Is Your Baby Meeting Child Development Milestones?
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Enjoy every moment and smile as your little one will grow up very fast. To encourage your child’s healthy development from birth to six months of age, consider following these tips from our extraordinary team of physical, occupational and speech therapists at the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Lerner Children’s Pavilion.
- Encourage lots of tummy time. Cuddle your newborn on your chest or lay him over your lap. You can place a soft blanket on the floor and encourage him to look at your face or some toys. Watch how quickly his strength improves as he goes from barely moving his head side to side as a newborn to raising his head at 1-2 months to pushing up on his arms and elevating his head and chest by 4-6 months.
- While baby is on her back, place toys above her to encourage swiping, reaching and grasping. Let your child play with soft, light and safe toys to encourage bringing her hands to midline and to her mouth to explore and develop her oral motor skills.
- Encourage grasping by placing a small, light rattle in his hand at 2-3 months. By 4-6 months encourage him to reach and grasp for toys placed in front of him and to the sides while on his back, belly and side.
- Encourage your baby to look toward midline and to both sides using a mirror, your face and stimulating toys while he plays on his back and belly and while held by you or another caregiver.
- Starting around 3 months help your child grasp her feet with her hands while singing patty cake. You can also use little socks with bells to encourage reaching for baby’s feet. This will help to strengthen your baby’s belly and prepare her for rolling.
- At around 4 months start to encourage rolling by placing toys to the side so your baby needs to roll to the side to reach it. This is a first step to help him roll from his back to his belly.
- Allow plenty of floor play. Place a blanket and some toys on the floor to allow your child to play, explore and develop her gross motor skills, including rolling.
- Around 4 to 5 months you can help your child learn to sit by supporting him in this position with your hands, legs or pillows around his hips. Place a larger toy in front of him so he can help prop himself up with his arms on the toy.
- Look at and read colorful books daily. Point to the different pictures and let him turn the pages. Sing and talk to your little one. This encourages language and promotes those early smiles.
- Play, play, play! You are your child’s first teacher, role model and friend. The more you interact with your child, the more she will learn and explore, and the stronger your bond will be.