The simple answer to the question when do babies roll over? is… drum roll… It depends!
There are, however, some rough guides that you can pay attention to, as well as a few steps you can take to help your baby reach full roll over power!
The amount of growing and changing that babies do in their first year on this planet is pretty astounding.
Seriously, not too long ago, your baby was a simple zygote, and now look at them!
You probably feel like there’s never a dull moment in your household.
But while all of these changes are incredibly exciting, they can also be a little anxiety-inducing.
Can a baby roll over too early? Can babies roll over at 2 months? Is my 3-month-old rolling over?
So many questions. So many heart palpitations. Why didn’t they send this baby with an instruction manual?
The first thing to note is that when we talk of babies, we’re not talking about identically produced specimens that have come to us on an assembly line (thank goodness!).
We don’t like to ask questions like “when should a baby roll over?”, instead asking “when can babies roll over?”.
After all, each baby is unique.
They may be ‘early’ in some areas and ‘late’ in others.
It may also ease your heart to know that you don’t have to sit passively and hope for the best.
There are measures you can take to get your baby on a roll, terrible puns aside.
So, if you need a mantra, here’s one for you:
It’s not a competition. Do what you can. And if anything noteworthy pops up, seek some advice.
In this article: 📝
- What is a baby roll over?
- When do babies start rolling over?
- How to teach baby to roll over?
- Can a baby roll over too early?
- Why is my baby not rolling over?
What is a baby roll over?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start at the beginning and ask:
Firstly, rolling over is one of the very first developmental signifiers your baby will go through, and it’s the precursor to sitting, crawling, standing, walking, and eventually running around the house like a mad thing.
Secondly, it’s not that easy to define.
Like the routines of Olympic gymnasts, the baby rollover is unique to the baby rolling.
Some babies roll over one way and can’t get back to where they started.
Some roll front to back, others from back to front, yet others again and again and again.
The baby rollover and other milestones
The baby rollover is just one of the many thrilling physical milestones you will experience in your first year with your baby.
When it comes to baby milestones, rolling over is just the beginning!
Before your baby glamorously sticks their fingers into their first birthday cake, you will likely experience:
- The first roll over
- The first sit
- The first crawl
When do babies start rolling over?
So, generally speaking, when do babies start rolling over and at what age do babies roll over?
There’s no specific age that babies roll over, as it’s not as simple as just ‘rolling over’, so when do babies start to roll over?
The average baby rollover age is somewhere between 4 and 7 months.
Um. Yes. That’s a pretty big window (remember the part about babies not being produced on an assembly line?).
That’s why when it comes to babies rolling over, age isn’t really a key factor.
After all, some Peanut mamas have told us about babies rolling over at 2 months!
But if you’re looking for a more specific marker, most babies can roll over from front to back and back again by about 7 months.
So if you’re worrying about your 5-month-old not rolling over, relax, mama, they’ll get there.
Some things that can have bearing on when your baby rolls over include:
- Muscle development: Babies, like adults, vary in terms of how active they are. The more active, the more muscle development. Factors such as the amount of Tummy Time your baby has had can contribute to how their muscles develop.
- Weight: Your baby’s weight could have an influence on how soon the baby rollover happens.
There are also different types of rolling over for babies, it can be a step-by-step process, or your baby could skip a few steps:
- Rocking from side-to-side
- Rolling over in the crib or in sleep
- Rolling over to one side
- Rolling from tummy to back (or back to tummy)
So let’s look at the average age babies roll over for all types of rolling:
When do babies rock from side-to-side?
Babies can rock from side-to-side from about 4 months (as we said, sometimes earlier, sometimes later).
This can be the first sign of baby rolling over.
If your baby’s rocking back and forth, however, that can be a way for them to start to crawl, so get ready!
When do babies roll in the crib?
The first roll over your baby does might not be while you’re ready with a camera ‒ a lot of babies roll over for the first time while sleeping.
So when do babies turn over in their crib? Much like rocking from side-to-side, this can happen from about 4-6 months.
Just like rocking from side-to-side, it could be an early indicator of baby fully rolling over.
If you’re wondering are sleep sacks safe for babies who can roll over, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends stopping swaddling when your baby’s showing signs of rolling over.
So if baby’s rolling over in the crib, or rocking from side-to-side, it’s advised not to swaddle them.
Baby can sleep in a sleep sack, however, as long as it’s sleeveless, so they can push themselves back.
When do babies roll over to their side?
What if your newborn rolls on side? Again, this can happen from about 4 months, as a precursor to full rolling over.
But which way do babies roll first? It depends!
Your little peanut might find it easier to roll straight from tummy to back, back to tummy, left to right, right to left, or just onto one side.
Whatever works for them!
When do babies roll from tummy to back?
Babies can be comfortable rolling from tummy to back, or back to tummy, from about 6 months old.
But you don’t need to compare your baby to others, wondering when do babies roll from back to belly?
If your baby’s 6 months old and not showing signs of rolling over just yet, spend some Tummy Time with them to get their muscles moving.
Now onto some other milestones that may be just around the corner:
When do babies sit up?
But there are all sorts of micro-milestones in between.
- First, they need to learn to hold their head up high – literally. There will be no sitting without this. This usually happens somewhere around 4 months.
- Next, they get into a semblance of sit, supported by an adult. This is typically around 6 months.
- Then, at somewhere between 6 and 9 months, they can sit without being supported.
Exciting times happen at around 9 months where they can get into a seated position themselves.
When do babies start crawling?
This is when things really get interesting. Adventures await – both for you and your little peanut.
Again, it’s important to note that the age babies crawl can differ widely from child to child.
The average is around 9 months, with many children falling on either side of the mean (but some babies start crawling as early as 6 months).
As your baby is gathering up the strength to get on the move, there are all sorts of (often insanely adorable) moves that they do to get themselves going.
From dragging their tummies along the ground to trying the same sort of maneuver with their butts, babies can get quite creative when they realize that there is a whole world to explore.
But, to reiterate: milestones are not a competition (if they were, it would be a very strange one).
Drawing comparisons between different children is generally not useful. If you are concerned about the progress of your child’s development, the best thing to do is seek medical advice.
How to teach baby to roll over?
When it comes to teaching babies to roll over, it’s all about the Tummy Time!
Tummy Time develops the neck, back, and shoulder muscles and is great prep for your baby to get their roll on (imagine your workout was that simple. Jealous).
It entails getting your baby to lie on their stomach a few times a day, and can be started as early as their first week.
For Tummy Time to be safe and effective:
- It has to be short (as in a few minutes)
- It has to be supervised
- Your baby has to be awake
Beyond helping your baby to roll over, it has all sorts of other benefits, like promoting sensory and motor development.
Can a baby roll over too early?
What about babies rolling over at 2 months? Is baby rolling over too early?
While rolling at 2 months is considered quite early, it’s not unheard of, and can be totally normal.
However, rolling from 1-2 months can also be an early sign of cerebral palsy. This sort of early rolling over is usually quite stiff, with tight muscles.
If you’re worried about baby rolling over too early, get in touch with your doctor.
Why is my baby not rolling over?
If you’re worried about baby not rolling over, try not to fret.
As we’ve said, the average age babies roll over is such a large window, so your baby rollover could happen from 4-7 months ‒ sometimes earlier, sometimes later.
But you can help baby roll over with our tried-and-tested teaching tips above ‒ you’ve got this, mama.
Now you’ve got all the info you need about the question when do babies roll over?, bring on the next baby milestone!
That means that when baby starts rolling over, crawling isn’t too far behind!
Enjoy this year. It’s going to go by even faster than you think!
👶 More baby milestones:
When Do Babies Crawl?
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Talking? A Guide for Mamas
When Do Babies Walk? The Timeline for Toddling
When Do Babies Say Mama?
When do Babies Eyes Change? We Asked the Expert!
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?