As your baby learns to navigate the world, she will not only need the mental skills to complete tasks, but the physical abilities as well. Often babies will be frustrated because they understand what they want and how to get it, but their bodies don’t cooperate. Here are some ways you can help your baby build muscle.
Have lots of tummy time
In the beginning, your baby’s neck and core will seem fragile and delicate. At just six weeks old, however, she will be able to lift her head for a few seconds. If you leave her on her back all the time, she’ll never practice with those muscles. Lay your baby on a play mat or pillow, tummy-down for a few minutes each day. Not only will she work out her core, neck and arms, but she’ll learn to coordinate her eye movements.
Crawling requires a complex set of muscle movements. Your baby will have to coordinate arms, legs, shoulders and hips to move around. Once crawling starts, do everything you can to encourage it. Play games that require movement around the floor. Clap and cheer when baby powers across the room to come see you. If you encourage movement, she’ll be more likely to try new ways of moving.
Play active games
You and I can motivate ourselves to go to the gym. We consciously know that our bodies need the exercise, so we force ourselves through the motions even though we don’t really want to. Babies can’t rationalize like that, though. The best way to convince them to get exercise is to make it part of a game. Sitting up and falling down may be a silly game, but it’s giving your baby lots of opportunities to build muscle. Follow-the-leader lets them practice extended periods of crawling or walking.
Encourage sitting up
It’s easy for parents to fall into the habit of laying their babies down all the time; after all, that’s what they had to do during the first few months of life. When your baby starts to sit up on her own, however, it’s important to give her plenty of opportunities to practice. When you set her down after holding her for a while, set her on her bottom, sitting up. If she’s tired and wants to lie down, she’ll lean over on her own, but she’ll probably enjoy sitting up like everyone else!
Guest Blog by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk
As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.
She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.
She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.
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