Your baby is growing, and you are overly excited.
They’ve passed the milestone of gaining neck control, grabbing their toes, and even smiling at you.
Usually, babies begin to practice rolling over at around five to six months (and some as early as four months and some as late as seven).
Rolling over is typically the preamble to crawling and moving around.
The problem is that you have bought playmats, toys, and everything you think your child will need for their development, and yet your little one is taking their sweet time.
Keep in mind that every baby is unique, and each one develops at their own pace.
So far as your child has reached the required milestones for the past months, there is no need to get worried – they will eventually rollover.
Sometimes, they may require a little nudge here and there, and giving them a little incentive may help.
Below are tips and tricks you may find helpful to aid your little one in achieving that milestone.
Know The Basics And Be Patient
Basic information concerning the rolling milestone goes a long way. Babies usually learn to roll from tummy to back before learning to master the back-to-tummy roll.
Your little one would have gained the upper body strength to roll from tummy to back at around three months or so.
The latter is a lot more complicated and requires a little more mastery; This occurs at about four to seven months. Ergo, each type of roll is still rolling.
Most babies would have conquered other milestones in this period, such as clapping, gabbing, making new noises, and using both hands to play with toys.
Therefore give your little one some time to practice and master this task; if they learned to master the first type of roll, they would master the second.
Nevertheless, if your child has not accomplished any of these milestones, please see a doctor and make sure everything is okay.
Encourage Tummy Time
Experts encourage that tummy time starts from the very first day your baby comes home from the hospital because it promotes brain development, neck and trunk strength.
If you have not been doing this, do not worry. You can always start as soon as possible. Tummy time can be a fun experience for some babies, and others seem not to enjoy it.
Either way, allow them to persist with it, and in no time, they’ll adjust.
Visual & Auditory Cues Are Excellent
Visual and auditory cues range from colorful toys to mirrors and objects that sing. Spark your little one’s inquisitive nature by placing them on a mat and forming a perimeter of toys around them.
The goal is to make sure they can see it but not touch it.
They may throw a fit and bawl for you to help them get toys, but with a bit of persistence and determination, your little one will eventually gain independence, rollover, and reach for it.
You can always make tummy time fun by placing your baby on your tummy or giving him/her a toy or placing a reflective substance in front of them.
Show Your Baby What To Do
Sometimes, you may need to get down on your tummy and show your baby how to roll over. It is said that children are the chiefs of mimicry, and this statement holds for everything.
Place your baby on a mat and lay down beside them. Make sure you both are on your tummy. You can even have a conversation with them or hold an attractive toy so that you both have eye contact.
Practice rolling over a few times each day. Hopefully, this gives your baby the willingness to copy you.
Carry Your Baby In A Range Of Motions
This range of movements includes the scoop, facedown, and sideways position.
Experts have noted that alternating between these positions allows your baby to understand and recognize various positioning.
It does not have to be a drab activity as you can dance, sing and even practice in front of a mirror. Make sure to alternate every thirty seconds or so and give a 10-second break before rotating.
Encourage Crossing The Midline
The concept of crossing the midline means that you encourage the baby to use one side of his/her body to play with placed on the other side of their body.
Experts believe that movement in the human body is relative to an imaginary line running through and dividing our bodies into two halves.
The goal, therefore, is to teach your baby to cross this imaginary midline. This means you would need to hold your baby’s attention with an eye-grabbing toy.
Encourage Side Play
Place your little one by the side and gently nudge or prop them with a pillow. An attractive toy, mirrors, and even your face is then placed beside them to hold their attention.
Before you know it, your baby would have started practicing rolling and gaining upper arm strength the would allow them to turn over. Practice is the key to a rolling baby.
Alternate Positions On The Floor
Allow your little one to rotate and move around. Let them spend equal time on their tummy, back, right, and left sides.
When you do this, you will allow your little one to engage all the body parts used in the rolling activity.
It is also an excellent way to prevent flat pressure spots from forming on the head of your little one.
Although often seen as a bit cumbersome for the parent, it is vital in ensuring your little one engages all his/her motor and sensory skills.
Keep The Rolling Space Safe
Do not practice rolling over in an area where your baby can fall. If your little one associates the act with a traumatic process, the tendency is that he/she may not want to do it again.
Ensure the playmat is flat on the floor, or use a large bed and make sure there is enough room for them to move around.
The blanket technique involves placing your baby on a blanket on the bed on a soft play mat.
You then get to put your baby on their tummy. Allow them to spend a few minutes on the floor and even give them a toy to keep them active.
Then gently grab the edges of the blanket and tug until your baby rolls over. It is a simple, effective method to introduce the rolling over skill to your baby.
Feet Pulling Technique
In this technique, you gently tug on your little one’s legs while lying on their back or are their tummy.
This would allow you to gently flip them over or forward depending on whatever position they might be, and as you continue this, you might get a little bit of a giggle from them.
Whenever your baby tries a new and fun activity, they are more likely to do it again.
Baby Seats Would Have To Move Over
Rolling over is a ground activity, and seating is not beneficial-except you want your little one to practice that activity.
Baby seats restrict movement and do not allow your little one to move from place to place.
It is advised that you let your little one reach one milestone before introducing them to another. Therefore, practice rolling over before sitting. Invest in a playmat and appropriate toys.
Short Frequent Burst
Some babies do not like tummy time and will make a fuss about it. You may be tempted to flip them over because they are crying.
No one likes a crying or a sad baby so, the best way to overcome this would be to have numerous short attempts of a few minutes of tummy time.
You can always use a timer and carry out this activity at specific times of the day. Practice makes perfect, and eventually, your baby would learn to overcome this hurdle.
Sanitize & Sanitize
Ensure the area is clean and toys are sanitary as your baby’s hands would have touched many surfaces. It would curb infections and diseases.
Even as you are looking forward to your little one rolling over, they may have also achieved other milestones around this age, like reaching for objects.
Remember, tummy time is a time to explore, not to fall sick.
It is recommended you clean your surfaces daily with antiseptic wipes, and for the little ones, that practice has to be improved upon and followed religiously.
Change The Area
You can always change the scenery and practice in new areas of your house, in the park or even in your backyard.
Just make sure that the baby’s playmat is large enough to cover a wide perimeter, and they do not end up on the bare floor.
This method is quite tricky because you do not want your little one to confuse certain house areas.
If you have a designated bedroom for sleeping, it is best not to practice playtime or highly engaging activities in this room.
Invite An Older Sibling / Your Partner To Join In
Your little one might be a little used to you and your routine activities.
He/she might have associated you with coddling and breastfeeding for moms, and therefore teaching them to carry out a new activity might seem a little strange.
If there are other family members that your young one is familiar with, actively involve them in the process. The more, the merrier. Watch out for the sneaky rollers.
Some babies may have already begun to roll over, and you would not have noticed. Babies are brilliant humans and can even trick you.
This happens when you play with a toy in front of them and need them to roll and grab the toy.
Suppose they notice that you come running to get the toy with a little cry; that soon becomes standard practice. You can always catch a little one that does this via the aid of baby monitors.
Nevertheless, make sure that you can identify each of your baby’s cries and know when they are indeed feeling uncomfortable.
Massage Your Baby’s Feet
A gentle warm massage on your little one’s feet may be all that he/she needs to associate tummy time and rolling around as a pleasurable activity.
Although this is primarily an old wives tale, it has been noted some babies enjoy the activity so much so that they turn around to give you proper access to the entire perimeter of their feet.
It never hurts to try. Besides, we all need a little bit of pampering.
Avoid Doing Tummy Time When Your Little One Just Ate
If you would feel uncomfortable lying down flat on your tummy after a full meal, then your little one will as well. It is best to avoid activities that require pressure on the belly after all meals.
After a meal, your baby should be burped and rocked for a while to aid digestion.
Even so, placing a young one on their tummy could make them vomit what they just ate and, in worse case scenarios, aspirate.
Praise, Praise & Praise
If you notice that your little one has made one successful attempt at rolling over, make sure you sing their praises to everyone, especially to them.
Show your baby that you are excited over the activity they just did and even pick them up to do a little dance or hug them.
Often you may notice that your little one has pushed their body up with all the arm strength they can muster, and they cannot seem to figure out how to make the required turn;
Nothing stops you from giving them a little push on the shoulder and tilting them till they flip. No matter how big or small, humans love validation, and your little one is no different.