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When Will Baby Roll Over?

I’m really excited for baby to hit the “rolling over” milestone. When will it happen?


I’m really excited for baby to hit the “rolling over” milestone. When will it happen?

The Bump Expert

Every baby’s different, but around four months most start rolling from front to back, and pretty soon after they can hold their heads up. It’ll take time and coordination to flip from back to front, though, so don’t expect that to happen until around five months. And then, watch out! Rolling can get baby from point A to point B pretty effectively, so if you haven’t already, now’s the time to go on a baby-proofing rampage.

How it happens

Newborns have what’s called the “fencing reflex,” which prevents them from rolling over in those first few weeks. When a newborn’s face is turned to one side, her arm and leg on that side extend while the arm and leg on the opposite side flex. “It’s nature’s mechanism for preventing SIDS,” says Cheryl Wu, MD, a pediatrician in New York City. Once that reflex starts to disappear (it should be completely gone by six months) and baby has the strength and tone to hold herself upright in your arms or raise her chest off the floor, she’s strong enough to roll. Typically, she’ll roll from front to back first.

How to encourage baby

“You usually have to teach babies how to roll,” says Wu, who often gives them that initial push in her office. “I put babies on their left side and extend the left arm so they don’t get stuck. I pull gently on the right arm to teach them what if feels like to move. They have this ‘what just happened?’ look on their faces. You can also move their legs to help them pivot.” After baby experiences this new sensation, she’ll probably decide to try it on her own.

What if it’s not happening?

“If rolling is the only thing a baby isn’t doing, I usually don’t worry about it,” Wu says. “If baby is already sitting up and pushing herself up. It’s fine.” But if baby isn’t hitting other milestones, you’ll want to check in with your pediatrician. Help things along at home by starting tummy time for an hour a day as early as possible. “Whenever baby is awake and quiet, put her on her belly,” Wu says. This way, she’ll be in the correct position to start practicing pushing herself up.

Plus, more from The Bump:

What Baby Will Do When

Milestone Paranoia: Why We Get It and How to Deal

How to Raise a Happy Baby

Anisa Arsenault

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

As a new mother, I look to this site and others as well as books and to my son's doctor for helpful information, guidance and support. It REALLY irritates me that people want to use this site to post misinformation and use it as a place to "brag" about what they "think" their baby is doing. I CAN believe a unique situation where one baby might be able to fully roll over at a very early age (less than 2 weeks or a month), but for several people to post that their baby was rolling over at 1 to 2 weeks is ridiculous. If that were really true, perhaps you should get it on tape and contact the Guiness book people or the government because all of you have, as another person said, "super babies". Please, do not post this sort of stuff on here. It not only is incorrect and discouraging for mothers to read who maybe thinking, "why isn't my baby rolling yet when he is 16 weeks?", it's TOTALLY unhelpful information for anyone who is looking for a REAL answer to the question and could use some encouragement. SO! for those of you who read this, do not believe the nonsense these people are posting! Don't feel like something is wrong with your baby if they're not rolling over by 3 months, sometimes it takes longer and if you're really concerned, consult your baby's doctor who can tell you the facts!

Goobylove |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

It varies from baby to baby my baby indeed rolled over at 5 days old and I have taped it already so I have the proof, I hate it when people whine about how babyies can't do certain things at an early age, and for them to say that is probably because their baby matured slower than other babies we can't help how fast babies do things it just happens and thank your lucky starts your baby does things at an early age that just means they are gonna turn out to be smart!

jaysbaby2011 |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

They will turn out to be smart because he/she rolled over earlier than other babies? Wow. I agree with Goobylove, clearly MANY posters here will mislead you and give you partial truths, outright wrong answers, and will try and make you feel like your baby isn't keeping up with their "super babies". Be safe... ask your child's care provider if you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, enjoy these beautiful years at whatever speed LO takes them :)

laurjw7 |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

I agree with jaysbaby2011. You guys are simply jealous. My baby was 3 weeks old when he rolled over for the first time. Some babies do things sooner or later so don't try to tell us that it's impossible or wrong. Some babies are just more advanced than others, it's nothing to be ashamed of.

abrowne103 |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

Those of you who say your babies rolled over early obviously only have one child. I have 4 kids, and every one of them rolled over at completely different ages. And 'jaysbaby', your baby won't be getting any smarts from you. "Babyies" is not a word.

lizzielu |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

How about we just say that all babies develop at different rates, it does not mean that your baby is slow or super smart. My first child rolled over at 1 month, she crawled at 2 and walked at 7... Now I have my second child and at 3 months old with all the same stimulation that I gave my first child he has yet to roll over am I concerned NOOOOOO why because they are different every baby is different every person is different if we were all the same the world would be very boring. HOWEVER for all those who seem to hate on the people whose children did develop early unless you have proof that our children didn't, do not assume we are lieing... cause you know what happens when you ASSUME don't you? Cause I for one have doctor visits to prove my child did things when she did, and it did shock the beejeesses out of her. ALL babies are special and precious no matter how fast or how long it takes for them to develop.

pickeraljm |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

I can see both sides of the story. There are plenty of babies who develop earlier than others, much earlier actually. However, it is not my place, or anyone's place for that matter, to call a mother whose child reaches milestones at an early age, a liar. This is not what this forum is about. We are all mothers, expectant mothers, or TTC, and this website is designed to be informative and supportive during our times of uncertainty. With that being said, my 4 month old has yet to roll over from his stomach to his back. He gets tummy time everyday! But, oddly enough, when I place him on his back, he rolls over to his stomach! Do I think he is slow or really smart because he skipped a step, but can't do the other yet? Not at all! I agree with "lizzielu", every single baby is different. With that being said, a baby's development of his or her gross motor skills is not necessarily indicative of future intelligence.

Mandapanda2833 |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

Well said mandapanda2833! I was so surprised when my daughter rolled over onto her back during tummy time 3 times today. She is only 3 weeks. Weird thing is she can hardly hold her head up during tummy time and I figured she would have to do that before rolling over. Every baby is different :)

jillianpardo |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

My baby is 13 days old and she rolled from front to back TWICE today. I don't think she's a super baby, I think she just doesn't like tummy time. I thought it was early which was why I started looking for answers. Sounds like lots of babies (not all) roll over early. C'est la vie - I'd love her just the same if she didn't roll over til she was a year old.

Alli318 |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

Like everyone will say, all babies are different. As long as there are no signs of mental or physical disabilities. My son rolled over tummy to back when he was 2 weeks old, hes now 5 months old and army crawling, (hes pressing my keyboard buttons as we speak) but he cant quite get the back to tummy roll. He tries but then he just stops. But hes making progression- no need to worry.

JerriahsMommy |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

My son did his first tummy to back roll at about 4 weeks. And I think Alli318 was right about just not liking tummy time, cause he was getting frustrated with it and then he just rolled. I think babies can start to roll earlier, however I don't think that it's intentional. I mean, my son accomplished his goal of getting off his tummy, but I think it was by accident. He was just moving his arms and legs a lot and turning his head and got lucky. Now at 7 weeks I think he does have a bit more control over it, and goes from his tummy to his side or back more often (surprised my mom this morning by doing it). However I still don't think he is a "super baby". It took him the better part of 12 days after his birth to learn to eat, so I don't think that he has reached genius by rolling over a couple weeks earlier than another baby. Sometimes it's just plan dumb luck that a baby rolls over. I'm sure he'll be a smart kid, as many of your children will be, but sitting around and comparing infants just makes the adults look stupid. Every child develops differently, that's why doctors always say "it GENERALLY happens between ___ time and ___ time". Noting is exact.

thebrownsbabe |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

As a mom who had a son that rolled over at 3 months ( which is normal) and a daughter that rolled over at a month (which is early), I believe this whole debate about rolling over early being a sign of exceptionalism is absolute rubbish. It is completely possible for babies to roll over consisently at an early age. My daughter does it and anyone who doesn't believe me, can pound sand. That being said, I do not expect my daughter to be any more intelligent as her older brother simply because she rolled over at an earlier age. Children develop differently. I believe the interaction between baby and mom is a much better indicator of future intelligence than the ability to roll over. My children are very intelligent in their unique ways. If your baby rolled over early, be proud. I certainly am, but please do not make others feel as if their children are inferior because he/she hasn't rolled over yet. If your child hasn't rolled over yet, please don't let your jealousy take joy from others.

jkeeslin |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

I can't exactly remember when my little boy rolled over the first time, but I am thinking it wasn't as early as my little girl...for sure!! The joke that we have in our family is that she was born trying to outdo her big brother. If he was born at 10:58pm, she was gonna be born at 8:53pm. If he was five days early, she was gonna be seven days early. Etc. etc. So she tried tummy time for the first time at nine days old and loved it...but when we laid her down on her tummy at ten days old, she was already upset about something and pitched a big fit...and in the course of that she not only rolled from tummy to back, but completely off the little blanket she was laying on. That was yesterday. No video of it, but i did take a picture after she rolled. Now, I am not saying she has mastered the roll...she may not do that again for a couple of months...and I am totally okay with that...but she DID roll over that early at least once.

RaineyDaye |

Q&A: When will baby start to roll over?

To goobylove that is so true about people posting unhelpful information right on sister that so so true!!!

Ija24 |