Rolling over...is it too soon?

My son is 5 months old, and about two months corrected...he rolled over about 7 times yesterday while doing tummy time. Normally, I would be happy, but is this too soon for a baby to roll over? I have heard if they roll too soon, or hold their heads up too soon, it's indicative of a problem with their muscle tone? Could you share when your little ones started rolling...and if I should be worried?

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mine started at 2months too, but it was a problem with muscle tone. They arch their backs because they don't want to be on the tummy. They lift there heads with there shoulders too. I would ask for a PT/OT consult.

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It depends on how your baby is rolling. "Good" rolling isn't just a matter of turning over. It is a matter of lifting the outer leg up from the hips and turning the hips to produce the roll. Most 2 months old (adjusted) can't do that. They can sometimes stiffen their muscles to produce the roll, and if this is the case, you want to discourage it and train the hips to do it the right away.

Best wishes.

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Thanks for the responses. I will have to watch him more carefully to see exactly what he's doing. He is lifting his outer leg, but it seems like it's more to get momentum to push him over. What is the normal age for a baby to roll?

MissRaven - what kind of muscle tone problems does your little one have? I will definitely mention this to the early intervention person who comes in. I want to get him help sooner than later.

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She had the torticolis, and no real tone in her tummy. We've been working on gaining the tummy muscles. There are great exercises to do with there legs.head. to strengthen the tummy besides tummy time. keeping them in more of a fetal posistion pushes on the tummy so they gain strength. Being preemies they dont get the muscle tone of a FT who is in fetal posistion for 37-40weeks

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The normal age to roll from the tummy is 3 months with full-term babies, according to my sister who's a NICU/follow-up OT. However, it's becoming even later than that with many as more babies spend less time on their tummies. She said guidelines are changing to reflect that because you have many babies who would have been seen as "delayed" under the old guidelines. I think they now lump both rollings together and say they should be doing them by 6 months. However, 3 months is pretty typical for tummy rolling and about 5 months for back rolling.

I remember a couple of people, even a nurse in the NICU, saying when my son was around his due date, "Oh, look, he's almost ready to roll over" and they were excited about it. I am glad he didn't after talking to my sister. She told me how some preemies have the strength, like MissRaven said, to arch themselves and flip over early, landing hard on their backs. This isn't a good thing for a couple of reasons...not only could they posssibly get hurt, if they flip too hard and are so young, but also it could be a sign of something in their muscle tone...extremely early rolling can be a sign of possible CP, actually. By extreme I believe they are talking about babies that roll over at a couple weeks, not months. Of course, there are many preemies that have the ability to flip at that age that are perfectly fine, full-term babies too, but it still might not be a good thing because they could hurt themselves, including by surprising Mommy and Daddy who aren't expecting it and rolling off something (like the couch, bed, or changing table).

Andrew ended up rolling for the first time, 3 times in a row, at 2 months 11 days adjusted. I remember asking my sister, "Is this late enough?" and could tell she was kind of on the fence with possible concern (she lived far enough away not to be able to see him do it). But it turned out he was fine in that respect, perhaps just a little stronger in some areas because of being born so early. And 2 months isn't that extremely early to do it. But like a lot of babies, he didn't repeat his newfound skill for a long time, 10 more days. That's when he began doing it more steadily, and by then he was just a week away from 3 months adjusted. I didn't worry...and when his PT saw him, she said he was doing things correctly, lifting his leg and turning to his side first and all that. So he was fine. He ended up being slightly early rolling the other way too, around 4 months, and by 4 1/2 months became a "roller"...rolling all over the room as a mode of travel. He is still a roller at exactly 7 months adjusted today. His therapist said he may not ever be a creeper/army crawler, even though he should probably be able to do that now, because this is his set mode and these travel rollers (as I call them) sometimes don't want to give up a method of travel they found that works. However, she does think he'll move on to crawling someday when the time comes.

If your son is lifting his leg to roll, I probably wouldn't worry. It's good you are aware of things and know that early rolling isn't always a good thing, however...being early isn't always best, even though it's probably ingrained in us that it is. I found a list of things once that babies can do early that can be a red flag, like handedness. They should show no preference for either hand till after a year and a half, I believe it was. If they show such signs before age one, that too, may not be a good thing, and a possible sign of CP.

Like MissRaven, my baby had early head control and people who saw him were wowed at how he seemed at 1 month adjusted, but at 2 months adjusted his PT was working on head control with him and it confused me a little...I thought that was one area he was ahead in. Turns out he was using his shoulders to do things he shouldn't...still is sometimes. He likes to lock them tight during his strength exercises, which is a way of "cheating" for ease and stability and not a good thing. That locking in of the shoulders kept him from reaching, when he was in supported sitting, as early as some babies do. He ended up being fine at reaching...we worked on it a lot around 5 months...but I was worried there for a little bit because I could tell his therapists seemed concerned. My sister, however, wasn't too concerned (she is around a lot of preemies) and turns out he ended up being fine, but we did practice it a lot. He still will sometimes lock his head when we do babysit-ups, that his speech therapist encourages (just 3 in a row a day) to strengthen his trunk for speech, etc. She noticed he was using his shoulders to keep his head straight and told me to turn his thumbs outward when we do the exercise. That worked...now he can no longer cheat and you see that it is working him...he doesn't like those sit-ups too much, so you know they are doing what they should be for his trunk. He has somewhat weaker muscle tone overall, but the follow-up PT and OT deemed it within the normal range...so something to work on but not really worry about. His trunk strength is so much better now, so we are happy about that.

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Wow, there's a lot to consider after reading the responses. My son is 2.5 months adjusted and started rolling over last weekend. He lifts his leg and just falls to his back. I thought that he was advanced, but now I realize it could be a concern.

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Oquinn, he's close to the right age, so that part is good. If he's falling, then yeah, it doesn't sound like the right technique, but hopefully that will come soon. Is he seen by an EI PT? Maybe they can tell you better by watching him roll or give you some advice on that. Some of the things we are so happy about with our preemies, that seem to come early, aren't viewed as a positive by those in the medical profession, and that was all totally new to me when I had a preemie. I remember telling Andrew's pediatrician he could roll but then throwing in, "But they say he's doing it the right way" because you feel like their first thoughts about rolling with preemies aren't always positive ones. Just keep tabs on what he's doing...maybe even roll him to his side in slow motion and move him on over the way he's supposed to go. When Andrew began rolling onto his tummy from his back, he was too weak the first week or so to pull his one arm out, so I didn't really count it as rolling yet. But I remember finally pulling it out for him, and I think he learned from that or got a little stronger because he could do it right maybe a day or two after that.

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Wow ok so my son it two months old,born at 32 weeks. He rolled over from his back,kinda tilted to his side a little, to his tummy and lifted himself up so his arms were on his side just like normal tummy time.he does lift his leg to try to rolled over from tummy to back and lifted up a little from back to tummy. I have it on video and thought it was great. He lifted his head at 6 weeks old and had pretty good support of it. Should I be worried. Any thoughts

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Is he two months actual or adjusted? If he's 2 months actual, then he's only 1 week old in reality. I would think that would be extremely early to roll and would have it checked out by his doctor or a PT. If he's 2 months adjusted, then he's the age Andrew was, and it's at least close to the normal time, if a bit early for tummy rolling. But it sounds like he's rolling from his back and that's more typical of 4 or 5 months. Again, he would be extremely early for that, even if you are using adjusted age there. I guess the same thing with the head...6 weeks adjusted is early, but 6 weeks actual would mean he did it at 38 weeks gestation, and I would again have it checked out. I think in either case I would, actual or adjusted, just to be safe. Extreme early rolling can be a red flag. And like we've mentioned above, both it and really early head control are sometimes seen in our preemies.

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My son started rolling over really early, too. After reading more about it, I realized that he was doing the "bad" type of roll. Basically lifting his head with his shoulders, arching his back, and throwing himself over. He is now 10.5months actual/7 months adjusted and now rolls over correctly ( I think). He seemed to roll incorrectly for awhile, then stop for about a month, and then he relearned to do it correctly.

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Our daughter Eva "rolled" herself over at 2 months actual, -.5 adjusted - hee hee. Like PP's all say, it was more like she got some wind and propelled herself over a few times. My 30 weekers didn't actually begin rolling around (front to back, back to front, all over th place) until about 6 months actual, 3.5 adjusted. And our pediatrician didn't consider that even delayed, he said that was just fine, even for a full term baby. It's a very different look between the two types of rolls.

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