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Baby development

How Rolling Can Help Strengthen Your Baby's Core and Improve Posture

It's not just adorable. Learning to roll is an important skill for your little one.

How Rolling Can Help Strengthen Your Baby's Core and Improve Posture

Source: Getty

One of baby's first milestones, rolling over isn't just a fun party trick, it's an important step in your child's physical development and milestones. Learn how it lays the foundation for posture and strengthens core muscles.

Benefits of rolling for babies

Most babies start rolling over around four to six months old. It helps them to develop the muscles in their core, back, shoulders and neck, which are essential for all the exciting milestones in their future, like sitting up, crawling and walking. Encouraging tummy time can also help you get in valuable practice for rolling.

Not just for muscle development, rolling also promotes proprioception—the awareness of where their body is in space. This is an important skill for developing balance and coordination. Finally, it's fun, and babies love the positive reinforcement they receive from their grown-ups, so remember to cheer them on with big smiles and words of encouragement.

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How to help your baby roll over

  1. Start by placing your baby on their back on a firm surface.
  2. Help them to bring their knees up towards their chest, using your hands to support their legs.
  3. Once they have both legs in a comfortable position, let go of one leg and allow them to slowly lower it back down to the surface.
  4. Encourage them to keep their other leg in the same position, and then repeat the process with the other leg.
  5. As they become more comfortable with this movement, you can start to help them roll onto their side by gently guiding their arm and shoulder across their body.
  6. Always supervise your baby while they are rolling, and make sure that they are doing so on a safe and soft surface such as a mat or blanket.

If your baby seems frustrated or unhappy when trying to roll over, don't worry. Just let them take a break and try again later. With some practice, they'll get the hang of it in no time.

baby laying on bed learning to roll Source: Getty

Tips and tricks for helping baby progress with rolling

  • Encourage tummy time from an early age. This will help your baby to develop the muscles needed for rolling.
  • When your baby is ready to start rolling, give them plenty of space to explore. A playmat or blanket on the floor is a great place to start.
  • Once your baby has mastered rolling over, you can help them practice by placing toys just out of reach. This will encourage them to keep rolling until they reach their goal.

Other ways for baby to develop the same muscles

There are many alternatives to rolling that can help strengthen your baby's core and improve posture. Some of these include

Tummy time: This is a great way to help your baby learn to control their head and neck muscles, as well as to develop the strength in their arms and legs needed for rolling.

Crawling: This helps babies use more muscles throughout their body, including those in the core and helps them develop coordination and balance.

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Sitting upright: Strengthening the muscles in the baby's back and neck will help them sit up taller and straighter, improving their posture.

Use of a wobble board or therapy ball: These provide an unstable surface for babies to practice balancing on, which helps develop the muscles in their feet, legs, and trunk (core).

Water therapy: Exposing babies to water (in a bathtub or pool) can help them build confidence while also providing resistance that they can push against with their limbs, helping to build strength.

Learn More with our Tummy Time Workshop!

In partnership with Peeka & Co., join Pediatric Occupational Therapist Kaili Ets from Kaili Ets Family Wellness in this workshop to learn more about tummy time and how to make it more enjoyable, not just for your baby but for you as well.

In this workshop, Kaili covers:

  • What is tummy time and why is it important
  • How long tummy time should be for each day
  • How to support your baby in tummy time
  • Play essentials to make the process more fun
  • What is upside down tummy time and how it can help
  • How tummy time can also help with learning to roll
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Author:

Kaili Ets is lovingly known as the Holistic Baby Guru. She has a passion for normalizing and bringing clarity around baby sleep, development, reflux, and more.

Wife and mom of two, Kaili understands the importance of trusting your mama instincts. She is on a mission to help mamas tune into their intuition and feel like the confident super moms they are.

Her wit and humor make her an approachable authority on all things baby-related, as she provides down-to-earth advice that makes everyone feel like they can do this parenting thing! You can find her at www.kailiets.com or on IG/FB @theholisticbabyguru

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