Carolina Parent
Parenting Image Credit: Carolina Parent
Parenting Image Credit: Carolina Parent

Do Babies Roll Over — And Which Way Will They Roll??

The answer is … it depends. Infant motor development in the first 6 months of life is highly predictable, but rolling is one milestone that can be more variable.

Rebecca Quinones And Rachel Gandy

Some babies roll over in the first couple of months, while others don’t start until after 6 months of age. There are babies who roll from tummy to back first, and babies who start their rolling by going from back to tummy.

Rolling is usually the first time your little one will be able to change his position all by himself. The tucked up position a newborn is used to being in puts him at an advantage for developing the ability to roll over. A newborn’s back is more rounded, so he doesn’t rest as flat on it, and his knees are tucked under him with his bottom up when he’s lying on his tummy.

Generally, this very early rolling is the result of a reflex babies have when they are born. In this instance, if a baby’s head is turned when she is on her back, her body will turn in order to keep her head lined up with it. In other instances, she may be wiggling and kicking so much on her back or belly that she rolls herself over without meaning to.

Once a baby is a few months old, we see this “accidental” rolling less often because of the changes in her body proportions and the way she moves her weight when she is on her back or belly.

When exactly your baby begins to purposely roll over depends on how strong his back and belly muscles are, and on his motivation to move and explore his environment. It also depends on how well he likes being on his back or belly. The first few times he rolls may be accidental, and theref

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