When do babies start to roll over? … When do babies start to crawl? … When do babies start to sit up? … These are most frequently asked questions around baby development for most new-moms and dads. One of the hardest parts about bringing a new baby home is figuring out what to expect. To assist parents with this challenge, I have put together this information on when babies start to roll over, crawl and sit up. These milestones are all part of a baby’s physical development, or motor development.
When Babies Roll Over
Babies usually start to roll over when they are 4-6 months old. However, some babies start rolling over at 3 months or as late as 8 months. You can tell that your baby is ready to roll over when he or she starts to push against a surface with her hands or feet, trying to get into a position that will allow for rolling.
You can encourage your baby by giving him plenty of tummy time and engaging in interactive play together, like making faces and encouraging each other with coos and babbling noises. As he gets stronger, try placing his favorite toy just out of reach so that he has to work up the strength and coordination needed to reach it.
Ways To teach your baby to roll over
Your baby is growing into an independent baby who no longer wants to be coddled. He or she wants to move and keep on exploring the world around them. This can be challenging for many parents, as babies have a way of keeping us on our feet all day long. To make your life a little easier, here are several ways you can teach your baby to roll over.
To help your baby learn how to Roll Over, you can do the following:
- Rolling from tummy to back. Most babies will start rolling from tummy to back at 4–6 months, though a lucky few may be able to do it as early as 3 months. If you want to help baby figure out how to roll over, prop him up on his elbows while he’s on the floor and let him try it himself. Baby might not like being stuck on his tummy all the time (it can make him frustrated), but that’s actually one of the reasons to put your baby on his stomach every day—it encourages tummy time and hand-eye coordination. But once he starts rolling over, be sure not to leave baby unattended for too long, even if he seems totally content or has fallen asleep. Always put your little one in a safe place when you can’t keep an eye on her.
- Rolling all the way over. Rolling all the way over is when a baby can roll completely over from back to tummy (and sometimes tummy to back). Don’t be too alarmed if your baby rolls with a little bit of belly off the bed. That doesn’t mean he can fall or tumble down! Your baby is still using his pelvis as an anchor and his arms and legs as support, so there is absolutely no danger of rolling off the bed. Rolling all the way over is usually seen in babies who are four months old or older, but some babies will do it much earlier. It is a sign that your baby is developing the neck muscles and head control needed for crawling, which means your baby may start trying to crawl within a month or two after making this milestone!
- Encourage your baby to roll over by placing toys out of reach. Older babies love things that grab their attention, so one easy way for getting them to want to move their bodies is by placing toys just out of their reach and encouraging them through words or sounds (i-e: clapping) whenever they inch closer towards an object! This will make it more likely that they will attempt the movement again because they know there’s something worth going after at the end result–which makes up half of what learning really means in regards
- Let your baby explore new places. You can help encourage rolling from back-to-front by letting your little one explore different surfaces and places whenever possible! If you lay a blanket on the floor, this gives them additional space for development and discovery as they gain upper body strength and coordination—and with that comes more motivation to roll over!
- Allow your baby to practice the motion of rolling over. It is a good idea to help your baby practice rolling over on his/her own before you start trying to teach him/her how to roll over. Take this time to get a sense of how well your baby can control his/her body, as well as what kinds of problems he or she may be having with the motion.
Should I Worry About My Baby Not Rolling Over?
If your baby doesn’t roll over yet, don’t panic. Babies develop at a different pace, and most will roll over by 9 months. However, if your baby is less than 6 months old and still isn’t rolling over, you should notify your pediatrician. If you’re worried about your baby’s crawling or rolling skills in general, it’s never too early to talk to their doctor about what may be preventing their development.
What do I do if my baby rolls over in their sleep?
While some babies are perfectly satisfied to sleep on their stomachs after rolling over, others are fully awake – and unhappy!
Because this phase normally only lasts a few weeks, the simplest approach may be to flip your baby back onto their back and use a pacifier or some shushing noises to assist them fall back to sleep, just like a baby who gets trapped on their stomach.
Of course, if this disrupts your baby’s — or your — sleep, you should strive to avoid the problem in the first place.
Some goods, like as the Tranquilo Safe Sleep Swaddle Blanket (which isn’t really a swaddle!) are available. and the Swanling Slumber Sleeper, which is designed to discourage your baby from rolling over and sleeping soundly on their back.
When Babies Crawl
The first milestone to know about is rolling over. Rolling over is when your baby uses their arms and legs to turn from their tummy onto their back, or vice versa. They’ll usually do this while they’re lying on the floor or in their crib, but it is possible for them to roll over while they’re on a bed or couch. Most babies will start doing this around three or four months old.
But what’s the difference between rolling and crawling? Not much at first, actually! The biggest difference is that rolling takes place while your baby is flat on their back or stomach—but by around seven months old, they’ll be able to raise themselves up onto all fours (hands and knees). This will help them build the muscle strength needed for crawling, which usually starts around eight months. By nine months of age, about 80% of babies can crawl (NHS 2018). At this point your little one might start moving across floors in a more methodical way—though there’s no single “right” way for them to do it! It’s possible that some babies skip crawling altogether and go straight from sitting up to walking upright (NHS 2018).
While most babies begin by crawling with their belly off the ground, others learn how to “bear crawl,” which means they stay on all fours with a flat belly. Still others figure out how to commando crawl—that’s when they scoot forward on their bellies without using their legs at all! A few babies even learn how to crawl backwards before learning how to move forwards.
Different baby crawling styles include:
As your baby becomes more mobile and begins to crawl, his or her crawling style will probably change over time. Stages of baby crawling can include:
- Classic crawl. This is the most common form of crawling where your baby puts his hands and knees on the floor and moves one side at a time in a forward motion. He will drag or push his tummy along with him as he goes.
- Bear crawl. It begins much like the classic crawl but instead of leaving both knees on the floor, your child lifts one knee up to his hands and places both feet on the floor behind him before lifting up the other knee to meet hands again in an alternating fashion.
- Bottom scooter. This is an action that occurs when babies learn to move from their bottoms using their legs while being supported by their hands leaning forward. They may not lift off of their belly at all while doing this, but they can get across the room pretty quickly if they are determined to get somewhere!
- Crab crawl. Also known as parallel play, crab crawling happens when a baby sits down with feet flat on the ground in front of them, then they lean back on their arms while pushing off with their feet to move forward (just like crabs do!).
- Belly crawl. When babies just stick to crawling on their bellies–using only their arms and dragging or pulling themselves along–they are belly-crawling and it’s actually quite common for babies who fail at getting any other way around for a few months before finding success another way!
- Rolling crawl. (also known as slithering). When babies roll onto their sides, then bring one arm out ahead and push themselves up with it so that they roll over onto that arm and repeat until reaching desired destination–that’s called rolling crawling! The beauty is that you can roll your baby from room-to-room without having them move an inch by themselves! It’s also great for tummy time practice because gravity helps keep those chubbies off of hard surfaces which makes strengthening muscles much easier than lying flat against something unforgiving like carpeting
Ways To teach your baby to crawl?
The art of crawling is an important milestone for any baby. Not only does it indicate that a child is physically healthy, but it also means that your little one is ready to explore his surroundings and begin learning about the world around him. Studies show that babies who crawl reach other milestones, like walking and talking, faster than babies who don’t.
To help your baby learn how to crawl, you can do the following:
- Baby-proof your home beforehand. Baby-proofing is something that should be done as soon as possible after birth, but it’s especially important before your baby starts crawling. You want to make sure that there are no sharp corners or loose wires in your baby’s way and any harmful chemicals or fragile objects are kept out of reach.
- Get down on the floor. If you’re wondering how to teach your baby to crawl, the first step is getting down on the floor with them. Sit your baby on a blanket and get down yourself. Your baby will immediately be drawn to you and want to move toward you, so let them!
- Encourage your little one to crawl toward you. Using different toys as motivators, encourage them to reach those toys by crawling toward them—or even just reach for your hand or foot and pull their body forward so they begin moving their arms and legs in a crawling motion. You could also try holding a favorite toy out of reach for them or simply placing it in front of them, but out of arm’s reach so that they have to crawl forward in order to grab it.
- Encourage your baby to crawl toward a favorite toy. Hold the toy a short distance in front of your baby’s reach and see if they will move forward to get it. If not, try again with the toy barely out of their grasp.
- Encourage your baby to crawl after your voice. Say something like “Come here!” or “Let’s go!” with an enthusiastic tone and see if they will move toward you.
- Have patience when teaching. This can be a long process—and unfortunately, some babies don’t learn how to crawl at all! Instead of crawling, these babies may scoot around on their butt or use commando-style crawling (moving forward using only their arms).
When Babies Sit Up
The first time you see your baby sit up on their own, it can be a little scary. After all, you’ve gotten used to them lying down and not needing to support themselves! But this is an important milestone that signals an increase in strength and coordination for your baby, and it’s definitely something to celebrate. Many parents wonder at what age babies sit up—so here’s the lowdown on when you can expect your baby to hit this important milestone.
For most babies, the ability to sit up without support will emerge between 4 and 7 months of age. By 6 months old, most babies have gained enough strength in their neck and upper body to let go and sit unsupported for a few seconds. Three-quarters of children are able to sit without support by 9 months old, according to KidsHealth from Nemours.
The exact age at which your baby will start sitting on their own is different for every child, since each one develops at his or her own pace. If your baby hasn’t started sitting yet at 6 months, don’t worry—they’ll get there soon enough! Your baby may start to hold their head up as early as 2 or 3 months old, but other milestones like crawling and clapping happen at different ages for different kids.
Ways to help your baby sit up:
It is my understanding that some new parents may experience difficulties with helping their baby sit up. The following are some ways that I have found to be effective in helping my infant sit up:
To help your baby learn how to sit up, you can do the following:
- Make sure your baby is ready. The best way to help your baby sit up is to make sure they’re ready for it. You can test this by gently holding onto their hips and putting them into a seated position. If they can support themselves, then they’re ready to sit up on their own.
- Provide motivation. Babies love toys! Place some of your baby’s favorite toys in front of them and encourage them toward the toy by making it rattle or light up with sound or movement if it has an on switch. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll be amazed at how often your baby will try to sit up just to get that toy!
- Get on the floor with your baby. Lay a blanket down on the living room floor and roll around with them, looking at books together and playing with toys.
- Give your baby support. While your baby is sitting in their chair, you can put a towel or cushion behind them to give them extra support while they play or eat. It will prevent them from falling backwards when they lean forward to pick up a toy or cup. It’s also important that you remove the bumper on your child’s crib so that they have enough space to sit up without getting stuck.
- Bathe together. During bath time, let them sit up as you wash their hair and body clean. You can also purchase special bath seats that allow babies to sit upright in the tub while they get squeaky clean
- Give them safe places to play. Letting your baby play in their cribs is one of the most effective ways to encourage them to sit up without any assistance. Fill up his crib with pillows and toys, allowing them to discover new things as they try balancing themselves as they crawl around their cribs and roll over it at some point when playing with the toys inside it or hugging their favorite stuffed animals which are also placed inside their cribs for extra comfortability and security during sleep time.
- Provide a comfortable cushion. Put something soft enough for your baby to sit on, but not too thick otherwise it will hinder him from balancing and sitting up properly. You can use a pillow or a stuffed animal – just make sure that they are clean and washable in case of spills.
For baby milestones, every child is different.
While there are average ages for reaching baby milestones, keep in mind that every child is different. Your baby may master one skill earlier than another, or she may lag behind in a skill but make up for it later on. There is a small range of normal for each milestone, and your child’s doctor will consider his overall development rather than focus on just one aspect of it.
Being a bit early or late for a milestone isn’t usually cause for concern as long as your baby’s overall development is within the normal range. In some cases, though, your doctor may refer you to an early intervention specialist who can work with you and your child to overcome delays or other issues. If you have concerns about your baby’s development at any point during the first three years of life, talk to his health care provider.
- Mayo Clinic, What’s the Importance of Tummy Time for a Baby?, August 2020.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Suffocation, January 2017.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Movement: 4 to 7 Months, March 2021.
- National Sleep Foundation, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sleep, September 2020.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Movement Milestones: Babies 4 to 7 Months, March 2021.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics in Review, Developmental Milestones, January 2016.
- American Family Physician, Recognition and Management of Motor Delay and Muscle Weakness in Children, January 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Milestone Moments, 2009.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Crawling Styles, January 2013.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play, January 2017.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Tummy Time Activities, September 2013.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Milestone Moments.