It’s during this time when Baby is awake – those 8-to-11-on-average hours a day – that they start to build up their muscles and interact with the world for the first time.
Do babies need to stay active?
In Baby’s first year of life, they are going to go from needing your help just to support their head to rolling over, sitting, crawling, and maybe even starting to walk, all on their own. In order to reach those milestones, though, it’s important that Baby stays active so they can keep on developing their body and brain.
Ways to keep Baby active
- Stay engaged! When Baby is young, the best way to help keep them physically and mentally active is just to spend time with them. Hold them, talk to them, and let them start to get to know the world through you.
- Be sure to give Baby some tummy time. Baby should definitely always sleep on their back, but when they are awake, it’s important for them to spend some well-supervised time lying on their stomach so they can start building a different set of muscles, especially in their neck.
- Give Baby room to explore! The truth is, there’s a good chance that as Baby grows older and bigger and stronger, they will have their own ideas about what they want to check out about the world. Make sure they have a safe, supervised area to explore, and before too long it’ll be them keeping you active!
Ultimately, the activity that happens during this time is important because it sets the stage, so that when Baby starts walking, somewhere around 9 to 15 months, it will be because they have been developing their spinal cord, muscles, brain and coordination from being active and engaged in their surroundings. Let the pre-walking begin!
- “Active Play for Your Baby.” Good Habits For Life. ACT Government Health. Retrieved June 28 2017. https://goodhabitsforlife.act.gov.au/kids-at-play/active-play-your-baby.
- “How Active is Your Baby?” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, January 1 2006. Retrieved June 28 2017. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/How-Active-is-Your-Baby.aspx.
- “Tummy Time.” American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved June 28 2017. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/aap-press-room-media-center/Pages/Tummy-Time.aspx.