How to Help Your Baby Develop Skills and Reach Milestones (Part 1)

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One of the most exciting aspects of being a parent is watching your little one grow and develop. During the first year, you’ll be surprised with how quickly your child changes. As time goes by, you baby will gain control over the various muscles in his body so his coordination will improve, and with this enhanced coordination he will be able to sit, crawl, stand, and eventually walk, and run.

In this three-part article, we will discuss about how to help your baby develop skills and reach milestones for his fast growth and healthy development.

Tips and Ways to Help Your Baby Sit Up Independently

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When your baby reaches around 6 months, he may achieve his skill of sitting independently. But this depends if they are active, energetic, or just want to observe things around him/her. You may wonder what you can do to help him/her sit independently.

In this section, we provide you some simple tips and ways for your child to reach this milestone based on some references in Day2Day Parenting and Parents:

Precursor Skills

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folic acid
  • 1. Hold your baby in upright posture with support.
    a. This will help your baby learn to use his neck muscles to control his head position.b. When your baby gains head control, you can move the support downward, first supporting at his upper body, then mid-body, then lower body, then hips.
  • 2. Start your baby’s tummy time play by placing him on their tummy. This will strengthen the muscles on the back of their body.
    a. When the baby lifts his head, this strengthens his neck extensors.
    b. When your baby lifts higher as he begins to use his elbows and arms to reach for toys, he is strengthening the muscles around his shoulders and strengthening his upper back extensors.
  • 3. Let your baby have play time on his back. This will help your baby to strengthen the muscles on the front of their body.
    a. As your baby lays on his back and reaches for dangling toys, he is using the flexors of his chest and upper trunk.
    b. When your baby lays on his back and brings his feet up to his hands and then brings to his mouth, his abdominal muscles are strengthened.
  • 4. When you see your baby rolls, this helps him to strengthen the trunk muscles, working together with coordination.

Positions to Help Your Baby Sit Up

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  • 1. During 3-4 months, you can sit her in a supportive chair like a Bumbo seat or something similar. Pillows are effective as tools in supporting your baby and helping her sit up. As your baby grows stronger, she will be able to sit for a few seconds when you place her in a sitting position. She will be wobbly at first and balance a little bit but usually for only a few seconds. Although she will tumble often at this phase, she is learning and developing new skills.
  • 2. Help your baby gain balance. This is fundamental for your baby to be able to sit alone well. To do this, you can place him in corners of chairs or couches so your baby can begin to feel what it’s like to sit up. Also, you can assist your baby as you sit on the floor with your legs crossed and let him sit between your calf and hamstring where he will be safely supported.
  • 3. When your baby is learning to sit up, it’s common to put out one or both arms to help stabilize the torso, essentially turning arms into a kickstand to hold up his body weight. This is the tripod sit. Until your baby has developed that strong core, he’ll need a little help balancing when he’s trying to sit alone. Be sure to keep your little one on something soft for these early weeks of sitting to help soften the fall when he tips.
  • 4. Baby loves looking at himself or herself in mirrors already. Try placing one just a little too high for her to see into; this will encourage her to sit up. Another muscle-strengthening idea: Hold your baby under the arms so she can put her feet on the floor. Baby can’t stand alone yet, but holding her in that position helps gain more core strength.
  • 5. You’ll need to make some adjustments to your baby’s room once he can sit alone. By 6 months, his arms are very strong and he will be grabbing for everything. Check the crib’s surroundings and put anything dangerous out of reach.

CONCLUSION

Seeing your adorable little one eventually learning his way in developing his skills and reaching milestones is a fun and exciting moment for both of you and your partner. Your baby is also happy in exploring his environment which helps in his overall growth. While helping your baby gain new sets of skills and abilities, offer him lots of love and encouragement. This way, he will attain confidence to explore and develop quickly.