The Milestones in Baby Development

When should my baby start to roll over?

15 Aug, 2022

When should my baby start to roll over? 

Rolling over usually happens at around 4 months of age, but a little later or earlier is totally normal. At first your baby will only roll from their belly to back; this is easier because they use their arms to help take off. 

In order to roll over the baby needs to have a strong upper body, good control of their head and neck, and be able to coordinate their arm and leg movements as well. Most babies learn to roll from front to back first because front to back rolling requires less strength and coordination. Your baby may learn to roll from front to back as early as age 2-3 months. Back-to-belly rolling comes quite a bit later, usually by 5 to 6 months, or a month after they learn to roll over initially.

Because rolling over requires a lot of upper body strength, it is important that your baby gets daily "tummy time” to help them develop strong muscles and good control of their neck. Babies that don’t get a lot of tummy time may take longer to start rolling over. Try to place your baby on their tummy when they are awake and alert. This will help them with rolling over and other developmental milestones. Tummy time should be supervised until your baby can roll over in both directions. If your baby doesn't seem interested in rolling over, encourage them by putting favourite toys just out of their reach (to their right or left) during tummy time, or lie down near them and see if they will roll to you.

Safety concerns with rolling over development.

Once your baby gets the hang of rolling over, getting ready for playtime will be a lot more exciting. Most babies love flipping - and will attempt it often - because it's entertaining, surprising, and gives them a cool, new perspective of their environment. Remember, as soon as your baby starts even attempting to roll over, don't leave him unattended in the middle of your bed, on the changing table, or on any other high surface, even for a second. You never know when that first roll will happen.

Once babies have reached this development milestone, they will also have greater movement in their sleep so it can be dangerous if covers or blankets are used in a babies’ cot. Covers can tangle the baby when they are rolling around, preventing them finding a comfortable position, or even worse blocking their noses and little mouths. Hence, parents now choose baby sleeping bags over, old fashioned substitutes such as blankets and covers. This is because baby and toddler sleeping bags allow the baby to roll over with the sleeping bag, preventing the baby getting tangled up. They also allow the baby to breathe as it doesn’t block their little mouths. 

In addition, sleeping bags stop babies from getting cold when babies roll over as the sleeping bags are firmly attached unlike covers or blankets, allowing the baby to keep a comfortable temperature all night long. Studies show that baby sleeping bags help to reduce the risk of cot death and the use of baby sleep bags could help avoid overheating. They come in different 'tog' weights, just like a normal duvet. This means you can choose a sleeping bag of the appropriate warmth depending on whether it is summer or winter, or whether you live in a hot or cold climate. 

Sleeping bags can also prevent a younger baby from rolling on to his or her front or side. The sleeping bags are sized according to age and your baby must be a minimum weight to wear one. Many parents feel they help babies sleep better, by preventing them from wriggling out of bedding or kicking off blankets.