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How can I encourage my 6-month-old to roll over?
Q: My son, who is almost 6 months old, rarely rolls onto his side and has never rolled all the way over. I try to keep him lying on the floor and play a game with him to get him to turn toward a toy, but he hates being on the floor for too long and he's not fond of being on his tummy. Is there something else I could try?
Lori Carrollton
A: Many mums have been telling me that their babies don’t like to be on their tummies. It’s becoming more common today because of the recommendation that babies sleep on their backs. The “Back to Sleep” campaign has been very successful in decreasing the number of infant deaths from SIDS, which is really good news. However, as a result, babies aren’t spending as much time on their tummies as they used to and they’re rolling over a little later than in the past. But don’t worry about that. Your baby will eventually gain the upper body strength necessary to push up and to roll over, so there’s no need to rush those milestones.

When you plan tummy-time play with your son, be sure enough time has passed after a meal so he’ll be comfortable. At first, keep him on his tummy for a few minutes at a time, allowing him to get used to that position.

Toys with mirrors might encourage your son to play longer while on his tummy, especially if the mirror is angled so baby can look at himself. If your son can hold his head up while on his tummy, he’ll be delighted looking at his own face in the mirror. You might even try playing peek-a-boo with him using the mirror, flipping the mirror down and then up again so he can see his face appear and disappear. Other toys are designed to encourage babies to use their arms and hands to push up their upper body and feature colourful, engaging activities to motivate baby's efforts.
Kathleen Alfano Ph.D. Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price®