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My Child Isn’t Rolling Over: Should I Be Concerned?

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rolling over is one of the first major gross motor milestones you will see when your child is growing and developing and it is your baby’s first opportunity for independent mobility.  Now they can change from tummy to back and vice versa!  Just a note, this may make tummy time more challenging but tummy time will also encourage sooner rolling so its all on the right track!

Rolling should occur in the 3-6 month age range although again, this is a range.  If your child isn’t rolling and is in this range or even outside of this range there are some things you can look at to determine if you should or shouldn’t be concerned.

First, are they spending more time in a carrier, bouncy, bumbo, stroller, etc than on the floor?  Babies should have lots of tummy time and in general kids who spend more time on their bellies begin to roll sooner because they have more muscles that have been strengthened, allowing them to activate different muscles to make rolling more efficient.

If your child is spending time on the floor are they on their tummy or just on their back?  As mentioned above tummy time is critical to muscle development and movement development.

If they are on the floor and they start to fuss or get frustrated do you automatically pick them up and put them in a sitting position (or supportive seat, or carry them)?  Generally they can get frustrated or upset for a variety of reasons but if we begin to show them how to move it can help.  For instance, you can help them to roll over.  This way they can begin seeing options for themselves.  If they start to learn that they can move out of a position it encourages independent movement as opposed to being dependent on someone coming and picking them up or moving them around!

In addition to beginning to encourage independence, learning to roll adds to their motor planning arsenol.  They get to figure it out which will carry over to each new motor skill and activity they learn as they get older.

Learning to roll is just one more building block in the development of gross motor skills and movement!

So, if your child isn’t tolerating time on the floor, they spend a lot of time in a bumbo, car seat, bouncy or being held, they are sitting on their own but not rolling then I would get some advice on how to encourage movement. Its better to catch up early than later!

Starfish Therapies is a pediatric physical therapy company dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the kids and families we work with. We believe that therapy should involve enough fun and imagination that a child not only enjoys it, but looks forward to coming and doesn't realize how hard they are working.

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