Typically your baby will go through 5 stages of movement: 1 – Lying on her back. 2 – Rolling onto and lying on her tummy. 3 – Sitting upright. 4 – Crawling. 5 – Standing up and walking.
Each of these stages is important in strengthening and developing your baby’s muscles, brain and spine.
With this in mind, what can you do to help?
1. Let nature do its magic
There is no right time for your baby to reach or complete any of the above 5 stages. Don’t rush or force her – she will get there herself.
For example, don’t stand her up if she can’t stand up on her own. You risk stressing parts of the body which aren’t ready to be used.
2. Avoid the crazy contraptions!
There are so many products out there that claim to aid your baby’s development, from baby walkers to baby bouncers. These contraptions look cute but interfere with the 5 stages of development.
As well as stressing joints, these products can impede natural muscle development which can lead to problems in adult life.
3. Give baby shoes the boot!
Your baby’s feet at birth contain no bones at all but consist of a mass of cartilage which over a period of years ossifies to become the 26 bones of the adult foot.
Wearing shoes interferes with natural foot mechanics and development. Barefoot crawling and walking help to exercise the small muscles of the feet, improve coordination and contribute to good posture.
4. Don’t restrict him
Your baby needs movement to strengthen muscles, brain function and stay healthy.
Avoid things which restrict his movement and natural need to explore such as play pens. Where safe let him roam free!
5. Let them struggle a bit
It’s instinctive to help your baby when she’s struggling to do something new.
If she’s trying hard to climb up onto her feet, let her keep trying on her own. By doing this she’s strengthening muscles and joints, improving hand-eye coordination and developing brain function.
These small challenges give her opportunities for growth.
Hope this helps!
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Ameet Bhakta BSc, DipHE. I’m an Egoscue Institute certified Posture Correction Specialist in London and Tunbridge Wells and founder of Health Through Posture