When a baby is born , an exciting journey begins to reach developmental milestones, including raising the head, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking. Not all babies develop at the same time, they have their own rate of learning, and different children will reach the same milestones at different ages. However, missing milestones can also be a sign of more complex developmental issues, so you will need to discuss your baby’s progress with your pediatrician.
Parents can help their children reach certain milestones in physical development by incorporating exercises developed by physical therapists, also known as physical therapy at home. You will also need to discuss these with your child’s pediatrician before starting to do them at home.
UPSIDE DOWN TIME
A baby will learn to sit when he has developed the muscles in his neck and back, usually around 4 to 6 months . It is recommended that “tummy time” for babies from the moment they are born. Due to the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, doctors recommend that babies sleep on their backs, but during waking hours it is imperative that all babies spend time on their stomachs.
This develops the neck and back muscles crucial for sitting . Sitting next to your baby, you will have to place him face down on the floor, making sure that his face, mouth and nose are not covered. You can also place your baby face down on a bed if he doesn’t like to be on the floor with a blanket (the surface may be too hard or cold for the little one). Playing and talking with your baby while on their tummy makes this exercise fun for both of you, but especially for your baby.
From the time your baby is around 3 to 4 months old, you can start holding him in a sitting position. Sitting in a cross-legged position on the floor, place your baby on your lap while keeping him seated. You can also use accessories to help your baby sit up with support.
A nursing pillow or in a basket helps your baby sit up, with the walls of the basket supporting the cushion and the C-shaped cushion supporting the baby . While your baby will probably enjoy being in the basket, never leave him unattended or lose sight of him while he’s in this position.
To promote good posture and continue to develop your baby’s neck and back muscles , you can start helping him sit up with a guided exercise. You can start this around 3 to 4 months by placing your baby on his back and, holding his hands, helping him into a sitting position. This will not only help strengthen the neck and back muscles, but it will also help your baby develop proper posture as he works to keep his head aligned with his body.
EXERCISES TO REACH FOR OBJECTS
Reaching for objects also builds the head, neck, and back muscles that your baby needs to sit up and maintain good posture. You can encourage this at any time by placing objects your baby loves to play with far enough away that she has to reach for them.
Place them close enough so that your baby doesn’t get discouraged trying to reach for them, but far enough that he has to stretch his muscles to reach them. While your baby is sitting on the cushion and in a basket, you can also place some age-appropriate toys in the basket to encourage him to reach for it when he looks at it and wants to be entertained.