Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

October 5, 2014

5 Tips To Help Your Baby Roll Over


Amy Sturkey, Physical Therapist, is an expert in child development, particularly gross motor skills. Here, she offers suggestions on how to help a baby roll over:  

Is your baby 6 months, 7 months, or 8 months old and still not rolling over?

Independent rolling is an important gross motor skill that helps strengthen your baby’s core muscles. So when should your baby begin rolling over independently?

According to the Denver II, 25% of babies roll over by 2 months, 50% roll over by 3.5 months, and 90% roll over by 5.5 months. Therefore, a good time frame where you can expect your baby to roll over would be somewhere between 2 to 6 months.

In order to perform this task, your baby must have:

  • Head control
  • Rotation along the trunk
  • Rotation between the hips
  • Rotation between the shoulders

Reasons why your baby may not be rolling over:

  • Abnormal muscle tone
  • Spasticity or stiffness through the trunk
  • General weakness or floppiness
  • Visual or auditory impairment
  • Premature birth

Gross motor skills in infants usually develop in a sequence. Although in order to develop these skills, the baby must first obtain: balance, coordination, and postural control. Without these, the developmental sequence will be delayed.

When should you be concerned?

It is not uncommon for some infants to skip rolling over altogether. The important thing is that your baby continues to progress through milestones such as scooting and crawling. Premature babies also tend to develop these skills later. If your baby has not attempted to flip over to one side by 6 months, the issue should be addressed with your doctor.

What can you do as a parent? There are several ways that you, as a parent, can encourage your baby to roll over:

  • Shake a toy off to the side of your baby to encourage head turning.
  • Help your baby roll over to get used to the feel of it. Use positive reinforcement when done successfully, such as applause and smiles.
  • Lie next to your baby and call out his/her name to encourage reaching and rolling over towards you.
  • Sit down with your baby sitting in your lap in front of a mirror while rocking side to side and front to back. This will encourage your baby to hold his/her head in an upright position.
  • Encourage ‚Äútummy time‚Äù to develop head control and strengthen postural muscles.

A free phone consultation with Amy or another physical therapist is available by calling our office at 704-541-9080.  

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