The objective of this blog and many others I may produce will be to point out age appropriate activities that you may do with your child, that have physical development implications. All parents want their babies to be healthy, strong, and to mature well. Alright, let's be real; some parents are like I was, I couldn't wait to nurture my son's athleticism. My wife and I worked as a team. I nurtured his athleticism, and she made sure he did his job on his academics. Without the academics, the choices of colleges is very limited. Our son presently is playing college football, and has both an academic scholarship and a football scholarship.
At 0-6 months there are a lot of spontaneous movements. The baby will move some anyway, but you can stimulate various movements, smiles, laughs, etc… through interaction, touch, maybe a little music, etc… As a result of your stimulation the baby may move more on his/her own than he/she would otherwise. Moving arms and legs for minutes at a time during play, ie; 5 minutes, is a good thing.
When a baby is born their vision is limited to focusing on objects up to only about 8-12 inches away, so using touch, sound, and being close is necessary. As the baby sees better (0-4 months) he/she will start reaching movements. Early on the movements are more like swatting movements. You can start putting bright objects in front of them to stimulate these types of movements.
2-5 months babies start to discover the hands and will explore their hands by putting their hands to their mouth, as well as things around them, with putting them to their mouth. Obviously you need to monitor what they are putting in their mouth, but reaching for things and putting them to their mouth is a source of movement and development. Give the baby a variety of safe objects to explore in this way.
2-4 months the babies improve steadying of the head. You should notice this when they are moving on their own, ie; laying on their stomach and lifting the head, but also as you carry the baby around and move the baby from place to place, and obviously, for safety reasons you’ll give their head support, but eventually you’ll notice the support from you is needed less and less. Tummy time play is very important.
This blog focused on the physical development but obviously, we want our kids well rounded, well adjusted, and in a position to be successful in life, and that doesn't happen by just being concerned about the physical realm. Do your due diligence to learn how to nurture success for your child. My website, StudentAthlete.net addresses this as well.