Just because having a puppy is pitiful preparation for having a kid doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities. There’s constant slobber, poop everywhere, and no surer sign that you’ve done your job right than when you get baby rolling over. Bonus points if you can get them to do it on command. So when do babies start rolling over? Read on for that, plus a few tips to help Junior get there. As with the puppy, toys, treats, and heaps of praise are involved. Once the kid gets moving, though, “Sit” and “Stay” are damn near impossible.
When They’re Ready
Because you know the extensive benefits of tummy time and have made it a part of your everyday routine, your kid may be able to lift their head up or reach for toys by about 3 months. Between 4 and 6 months is when the rollover magic usually happens.
When encouraging the rollover, recall the amazing similarities between a baby human and a baby dog: adorable face, tiny brain, easily distracted by colorful toys. Take your kid’s favorite toy, place it in front of them, catch their attention, then move it toward one side above their head. They’ll try to reach for it, because it’s shiny and they must have it. Ooh, now it’s over there!
Give ‘Em A Boost
There’s no shame in going for the full cheat. If you see them struggling to roll over, screw it, give a little nudge and help them get there. You can also pull the same move by gently lifting one side of the blanket they’re laying on. Just don’t try to do the old yanking out the tablecloth trick. Never ends well.
Praise Them Like You Should
Who’s a good boyyyy (or girl)? Your kid may not be able to use their words, but they understand the tone of yours. Clapping, squealing, and smiling are all things babies crave. If they start to associate those things with rolling over, they’ll keep trying to roll over. And you’ll keep squealing. It’s the circle of life.
The most important thing to remember, as with pretty much everything in early childhood development, is that every kid is different, but they all get there eventually. You only need to bring it up to your pediatrician if they’re still tummy-bound by 6 months, and even then they’ll probably get the hang of it with a few simple home exercises. Stay positive and enjoy the journey. It won’t be long before they’re letting themselves out into the backyard to poop all by themselves.