Baby development is not something that we are usually taught in prenatal classes.
Babies are making over one thousand connections in their brain every minute. They are taking in information from their environment all the time. Babies process information and build a map of their world in their mind.
For a baby, learning how to hold their head in midline is a big achievement. It is an important skill. The activity in the photo is a good activity to help your baby develop the ability to hold their head in midline.
In this activity, you can gently guide your baby’s hands to come together and help their fingers to touch each other. Learning to bring their hands together means that babies can play and can also self soothe by bringing their hands to their mouth.
In this photo, I am demonstrating to parents how they can position their baby with their baby’s head cradled on the parent’s knees, baby’s bottom is tucked into parent’s tummy and baby’s legs are supported on parent’s chest. This is a great activity to encourage head control and also a great position to have ‘chats’ with your baby. Most babies enjoy having ‘chats’ and the opportunity to engage and communicate with their parents and loved ones.
By developing their ability to make eye contact and hold and maintain eye contact, babies can have lots of fun and enjoyment in engaging in social communication. Social interaction is something that we have come to appreciate and value more and more, especially since it was taken away with lock-downs.
This activity also offers a great place to bring hands and feet together in midline. Bringing baby’s hands together helps with making connections between both sides of their brain. It helps babies become more aware of their hands which in turn helps with developing play skills. Touching both feet together helps with developing greater body awareness and mapping body image onto the brain.
Overall this is a fun activity and is suitable to do when your baby is on a calm relaxed state.
Patricia Weldon Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist