21 answers

My 4 Month Old Cannot Roll over or Lift Up.

I was told by many parents that a baby develops at his or her own pace which gave me comfort to the fact that at four months my son is still not lifting to a 90 degree angle or rolling over. However, upon his latest doctor's appointment, his Pedi made me feel terrible for this lack of progress. I have been giving him tummy time since he was one month old. I am a stay at home Mom so I work with him every day through out the day on this skill. Yet, despite months of daily practice on his stomach he continues to panic every singe time I put him in that position whether he is awake or asleep. Does anyone have tips on teaching an infant to use his hands and arms? His legs are strong and flip his lower half over but his arms are like anchors and refuse to move. His fingers wiggle around and do not grip to the mat. He is great at lifting himself up when grabbing my fingers so I know we has some strength. I have cheered him on and I have left him alone. I have put objects in front of him to motivate him. I am running out of ideas and any advice would be welcome!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I would like to thank everyone for your advice and terrific ideas. My son rolled over just two weeks ago. Crazy enough, it was when he went to see his grandparents that it happened. My house has tiled floors and no matter how much padding I used, he hated tummy time. His grandparents have carpet. Once I put him on their floor he was rolling away. I got myself a carpet style rug for our house and now all he does is roll and he loves tummy time. Who would have thought? :)
As for his pedi, I have found a new doctor and I couldn't be happier.

Featured Answers

My daughter did not roll over until she was 5 months. She hated "tummy time". I didn't do any thing special to help her progress. And know what? she was crawling at 6 months, cruising at 7 months and walking at 9.5 months. All that to say, I think 4 months is too early to say anything. Also, some babies never crawl, they go from sitting to walking. Some don't walk until closer to a year or later. If he hasn't progressed at all by 6 months, maybe get another consultation. Babies change so quickly, don't stress yet!

I too had a baby slow to develop on milestones. She could not crawl until 8 months. My pedi was VERY worried about her. He gave me some excerises to do everyday. The best one was getting a blow up ball toy and laying her on her stomach on the ball. Then holding her legs slowing roll the ball until she lifts her head a little bit. I made this a fun thing for her and after a bit she would laugh thru the whole thing. Only took about 2 weeks and her head/neck strength developed quickly. My baby is now a first grade teacher and graduated High School as Valdictorian.

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Every child is different and I hate it when doctors generalize without looking at your child specifically. sounds like he is developing beautifully. I have 3 children - the first never rolled over until 5 months old and couldn't sit up on her own until around 7 months or later. The second child was not only rolling and crawling, but walking along furniture at 6 months old. The third, is again a relaxed child. She is now 7 months old and just starting to roll around the place. All are healthy, intelligent and developing perfectly. All are unique and have their own motivations. You sound like you are doing great and investing quality time in his developement. When he is ready, he'll surprise you and start developing a new skill. I wouldn't worry at all!

3 moms found this helpful

I agree about switching pediatricians. Also, try giving him his belly time on your chest. You lay down on the floor and put him on your belly. That way he has the safety and security of knowing Mommy's right there and he can see you. These might be the greatest sources of his anxiety during tummy time. Also, a good workout for you is to do crunches with him on your shins. Hold onto his hands and pull your knees close to your chin then further out. You'll feel it in your tummy and he'll have a good time getting used to being on his belly. Good luck to you.

3 moms found this helpful

A tip? Yes, switch Pedi's!

It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things. And what everyone else has said is totally right - all kids are different and develop differently.

Don't worry about it. He'll get there. And in the meantime, find a new pediatrician! The last thing you need to deal with is someone that makes you feel bad for something that you cannot control and is not your fault...and there isn't anything wrong!!!

3 moms found this helpful

one more thought: how long are you allowing your child to have tummy time before you rescue him? You mentioned that he did not like it......so how long are you allowing him to fuss? It's okay for him to cry ....as long as he is not totally frustrated.

Try a light-up musical toy or one that moves to motivate him. Lay him on your bed, kneel before him, & let him reach for your face! Babies love that!

2 moms found this helpful

my daughter hated tummy time too. I got through it finally. She rolled over both ways @ 3months because I think she just hated to be on her tummy. I used to help her allong when I saw that she was trying to roll over but I wouldn't help everytime. I wanted her to figure out that if I try to do these motions that this result can happen. She would get stuck on her arm and I would move it so she had an easier time.

What finally worked is that I would lay her on a gymini (one of those mats on the floor that have things that hang down to grab at and also has stuff to play with on the mat part). I would lay her on her back most of the time when I needed to do do something quick but sometimes I would place her on her tummy. She could see the toys she wanted to bat at but couldn't get to them on her tummy so she had to roll over. This is when I would help her sometimes.

To develop her neck and because she really did hate tummy time I would put her on her Boppy pillow with her chest on the middle and she was comfy enough with her head down but really, she wanted to lift her head to be able to see. I think this helped and I got some cute pics while practicing.

If you don't feel like your pedi is a right fit then please do switch. Ask around and I'm sure someone will have a pedi that they love. Have an interview with them to ask any questions you might have. If you like the dr then switch. You will be dealing with your son's pedi almost as much as you did your OB but for many many years. If you have different beliefs in basic principals then it is not a good fit.

1 mom found this helpful

My baby hated tummy time as well. He didn't roll over until a good bit after his peers (I can't remember the exact age). He displayed plenty of muscle tone during other activities (like you mention, when he pushes against you), so i didn't sweat it. Some doctors are more reassuring than others, so I wouldn't put too much weight on one doctor's opinion. When he starts to roll over, he'll pick it up in a matter of days and then it will be on to the next thing. It sounds like you are doing all that you can/should be doing.

1 mom found this helpful

It is absolutely right that a baby develops at his or her own pace. Even two babies born to the same parents develop at different pace. So please don't worry about it..it looks like you are doing things right. I have a suggestion on making tummy time possibly less stressful for both of you. My son used to hate tummy time so I started putting him on a playmat with a boppy pillow and that elevation gave my son a bit of a boost to start looking around and stay on his tummy a bit longer. You could also put a mirror(unbreakable, of course) or toys(soft blocks or something colorful) in front of him so he can enjoy looking at himself and probably reach for it down the road. My son also started legs strong before he developed the upper body strength to roll over. http://www.amazon.com/Boppy-Tummy-Play-Pad-Blue/dp/B000G3... - check this link out to see how to position him- don't waste your money on buying this product, you can easily recreate this at home.
Also, I agree with the comment on possibly looking in to another pediatrician. Pediatricians are meant to guide and offer support to you in raising your child well and not make you feel terrible for doing your job! Hope this helps~Good Luck!

Both my kids HATED tummy time until about 6 months when they realized they could use their hands, etc to start getting around on their own. They both rolled over around 5mo, and neither pediatrician mentioned anything at the 4mo appointment. You are going to be seeing your son's pediatrician for a LOOOOONG time, so that relationship needs to be trusting and comfortable.

Some issues you know you're always going to disagree with the doc (for me it was tummy sleeping and co-sleeping), so those things go in one ear and out the other. But if a doctor is going to put pressure on you for a FOUR MONTH old who's not rolling over when he's really not old enough for that skill, then I may find a new ped!! Now, if he's 6 months old and not rolling over, then maybe there's a concern, but 4 months old????

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