Whether you’re helping your child through the effects of a traumatic birth or simply trying to optimize their development, there are some simple things that can be done by you, your partner, and other family members such as older siblings who may be involved in your child’s care.
One of the first major milestones an infant needs to achieve is to roll over with ease to both sides equally. One thing that can be done to assist with this is to alternate sides every time an infant is fed from a bottle. This helps encourage equal development of their neck muscles, whereas always feeding them from the same side could cause them to develop a preference for turning their head to one side over the other, thus hindering their ability to roll to both sides.
Another good exercise during this developmental phase is “tummy time” where the baby lays on their tummy on a blanket or even on a family member’s chest, and learns to hold their head up. This should be done in small time increments at first to avoid causing your baby to become exhausted. This exercise is important because it helps to develop the proper c-curve of the cervical spine, which helps to lay the foundation for the rest of their spinal development.
Once your baby starts trying to crawl, you can help them by “pedaling” their legs when they lay on their back to help keep their hip movement symmetrical. You can also help them get used to the crawling motion by bringing the arm and leg together when they lay on their back, mimicking the motion of crawling. This exercise can be particularly useful if your baby’s crawling is delayed.
These simple exercises can be incorporated into your baby’s routine and can help your partner, their siblings, and other family members to bond with your baby at the same time!