Before Rohan's birth, Katara told Pema that her baby was "strong" and predicted that the child would be an airbender. Pema, however, hoped that her baby would be a non-bender like herself, so that he would be easier to handle.
Rohan was born in 170 ASC while Republic City was being attacked by the Equalists. Pema and her children were at Air Temple Island, watching the enemy airships descend when she went into labor. She was promptly assisted in the delivery by two Air Acolytes. Tenzin arrived soon after his son's birth to be with his family. Tenzin and Pema then told their children that they had decided the newborn's name, revealing it to be Rohan. However, immediately afterwards, Rohan, Pema, and the rest of Tenzin's family were forced to flee as the island was attacked by more airships.
Soon after escaping the island, Rohan and his family were captured by Equalists and imprisoned. Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo were then taken to an Equalist rally at the arena to have their bending taken by Amon, while Rohan and his mother were left in prison. After being rescued by their freed family, they returned to Air Temple Island.