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Motor development is a very important aspect of a baby’s development. Motor development takes from head to foot, from the midline of the body that is head and trunk, and later to the arms and legs.
Motor development proceeds from gross to fine motor milestones. Motor activities help babies to learn and use their bodies, to gain confidence as they master these skills.
0 to 1 Month:
At birth, when your baby is placed on his stomach, he immediately turns his head to one side. This is one of the first gross motor skills that your baby develops. This development of turning his head sideways helps to clear the breathing passage.
This is the first activity in which your baby tries to raise his head and neck against gravity and is usually seen within one month after birth.
– Unable to clear the breathing passage when put on his stomach.
How to help your baby:
- Place your baby on your lap, show a toy from the sides and encourage him to turn his head towards the toy.
- Place him on his back, speak to him or dangle a moving colourful toy or ring or make some sound on the side to which you want him to turn. Repeat the activity on both sides so that he can turn equally well in both directions.
- Place your baby on his stomach, apply firm finger strokes, pat on the muscles at the base of the skull and in between the shoulder blades. It will activate the neck muscles to turn as well as raise the head.
1 to 2 Months:
Generally, babies by the age of one month move their arms and legs against gravity. By kicking his arms and legs, your baby learns about various parts of his body, and the effect it can create on the environment. This is the first play way method of learning about cause and effect phenomena for infants.
– Frog position or hypotonic child
– Hypertonia or crossing of legs
– Increased tone or stiff child
How to help your baby:
- You may help your baby to learn this skill by doing the bicycle movement, this can also be done during diaper changing time.
- Tie attractive sound-making anklets and bracelets with bells on your baby’s hands and legs. He will be encouraged to move his legs and hands as the bells make a sound.
- Suspend a crib gym across your baby’s bed so that his kicking feet will strike it and produce noise and this would encourage him to repeat the activity.
- By the time your baby is three months old, you would notice that he holds his head steady in midline while on his stomach. This is the time where head control happens.
Gross motor development plays a vital role in babies’ development as it helps in the development of motor skills, fine motor development, and cognition development. Once your baby is born, you will need to keep a track of how development proceeds month by month, so as to understand if any developmental delays are there or not.
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