Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months

Why is My Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months?

If you are a parent that is concerned about your baby not rolling over yet - you are not alone. 

It's a common misconception that babies are meant to develop skills and reach milestones by target ages. This often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety in new parents.

If there is one thing you take away from this article make it this - these milestones are guides and only that.  All babies develop differently.  Just because your baby didn't hit a particular milestone doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.  

Now for the topic at hand -is your baby not rolling over at 6 months, baby not rolling over at 5 months, or even baby not rolling over at 7 months? Do not fret - we have got you covered in this article. 

We will explore the mechanics of rolling over and the role it plays in your babies development.  We will look at how to set your baby up for success for rolling over independently.  We look at how you can assist your baby to learn the motor skills and also strengthen the necessary muscles to achieve a roll over.

After reading this, your baby will soon be doing rolls all over your living room you will be wondering when they will stop - here's a hint...they don't 🙂 

When Should a Baby Roll Over?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

Rolling over is a developmental milestone that typically occurs between 4-6 months of age. We say typically only because we, at the Best Baby Care Tips Team, like to remind you it is only a guideline for developmental milestones. 

Some babies start rolling over before they reach 4 months.  And at the same time you can also have a 6 month old not rolling over. Every baby is different.

We often say, rather than looking at a particular age a baby should be rolling over, we like to recommend parents to watch for the signs and behavior from your baby. Watch for indications from your baby for when they are telling you they are ready to roll. We go into these signals in the next section.      

We also like to remind our community if you are at all worried about your baby or their development, we always recommend seeking the advice of your pediatrician.  They can also help you identify if there are any other factors at play surrounding your babies development. 

Recognize These Signals That Baby Is Ready to Start Rolling Over

Being able to recognize when your baby is telling you "I want to roll over" is the best way to know when your baby is ready for some help.

With the vast experience of this community we have been able to create a collection of tips and signals parents have learned from their little ones that indicate they are ready to roll.  In no particular order these signals are:

  • when baby is able to lift their head when both lying on their tummy and back, it shows they have gained sufficient strength to begin the process of rolling
  • when baby is comfortable lying on their stomach for extended periods of belly time 
  • a combination of the two signals above, when baby is strong enough to hold up their head while lying on their stomach they have developed strong neck muscles 
  • when baby is old enough to begin reaching for toys (or you) 
  • when baby expresses frustration when they can't reach objects
  • when you find baby rolls back to front but not front to back, they are ready for you to help them understand the techniques of using their arms and legs to shift their weight
  • when baby begins arching their back, it shows that they have developed (or developing) sufficient muscles in their core to begin rolling 

If you witness any of the above signals from your baby, it is safe to say you can begin to teach your baby rolling techniques.

What If Baby Hasn’t Rolled Over Yet?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

One of the main reasons a baby may not be rolling over is due to lack of head control and muscles. So one of the first things we recommend for concerned parents is to begin developing their baby's muscles and skills with targeted exercises.  

Another reason why a baby hasn't rolled over is that they may be focusing on developing other skills that interest them more.  Listen and observe your baby's behavior.  Are they trying to develop fine motor skills and dexterity with their fingers?  Are they exploring sounds and experimenting with their vocal chords?  You are probably sick of hearing it, however we believe it is an extremely important point - all babies develop at different paces.  Your baby might just want to talk first rather than roll! 

How to Teach Baby to Roll Over

If you are worried that your baby not rolling over at 6 months, or isn't even showing any signs of wanting to learn there are some things you can do to encourage the behavior. 

For some indepth tips to help get baby rolling check out our article TIPS TO HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  In this article we go into detail of the exact steps for coaxing baby to roll. Things like playing with them in engaging activities, using the right baby equipment (and in some cases NOT using particular pieces of baby equipment), and teaching them the actions of how to shift their weight. 

How to Keep Baby Safe When Rolling Over

Now that you are encouraging your baby to roll, it is a good idea to take some safety precautions around your baby. This is especially important in and around your baby's sleeping environment when they may be out of your supervision. Once your baby begins to understand how to roll they won't stop wanting to roll.  Therefore taking these safety measures are a must:

  1. remove any cushions or crib protectors when you place your baby down to sleep.  If they haven't yet mastered the roll over motion, they may trap themselves against a cushion and not have the strength to reposition themselves.  As you can appreciate this can pose as a breathing hazard.
  2. stop swaddling your little one.  Now they have the strength in their arms and legs, your baby will only find the swaddle restrictive and frustrating.  Again this poses a danger as they may wriggle one arm or leg free, but still have the rest of their limbs swaddled, leaving them vulnerable to get themselves into a dangerous position. 
  3. never leave your baby on a couch or high surface.  With baby rolling on the cards, you can now be certain about one thing - they will be moving constantly.  Having them on a high surface poses a falling risk.

Sometimes babies can begin to roll over in their sleep. This can be extremely alarming to parents who are conscious of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you fall into this category we have the perfect article for you to read - Baby Rolling Over in Sleep.

Baby Stopped Rolling Over at 6 Months

There are times when your little one may have started to roll, but then stops for no apparent reason.  In these circumstances we often find the best solution is to begin with the basics.  Again, it may be a phase where they are exploring and developing other skills. Try re-engaging them with creative play.  Keep up with the exercises to continue to strengthen the muscle groups that help them to roll over.  The more interactive you are with them, the more likely they are to engage and be determined to roll over.  

baby not rolling over at 6 months

If you are at all concerned about your babies development and growth, we recommend going to see your local pediatrician for an assessment.  

Final Thoughts on Baby Not Rolling Over

Lets face it - as much as it has been fun having a stationary baby to play with they are going to want to move.

Rolling over is one of the first signs of your baby becoming mobile. In fact, some parents stress over the fact that their baby is not rolling over at 5 months, 6 months or even 7 months.  We have said it before and we'll say it again - every baby develops differently. 

If you are concerned about your baby we encourage you to read through this article to understand the many reasons that your baby hasn't reached this milestone yet.  You can encourage your baby to roll over by using our TIPS to HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  

Is your baby rolling over?  Let us know your tips in the comments section below so we can share our experiences with the wider Best Baby Care Tips community. 

Article written by Best Baby Care Tips

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