Get your 6-12-month-old baby active with these great workouts!
Your little one is growing. Here are the physical or movement milestones which lay the groundwork for developing confidence and competence in a wide variety of physical activities as he grows into a toddler.
Your child is born with a grasping reflex from the moment of birth. At around three to four months, you’ll notice he is deliberately reaching for things and trying to grasp them. Grasping is an essential motor skill which you want to help him develop from the start. When he is grasping, he is also developing hand-eye coordination. Give him plenty of toys, safe and suitable for his age, to practice grasping.
When your baby is around four to six months old, he will start rolling over onto his stomach. Rolling over develops his basic core strength. Give him lots of tummy time. He will get used to the feeling of being on his stomach and the more he practices rolling over, the stronger he gets! His coordination will also improve and soon he will progress to sitting and crawling.
At around six months old, your baby will start to be able to sit upright unassisted. Rolling over during tummy time has developed both his core strength and coordination, making it possible for him to sit upright. Now that he is sitting on the floor, keep him safe by removing any sharp or hard objects. Also, keep a close watch on him when he is sitting on soft surfaces like beds, sofas and chairs. He may lose his balance, tumble and hurt himself.
Infants begin to crawl between seven and 10 months. Some start by “army crawling”, using their hands to pull their bodies to move forward. Crawling requires quite a number of physical abilities. First, he needs the strength to push himself up onto his hands and knees. Next, he needs to maintain balance on his hands and knees as he propels himself forwards or backwards. You can encourage your child to crawl and reach by placing toys on the floor around her.
Some children skip crawling and go directly to cruising. That’s perfectly normal. The main thing is not to feel any rush to get your child to walk as crawling and cruising are important for motor and cognitive development.
Before your child can walk unassisted, he cruises. He learns to walk by holding onto furniture for support. As he cruises, he develops strength, balance and coordination.
Keep your child safe at this stage by removing obstacles on the floor like toys and cushions. You’ll also want to child-proof your furniture which includes removing any furniture that has sharp edges or hard angles.
Being active is natural for babies, and it is an important part of your baby’s development. Do not leave your baby in a stroller or infant chair too often and for too long. These restrict his natural desire for movement. Put him in a safe place where he can be stimulated with something to look at and play with. Keep anything sharp, breakable or unstable out of his reach. Play music in the background, and cherish this time together with your baby as you journey through the different milestones together.
Here are some age-appropriate activities that are great for engaging babies physically as they have fun with you.
Carry your baby out of the cot for loving cuddles. Play peek-a-boo with him, using your hands, his hands, and his blanket. Babies love the element of surprise in this game and will reward you with coos, smiles and chuckles. It is also a great way to get his muscles moving. When you need to do something, put him on a play mat on the floor and let him stretch and kick his legs around. Make sure there is plenty of space for him to wriggle around and check on him frequently.
Babies love to be sung and spoken to. Sit with your heels together, forming a diamond shape with your legs. Place a blanket over your legs and lay your baby on top so that you have direct eye-to-eye contact with him. Sing him nursery rhymes and songs – anything with a rhythm will do. Or you could recite poetry! You can clap your hands, move his hands, rock him gently and sway as you do all these. You can also try bouncing games to the tune of familiar songs such as “Pop Goes the Weasel”. Your baby will learn to expect the surprise drop or bounce when he hears the individual words.
Play some music, carry your baby close to your chest, and dance! You do not have to be an expert, just move, sway, dip, turn, glide, and bring your baby up and down different levels gently as you move to the beat.
There are classes organised specially for mums and their babies. These are great fun as they introduce both of you to new friends who are going through the same experiences as you are. They also get you out of the house, offer a change of momentum and keep you connected to the world out there.
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1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, January 22). CDC’s Developmental Milestones. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 2021 from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
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