Infants Need Exercise Too!

Infants Need Exercise Too

Not that type of exercise. But did you know physical activity is important to your babies’ maturation process? We’re not talking push-ups, but pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo.

According to the American Dietetic Association, physical activity is important to infants’ normal maturation process. In fact, infants who are sedentary tend to roll over, crawl and walk later than babies who receive physical stimulation.

So what can you do as a parent to help your baby stay active?

According to the ADA, simple things like giving infants freedom of movement encourages them to search their environments and learn about their surroundings. Make sure to create a safe home environment so your baby can explore safely.

Playing with babies also helps them see you value physical activity. BabyZone.com suggests these 3 playful baby games to foster motor skills:

Ahh-Boom
When baby is between 5- to 7-months old, prop her in a sitting position facing you on your lap. Lower your head and gently touch foreheads with your baby while slowly saying, “Ahh-boom!” at each touch. In time, your baby will anticipate the game by leaning forward before your foreheads meet.

Sooo Big
Your little one loves it when you lift both his arms up very high and exclaim delightedly, “How big are you? You are so big!” Once your child has learned this game, lift your hands up high and let your child stretch his own arms way upward as you exclaim, “Sooo big!”

This Little Piggy
Respond to your baby’s burblings with encouraging words as you play “This Little Piggy Went to Market” with her tiny toes. Your baby learns that despite being a small creature, she has control over play situations: Notice how she thrusts out her toes in a clear request to play the game again and again!

Why does this matter to you? Playpens have their use, but when possible–and under your watchful eye–let your infant move around freely. More importantly, engage with your child on a daily basis. It will improve your infant’s functioning and help nurture your relationship.