Rolling over, unassisted, is an ability that takes a bit of practice. It’s your child’s very first attempt at complex body movement. While some may be doing it at 3 or 4 months of age, most infants will have pulled it off by the time they’re 6 or 7 months old.
They tend to start by rolling from their tummy to their back as it’s easiest. A back to tummy rollover might take a month or longer, since it requires more shoulder and neck strength.
This quick, seemingly isolated movement is something your child has to prepare for far in advance. At around 2 months, they’ll begin holding their head up when placed belly-side down. A few weeks later, they’ll be able to exert more weight on their forearms and keep their head and shoulders up for longer periods.
Exercises such as these build arm, shoulder, trunk, and neck muscles. You may also see your newborn flailing their arms and kicking their legs as if they’re swimming. At the 5-month mark, they’re likely lifting their chest off of the floor for an extended duration. Slowly but surely, your little one is training themselves to roll over.