Parents frequently Asked Questions
Why observe a baby’s movement skills before the infant has developed any milestones such as rolling or crawling? ……………………
The average infant has many movement skills which begin to develop at four months of age. These skills will prepare a child to take in more information, by reaching out and initiating with his eyes, with his voice, and with his hands months before his movements: rolling (about six months), crawling (about eight to nine months) and walking at about one year of age. Each infant will also have a varying amount of movement skills which are just emerging at four months and that you, as a parent, can become more aware of through observation. Sometimes professionals trained in movement development may be able to offer you ideas for supporting your infant if he is finding movement a bit too hard, if the professional is aware of what movement skills are present and what movements are just developing.
My baby doesn’t like playing on the tummy for very long. Is that normal?…………..
Being happy while playing on the tummy is one of the movement skills which may be just emerging between four and six months of age. Parents may notice the baby being much happier on the tummy as they reach their fourth month of age. Being able to lift up the head, which is very big and heavy, depends on the balance of muscles which are now developing, so the baby will not like this position until she can look around and support some weight on her arms, which makes the tummy position a lot less work . You can support your infants efforts at this age by helping to roll from the back, an infant’s usual position, to the tummy. In this way your infant will have the joy of experiencing this movement for herself and will begin to roll over from back to tummy. She will be happier staying on the tummy once she rolls there herself.
What is the best toy for my baby? ……………
The best toy is your face. Parents may notice that very soon after birth, the baby tries to focus and study faces of the important people in his life. By four months, he is more advanced with his study of your face and is now also studying your voice and mouth so he can begin to attract your attention to him by using his voice, like you attract his attention to you by using your voice. So now your face and mouth and voice will be his favorite toys. Support your infant by looking, smiling and talking to him as much as possible.
How do I help my baby get ready for sitting?………..
Parents notice that between four and six months their infant will start to sit forward on their bottom when put into sitting, and often think that the infant is ready to be placed in sitting. However, the muscles that work the pelvic area are just starting to work together, another emerging skill. These muscles will not be working well enough to support the upper body for several more months. Your baby will be happier and need to work less hard if the upper body continues to be supported in an inclined chair between four and six months of age. In a supported position, a baby can use her hands for the developing reaching skills, instead of needing to use them to stay balanced and not fall over in sitting. Your child will be more successful and happier in supported sitting until she is strong enough in her shoulder and back muscles to get out of sitting by going onto her tummy when tired. It is very hard to know when the baby is tired, and it is easy to overdo sitting.
My baby loves to stand up. Is that good for my baby¹s legs?……………
Parents notice how excited a baby becomes when stood on his feet, which shows how much he enjoys this position. An infant between four and six months will support her weight on her legs when standing, but the little legs collapse when tired. Standing in your lap with your arms around her is just the right support to make standing a fun experience at this young age, and in your arms she will give you good signals of when she becomes tired and has had enough, so that you will be able to put her down.