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