Why Your Baby Isn’t Moving
All babies develop at their own pace, but it can still be worrisome if you notice that your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies who are the same age. Maybe, after bringing your baby to a playgroup with other babies around the same age, you noticed that all the other babies in the group were able to roll over, but your baby can’t roll over.
You want to do what you can to help your baby reach their milestones when they are supposed to. What can you do if you your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies are? Below, we’ll give you some suggestions and techniques you can try at home to get your baby to move more and roll over!
What is Normal?
Before we go through how to get your baby to move more and roll over, it is important to understand that all babies really do develop according to their own timelines.
If your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies around the same age, there may be nothing to worry about. There are many factors that can influence when a baby learns a new skill, including if they were born prematurely and your baby’s weight.
That being said, there are ranges in which most normally developing children reach certain milestones. Here is the age range you can typically expect to see a baby demonstrate each skill:
Rolling over (from belly to back)
3 to 5-months-old is when most babies rollover from their belly to back.
Rolling over (from back to belly)
A baby begin to roll over from back to belly between the ages of 5-months-old and 6-months-old.
Your baby should begin crawling between the ages of 6-months-old and 10-months-old.
What Can You Do to Increase your Baby’s Movement
If your baby isn’t reaching these milestones or you want to work with them to help them develop these skills, there are a few things you can do.
If you are worried that your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies, try some of our suggestions at home with your baby and see if they help them to progress!
Helping Your Baby Learn to Roll
Rolling over is normally the first big movement milestone your baby will reach. Typically, babies are able to roll from their tummy to their back before they can roll from their back to their tummy. If you are concerned that your baby is moving as much and rolling like other babies their age, you can try some of these suggestions to help them to roll.
Giving your baby a lot of time starting right at the beginning of their life is very important. However, don’t allow your baby to sleep on their stomach.
Tummy time helps your baby develop and strengthen their neck muscles. Some babies like tummy time, while others will often fuss when they are placed on their belly.
If your baby doesn’t like tummy time, you can try to make it more enjoyable for them by putting toys in front of them. You can also sing and/or talk to them during this activity.
Tummy time will help your baby develop the muscles that are necessary for them to be able to roll over and start moving more. This can definitely help a baby who isn’t moving as much as other babies!
Lastly, you can try massaging your baby to promote movement.
Take the Toys Out
If you want to try to encourage your baby to roll, one thing you can try is using toys.
With your baby on his back, hold a toy out next to them (but slightly out of their reach) and see if they will reach and roll to get it. Make sure you chose a toy that your child likes and will be motivated to try to get. You can also consider using a new toy for this, so it will be novel and exciting, and thus more motivating for your baby.
Use a Blanket to Assist
Another strategy you can try to get your baby to roll over is using a baby blanket. If you have your baby on the floor while she is playing and you notice that she is trying to roll, or has maybe made it to one side, you can carefully lift up a side of the blanket to help her finish the process and complete her roll.
Help Her Out
If you’re concerned that your baby isn’t moving as much and on pace with other babies and you notice she is close to rolling over, you can give her a hand. If your baby is starting to reach for that toy you are extending and can’t seem to get past being on her side, help her out. You can gently grab her upper leg and help her finish rolling over.
Act Excited and Praise Him
When you see your baby making progress or trying to roll over, offer praise! Show him that you are excited that he is reaching for things! Let him see how excited you are for the new motions he is working on, and he’ll want to keep doing them!
Talk to your Pediatrician
If by 7 months or so your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies and hasn’t rolled over yet, you can talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned.
Your pediatrician can offer advice for other things you might be able to try at home to help your baby roll over. The can also perform a physical exam on your baby to ensure that there is no medical reason behind why your baby isn’t moving as much as others and isn’t able to roll yet.
Helping Your Baby Learn to Crawl
Once your baby has mastered rolling over, you’ll be eager to see them reach the next big movement milestone of crawling! Again, keep in mind that all babies learn to crawl at different times. Remember, it may take a baby until up to 17 months before they start to crawl. So, there might not be anything to worry about if your baby isn’t moving as much as his or her peers.
If your baby isn’t crawling and you want to know what you can do to help them learn, we have provided some different suggestions and activities you can try.
Provide Lots of Playtime on the Floor
If you’re concerned that your baby isn’t moving as much as other babies and you want to help them learn to crawl, offer plenty of playtime on the floor!
The more time your baby has on the floor, the sooner they will learn to crawl. When your baby is on the floor, they are free to move around as they desire. Conversely, when your baby spends a lot of time in a bouncer, jumper, car seat, or their crib, they don’t have as much time to experiment with moving in different ways.
Whenever possible, be sure to offer your baby playtime on the floor. Clear a large carpeted or padded area in your living room or another space in your house where you can keep an eye on your baby and let them play and explore the space!
Entice your Baby with Toys
Just as using toys may have helped you entice your baby to roll, you can also use toys to help entice them to crawl.
When your baby is on his belly on the floor, hold a toy he likes in front of him, just out of his reach. Your baby may try to pull himself to get the toy. If he doesn’t pull himself right away, you can try putting the toy within his reach first and just getting him to reach his arm out to get the toy.
Then, you can slowly start pulling the toy just out of his reach again and encouraging him to come get it! This should help get your baby who isn’t moving as much as other babies on the go in no time!
Get Down on the Floor with your Baby
One way to encourage your baby to crawl is to show him how it is done! Spend some time playing on the floor with your little one! Model for your baby how to crawl! Go ‘hide’ in one spot in the room and encourage them to come find you!
Schedule Playdates with Other Crawling Babies
Watching other babies crawl around on the floor can also help when a baby isn’t moving as much as other babies. If your baby isn’t crawling yet, schedule some playdates with other moms who have a baby who is already crawling. Your baby will be able to see them crawl. They might want to go after them to get the toy they are playing with!
Hopefully our suggestions will help if your baby isn’t moving as much as other similar-aged babies yet! Remember, all babies are different and learn at their own schedule. When your baby has lots of opportunities for tummy time and time on the floor, they will be more likely to roll and crawl more quickly! Your little one will be as excited to start moving around as you will be to see them start moving!