Are you excited now that your baby is nearing the months to reach a really cool physical milestone?! I was so excited once Louie started to become aware of his hands and making more eye contact, but this one, this rolling over one, makes him such a big boy! Ahhh! Babies typically start rolling at 4-5 months, some babies may even start rolling at 3 months. When Louie began rolling, he was very inconsistent. He would roll for one week and then not be interested for days or sometimes weeks, and that was okay. I just continued to use these exercises to encourage him to roll and now he can’t stop!
- Tummy time: I know you all are tired of my tummy time talk, but it’s just that important! Louie is not a huge fan of tummy time so I always encouraged him in different ways and in the shortest spurts of time. The more we practiced, the more he naturally started to stay in the position for longer periods. Always follow your child’s signals. See my previous post for the how and why of tummy time How to begin early learning with your newborn through play
- Laying on sides: To help your baby be comfortable laying on their side, you can use a rolled towel or yoga mat and place it under a blanket behind their spine (not the neck) for support. Placing a book/toy in front of them may invite them to stay in the position for longer. Begin for only a few seconds until baby is happy with this position and then build up more time, make sure to practice side laying on both sides.
- Another way to encourage side laying is to lay on your side with baby next to you. Turn baby onto their side by gently supporting their back with your hands to face you. This is a great opportunity to have some coo conversations, giggles, and connect with baby. You might already be doing this while cuddling in bed! 🙂
- Side to side rocking: Lay baby on their back and place an enticing toy on one side. Using your hands, gently lead your baby in a right to left motion by taking the right leg and encouraging side movement by slowly guiding it to the left side (and then do the same with left to right). When you are first guiding the leg, the neck/head may not turn immediately but as you continue guiding, their head will naturally turn to the side they should be looking. After some practice, you will notice your baby attempt to rock on their own.
- Rolling legs: Place baby on their back and tuck their knees to their chest and roll legs gently in a circular motion. You can also use this time to do bicycle stretch or any other leg stretches. These will also help with digestion- win, win!
All these movements will help your baby strengthen the muscles needed for rolling (and future milestones too!). They also open up your babies body to become accustomed to movements that they aren’t normally in.
Most importantly, make sure to give your baby lots of hugs and kisses in between!!! 🙂