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When a baby is 4 or 5 months old they discover how to roll from a tummy-down position onto their back. Later they will be able to roll from their back onto their tummy. Every child is different - they'll roll over when they are ready!
It's important to know that young babies should sleep lying on their back. But when they are awake, give them a little time on their tummy. Start with just a few minutes, and don't leave them unattended. Spending time on their tummy will help to build strength in the baby's neck and back - preparation for that roll. When they are ready, lay them tummy down on an activity mat on the floor. Encourage them to lift their head and reach out for interesting toys. If you want to know more, here's a video from the American Baby Center that tells you more about tummy time (it's around 6 minutes long).
As your baby turns into a toddler, they will enjoy rolling down gentle grassy slopes in your local park. At home, you can create a gentle slope with a small matress and cushions. Find out what else can roll down the slope - a ball, a toy with wheels, or teddy. Talk about which item rolls fastest and why.
Learning to move, reach and grasp helps children develop the muscles and skills to scribble and learn to write when they get older. Body awareness and learning to do big movements (like crawling and walking) and small movements like the pincer movement (where you lift up things with your index finger and thumb) are important parts of your child's development. It is part of awakening and developing your brain. For your young child, reaching for objects helps build their coordination and will help them hold crayons later on.
Have fun with your child dancing to music. This helps their coordination. If your child is moving their arms or body at all they are dancing!
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