baby development

Play tips to encourage baby to roll over

Fun play ideas that help encourage your little one to roll over

Ways to encourage your little one to roll over

Rolling over is a milestone for little ones, here are our tips on how to encourage your baby to do it for the first time

Encourage baby to roll over 474

Rolling over for the first time is a huge milestone for little ones as it’s their first bit of freedom where they realise they can move independently.

It’s not only beneficial for getting on the move but learning to roll can even help the later development of their fine motor skills such as writing. This is because as it engages the part of the brain that encourages the right and left sides of the body to co-ordinate with each other.

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As with all milestones, babies tend to reach them in their own time, but generally speaking, you may notice your baby flip from tummy to back anytime between two and five months and the closer to five months they get, you may see them wiggle from back to their side and eventually from their back to their tummy. It may not look like much at first, but this is all preparing them for fully rolling.

We’ve put together some helpful tips on how best you can encourage your little one to get moving.

1. Roll while picking up
When you pick your baby up, rather than just picking them straight up, help them roll their weight to their side before picking them up. When your baby is sat on their bottom you can also roll them over to the side, they automatically try to keep their head from falling out of line with their body a clever reflex they are born with. This all helps them to strengthen the muscles on the sides of his neck. It will give them the added bonus of practicing pushing against the floor with the arm on the way down. Take it in turns and do this on both sides of their body.

2. Don’t overuse baby equipment
Baby bouncers, swings and jumpers are all great for baby for certain things but in the interests of encouraging baby to start to move independently, these won’t help much. Baby equipment can be restricting, so limit the time spent playing in these as your little one needs to be on the floor, free to try and move as much as possible.

3. Encourage tummy time
Tummy time is the ideal for helping baby to practice rolling. On a flat playmat with a few favourite toys out of reach will all encourage them to try and move to attempt to reach things. As your baby gains confidence on their tummy, you may notice they start to push their chest to the floor and you may even notice they will rock their body from side to side, all preparing them to roll.

4. Let your baby play on their side/back
It can really help to place your little one on their side with a toy to get them used to this position, in the early days they will probably need your support whether a hand or learning against you. It’s also worth encouraging time on their back so they get used to all these positions which is great preparation as when they start rolling they could end up on any of these!

5. Encourage through play
Have fun and while you’re playing with your little one, if you notice they roll over spontaneously, put a toy next to the side they usually roll to see if they manage to roll towards the toy, if they do make sure you acknowledge their efforts with a smile and maybe even a little clap. 

Play tips to encourage baby to roll over