Getting Moving – Born to Move
- Posted by: Nalda Wainwright
- Category: Blog
Human babies are very helpless when they are born. Most mammals are able to walk almost straight away. Humans are born at this helpless stage of development because the human brain is so large that if the baby was more developed it would be too big for the mother to give birth. So for the first year after birth a baby must learn to sit, crawl, stand and walk. This process is very complicated and involves lots of systems in the body.
Even before birth babies are beginning to feel gravity. As soon as they are born babies can sense gravity and react to the feeling of movement. Learning about gravity and movement sensations is very important as this is used for getting control of the body and later on for balance. I will talk much more about balance in later blogs and you will see how important it is for your child in physical activity and sport but also in their academic progress.
Body control begins with the head and neck and this means that babies can start to develop their vision, firstly learning to recognise faces. The baby will begin to lift their head when you hold them, even though it is not for very long at first and you must be there supporting their head. This lifting of the head is the very beginning of how we hold our heads up as adults without even thinking about it.
At this very early stage of life, as you move around and hold your baby or rock your baby they are feeling the sensations of gravity and processing this information into their nervous system. So do lots of holding and rocking your baby. They will learn more body control in your arms than left in a bouncer or rocking chair. Also begin tummy time in the first couple of weeks for short bursts of time several times a day. This will help them begin to lift and control their head. Talk to them and entertain them with things to look at so they spend a little longer each time on their tummy.