You can play a big role in helping your baby develop strong muscles.
Even though it may seem like you baby is just laying around, he is actually getting an effective workout every day. Unless your baby is sleeping, he is busy batting at objects, kicking his legs, and squirming around. All of these activities are exercising his muscles, helping him develop.
In order for your baby to lift his head, roll over, sit up, crawl and eventually stand up and walk, he will need strong muscles. While your infant does many of these strength-building exercises on his own, you as a parent can play a big role in his development.
Exercises to Help Your Baby
There are a number of things you can do to assist your baby. Here are some that of them that we suggest:
- Tummy Time
- Weight Training
Try bicycling. Start by placing your baby on his back. Then gently move his legs up and around. This action mimics being on a bicycle. You can smile, coo, talk or sing while you do it. This exercise helps your baby’s flexibility and will help to strengthen his legs, knees, hips and abdomen.
You will notice that your baby spends the majority of his time on his back. One of the things you can do is to place your baby on his tummy. This is known as tummy time and it is an effective way to help build up the muscles in his neck, arms, back and shoulders.
You may find that your baby is fussy at first. So, put him on his tummy for only a few minutes and get down on the floor with him while smiling, talking or singing. This will help relax your baby and will encourage longer periods of tummy time.
Next, try sit-ups. You can do this by pulling your baby up into the sitting position. Even though you are doing the pulling, it will help your baby use a wide variety of muscles including his arms, abdomen, and back. Your baby will then be able to practice balancing which will eventually lead to him being able to sit up on his own.
You can start this exercise as early as 6 weeks. You will have to provide all the support at this stage but gradually your little one will have the strength to sit on his own.
Weight training is another effective exercise but you may be wondering how your baby can weight train. Well, typically a baby begins to grasp things between 3 and 4 months. Your baby can develop better hand-eye coordination, stronger arm and back muscles, and improved grasping abilities if you practice handing things to him to pick up.
When your baby is strong enough to sit in a bouncy seat or high chair, place objects in his reach that are safe for him to pick up.