One Trick to Help Your Baby Learn to Roll

Looking for a suggestion to help your baby learn to roll?

Try this one thing:

Set down and pick up baby while shifting his weight to the side in a rolling motion. You can start this one as soon as baby is born and — guess what? — it’s super easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You can do this with every diaper change and sleep session which means, for a newborn, it can add up to 20 or more times a day. That’s a lot of practice!

Here’s how you do it: Sit baby on his bottom and roll him over to the side while setting him down. Be sure to support his head so it doesn’t flop back, but check out how he automatically tries to keep his head from falling sideways so it stays in line with his body (a reflex with which babies are born). Cool, huh? This strengthens the muscles on the sides of his neck. This move also allows him to practice pushing against the floor with his arm on the way down. Simply reverse this motion when it’s time to pick baby up, and baby will get practice pushing up from the floor as well. Be sure to practice rolling baby to both left and right sides throughout the day…we don’t want a baby who only moves to one side! Check out the photos below and watch a short video demonstrating this maneuver by clicking here.

baby rollingbaby rollingbaby rolling

Looking for more ideas to help your baby learn to roll?

Check out this post with 10 tips for helping babies learn to roll.

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Mama OT In addition to being mama to two sweet little boys and wife to a crazy awesome husband, Christie is a Registered & Licensed Occupational Therapist (OTR/L). She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Education from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA...Go Bruins!), and an M.A. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC OT). She has experience working as a pediatric OT in early intervention (birth to 3), clinic-based, and school-based settings. Her mission with MamaOT.com is to encourage, educate, and empower those who care for children. Christie loves that she gets to PLAY when she goes to work, is hopelessly addicted to Kettle Corn, and is known for being able to turn virtually anything into a therapeutic tool or activity, from empty food containers to laundry and everything in between. Learn more about Christie and what inspired her to become an OT.

Occupational therapy (OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”. Some OTs help people diagnosed with disability, injury, or disease. Others help prevent disability, injury, or disease. Because of occupational therapy, people of all ages are able to say, "I can!" no matter what their struggle. Isn't that amazing?!

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Please provide appropriate supervision to the child in your care when completing any activities from this site. You as the grown-up will need to decide what types of products/activities on this list will be safe for your child. If you’re not sure, check with your child’s occupational therapist or pediatrician. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when implementing any ideas or activities from this site, particularly if there is any risk of injury (e.g., falling, crashing), choking (e.g., small parts), drowning (e.g., water play), or allergic/adverse reaction (e.g., materials/ingredients). The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site. 

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