It’s an exciting step when baby starts to become mobile. First time parents typically can’t wait for this milestone and seeing baby start their journey of movement while 2nd time parents are more than happy to slow this part down! They know that rolling eventually leads to crawling and walking which equals a fully mobile child - a huge game changer from that cute cuddly newborn!
Rolling is one of the first major stepping stones of baby’s movement journey, but before we get to this step we need to make sure that baby has lots of exposure to mat time and tummy time. (See more on tummy time here). Some of the key clues that baby is ready to roll is bigger movements from side to side when they are on their backs and fronts. Pushing up with their forearms when on their fronts and crossing their legs over each other also.
Rolling which way first is up to bubs, but with my two children they all mastered front to back first. I know this wasn’t the case for friend’s babies, but I think my two liked the help from gravity and it’s less work just laying on their backs so they tended to roll out of tummy time once they had the ability to roll. So there is no rule for which way they will roll first, babies core strength and interest will most likely dictate that.
Here are some top tips and activities to get bubs on a roll…
Step One - Tummy time
This first step is going to build their neck and core strength which is the foundation of rolling. Tummy time can start from newborn with short intervals increasing this activity with age. Tummy time can be fun with an interactive play mat and some toys to engage them.
Step Two – Get them reaching and stretching
When bubs is starting to spend some good stints doing tummy time and enjoying it you can start strategically placing their favourite toys and cuddly toys at reaching distance. This will then encourage them to stretch and mobilise to access the toy and get their body’s moving and more importantly thinking about how they can reach their beloved toy!
Step Three – Practice that roll
On a soft comfy service like a play mat or bed, practise some roll time with your little one. My daughter used to love this game and thought it was hilarious! You can very gently roll them over to receive a ‘peek a boo’ or to be greeted with a tickle. Gently hands and a soft surface is essential though! This really did help my children realise that they had the ability to roll and that it was actually very fun!
Put this all together and you get… a baby that will roll… when they are ready!
Bubs will of course dictate when they have the gross motor skills and development to get their little bods rolling. But the steps above are great tools and activities to help their development and hopefully get them hitting their milestones.
Our Top Toys to assist with rolling
Play Mat – safe and engaging surface for tummy time and rolling
Tummy time Roller – build core and neck strength
Octotunes – musical, colourful toy that bubs will love and want to stretch and reach for
Foot Finders – these are fun colourful socks that you can put on baby’s feet from newborn to get them to start finding their feet. The socks encourage them to put their legs up and start increasing their leg mobility.