Advice on Teaching Baby to Roll

Updated on October 28, 2006
A.W. asks from Baton Rouge, LA
15 answers

I have a 4 month old little girl (she'll be 5 months on Nov 8th). She knows how to roll over from her back to her stomach (she only rolls to her left). Once she's on her stomach, she gets very upset because she can't figure out how to roll back. This week, she's started screaming really loud when she gets frustrated from this. I wanted to know how I can teach her to roll over from her stomach to her back. Also, any advice on how to teach her to roll to her right, instead of always to her left?

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So What Happened?

Emily is starting to enjoy Tummy Time more now, not so much screaming & fussing. She's starting to learn how to turn her hips/legs to get off the mat, but hasn't quite turned her top half to get off her tummy totally. It's more like she turns on her side, but her arms/head are still on the mat.

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answers from Little Rock on

I know that feeling well, it helps to take a toy she really likes show it to her then gently move it the direction you want her to roll, she will try to scoot instead of roll toward it, but after some practice and helping her along, move her over gently along with the toy, she will realize how this is accomplished, good luck :D

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answers from New Orleans on

Sounds like she is on the right track! You can encourage your baby through play. If you notice her rolling over, see if she'll try again by wiggling a toy next to the side she customarily rolls to. Or lie down next to her on one side — just out of reach — and see if she'll roll to get closer to you.

She will start to define her muscles in her chest and neck while she is on her stomach and these are the key to having her roll the other way. She'll get mad but try to distract her with toys she can push up on her arms to look at.

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answers from Houston on

Let me just say babies will learn on their own but I don't think it hurts to help them out in the right ways. My son was born 11 weeks early and I spent the largest part of his first year trying to get him to do things earlier than he wanted so he could "catch up". I had a Physical Therapist come to my house every month to help me and teach me what to do to help him. My son also only rolled one way. What rolling over does is straighten out the hip muscles, from the flexed position in utero to get them ready to walk. So they need to go both ways. Try putting her toys or anything that interests her on the side she doesn't go to. She will get it. As far as tummy time, my son hated it too. The PT rolled a blanket up and put it under his chest, or use your boppy pillow depending on how big your daughter is. My sons frustration stemmed from not being about to see what was going on, he is still very nosey. With the little lift he was much happier on his belly and stayed there much much longer. I hope this helps some. Most importantly don't stress too much and let the little things you do to help her work. She will get it.



answers from Sherman on

A., Believe it or not, there are certain things babies need to figure out on their own. You can show her a couple of times, then let her keep trying on her own. I learned this the hard way, always wanting to help out, when this is just one of their stepping stones. My son, now 11, as a baby would go through theses screaming tantrums just before he would pass on to his next stage..whether it was rolling over, crawling, walking. It is God's way of making each and every one of us strive to learn, even as an infant.



answers from El Paso on

Hi A.,

Once your baby is tired of being on her stomach and starts screeming she will probably start squirming and wiggling and eventually find her way to turn over that way, just be patient.

To change direction put pillows or some sort of blockade so that it will prevent her from turning over on the side that she is used to and try to guide her a few times so that she can become familiar with the new direction.

Just experienced this with my daughter about a month and a half ago, she has just turned 6 months.

Good luck and take care of that little angel, God bless her heart!



answers from Dallas on

I think that babies won't do things until they are ready. You can give her the opportunity by putting toys on that side, but she won't do it until she is ready. I think most babies don't roll from their tummy to back until about 6 months or so. All of my kids did things at totally different times. When she is ready she will roll over. My 6 month old did the same thing. She started rolling from her back to tummy about 1 month before she rolled from her tummy to her back. She hated to be on her tummy. But I knoew she needed tummy time so I laid on the floor next to her and played and talked to her. She is now almost 7 months and is a rolling freak! She rolls all over the house. :)
Good luck!



answers from San Antonio on

I wouldn't worry about it! My daughter didn't roll from tummy to back until 5 months & from back to tummy until 7 months. She didn't like tummy time at all, which I'm sure attributed. Every child is so different though. She'll learn! If she does get frustrated, just help her and eventually it'll click - and as far as which way she's rolling, she'll pick up how to roll the opposite way, it's just a matter of time. Poor babies, you know it's hard for them, having to depend on us!



answers from Waco on

my little girl is 6 months and she did the same thing but it didnt tak her very long to figure out how to roll back. i think she got so frustrated that it helped her do it faster. so let her figure it out.



answers from Killeen on

My daughter is 8 months old now, and when she was about that age she was rolling over just to one side as well and only from her back to her tummy. She would get sooo mad for being on her belly. The doctor told me she has to spend alot of time on the floor. So when kai would get on her tummy and roll on her belly and throw a fit i would put her arm up and roll her back on to her back. eventually she learned to do it. But usually they learn to do it on their own. It just takes time. If anything just keep helping her and when you put her down put her derectly on her belly. Now kai loves being on her belly she loves to roll over and crawl. Don't worrie she'll get the hang of it.



answers from Little Rock on


I have a nearly 10 month old. He did the same thing. Your girl will learn in time. My son always went one way for the longest. But then one day he went the other way. And the screaming about is a good thing. That helped my son roll over, he had to get really mad and then he rolled over with a load aaaaaahhhhhhhhh! After that he had a look of fulfillment that he had rolled over! It was soo funny!



answers from New Orleans on

My son only rolled one way and what we did was hold a toy that he loved infornt of him and move it to the side that we wanted him to roll - he would follow it with his head and then try to pull his body too. What I can tell you is that in time he just did it on his own. As long as she is rolling any direction she is right on track so don't worry!!!


answers from College Station on

I agree with Sarah. something she wants to grab, she'll try for. Both my kids were butter balls(you would never know it now!) so I gave them a little help at first and then they got it. I think Sarah is right, once she gets the idea of how to roll she will try doing it the other way.



answers from San Antonio on

Tuck her arm under her body that will give her less resistance. You can also help her by having her push aginst your hand and pushing back causeing her to roll. D othis once or twise then incourage her to do it on her own. Don't worry some babies get flustered and need to cry. How do you fell when you want something and keep trying and trying but don't get it???? Want to cry scream so does she, so she does it.



answers from Chicago on

I was happy that my son just started rolling over at 6 1/2 months 1 way, they are going to hafta figure it out with a little incouragement.i know that scream i still hear it at 7 1/2 months. my son is very alert, just big, top 90% which doenst mean anything for rolling ova. but he doest like sitting up more than anything. enjoy the ride. she'll do it at her own pace, she is doing wonderful, ahead of the game already after her miracle surgery, suggestion: cotton balls in ur ears for those hi pitched C's they scream



answers from Little Rock on

Sounds like she's on track. Keep in mind too that babies don't always go by the book. My neice completely skipped the crawling stage (she could get around in her own ways and walk along the side of things, like the couch) and went straight to walking. But I'm sure your baby will catch the hang of rolling just as soon as she's ready and able :)

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