Human beings are mobile, and this inborn drive is evident at birth. Therefore, providing an environment all through the early years that is conducive to motor development is important. Fortunately, normal baby and childcare opportunities allow for these opportunities. You will notice that almost all contact with your young child includes moving, touching, and holding. You will see that routines that involve carrying, changing, washing, feeding, and playing all have aspects to them that can enhance child mobility. With skilled handling parents can prevent certain mild deformities, correct bad posture, improve balance, and even speed up the developmental process. Motor activities contribute directly to brain growth and the organization of the nervous system.
For the next set of tips, I will describe physical development at different ages and stages. This will be your background information for tailoring your own activities. If you have a new baby, here’s the scoop. If you know someone who does, please feel free to pass on the information. If you have an older child, keep checking each week for information about the next age group. The posts will go all the way up to age five.
Birth to Six Months
This is the time your baby is literally unfolding from being in the womb. Therefore, any help you can be will be appreciated. Take every opportunity you can to softly pat and massage your baby’s body. Take his or her arms and gently open and shut them across his or her body. Take you baby’s legs and gently move them back and forth in a bicycle- like motion. From birth to 3 months focus on relaxation movements. From 3 to 6 months do all kinds of natural movements that prepare your baby for crawling and the sitting position. Much of what your baby also needs during this time is freedom of movement. Then, in addition, all the muscles need to be stimulated. Both gross motor and fine motor development will proceed as your baby experiences normal play situations.
– adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, p. 55-56
If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.
– Walt Whitman
Ideas of March…
Here are a few of the most popular ABC’s of parenting.
- Act natural.
- Be yourself.
- Change your environment to make it work for you!