It’s during this time when Baby is awake – those 8-to-11-on-average hours a day – that he starts to build up his muscles and interact with the world for the first time.
Do babies need to stay active?
In Baby’s first year of life, he is going to go from needing your help just to support his head to rolling over, sitting, crawling, and maybe even starting to walk, all on his own. In order to reach those milestones, though, it’s important that Baby stays active so he can keep on developing his body and brain.
Ways to keep Baby active
- Stay engaged! When Baby is young, the best way to help keep him physically and mentally active is just to spend time with him. Hold him, talk to him, and let him start to get to know the world through you.
- Be sure to give Baby some tummy time. Baby should definitely always sleep on his back, but when he is awake, it’s important for him to spend some well-supervised time lying on his stomach so he can start building a different set of muscles, especially in his neck.
- Give Baby room to explore! The truth is, there’s a good chance that as Baby grows older and bigger and stronger, he will have his own ideas about what he wants to check out about the world. Make sure he has a safe, supervised area to explore, and before too long it’ll be him 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 he has been developing his spinal cord, muscles, brain and coordination from being active and engaged in his 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.