Tip #1: Hold that little butt! :-)
In order for your little one to roll over, he or she needs to build those neck and tummy muscles. What you can do to help is to gently place your hand on her butt during tummy time. You obviously don't want to push too hard or hurt her, but if you hold the baby's bottom still, it forces her to use and build the muscles in her upper half.
Tip #2: External Motivation
Now that your little one has pretty good control over her muscles, she's probably trying really hard to turn over. You can use toys with contrasting colors or your wonderful face to help motivate the baby to roll to reach. :-) As always, you want to provide lots of praise in the beginning. Encouragement will help the baby realize she is doing something correctly. Once she rolls over, be prepared. My little one won't stay still. :-) She rolls everywhere.
Tip #3: Kick Off!
There are many ways to help Baby learn to crawl, but the one I've seen the most progress with is this:
- Set up a safe, comfortable area on the floor and lay Baby on her belly.
- Place a toy or familiar face slightly out of reach from Baby.
- Use your hands as a backboard for the baby's feet.
- Keep your hands firmly in place, and allow Baby to kick off of you. Be sure to keep inching forward with the baby as she makes her way to the toy and give lots of praise along the way.
If you repeat this a few times, the baby will quickly learn what she needs to do with her legs and feet in order to get closer to desired objects. :-) My daughter is almost 5 months and uses a mixture of kicks, scoots, and rolls to get WHEREVER she wants to go.
Tip #4: Practice with the arms.
I also help my baby practice crawling with her arms by propping them up and gently helping her move them toward me (just as she would to crawl). To do this, I place her on her tummy and get down on the floor, facing her. I have to get really excited, make lots of happy faces, and encourage her, but she gets the hang of it. We've only done this 3 times, and she now knows what to do with her arms.... If she could only lift up that big belly, she would be on her way!
I hope you find a few of these tips useful. If you have any other tricks of the trade, please feel free to share them below!