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When Do Babies Start Rolling Over?

Infant developmental milestones and sleep are so interconnected, rarely does one happen without impacting the other. And the ability to roll over by themselves is a big leap for your growing baby!

So, when do babies start rolling over? What age do babies roll over, as you’ll need to stop swaddling at this point? You’ve come to the right place.

So, we’re sharing when this milestone tends to happen and the impact it can have on your little one’s sleep when baby starts rolling over.

our blog about the impact of growth milestones on infant sleep we dive into why baby milestones relating to mobility within the first year and beyond often correlate with changes in sleep patterns.

And rolling over is no different!

When your baby is able to roll over on their own it will likely impact how they sleep. You might put them down for a nap on their back and return to the nursery to find they’ve taken it upon themselves to roll to their tummy!

Baby rolling over is a big adjustment for your little one and for you, so we’re covering what to expect when you’re expecting more mobility.

When do babies roll over

At 1 Month

1) Can raise their head for a moment.

2) Turns head towards the side while on the black.

At 2 Months

1) Can hold head up and begin to push up when lying on tummy.

2) Makes smoother movements with arms and legs.

3) The head can bob forward while sitting.

At 3 Months

1) Can bear little weight while standing on both legs.

2) Can control the head up while sitting, however, bobs forward.

3) Can raise head and shoulder for 45 to 90 degrees while on the belly.

4) Can carry weight on forearms.

At 4 Months

1) Can sit with support.

2) Good head control.

3) Can carry up to a certain weight when held upright on legs.

4) Can raise head and chest up to 90 degrees.

5) Rolls over from back to the side.

At 5 Months

1) Can hold the head up while sitting.

2) Rolls over from belly to back.

At 6 Months

1) Can raise the chest and a part of the belly while lying on the stomach.

2) Can lift head while in a sitting position.

3) Rolls over from back to belly.

When Do Babies Start Rolling Over? The Common Ages for Newborns to Roll Over

So, what age do babies do babies roll over? When do babies start rolling over?

These are very common questions that a lot of parents think about. And as with any developmental milestone moments, the answer varies slightly from baby to baby. Every baby is unique, and so are baby development milestones for every baby!

Generally though, most babies roll, or begin to show the first signs of having the physical ability to roll over, at about 4 months old. Before being able to fully roll over, you might see your little one start rocking back and forth. This is a sure sign that they are almost ready to begin rolling over on their own.

At this point, many babies sit for the first time unsupported as well, or can get into a sitting position by themselves - though this might also take a little time!

Your baby learning to roll over is not as straightforward as you might think, and their early rolling adventures might take some time to practice!

The first time they try this new skill it might look like they're just rocking back and forth, they then begin to be able to roll from tummy to back, and then, potentially after months of growth and learning, they will finally be able to roll autonomously in either direction.

Tummy to Back

When do babies start rolling over from tummy to back?

Babies begin rolling over from tummy to back (back to tummy comes a bit late!) So, around 4 months old, tummy to back rolling will come first.

You might notice your baby starts rolling on their own during tummy time. They will likely continue rolling from tummy to back only for a period of time before being able to roll either direction - usually between one and two months. 

Back to Tummy

So, what age do babies roll over from back to tummy? 

Babies roll over from tummy to back when they first start with their early rolls (back to tummy comes a bit later)! So, around 4 months old, tummy to back rolling will come first. You might notice your baby roll on their own during tummy time.

They will likely continue rolling from tummy to back only for a period of time before being able to roll either direction - usually between one and two months.

How to Help Your Baby Roll Over

As we mentioned earlier, every baby is different and grows at their own pace. We have a complete guide on how to encourage baby to roll over if you’d like to speed up the timeline.

But, if you want to help encourage your baby’s growth toward this milestone, here are some ways to help your baby roll over.

Maximize Tummy Time

Tummy time isn’t just play; it’s a crucial exercise regime for your baby. Laying your baby on their tummy fortifies their back, neck, and shoulder muscles—essentials for the big roll-over. It’s the gym session for babies, so integrate it frequently into their active periods. Make it fun and interactive; use colorful play mats and engage with them at eye level to make it an enjoyable strength-building activity.

Engage with Purposeful Stimulation

Babies love a sensory experience. Use auditory and visual cues to spark their curiosity. Position toys with contrasting colors or intriguing sounds to the sides of your baby during tummy time. This not only entertains but also encourages them to turn their head and, eventually, their body towards these stimuli. As they reach for these objects, they're not just playing; they're on their way to mastering the roll.

Cheer Every Attempt

Each mini milestone, be it a partial turn or a full roll, deserves applause. Your excitement serves as a positive reinforcement that can motivate your baby to continue trying. Celebrate their efforts with claps and praise—it’s the encouragement they crave and need to keep going.

Create a Safe, Supportive Environment

Ensure the space is safe for your baby to move around freely. A clear, soft area with enough room for rolling is vital. Keep it free of sharp objects and edges. Lay down with them, showing them it’s a safe space to explore and move.

Patience is Key

Some babies will hurl themselves into rolling with gusto, others may take a contemplative approach. Be patient and remember that each baby's journey to rolling over is as individual as they are. Trust in their natural timing and ability to reach this milestone in their own way.

When Do Babies Start Rolling Over? questions for parents

A Quick Word on Sleep Once Your Baby Starts Rolling Over

You probably know that to reduce the risk of SIDS it’s important for your baby's sleeping position to be laying flat on their back, so it is totally understandable that the thought of young babies sleeping on their tummy brings up some concern.

Something to note here is that after 6 months of age, the risk of SIDS in babies goes down significantly. Learn about SIDS and much more in our ABC's of safe sleep blog. 

One of the benefits of babies rolling over is that letting your baby move and stretch will help them strengthen their bodies and prepare for advanced movement. When they’re on their belly they’ll reach out for toys and start to use their hands and fingers more. During this time, you can help your baby sit up and learn to control their head movements. Eventually, they’ll need less support.     - Webmd

After your baby learns to roll over in either direction on their own you might notice them begin to roll onto their tummy or side during nap time or at night. At this point in development, it’s fine to let your little one sleep on their tummy if they roll onto it autonomously.

Although you should continue putting baby to bed on their back, they now have the physical ability to roll over onto their tummy and to roll back onto their back if they need to. 

If you notice that your baby often rolls onto their tummy during sleep, they likely prefer sleeping on their stomach. Our weighted sleep sack is the perfect weighted sleepwear option for tummy sleepers because it’s easily reversible.

The sleep sack can be reversed so the lightly weighted pad is on the back instead of the chest for babies who are more comfortable sleeping on their stomach.

While you may no longer be able to use our weighted swaddle, you can still harness the sleep sack benefits. Learn more about how to dress newborn for sleep, how to transition out of swaddle, what to wear under sleep sack, how to transition out of sleep sack, and the difference between a sleep sack vs swaddle in our blog.

That being said, let’s dive deeper into why you need this sleepwear in your arsenal as your baby starts rolling over… 

Why is the Zen Sack a good option for my babies who start rolling over in their sleep?

While it is always recommended to place a baby on their back when putting them to sleep, once they can roll independently, they may naturally turn to a position that feels most comfortable for them. This is where the Zen Sack™ becomes an invaluable part of your baby’s bedtime routine.

The ingenuity of the Zen Sack™ lies in its versatility. With a thoughtfully positioned, lightly weighted patch, it can be adapted for your baby’s preferred sleeping posture. If your baby tends to roll onto their tummy, the Zen Sack™ allows for the weighted patch to be placed on the baby’s back, avoiding any undue pressure on their chest or stomach. This small adjustment ensures that the comforting pressure that helps soothe babies to sleep is still experienced, without compromising their ability to move or breathe freely.

Moreover, the design of the Zen Sack™ is meticulously crafted to promote a safe sleeping environment. The sack conforms to the appropriate safety standards, offering peace of mind to parents. It provides the coziness babies crave, without the risks associated with loose bedding or overly restrictive sleepwear. The two-way zipper system also makes for effortless diaper changes, preserving your baby’s sleep and making the process less disruptive for everyone involved.

Additionally, the Zen Sack™ is made with soft, breathable fabrics that keep your baby at a comfortable temperature throughout the night. This attention to comfort is critical as overheating is a risk factor for SIDS and something all parents should be mindful of.

Investing in a Zen Sack™ means investing in your baby’s comfort and safety during a time of significant growth and development. As your baby continues to reach new milestones, adaptability in their sleepwear is key. The Zen Sack™ is more than just a sleep sack — it's a companion through your baby's early stages of development, providing consistent comfort no matter how they move.

Parting Thoughts on What Age Do Babies Roll Over

So, what age do babies roll over? When do babies start rolling over? The journey to your baby's first roll is both a thrilling and transformative time. Each baby's timeline will differ, with most starting to show signs around 4 months, navigating from tummy to back before mastering the full roll. It's a developmental dance of strength, coordination, and discovery.

Remember, while these milestones can affect sleep patterns, the right sleepwear can ease transitions and ensure safety. Nested Bean's Zen Sack™ is specially designed for these rolling days, adaptable and secure to support your little one’s newfound mobility.

Learn more in our blog where we’ve curated resources like why your baby is crying in sleep, but not awake, 10 month sleep regression, 6 month sleep regression, wake windows by age, home remedies for teething baby at night, when to stop napping, why your newborn cries when put down, baby separation anxietybaby cries meaning, when should baby sleep in own room, how to dress newborn for sleep, and more.

Cherish each wiggle and roll, knowing that with Nested Bean, your baby's comfort and safety are cradled in every stitch. As your baby rolls into this new phase, roll with confidence into the world of Nested Bean sleepwear, where peaceful nights are just a cozy embrace away.

Athena S.

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  • This post is great!

    Zhilin Yu on

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