6.5 mo. Unmotivated to Roll

Hi Everyone!! My 6.5 month old son CAN roll back to belly (since 4m) and belly to back (since 7 weeks!), but he chooses to do neither!! He’ll just lay there and cry out waiting for us to flip him one way or the other. I’ve seen him do both independently, but it’s so rare… I’m talking almost never. He’s so unmotivated by toys, and gets frustrated/unhappy when I move them on him to try and encourage some action. Would you recommend PT? How can I help him do this regularly and independently?


I don’t think PT would hurt, especially if they can give you some strategies to encourage your son! The little ones who are unmotivated often make us get the most creative!

You can also start with his toys a little away from him and then move him to them. I always recommend moving the little one to the motivator and not the other way around.

Also rolling in and out of tummy time and rolling before and after diaper change. Make it a game. Do all the work for him at first and have him end up at a super motivating toy/activity. Does that make sense?

But again, it doesn’t hurt to try PT for some extra help! We also have our rolling program if you were looking for some more ideas on your own! And we have a whole play list for rolling on youtube.


Yes! Absolutely agree with @Starfishtherapies. In general, when we assist babies with the role we are also showing them the kinesthetic motor plan that is needed to make the roll happen. Even if you bring a baby into sidelying, he may then be able to complete the roll. Sometimes gentle support at the hips and pelvis to help initiate the roll (with a preferred toy up and out to the side as a visual goal), really helps not only with overall success, but with establishing that motor plan. Also, I’m not sure where you live, but in my state, evaluations for EI are free and can definitely offer peace of mind. Keep us updated!! :slight_smile:

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@Starfishtherapies @tots-mary thank you both!! It’s just so confusing to me because I have seen him do it independently, and know he has the ability, but I’m so lost on how to make him CHOOSE to do it. If I get him started back to belly with side laying, or twist his hips, he’ll always finish it. Likewise, if I tuck his elbow for him during tummy time, he’ll always flip to his back, but it’s always with an assist, and I guess I’m just not sure what will convince him to do it on his own. I’ll keep trying!! I’m in NY (Long Island).

i love the idea of just playing with him rolling over and over again to help him continue to get used to how his body feels with that skill and often when we help babies with that repeated motion, it helps with the muscle memory. so every time you help him roll, try doing it 7 times (that’s a random number, I’m just recommending several :wink:)

NY definitely has free EI evaluations so having him checked out can give you some great tips. I’m also licensed in NY so if you want to set up a virtual consult, Im happy to do that.