How to teach your baby to roll over

November 4, 2021 by Louise Pearce

We often receive enquiries from concerned parents about their baby not rolling over at 6 months, and while we know that babies learn at slightly different speeds, there are key time points for when we’d expect to see them achieving certain developmental movement milestones. 

When do baby’s roll over? 

We expect most babies to be able to roll consistently from their tummy to their back at around 4 ½  months. By 6 months babies should have mastered tummy to back rolling and also the reverse movement of the back to tummy roll.  

Rolling is an important skill for your child to learn as it allows them to experience moving on their own in a rotational plane. It requires your baby to develop the skill of turning ‘on and off’ their tummy and back muscles as well as coordinating their head, eye movements and weight shifts. It is important only to give your baby as much help as they need, however there are safe exercises that parents can do to encourage their baby to achieve these rolling movements.

Steps to teach your baby to roll over from their back to their tummy

Step 1: 

With your baby lying on its back, start by introducing a toy to engage and draw your baby’s attention. 

Step 2: 

Move the toy across their body, so that they reach their arm across and arch their back following the toy. Maintaining your baby’s engagement with the toy, place it above their head and to the side, just out of their reach. 

Step 3: 

With your baby reaching for the toy, bring up their top leg up and slowly roll them over. 

Top Tip: If their arm gets stuck underneath them while they’re rolling over, instead of pulling their arm out, teach them to lift their bottom to release their arm. You can encourage them to lift their bottom by gently pulling on their legs – which will help shift their weight off their tucked under arm. 

If you have any questions or concerns about how your baby is rolling or moving, or you feel stuck on how to get them to the next step – let us help. We can help find the missing piece to the puzzle and teach your exercises to help boost them along.


Our practice philosophy is to promote strength and development through play and exercise. We provide a holistic and comprehensive approach that is backed by clinical experience. We can create a tailored individual program to be implemented at home, childcare or school to help meet your child and family’s goals.

Copyright by Auckland Childrens Physio 2020. All rights reserved.