Find out more about all areas of baby development. Find out what babies and toddlers should be doing at different stages of their development and gain tips, ideas and activities to support you baby in their development.

Baby Development – Motor Skill Development

What is motor skill development?

 

In the first few years of your baby’s life they will be developing rapidly. Baby Development is a phrase I am sure you are very familiar with now. There are many different stages and types of baby development but here we will give a quick guide to physical development, often known of as motor skill development.

Motor development is part of physical development and refers to the growth in the ability of children to use their bodies and physical skills. Motor development can be divided into gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are things like holding their head up, sitting up unaided and crawling and fine motor skills are things like picking up smaller toys, turning the pages of a book or mark making.

 

Why do children need to develop their motor skills?

 

Motor development is important throughout a child’s early life, because physical development is tied to other development areas. For example, if a child is able to crawl or walk, he/she can more easily explore their physical environment, which affects cognitive development.

 

With practice, children learn to develop and use gross motor skills so they can move in their world with balance, coordination, ease, and confidence!

 

The ability to accomplish self-care and everyday tasks by using fine motor skills helps a child’s self-esteem and confidence grow. It’s important to work with children early on to help fine motor skills develop at a young age. Fine motor skills improve with practice, so the earlier the better!

 

For instance, babies first learn to hold their heads up, then sit with assistance, then sit unassisted, followed later by crawling, pulling up, cruising, and then walking. As motor skills develop, there are certain developmental milestones that young children should achieve.

 

How do I help my child develop their motor skills?

 

As they get older, your little one will be working their motor skills every day just by going about their daily routine and getting more involved in activities! However, for infants and toddlers, they may need extra stimulation to work their motor skills. Make sure you are encouraging physical movement and development of these skills on a daily basis.

  1. Try tummy time. You can start tummy time with your newborn from the day you come home from the hospital. …
  2. Place toys out of reach. …
  3. Support their seat. …
  4. Prop with pillows. …
  5. Offer push toys. …
  6. Kick and throw balls. …

How do toddlers develop gross motor skills?

 

  1. Trampolines. Using a trampoline is a great activity to improve balance. …
  2. Hopscotch. Hopping and jumping require strong gross motor skills, balance, and coordination. …
  3. Martial arts classes. …
  4. Playground play. …
  5. Balloon and bubble play. …
  6. Tricycles, scooters, and pedal cars. …
  7. Dancing. …
  8. Obstacle courses.

This is a great activity to try at home for babies from around 4 months old

 

Baby Surprise – stuff some squares of fabric into an old clean baby wipe container and let your baby pull them out one by one. If you can find fabrics with different textures and colours to stimulate baby’s sense of touch and vision that would be even better!

 

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Join our baby and toddler development classes here 

Did you know that we have been running for nearly 9 years now? That is amazing, I can’t believe how quickly time has raced by!

 

We always get told that our classes are waaaay the best baby development class around by parents who attend, and I will tell you why….

 

When I started Adventure Babies, I really didn’t want to copy another class. I saw what people did and tried to add something different to the baby class industry, an original idea that would benefit babies and their adults! I know that I did that because there were no sensory storytelling classes AT ALL then.

 

The other thing I wanted to do was just make our classes as brilliant as possible so that parents were getting something worthwhile and good value. We concentrated on having amazing original ideas and resources and then worked so hard to make every parent and baby feel valued so that our classes were amazing, fun and provided great value.

 

I love teaching; I have always been a teacher because I really care about helping children to develop. I personally couldn’t continue teaching to the standard I wanted to and be a good mum too. I didn’t start Adventure Babies to become a big business and over market an average idea or copy a business from somebody else. I really care about the experience that parents and babies have in our classes. Maybe that is why word of mouth has led to so many of our bookings.

 

Anyway, I guess I’m really proud of where Adventure Babies has travelled in the last (nearly) 9 years and I can’t wait to see where it goes next! Thank you for your support everybody and for keeping telling us that we are the best baby development class xx

 

Find your nearest class here

Everything you need to know about Tummy Time!

 

Read our quick guide to tummy time. What it is, how to do it, how much your baby needs and how to make it more fun.

What?

The period during the day your baby spends awake and on their stomach.

It is one of your baby’s first exercises—and the most important! It is a crucial exercise for baby’s motor, visual, and sensory development.

Why?

  • To develop the core muscles of the neck, back, and shoulder muscles
  • To meet developmental milestones
  • To possibly help prevent early motor delays and conditions, such as flat head syndrome (positional plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (positional torticollis).

When?

Begin from birth and continue throughout your baby’s first year.

Aim to achieve at least an hour total per day by 3 months of age. This hour needs to be broken up into many smaller parts. From newborn, start with a few minutes at a time and build up to longer sessions. Once your baby is rolling both ways and crawling you won’t need to keep practicing tummy time!

How?

Place baby on their tummy in the prone position whilst supervised to play. Many babies are not keen on tummy time to begin with so have a look at our ideas to make tummy time more fun…

 

How do I make Tummy Time easier?

  • Go chest to chest – this is a great way to start as you can change the angle with your baby laid on your chest.
  • Use props – exciting toys or mirrors make tummy time feel less of a chore for your baby
  • Have a seat – sit on the floor and use your thigh to prop up your baby’s chest making tummy time a bit easier
  • Be entertaining – get face to face so that your baby can see you and entertain them with silly faces.
  • Rock and roll – try lying your baby on their tummy on the birthing ball or a beach ball
  • Take a wander – using a sling or your arms take your baby for a walk.
  • Make a baby aeroplane – lying on your back with your knees up balance your baby facing you and move them around making plane noises!
  • Get naked – great skin to skin bonding time too!

 

There you have it. Everything you need to know about tummy time including how to make it more fun and enjoyable for your baby if it isn’t their faviourite activity.

 

A great way to gain more fun ideas for core strength activities is to come along to one of our Sensory Storytelling Adventure Babies classes! 

 

 

Weaning a 6-Month-Old Baby – Our 5 top tips to help you get started

Weaning is huge milestone for most new mums. When is my baby ready for weaning? Should you puree or use the baby lead weaning method? Can you buy pouches, or should you cook it all from scratch? Here we’ll give you our top tips to help you get started and reach the dizzy heights of weaning success.

When do you know if your little one is ready for weaning?

It is recommended that you wait until your baby is close to 6 months to begin weaning. This is so their little guts and immune systems have time to start functioning properly before they’re trying to digest solid foods. The signs to look for are:

  • They can stay in a sitting position, holding their head steady.
  • They can coordinate their eyes, hands, and mouth so they can look at their food, pick it up and put it in their mouth.
  • They are able to swallow food (rather than spit it back out)

Do you need any special equipment for weaning?

Honestly, you don’t really need anything special for weaning your baby. Besides small soft spoons which are gentle on your little ones mouth you don’t really need anything more than you’ve already got in your kitchen. However, some handy things to help you along are small freezer containers for batch cooking and a hand blender if you plan on pureeing.

Puree or Baby Lead Weaning?

There really isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. The main thing is that you are comfortable with the decision you’ve made and that your little one is safe. Often mums use a mixture of both pureed foods and finger foods to let their little ones explore different flavours and textures as well as different techniques to eating such as using a spoon or using their hands. Do whatever feels comfortable for you and your baby.

Can you buy pouches, or should you cook it all from scratch?

Again, this is very dependant on your situation and what you’ve got time for. Many first-time mums want to give their babies the best, for some mums that means slaving away over a hot stove, blending the life out of numerous vegetables and freezing them ready for the week ahead. For others it means buying a variety or different pouches specially made for their weaning stage. Whichever works for you. Neither one is better than the other.

What else do you need to know?

Keep up the milk – when you first start weaning, it’s important that you still combine food with whatever milk they normally have.

Enough is enough – your baby will let you know when they’ve had enough by closing their mouth. Do not try and force them to have more.

Patience is key – It can be frustrating if you’ve spent ages preparing something and your little one won’t even attempt to try it. Keep your cool and try it again later or tomorrow. There’s no rush. Follow their lead.

So there you have it, our main tips are that you follow your baby’s lead and that you do whatever makes you comfortable when weaning your baby.

For more in-depth information you can visit the NHS website – https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/what-to-feed-your-baby/around-6-months/

All Adventure Babies Classes help with weaning, giving your little one’s time to explore numerous edible messy play activities. To find your nearest class have a look on our website here – https://www.adventurebabies.co.uk/classes/