Young Children Move… Naturally!

S and S dancing Jan 2013Parenting Technique 60 – Enjoy your strollers, infant seats, swings, and the like, but always remember not to keep your little one confined for too long.

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

Constructive Parenting…

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!



  1. This is a great article! Thank you.

    Recently we’ve had Professor Craig Williams, Director of the Children’s Health & Exercise Research Centre of Exeter’s University, writing in our blog about the importance of children being physically active.
    He even suggests the daily amount of activity needed, for under 5s and for kids aged 5-18.

    This article is a great complement, as it details the 0 to 6 months period. Thank you!

  2. Thank you very much for your nice words about the birth to 6 months age range and also for including your article with all the good information in it. My best advice is parent choices. Active experiences are better than passive. Being outdoors is better than being in. Standing is better than sitting. Walking is better than standing. Running is better than walking. Follow those same decisions for yourself, and you will also get the same benefits of health, self-esteem, and social development as you want for your child.

    • That is a great point!
      It’s very important that parents set an example.

      Not only it will benefit them 🙂 but it will inspire and motivate their kids – we know that, in this ages, they copy what their parents do.

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