earlier than others. Also, there is no hard and fast rule about which way a baby rolls first – front to back or back to front. Most early rolling is incidental – one minute your little one is playing with his toes and the next he rolls over onto his side or even all the way over. He will be as surprised as you are.

 

Active rolling is dependent on good tummy and back muscles working together to roll your baby over. That is why we stress the importance of floor time and tummy time – to allow those muscles to prepare for rolling.

 

We asked Kirsty Williams, a physiotherapist for her top 5 Babies R Us tips to encourage rolling:

 

  1. Give your baby the idea of the feeling rolling over by holding his hands to his feet while he lies on the floor and rock him from side to side.
  2. Put bells and ribbons on your baby's toes and feet to encourage him to play with his toes, which will prepare him to roll over himself.
  3. Prepare your baby for the experience of movement by getting him used to rapid movements and changes of direction when you play rough and tumble or aeroplanes through the air.
  4. Practice rolling by placing your baby on his back on your bed, set an exciting toy nearby, out of reach. Then lift the arm on the side of the toy up above your baby's ear (to show him how to get it out of the way) and guide him to roll over using his other leg to come over.
  5. To encourage rolling, use components of the movement while changing him. Bend his leg slightly and rotate him onto his side, place the nappy under him and roll him back the other way.

 

Little games help to get your baby prepared-ish to roll over.

 

For more information on preparing for your baby's development and ideas for rolling, read the age band chapters in Baby Sense (Faure & Richardson).

 

Megan Faure (OTR) www.megfaure.com

Meg is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in babies and toddlers - specifically irritable infants; sleep problems, emotional engagement difficulties and fussy feeding. Meg is the co-author of Baby Sense and the Sense-series books. Her clinical practise is in Cape Town and she consults and speaks internationally too.