When should my baby start to roll over?

Rolling over is your baby's first big milestone on the road to getting mobile, and it usually happens around 4 months, 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. Back-to-belly rolling comes later, usually by 5 to 6 months, or a month after they learn to roll over initially.

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. Rolling from back to front is a more difficult milestone and your baby may be 5-6 months before they start rolling from back to front.

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 plunking favourite toys just out of his reach (to their right or left) during tummy time, or lie down near them and see if they'll 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.

Now babies have greater movement in their sleep, dangers lurk when covers or blankets are used in a babies’ cot. Covers can tangle the baby when they are rolling around in their cots, 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 sleeping bags allow the baby to roll over with the sleeping bag, preventing the baby getting tangled up. Baby sleeping bags also allow the baby to breathe as it doesn’t block their little mouths. In addition, sleeping bags stop babies from getting cold 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 bed death.

The newer baby 'sleeping bags' mean you do not have to use any additional bedding for your baby. The baby 'wears' the sleeping bag. It is usually fastened with a zip and/or poppers. The use of baby sleep bags could help avoid overheating.   It evidently showed that sleeping bag use was associated with lower SIDS risk. 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. The advantage of sleeping bags is that your baby cannot bury themselves under the covers; sleeping bags also mean that your baby cannot pull their covers off in the night and get too cold. 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. Baby sleep bags are intended to prevent babies from getting their heads covered with bedding during sleep. For this reason it is important to ensure babies are not placed in sleeping bags that are too big, and that they could slide down in to. Many parents feel they help babies sleep better, by preventing them from wriggling out of bedding or kicking off blankets.

Have anyone got any stories of when their little one started rolling over? Simply add your comments below!