Most parents might think it’s ok for babies to spend the whole day lying around, but actually babies also need to have some exercise every day just like us adults. Whether your baby is playing, kicking in the air, or squirming during a diaper change, even the smallest exercise can help your baby’s development. Although babies can’t do much, especially during the first few months, there are still many ways for them to “workout”. These 5 easy baby exercises will make a difference in your baby’s growth.
At the early age of one month, you can start exercising with your newborn. Although your baby has little control of their muscles at this time, they still enjoy the feeling of their limbs flexing, extending, and moving through space. You should help your baby exercise by gently wrapping your baby’s hands and slowly pulling it up toward you. Make sure you don’t stretch your baby’s hands straight or pull them off the floor. Repeat 5 times with each arm.
Another technique is the chest cross. This baby exercise is quite similar to the previous one. But instead of moving upward, you gently move their arms to the sides and bring them close to their chest. Remember there is no need to straighten your baby’s arm.
Your baby doesn’t need to wait until 3 years old to practice cycling. Start by laying your baby on their back and gently move their legs in a bicycle motion. This move will help increase your baby’s flexibility as well as their range of motion. Also, you should praise or make funny noises while exercising with your baby to make it more interesting for them. Repeat this movement a few times and take a break. Keep going as long as your baby shows interest by smiling, making eye contact, and kicking.
On top of that, it’s not only a good way to work your baby’s legs, but also a natural method for releasing gas if they have an upset stomach.
Picking up objects is a great way to build your baby’s grasp ability and arms muscles. You can start doing this exercise as soon as your baby can hold items (usually around 3 or 4 months). Let your baby sit with their back supported, then place a small object in front of them. After that, encourage your baby to pick it up and hold it closer by cheering them. You might want to demonstrate how it’s done the first time. But, they will get the idea quickly, especially if their “weights” can make a sound, light up, or there’s a reward during the process.
When your baby is awake, you can try turning them over on their stomach to help build their neck and shoulder muscle. Tummy time can begin on the first day of your baby at home. After placing your baby in the position, you should do the same to keep them company during tummy time. You should talk or make funny noises to encourage your baby to move their body.
All of that helps your child to build muscle and get ready for future milestones like crawling. At first, your baby may fuss during tummy time. However, with a little bit of practice and a few tries, your baby should start to enjoy it in no time. Each tummy time should last around 3 to 5 minutes. But, you should let your baby do it from 1 to 2 minutes if your baby is not used to it yet.
Your baby will probably learn to sit between the ages of 4 to 7 months. So, this is the perfect time to do this exercise and help your baby sit better. Pulling your baby into a sitting position is a great way to strengthen the muscles in their shoulders, arms, and back.
If your baby can’t support their head well, instead of pulling by the forearms, place your hand behind their head and neck and gently lift them up. You might only be able to pull your baby up 1 or 2 inches at first. But, as your baby gets older they will go further, eventually advancing into a full sitting position. Even though you’re still doing most of the work, your baby will naturally flex their abdominal muscles and work to keep their head in alignment with the body.
You don’t need to put any target for your baby at this time because eventually they will like and do baby exercises well. Enjoy every moment and use this time to bond with them more. Let us know what your baby’s favorite exercise is in the comments!