Babies need to move around and change position. It trains their muscles, but also teaches them how to take an interest in the world around them.
In particular, don’t keep your baby in a car seat or buggy or combination pram for too long – babies need to move!
You can help with some simple ideas, such as:
On their back …
- many babies like being on their back, but they need you for entertainment at first. Use overhead activity toys to let him/her watch and focus – this helps with later attention and with head control
- touchable mobiles at chest level encourage reaching out – by accident at first. Your baby will start to coordinate actions to hit the mobiles. Move the mobile towards the feet to encourage kicking
- As your baby develops arm and hand muscles, they may start to reach for objects – hold interesting items for them to reach for
- time out with no nappy – allows more freedom of movement and encourages leg kicking
From about 4-6 months old, you can add some more activity, to start to introduce independence in movement, including:
- Sit ups! Once your baby has reasonable head control, cup your hands behind his/her shoulders and bring him up to a sitting position – repeat this through the day. Make eye contact while you are doing this and share the fun
- Rolling! Put toys to either side of your baby to encourage head turning. You can then help to roll onto his/her side by moving the legs to turn – make sure you practice to both sides! Sometimes rolling from tummy to back is easier at first.