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My Baby Stopped Rolling Over – What Should I Do?

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Learning to roll is one of the first big important developmental milestones in most babies’ lives. It’s an amazing way to see just how much your hard work is paying off, and how big and strong their muscles have developed.

Many babies find they have a preference in which way they roll initially, but eventually, they won’t stop exploring this fun new action. However, what should you do if your baby suddenly regresses and stops rolling?

In this article, we will go through some explanations to hopefully reassure any parents out there that it can be totally normal and not to panic when your baby stops rolling over.

When Do Babies Start Rolling Over?

For some parents, they will find their baby starts rolling at 2-3 months. Others may find their little one doesn’t start to get closer to the motion until 6 months.

Both scenarios are totally normal and each child will develop at their own pace!

You may find they can roll from front to back, but haven’t quite got the hang of rolling back onto their tummy, this is because it requires more muscular strength and coordination.

Usually, it can take up to another month for a baby to learn to roll back to the front. If you can see them start to make the movements, try laying with them to encourage the behavior.

Why Has My Baby Stopped Rolling Over?

Many moms panic when they realize this amazing new milestone their child was doing mere weeks before, suddenly seems to have stopped.

Here are some reasons that may have caused your little one to stop wanting to roll, but remember to always consult your pediatrician if you have any serious concerns with your baby’s development.

Most of the time you will find there are other reasons that shouldn’t worry you at blame.

1) Not having enough tummy time

Sometimes it can be hard to make sure your little one spends enough time each day on their front, especially if they don’t enjoy it.

At the age of 3/4 months, it is suggested babies have at least 20-30 minutes of tummy time each day which may seem like a lot. But if you make sure to introduce it as part of a daily routine it can become much more fun!

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests your little one has some tummy time every day, starting from your first day home from the hospital.

For many new moms, this will just seem like another task on the endless list of jobs to do, however, it can be much easier to complete than you realize.

Some quick and easy ways to have tummy time could be laying on mom, dad, or a grandparents chest to really encourage those neck muscles to get working and raise their little head to explore the world around them.

This may help to encourage the movements needed to start to roll again.

2) Too much time being contained

Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that spending prolonged amounts of time being swaddled or in a swing/bouncer can lead to developmental delays.

Of course, it’s not going to do them any harm to spend a small amount of their day in these positions, but the key to encouraging their development is the freedom to stretch and work those muscles they want to use too badly.

Swaddles are an amazing way to help soothe and settle your baby to sleep but it’s very important you stop swaddling your child when they show signs of rolling over as this can cause a serious SIDS risk if they were to roll and get stuck.

Instead of using a swing/bouncer for your baby, maybe try looking into a soft baby gym.

These are super soft and padded with lots of interesting sights, textures, and sounds for your baby to explore as they become more interested in the world around them!

This may help them rediscover the movement to roll from back to front!

3) Restrictive diapers/ clothing

Another option to consider is if maybe your little one feels uncomfortable moving around too much with the clothing they have on, or maybe their diaper is too tight and restricting their movement?

Try putting your little one in a soft comfortable onesie and see if this helps them feel more freedom to move around.

If possible, try keeping them in a warm place and go naked, just have some towels at the ready in case of an accident. This may help eliminate any interference and get their focus back on rolling around in no time.

4) Clashing with other developmental milestones

At this age, your little one will have so many amazing things becoming clear for them, it’s no wonder they may get distracted and not want to roll anymore.

At the age of 4 months old, they are often starting to fully support their heads & recognize familiar objects/ people from some extra distance.

This will open the world up around them so much more than they have been used to their whole lives which naturally,  can be scary for some babies.

Try to provide some comfort and reassurance and then they may feel ready to roll and explore the world around them. Try not to worry too much just yet.

This age is a very busy one for learning new skills, so they may just be working on something else to amaze you with before they want to start rolling around again.

Things To Do To Encourage Your Baby To Roll Over

1) Tummy Time To Playtime

Try surrounding your little one with her toys but put them just out of reach and see if it encourages them to roll over.

You will need a good play mat that you can place on the floor, this will provide your little one with a nice surface to lay on and prevent them from sliding on wooden floors.

If you have older children try and get them involved – your baby will be more motivated to move around and explore if there are others there.

2) Praise Your Little One Even When They Fail

Praise is not something that should only be used for this particular developmental stage. You should be praising your child for every little thing that they accomplish from rolling over to taking their first steps. Praise is one of the best ways to encourage and motivate them.

FAQs

Is it normal for a baby to stop rolling?

Yes! Many times babies will be spoilt for choice with all the amazing new discoveries around them and could just get distracted exploring other sensations and forget they have the muscular ability to roll.

Going back to basics and removing any toys, food, and distractions could really help your baby to focus on themselves and get those movements going again.

When should I be concerned with my baby’s behavior?

Simply no longer rolling shouldn’t be an issue to parents, but if it coincides with any of the other following behaviors you may want to ask your doctor for a check-up to be safe. 

  • No longer showing interest in reaching or interacting with toys
  • Baby has stopped babbling and making their usual noises 
  • Showing distress in not being able to move from danger (eg suffocation)
  • Not meeting any other age-appropriate milestones.

Why do some babies stop rolling over?

Every child is different in the way they grow and develop, this age is no exception.

You may find your child doesn’t particularly enjoy the sensation or movement of rolling and by the age of 8 months wants to crawl or shuffle on their bum as a way to get around.

In time, they will definitely let you know what they like and dislike. Another thing to consider is if your baby was born prematurely (Before 37 weeks). This may mean they develop slower than their peers of the same age and isn’t a cause for concern.

The Final Thought

As you may have realized if your baby has stopped rolling over, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem or anything for you to worry about.

But if you do have other concerns then it is always best to speak to your pediatrician and get a professional opinion. For the most part baby’s stop rolling simply because they are too busy with something else that they have discovered.

Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!