Even if it seems like your baby gets to lay around and sleep all day, they get a hard workout each day. Whether it’s kicking and throwing their arms, hitting an object, or yelling for attention, your baby is getting a full workout nearly every hour of the day. However, even though all these exercises are vital to your baby’s motor development, they’ll need a boost from you. To help your baby get all the physical activity they need, here are a few exercises you should practice to help your baby stay strong and healthy.
Since your baby spends the majority of the time on their back, it’s important to have them work on their stomach, back, shoulders, and arm muscles as well.The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you should have supervised stomach time as soon as you take your baby home from the hospital. You should only start at three to five minutes at a time, but placing your child on a blanket stomach down will help them strengthen their stomach muscles.
You should only start with a couple of three to five-minute sessions, as this is a new experience for your baby and they have underdeveloped stomach muscles. However, if your baby fusses, try making funny faces or give them a toy to keep them interested in the exercise. The more you do this and the more their strength and tolerance they have for the exercise, the more often and longer you can do it for. Eventually, your baby will even be able to roll over on their own.
Having your baby sit up can help strengthen their core, arms, back, and shoulder muscles. Every day, have your baby do little sit ups, even if you’re doing most of the pulling, to help them work their abdominal muscles and build balance.
To perform the exercise, have your baby on their back, hold onto their forearms, and slowly pull your baby towards you. You should start doing these exercises once your baby turns six weeks old, but if you want to start when your baby is younger, support their head during the exercise.
Cycling in the air isn’t only a natural way to help your baby relieve gas, but also a great exercise to work their knees, abs, hips, and legs. This can also help your baby improve their flexibility and range of motion as well.
To do the exercise, put your baby on their back and slowly move their legs as if they were cycling. You can even make encouraging noises and faces to help them remain interested in the exercise.
Having your baby pick up objects is an easy way to help their hand-eye coordination, ability to grasp, and muscle development of their arms, hands, and shoulders. You should start this exercise once your baby turns three or four months old, and use ordinary objects around the house, such as rattles, small toys, and small weights.
You should sit your baby either in a bouncy seat or chair with these items in front of them to practice with. Encourage your baby with rewards for lifting them up, but make sure that you always change up the exercise.
Plus, you have had to additionally show your baby how to do it first, but once they get the idea, they should be able to do the exercise by themselves. Just don’t forget to reward your baby after each exercise, or they may not want to do it anymore.
What’s your baby really going to need when you bring them home from the hospital? Be sure to have everything ready for when your newborn arrives with this handy checklist.
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