Activities to stimulate rolling

Rolling is an important precursor to learning how to crawl. Mysmartkid’s occupational therapist, Susanne Hugo, gives ideas on how you can encourage your baby to roll over.


What is this activity about?

This exercise stimulates rolling, which is an important precursor to learning how to crawl.

How to do it

Lie your baby on his back, and start by holding one of his lower legs and gently bending the knee to his chest and rotating his leg slowly and carefully inwards. Your baby’s body will follow and he’ll turn so he is on his stomach.

While doing so, simply use your other hand to help your baby as needed, and alternate legs every time. Also be sure to talk to your baby while doing this activity and get (very) excited every time you turn your baby around.

Alternative activities

  • Lie your baby on his tummy and gently bend his right leg forward under his chest, while stretching his left arm above his head. Keeping your baby’s leg bent, slowly and carefully rotate him onto his back, using your other hand as support. Remember to alternate legs each time.
  • Hold your baby on his side, and gently turn his body either onto his back or tummy. Or you can leave your baby on his side and watch to see if he can roll onto his stomach or back on his own.
  • Remember to stimulate rolling to both sides, and also from back to tummy and the other way round.

Why we suggest this activity

A child that can roll onto his tummy or back at will is showing signs of developing the strength, coordination and confidence to start crawling. Crawling requires strength, balance and coordination and your baby will love all your help and encouragement to reach this important milestone.

When to do this

Do this whenever your baby is content and feeling energetic, although not too soon after feeding as the rolling may squash his tummy, which could be uncomfortable, or get messy!

Visit or or call 0861 555 224 for more information.

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