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You can really help your baby get a great start in life and learning by providing an environment that encourages their healthy development. Dr Jane Williams, Research and Education General Manager for GymbaROO and one of Australia’s leading experts on baby development, passes on a few tips.
1. Tummy time
Place your baby on her tummy when awake, as often as possible – on a firm surface with no pillow. Even just a few minutes at a time is helpful. Try to build up the time so that she is comfortable in the tummy time position for longer periods. Watch your baby practise lifting her head – that head is very heavy! To most efficiently learn how to control the head and neck muscles your infant needs a good amount of tummy time. There are lots of loving ways to do tummy time that do not involve the floor. Click here to watch our free tummy time video with loads of information, tips and ideas. Tummy time is vital for full development. If your little one does not like tummy time it may be that they are experiencing discomfort. If this continues, seek advice from your local health professional.
2. Baby massage
Start massage as early as possible – click here to watch GymbaROO’s free online video on baby massage, including techniques and massages to join in with, or just massage in your own loving way. This is not only a time of bonding, but also of sensory stimulation. Read also: Baby Massage – before you start.
3. Baby exercise
After massage, start gentle baby exercise, moving your baby’s arms and legs in and out. Do not force the limbs, but if done after massage, sometimes they will slowly open out if you are gentle. Click here to watch our free online video on baby exercises, including advice, the correct techniques and exercise to join in with.
Breastfeed if you can, though we do understand that this is not always possible. If you are bottle feeding, be sure to change your baby from side to side as if you are breast feeding, so that your baby’s right and left side receive equal stimulation.
Dance with your little one and introduce new movement, they love it! Click here to dance with us online. There is a dance in each episode!
6. Don’t be in a rush
Don’t try to hasten nature. Baby milestones are a journey, not a race. This is important. Just provide the environment to stimulate the development of rolling, crawling, creeping, etc. Once your baby is mobile this makes for a happy baby as he can reach the toys he wants to play with!
7. Provide opportunities to move
Provide your moving infant with obstacle courses such as pillows and boxes to scramble under, over and through. Watch and learn about the importance and benefits of crawling to your baby’s future here.
8. Let your baby explore
Leave at least one ‘pots and pans’ door in your kitchen within baby’s reach, so it can be safely opened. Letting your baby explore safely, helps her learn about her world.
9. Go for walks
Take your baby for walks in the pram or stroller. Alter the surface over which you push the pram – rough, smooth, noisy, quiet (grass). Alternate between pushing fast and slow. Pull the pram instead of pushing. The variety of sights, sounds and feelings your baby experiences are very stimulating.
10. Do GymbaROO for babies: BabyROO
What to avoid
Dr Jane Williams (PhD, BMgt, RN(Paeds)) is the Research and Education General Manager for GymbaROO and KindyROO. Dr Williams is one of Australia’s leading experts on baby and child development. More on Dr Williams here.
GymbaROO Images by Studio Z Photography
GymbaROO for Babies from Birth: 12 FREE Online BabyROO Videos
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